DPL set to issue first-ever agricultural homesteads for Pagan

(DPL) — The Department of Public Lands announces that applications for agricultural homesteads on Pagan are now available. This is the first time in CNMI history that agricultural homestead lots on the island of Pagan are available for distribution.

“This marks a historic step for DPL and for our community, as we are now giving residents the opportunity to own agricultural homestead lots on Pagan. DPL and its Homestead Division should be commended for finally pushing this dream of many of our residents into realities. We look forward to the issuance date and seeing residents return to their ancestral lands,” Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said.

“This is a long time coming, and we commend DPL for their steadfast work in having this opportunity available for our Northern Island residents to resettle Pagan. We will continue to monitor the implementation of this policy, so that we can get lots up there as soon as we can,” Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said.

Acting Secretary of Public Lands Marianne Concepcion-Teregeyo noted that DPL is making plans to schedule the distribution date for April after receiving applications. There are a total of 88 agricultural homestead lots, consisting of 5,000 square meters each lot.   DPL Surveyor’s under Planning Division went to Pagan in 2017 to conduct a survey and to install monuments on each  of  the lots. After the survey, the lots were parceled,  which  totaled to  88  agricultural homestead lots.

“DPL is very excited to issue out these agricultural homestead lots. In 2016, DPL created a task force to determine the possibility of issuing village homestead lots. At that time, DPL met with CHCC, DPS, DFEMS, PSS, CUC, BECQ, NIMO. The realization that DPL could not proceed with  the  village  homestead  lots  within  our  targeted  time  frame  because  of  the absence  of infrastructure, absence of a hospital, clinic or dispensary, absence of a school system, absence of DPS and DFEMS. Therefore, the agricultural homestead requirements are much laxed, as it strictly for agricultural purposes. This is the first step in getting Pagan resettled.  Our next goal is to issue village homestead lots,” acting Secretary Concepcion-Teregeyo said.

“After the survey in 2017, DPL published proposed Agricultural Homestead Regulations specifically for Northern Islands. The regulations are available online at  www.dpl.gov.mp, or can be viewed at any DPL office on Saipan, Rota or Tinian. DPL received comments from the Northern Island Mayor’s Office on the proposed regulations, and input from Northern Island residents for this initiative. Pagan is a very special place for many of our residents, and it is only fitting that we issue agricultural homesteads,” acting Secretary Concepcion-Teregeyo added.

According to Director of Homestead Irene Torres, the regulations state eligibility for the agricultural homestead program, which include the following requirements:

All applications are subject for review and will undergo eligibility screening.  To apply and to receive more details, you can call the Department of Public Lands at 234-3751 or visit the DPL office located at the 2nd floor of Joeten Dandan Commercial Building. For more information on other DPL matters, you can view their website at www.dpl.gov.mp and for daily activity updates visit DPL’s Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/DPLCNMI.