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Davao City, Philippines

Going electronic

September 06, 2019 - Friday 8:09 AM by Jimmy Laking

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Don’t look now but the Land Registration Authority (LRA) under administrator Renato Bermejo is keen on pursuing a land titling computerization project in a bid to reduce bureaucratic red tape and graft and corruption nationwide.

We got this straight from Bermejo himself when we chanced upon him at the regional LRA office where he goes every so often when he is not in his Manila office.

He said the intention is to replace all printed land titles with electronic titles.

“This is to improve the delivery of services of LRA and to contribute in the government’s ease in doing business program,” said the Dabawenyo head of the LRA.

But this is easier said than done and it may take more than the remaining two years of the administration before this is accomplished.

But having locked on to this course of action, there is no turning back for the LRA. In short, it has to be done.

As Bermejo explained it, the process involved three stages: the scanning of the title, the encoding, and the very act of the titleholders giving up their printed land titles. In their place, an electronic title will be provided the titleholders. To date, the LRA’s regional offices have scanned 16 million titles already.

Following procedure, these were then transmitted to the central database of the LRA.

The second stage is the most meticulous since this involves the encoding of the scanned titles word for word, to include all the commas and periods.

“Please note that titles are not one-pager documents. If you are to visualize the task, 16 million titles multiplied by 2, 3, or 5 pages- we need to encode over 32 million pages,” Bermejo said.

The two stages of the Land Titling Computerization process accomplished, the registered landowner must now personally hand back the title in its possession.

“We will replace it with an Electronic Title,” he said. “It will be replaced on the spot.”

The third stage, in Bermejo’s opinion, is the hardest. “We have a long way to go in convincing title holders to give up their titles. They are still holding on to them for dear life.”

He said it will take time but he believes that with media helping out, many titleholders will realize the benefits of E-titles.

“First and foremost, their titles will be upgraded with title holders saving on time and money,” he said. “This is actually very difficult, it takes time. As of this present, after our roadshows and advertisements, 28.54% or 4.7 million titles were already surrendered and converted into electric titles.”

“We still have 71.46% or 11.9 million titles in a paper title status.” These are in the hands of the title holders.

Bermejo said Filipino titleholders are still reluctant to convert their paper titles into E-titles. “The bigger factor is lack of trust in the computerization project and or in the sentimental value that titleholders attack to their manual titles.”

Have not made up your minds yet? Go E-title. Less work, less stress, less corruption. No one will be left behind.