Ilocos Norte gov’t applies for special patent on NFC lot

LAOAG CITY — The Ilocos Norte government is set to apply for a special patent on 25 parcels of land the Northern Foods Corporation (NFC) currently occupies in Barangay 1, Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.

This is in support of the current administration’s program to have all provincial government properties titled and make way for private investors to come in for possible public and private partnership.

Acquired in 1984 from farmer-landowners, the provincial government has allowed the country’s premier tomato paste company, a government-owned and controlled corporation, to occupy the said lot through a lease agreement. The lease agreement is renewable every 15 years or until 2024.

To date, the lot, however, has yet to secure a clean land title.

Through a contract growing scheme with tomato growers, the NFC produces at least 20 percent of the country’s average total consumption of 22,000 tons tomato paste per year. Other supplies are imported from Taiwan, United States and some other countries.

Since 2012, the Ilocos Norte government under the administration of Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos has started to secure untitled properties through its Revenue Generation and Land Administration Reforms program.

REGALA project is funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction through the Asian Development Bank. It aims to computerize all land information and real property tax assessment in the province.

The program is also meant to help hundreds of Ilocanos obtain their land titles on alienable and disposable lands which they have been occupying for a long time.