The primary objective of a cadastral survey is land titling. Other land use information that are obtained in the process are gathered to support tenure or legal hold. However, the results of the cadastral survey can also be used as a basis for Internal Revenue Allotment or IRA. The IRA is the money received by all LGUs from the national government. Its amount is based on an LGU’s land area, population and tax collections remitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) first commissioned a surveyor in the 1960s to conduct cadastral surveys of the coastal town of Maribojoc in Bohol. This was followed by a series of surveyors who failed to produce the desired results. In 2003, the town’s LGU commissioned three surveying companies to conduct cadastral surveys. But these also went to naught.
Fed up with the lackluster performance of the surveyors, the Sangguniang Bayan issued an ordinance rescinding the contract of one of the companies and urging the others to hasten the process. The LGU also lobbied for inclusion in the DENR’s Land Administration and Management Project 2 (LAMP2), which aimed to automate land records through computerization.
In 2008, Maribojoc became the first LGU-led participant to the LAMP2. In the agreement between the Maribojoc LGU and DENR-PENRO Bohol, Maribojoc will oversee the overall conduct of the cadastral survey and land titling; appoint Community Development Assistants (CDAs) and adjudicators; provide funds for the CDAs and adjudicators, office supplies, computers and transportation expenses; provide office space; conduct initial sketching in coordination with the survey team; mediate initially on land disputes; conduct information dissemination; and mobilize barangay officials to assist the survey team in their areas.
DENR-PENRO’s responsibilities were to: provide technical supervision and the survey team; monitor the actual progress of the survey with the LGU; verify the completed survey to avoid overlaps; approve technical descriptions of the cadastral surveys; determine barangay boundaries; provide cadastral map of the approved survey; delineate or exclude land considered as salvage zones, watersheds and municipal/barangay roads; train LGU personnel assigned as CDAs and adjudicators and to process free patent applications (FPAs) with DENR Project Implementation Office and the Register of Deeds.
Land valuation has since appreciated and there has been a significant increase in Real Property Tax (RPT) collection. The LGU has earned additional income from certification fees and payments of arrears. The acquisition of land titles is now simplified and faster to process. More importantly, the tenurial status of title holders have been secured at a minimal cost and land grabbing has been reduced or eliminated. Boundary disputes that were resolved led to improved relations between neighbors.
The intensive Information, Education and Communication campaigns undertaken by LGU-led LAMP2 team encouraged the participation of stakeholders in the cadastral survey. Survey applications were religiously scrutinized for accuracy. The applications were then submitted to the DENRLAMP 2 office for screening and validation. In turn, the Register of Deeds approved the FPAs and issued land titles to qualified land owners. As of June 30, 2011, 830 land titles have been issued to land owners.
Eliciting active community participation and a committed LGU leadership were the key ingredients in the successful implementation of the cadastral survey project of Maribojoc. So far, the Maribojoc LAMP 2 project has been replicated in the towns of Talibon, Garcia-Hernandez, Balilihan, Candijay and Trinidad.