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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cagayan de Oro City unlocks potential of land

Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno and Department of Natural and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Director for Northern Mindanao Edwin Andot signed a Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) on May 12, 2017, which will pave way for land administration and management reforms in the city. The partnership enables the exchange of records and data including maps and survey records, joint conduct of land-titling activities, and learning opportunities for city government officials to perform duties related to land administration and management processes.

Considered the growth hub of Northern Mindanao, the city is poised to be the metropolitan center for nearby provinces of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.

Currently, the city is already facing urban land constraints with 90 percent of its population occupying only 20 percent of its 57,850-hectare land area. It has to unlock its agricultural lands if more lands are required for horizontal expansion of residential and commercial areas.

USAID’s SURGE Project is assisting the city government and DENR achieve its goal of establishing a land titling program as part of its work in improving land tenure security in the city. The project facilitated the partnership, and the creation of an inter-agency council to lead land administration and management initiatives in the city.

The Land Management Council, comprised of representatives from the Cagayan de Oro City Government, DENR, Department of Agrarian Reform, Land Registration Authority, Bureau of Internal Revenue, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry will provide the unified policy direction and support to the land titling program in the city. The council is committed to streamline land titling procedures that will provide patents for at least 140,000 untitled parcels in Cagayan de Oro.

Additionally, the city appointed a Systematic Adjudication Team (SAT) to help DENR address problems on untitled lands. Based on SURGE assessment studies conducted in 2016, 30 percent of Cagayan de Oro’s land parcels remain untitled.

Lulu Lumagsao, officer of the City Housing and Urban Development and a member of the SAT, attended a training held recently in Cagayan de Oro.

“The training for the SAT helped us gain a deeper understanding of the land registration process. We learned a lot about the processes on investigation, inspection and verification of titles, which are important to effectively undertake the job,” explained Lumagsao.

The SURGE Project is working with national government agencies, local government units, and other partners to unlock the potential of land to stimulate investments and inclusive growth by helping establish a well-functioning land market.


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