The Land Ministry has instructed provincial officials to register all pagoda land in their respective areas after requests from several Buddhist committees.
Land Ministry spokesman Seng Lot said yesterday that a number of religious committees had asked the ministry to register the land of pagodas in order to manage and maintain the properties more easily.
In response, the ministry has instructed all provincial department directors to register pagoda land across the country through legal procedures.
“Some pagodas have already registered, but registration take-up in the past was low, so Land Minister Chea Sophara has instructed us to register the land of all pagodas in order to facilitate proper management,” said Mr Lot.
Mr Sophara last week issued a letter to provincial land management department directors to heed the requests of pagoda committees in order to manage monastery land.
Venerable Thach Ha Sam Ang, Samaki Raingsey Pagoda chief in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, said his pagoda was built in 1997 and has been legally registered at the Ministry of Cults and Religion since 2015.
Despite this, the pagoda is currently facing land disputes, and is embroiled in cases at the Appeal Court.
“The pagoda still does not yet have a land title, because it is still in a resolution process with the Appeal Court,” he said. “But I will try to register the pagoda’s land with the Land Ministry in order to obtain a legal ownership title.”
According to a report by the Ministry of Cults and Religion in early January 2017, Cambodia has a total of 4,872 pagodas and 69,199 monks.