Developers laud start of computerization of land titling agency
By Charles E. Buban
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:55:00 04/16/2010
Filed Under: Research & Development, Construction & Property, Real Estate
SECURING THE LAND TITLE is probably the most crucial accomplishment for any property developer for this not only legitimizes ownership for their home buyers but also allow them to collect payments so they could get back what they have invested in the said project.
Sadly, such issuance takes a considerable amount of time within the agency responsible for keeping all land records and (through its Registry of Deeds offices nationwide) all records of instruments affecting registered and unregistered lands as well as chattel mortgages affecting movable properties.
"A huge percentage of LRA's operation, most especially in the provinces are still employing laborious and inefficient manual methods. Retrieval of records takes some time and requires a number of staff to complete the process. And because records are in their paper form, they are susceptible to deterioration, loss through fire, flooding and theft and other unforeseen event," admitted Ofelia Sta. Maria, deputy administrator of Land Registration Authority during a business meeting with the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association.
This prompted the LRA to begin a computerization program known as the Land Titling Computerization Project.
"This program prompted the Land Registration Systems Inc. to start converting all land titles into digital forms, initially doing this in three pilot sites-the registries of deeds of Quezon City, Parañaque City and Cebu City," Sta. Maria informed.
According to LRA Undersecretary Ronald Ortile, the program will take some time as offices need to be refurbished or built so conversion/creation/buildup of the land database, networking could be possible in all LRA offices.
Around 2 hours
"However, once finished we will have a system that would allow issuance of copies of land titles for just around two hours, physical records would no longer be needed as digital copies would prove to be a better alternative as they are more easily stored, accessed more easily, and are no longer susceptible to fire, flooding or theft," Ortile said.
Manuel Crisostomo, SHDA national president, said this is a significant development since a computerized land titling system would link all levels of the LRA Central Office, the Regional Registry of Deeds and the Registries of Deeds nationwide.
"This will make available to the entire organization, historical and other knowledge bases for making informed and intelligent decisions on land titling and registration, which plays a crucial role for us developers needing all these pertinent documents," Crisostomo said.
He noted that with a streamlined process, corruption and red tape may be lessened significantly.
"This is a crucial stage for the LRA as they establish a more efficient system. I believe us developers would be willing to bear with them as we will be rewarded with a more secure and efficient system as well as less prone to corruption," Crisostomo said.