The Land Registration Authority (LRA), and The Organization of Property Stakeholders, Inc. (TOPS), are strongly pushing for the complete conversion of all paper land titles to e-titles.
The digitization of land titles will foster much-improved ease of doing business in the property sector of the Philippines, one of the common and pressing concerns that the TOPS-LRA collaboration aims to absolve with the summit.
Property owners and top executives from various companies present in the recent TOPS-LRA Summit 2015 held at Fairmont Hotel on July 28 discussed the various threats and challenges the property sector may encounter in the next few years if titles have no digital copies.
According to TOPS President Michael Jansen Abella, investors should primarily do the basic but thorough checking before buying land. As for big land developers, one must diligently verify the history of the land titles from the beginning up to the present before purchasing the property. There are already thousands of cases of fake land titles and land grabbing that have been reported because of the ease with which unscrupulous persons can fake land titles and other documents related to property ownership.
“We have to make sure that properties and documents have no other claimants. So it will be very helpful if titles are computerized because it will be easier for us to get certified true copies of all land titles including way back from 1904, 1907 and beyond.” Abella said.
Once manual land titles are converted, owners need not go to the registry where their titles are located because one can access the Registry of Deeds through an LRA extension office kiosk which can be availed of even if one is out of the country. Also, it will fasten the LRA transaction processing time from days to minutes, he continues.
The LRA e-titling program is also intranet-based so landowners need not to worry about hacking threats.
Despite the numerous advantages the e-titling program is offering to the public, LRA Deputy Administrator Ronald Ortile admitted that one of the biggest challenges they are facing today is convincing titleholders to convert their manual titles to the digitized ones. Thus, LRA, with the support of TOPS, has organized a summit to inform the public about the current advancements in procedures that pertain to the property sector.
“As technology advances, so should we,” Hon. Ortile said.
The one-day event was themed “Measuring Our Gains and Meeting the Challenges Ahead,” and brought together members of the public and private sectors invested in the future of real estate and property development in the country. Leaders and experts spoke on key issues such as land titling, climate change, and geological hazards among others.