There is no stopping the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) from finishing this year the government’s century-old cadastral survey project, which is important in determining the political boundaries of local governments as well as the properties of private owners.


This was according to DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, who expressed optimism the project that was first launched in 1913 will finally be completed within the year after the 2014 report of the department’s Land Management Bureau (LMB) presented a “generally positive outlook.”


He said the LMB reported that the government has already completed the cadastral survey of more than 86 percent of the entire 1,634 cities and towns under the DENR’s administrative jurisdiction.


“Already completed is 1,419 cities and municipalities covering 28.8 million hectares, or 86.84 percent of the total 1,634 cities and towns, ” Paje said, noting that more than half of the areas were  completed under the current administration’s watch.


The country’s Cadastral Survey Program started way back in 1913 with the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 2259, also known as the Cadastral Act.


LMB records show between 1913 and 2009, only 753 cities and municipalities nationwide were surveyed, covering some14 million hectares.


Areas surveyed from 2010 to 2014 reached 14.8 million hectares where some 666 cities and towns are located.


“Completing the 102-year-old cadastral project of the government is one of the priorities of the DENR and hopefully it would be among the important legacies of the Aquino administration,” Paje said.


Paje lamented that the project has not reached final completion for lack of resources and sustained focus by previous administrations.


The environment chief, however, said that the Aquino administration is eager and willing to finish the project.


Thus, in 2010, the Aquino administration vowed to prioritize reforming the country’s land services as part of its social contract with the Filipino people.


“A significant portion of that 10-decade performance of the cadastral project was achieved during the Aquino administration in a matter of four years. Next year may well be a watershed year as we are finally drawing nearer to closing a century-old chapter in the saga of country’s cadastral service,” Paje pointed out.

At the same time, Paje said that for 2015 the DENR also aims to issue some 61,000 patents for residential, commercial and industrial lands, and 56,000 more for agricultural lands under the Cadastral Survey and Land Management Program.


A cadastral survey is intended to determine the administrative boundary of a city or a municipality and its component barangays. It also includes the determination of administrative boundary lots in alienable and disposable lands of the public domain for purposes of land titling.


“Cadastral survey is essential to efficient patent distribution and in accelerating countryside development. As such, completing the country’s cadastral needs bears directly to the President’s strides to spur economic productivity and growth in the countryside,” Paje said.


He added that wrapping up the country’s cadastral survey will ultimately determine the country’s actual total land area.

Posted By: Lynne Pingoy


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