ITOGON, Benguet – The municipal government wants the environment department and other concerned government agencies to facilitate the reclassification of the lands to conform with the actual use of the same in the municipality.
Mayor Victorio T. Palangdan said that it is ironic that only 3 percent of the town’s total land area has been titled in the name of the owners while the rest are either classified as forest reservation, timberland and mining claims.
He explained that Itogon has a total land area of more than 60,000 hectares but there are areas that are still subject to land disputes with neighboring municipalities leaving the available land area for the municipality to approximately 49,000 hectares.
Palangdan pointed out that the lands in the municipality should be reclassified for these to conform with their actual use as there are already various resettlement sites that had been established so that the lands could be titled in the names of the actual occupants of the properties.
The municipal chief executive urged concerned government agencies to start working with the municipal government to work out the strategies and overall plan to facilitate the proposed reclassification of the lands in the municipality for the benefit of the owners.
According to him, there are many residents who want the lands their houses are built on to be titled in their names but they could not do so because these are not classified for resettlement as they are either forest reservations, timberlands or mining claims and mineral reservations, thus, the need to pursue the immediate reclassification of the lands in the municipality.
The mayor claimed that the proposed reclassification of the lands in the municipality will translate to greater opportunities for development in the municipality aside from significantly increasing the taxes generated from real property that can be used for development projects and enhance the delivery of basic services to the people in the different parts of the locality.
He suggested that the environment department and other concerned government agencies in partnership with the municipal government should study the most feasible strategy that could be implemented to facilitate the immediate reclassification of the lands in the municipality.
Palangdan expressed confidence that the environment department will help the municipal government work out the reclassification of the lands in the municipality to add value to the properties in the area because many individuals are setting their sights in the municipality as a place to build their houses and put up their businesses.