Land registration goes high-tech

Ready to fork out your life’s savings for a property to call your own and later bequeath to your children?

You need to verify if the real estate you’re buying actually exists, and the Land Registration Authority (LRA) will help you with that—electronically.

The LRA has made a bold move to comply with the E-Commerce Law and to turn its century-old manual registration into a technology-driven system through the so-called Land Titling Computerization Project.

Computerization uses physical references such as municipal maps, cadastral maps, and others in combination with satellite imaging to show the placement of new and existing registered lots in relation to each other.

The software employed uses the lot dimensions and border landmarks stated in the title.

LRA deputy administrator Ofelia E. Abueg-Sta. Maria told the Inquirer that the electronic plotting is not only an added service to owners of newly titled land. It also helps in verifying the validity land titles, which takes up about 40 percent of the agency’s daily activity.

“There are times when the land plotted is shown to take up the space of other existing land titles, or apparently takes up part of a road! These are warning signs to potential property buyers,” she said.

The computerization project is also seen to protect the original land titles from normal wear and tear, disasters such as fire and flooding and mismanagement.

Files are easily retrievable and are stored in electronic form in the LRA offices and in an “offshore site.”

The LRA’s services include original registration; subsequent registrations (registration of transfers, mortgages, etc.); divisions and consolidations of registered parcels; registration of condominiums; reconstitution of title (i.e., replacement of lost or destroyed titles); replacement of owner’s duplicate of title; and amendments of certificates.

To date, 81 registries of deeds of the LRA have been automated out of the target 168 by 2011.

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