SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
A House leader has called on the Special Committee on Land Use to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into the worsening problem on the issuances of erroneous land titles by the Land Registration Authority (LRA) brought about by its current computerization program.
Rep. Al Francis C. Bichara (2nd District, Albay) called for the inquiry through House Resolution 1667, saying the manifest errors in the LRA-issued land titles have resulted in confusion and court litigations to the detriment of legitimate land owners and businesses.
"The inquiry would help provide relief and stop further deterioration in the climate of business and land ownership," said Bichara, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
"Error-filled official issuances can bring havoc in our entire land registration system which will directly affect the economy," said Bichara.
Bichara said LRA personnel have pointed to some technical glitches in their computer system, which they said is being upgraded.
"These errors in the newly-issued land titles have destroyed the otherwise peaceful business climate and investor confidence as well as private land ownership," he said in urging the Special Committee on Land Use chaired by Rep. Kaka J. Bag-ao (Lone District, Dinagat Islands) to investigate the matter.
In its website, the LRA said the agency has for some years, been applying modern technologies to improve its land records management system. Recently, a combination of microfilm and computerized database systems has greatly improved the security, reliability and accessibility of land title information of those registries where this technology has been applied.
"However, the steady introduction of new land title documents continues to challenge LRA's ability to keep up with the microfilm operations, and the corresponding development of computerized databases. Moreover, the need for a more secure, accurate, efficient and modern land titling system cannot be over emphasized, for an effective land titling and registration system is a major force in the economic stability and progress of any country," the LRA said.
The LRA further said that the advent of Republic Act 7718 (the "BOT Law") and its enhancement to include information technology (IT) projects have provided LRA with a timely avenue by which it will be able to realize its mission and vision to improve its ability to secure its land titles and other documents and to deliver its services more efficiently and effectively.
"By focusing on IT as a key strategy, the LRA will strengthen the implementation of the land titling system in the country not only as a significant revenue source for the government, but more importantly, to enhance the integrity of the Torrens System. With the Land Titling Computerization Project (LTCP), it is envisioned that: a query on the status of a land title can be made anywhere, anytime from any of the various Registries of Deeds nationwide; there will be a shift from largely paper-based to a largely paperless system thereby securing tighter control over land titles; and it will hasten the turn around time in the generation and issuance of land title, among others," the LRA said in its website.
According to the LRA, the LTCP project is currently on its Phase IV. The Certification of Acceptance of Information Technology Facilities for Phase I and Phase II were issued on November 28, 2008 and June 24, 2010, respectively while implementation is during fiscal year 2013. Among the project beneficiaries are land owners, other government agencies, banking institutions, developers and brokers, respectively according to the LRA.