DENR adopts modern land mapping system

                                                                         By HERZON GALLEGO

BUTUAN CITY – DENR-13 Regional Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer has instructed the land management team at the DENR Regional Office which is in charge of the Land Conflict Management to excel in the operation of the geographic information system (GIS) Land Mapping and Information System to achieve an accurate reading of data in reconciling and re-establishing of existing technical and physical boundaries of the towns and provinces in Caraga Region.

              His instruction followed his assignment as the new chair of the Joint Regional Administrative Committee (JAC) that will address or resolve conflicts that affect the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, Public Land Act and the Land Registration Act/Property Registration Decree in relation to their respective mandates during a meeting at the DENR Regional Office on Wednesday.

              This modern land mapping system is now being adopted by the DENR as one of the means to sustain order in land conflict considering the importance of accurate identity, establishment, integration, reconciliation and re-establishment of the existing technical and physical land boundaries in the region.

              This technology is being applied in getting information through a modern land mapping system to re-establish and reconcile existing technical and physical land boundaries in the war-torn Marawi City.

              The GIS is designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present all types of geographical data.  Utilizing the GIS-based land mapping and information system is in line with the DENR being designated as the agency in charge of the newly created land conflict management unit (LCMU) of Task Force Bangon  Marawi’s Sub-committee on Land Resources Management or SLRM.

               The members of the Joint Regional Administrative Committee handling land conflict in Region 13 are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform,   the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), the Register of Deeds and the Land Registration Authority (LRA) XIII.

               Under the operation manual of the JAC, “the DENR has jurisdiction over all lands of the public domain (i.e. agricultural lands, forest or timber lands, national parks and mineral lands) except those placed by the law and/or other issuances under the operational jurisdiction of other government agencies”.

               The DENR is also responsible for the conservation, management, development and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources as well as the licensing and regulation of all natural resources as may be provided by existing laws.

           The DAR on the other hand, has jurisdiction on the following lands pursuant to Section 4 of Republic Act 657 as clarified in Joint DAR-DENR Memo Circular No.9, series of 1995 and Joint DAR-DENR Memo Circular No. 14 and 19, Series of 1997. These are all alienable and disposable lands of the public domain devoted to or suitable to agriculture which were (1.) proclaimed by the President as DAR Resettlement projects and placed under the administration of DAR for distribution to qualified beneficiaries under CARP; (2.) placed by law under the jurisdiction of DAR; and (3.) previously proclaimed for the use of Government departments, agencies and instrumentalities and subsequently turned over to DAR pursuant to E.O. 407 series of 1990, as amended by E.O. 448 and 506 series of 1992.

               The DAR has jurisdiction over all lands of the public domain in excess of the specific area limits as determined by Congress in the preceding paragraphs; all other lands owned by the Government devoted to or suitable for agriculture; and all private lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture regardless of the agriculture products raised or that can be raised thereon.

               The Manual  also  defined the jurisdiction of the NCIP, the recognition of the Rights of the ICCs/IPS, Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and Patentees, guidelines about indigenous concept of ownership, CARP support services for ICCs/IPs, the recognition of existing property rights, exclusion from the coverage of CARP such as lands actually, directly and exclusively used for parks, wildlife, forest reserves, reforestation, fish sanctuaries and breeding grounds, watershed and mangroves pursuant to Section 10 of R.A. No. 6657 as amended.

           The Manual has specific guidelines about contentious areas and issues. These are the subject of operational issues and conflicting claims between and amongst the DAR, DENR and NCIP.

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