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Affidavit of loss enough for lost owners’ duplicate copies of land titles – DAR

Regional and provincial offices of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) can proceed with the registration of electronic Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) under the Support to Parcelization of Land for Individual Titling (SPLIT) even without the owners’ duplicate copies of land titles.

“An affidavit of loss will do,” Engr. Joey Sumatra, DAR Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Research who is also the SPLIT national project director in a concurrent capacity, said.

In a memorandum addressed to all DAR regional directors and provincial agrarian reform program officers, Sumatra advised them to execute affidavits of loss and insert them as attachments among the documents required for the subdivision of collective CLOAs.

Sumatra emphasized that the presentation of affidavits of loss in lieu of the owner’s duplicate copies of land titles was recommended by no less than Gerardo P. Sirios, the administrator of the Land Registration Authority, during a meeting with the DAR Undersecretary for Foreign-Assisted and Special Project Jesry Palmares last April 28.

The DAR is exhausting all means to expedite the processing of e-individual titles for distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), who are members of farmers’ cooperatives to whose names the collective CLOAs are referred to.

Previous DAR administrations had preferred the distribution of collective CLOAs in their efforts to save time and beat the expiry date of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which initially had a 10-year implementing period.

The enormous job of distributing more than 4 million hectares of farmlands to some 3 million ARBs resulted in the extension of the program’s land distribution component for another 10 years and, again, for five years.

DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III said accelerating the subdivision of collective CLOAs into individual titles is the key to empowering farmer-beneficiaries as it enables each of them to direct their individual aspirations as new landowners.

“It will also help improve the farmer-beneficiaries’ security of tenure and strengthen their property rights,” Estrella stressed.

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