TACLOBAN CITY-The filing of applications for land titling will soon be made accessible and easier in two towns of Southern Leyte, after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-8) signed a memorandum of partnership with the town officials for this purpose. With the signing of the memorandum, the Land Information Office was effectively created in the towns of Malitbog and Libagon to carry out the task of a faster land titling process, said DENR Executive Director Leonardo Sibbaluca. Sibbaluca informed reporters that the signing of the memorandum of partnership agreement (MOPA) with the DENR-8 between Mayor Oliver Ranque of Libagon and Mayor Allan Go of Malitbog was held at the DENR Provincial Office in Maasin City last April 2, 2014. Sibbaluca said that through the said MOPA, the LIO is established and operated in the respective municipalities. The LIO will be manned by DENR-8 personnel and LGU personnel who are to be trained on land titling procedures, he added. He said that the people from the two towns could now file their land title applications and have other land transactions with the LIO at their respective municipality instead of going to the DENR’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices to transact on land matters. “The DENR came up with this strategy to bring its services closer to the people. It would be easier for them to secure lot data, maps, and file land title application, thus saving time, money and effort,” Sibbaluca said. He further said that at present his office together with the LGUs of Libagon and Malitbog are mapping plans for the training of the DENR-8 and LGU personnel who will be assigned and operate the LIO offices in the respective municipalities. Sibbaluca said that the establishment of the LIOs in municipalities is mandated in Republic Act No. 10023, otherwise known as “An Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free Patents to Residential Lands”. This covers applications for free patents pertaining to untitled public alienable and disposable lands which have been zoned as residential. It shall also cover zoned residential areas in proclaimed town site reservations, he added. Sibbaluca further informed reporters that in 2011, DENR issued Department Administrative Order No. 2011-06 which prescribed the guidelines for the implementation of public land titling in partnership with the local government units. He said that his office is still looking at increased partnership pacts with other municipalities to boost not only residential but also other modes of titling activities of the region. (RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)