PH secures WB loan for land titling project
The World Bank’s $370-million loan to split collective land titles covering more than 1.3 million hectares of property earlier granted to about 750,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries in the Philippines will help farmers withstand the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Monday.In a statement, the DOF said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Achim Fock, then World Bank acting country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, on July 14 signed the loan agreement for the Washington-based multilateral lender’s counterpart financing for the Department of Agrarian Reform’s $473.6-million Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project.“The SPLIT project will improve the bankability of farmers and enable them to access credit and government assistance. It will support our economic recovery program by intensifying assistance to farmers and making agrarian reform beneficiaries more resilient to the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dominguez said. In a statement after its board of directors green-lit the loan for SPLIT last month, the World Bank said the project was “designed to accelerate the subdivision of collective certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) and generate individual titles on lands awarded under the CARP.”
“Many farmers who were granted lands under the country’s agrarian reform program have been waiting for individual titles, sometimes for decades. This project will provide them the opportunity, on a voluntary basis, to get legal proof and the security of individual land rights. We expect that this will encourage them to invest in their property and adopt better technologies for greater productivity and higher incomes,” Fock said last month.This World Bank loan has a maturity of 29 years, on top of a 10.5-year grace period.
World Bank documents earlier seen by the Inquirer showed that SPLIT aimed to subdivide, or “parcelize,” 1.367 million ha of land in 78 provinces across the country’s 15 regions.“This scope covers roughly 4.5 percent of the land area of the Philippines and is the estimated balance of remaining collective CLOAs in land classified as alienable and disposable,” the World Bank said. INQ
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