LAMENTABLE, distressing and saddening are reports that there are still public elementary and high schools “squatting” on state-owned lands in various parts of the country.
That’s why the authorities should speed up the titling of government lands being used as school sites as part of efforts to address the many problems confronting public schools.
Without doubt, we need to solve these problems, including the lack of school rooms, to help prepare our youngsters in the highly-competitive world of business and other fields.
Records show that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has approved more than 3,000 special patents for public schools for the titling of public school sites.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said the move is a joint undertaking with the Department of Education (DepEd) aimed at securing more sites where education of children rests.
Cimatu, a former chief of staff of the powerful Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), has transmitted for registration a total of 3,467 approved patents in the country’s 16 regions.
“This is a big accomplishment…It only shows that the DENR, particularly the Land Management Bureau, is actively working to secure public school sites,” said the workaholic Cimatu.
The total number of approved special patents represents the accomplishments of three agreements entered into by the DENR and DepEd in 2007, 2010 and 2013 for the survey and titling of public schools.
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 10023 or An Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free Patents in Residential Lands provides that public land actually occupied and used for public schools may be issued special patents.
It is certainly time for the government to address the many problems in the public school system.