DENR OKs special patents for over 3,000 public schools

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has approved more than 3,000 special patents for public schools nationwide as part of its joint undertaking with the Department of Education (DepEd) for the titling of public school sites. 

As of December 2017, the DENR has transmitted for registration with various registers of deeds a total of 3,467 approved patents for public schools across 16 regions.

“This is a big accomplishment in land management and the public school system. It only shows that the DENR, particularly the Land Management Bureau, is actively working to secure public school sites where the education of the future generation of this country rests,” said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu. 

DENR Region 2 had the most number of special patents approved and transmitted at 450; Region 10 had 434 patents, and Region 1 had 343.

The total number of approved special patents represents the accomplishments of three memorandums of agreement (MOAs) entered into by the DENR and DepEd in 2007, 2010 and 2013 for the survey and titling of public elementary and secondary schools exclusively used for educational purposes through the issuance of special titles and presidential proclamations. 

            Section 4 of Republic Act 10023 or An Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free Patents to Residential Lands provides that public land actually occupied and used for public schools may be issued special patents. Section 7 of the same law authorizes the DENR to promulgate Rules and Regulations to carry out the provisions of the law.

          DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2015-01, the Guidelines for the Processing and Issuance of Special Patents for Public School Sites under RA 10023 has streamlined the titling process by authorizing the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer to approve special patents.

​            The adoption and implementation of the DAO accelerated the issuance of special patents by the DENR in favor of the DepEd and eliminated issues with concerned agencies and local government units. This led to an increase in the number of special patents issued to public school sites. From only 20 patents issued and transmitted to the Registry of Deeds (ROD) from 2007 to 2014 or prior to the DAO implementation, to 3,467 patents on the first two (2) years of its implementation.

The special patent is registered under the name of the Republic of the Philippines, the DepEd and the school. 

“Education is a basic right of every Filipino. The DENR will continue to pursue efforts to award land ownership to public schools so that these learning institutions are secured from ejection in the land they have occupied for decades,” Cimatu said.

The sites, which were identified by DepEd, have been occupied continuously by the schools for decades and have been transferred through Deeds of Donation.

            Those located on land with valid Transfer Certificate of Titles are subject to relocation and segregation survey.

            The DENR-DepEd agreements provide that the establishment of a firm legal basis of the ownership of the school sites by DepEd would contribute to further development and improvement of the public school system. 

Under the three agreements, the DENR will conduct the survey, research, ground verification and preparation of maps and technical description of the schools sites identified by the DepEd.

A special patent is issued to grant, cede and convey in full ownership alienable and disposable lands owned by the government upon the declaration of a special law, act of Congress or a proclamation by the President authorizing the DENR Secretary to issue such patent.###

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