Registry of Deeds certifies title for Ciudad project even with erasures

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Friday, October 21, 2011


THE title of the lot where the Ciudad project will rise is valid, the deputy chief of the Cebu City Register of Deeds declared yesterday.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has not canceled today’s public hearing for the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) application of the project’s proponents.

Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) earlier asked the DENR to suspend processing of Ciudad’s ECC, saying the lot title of the project’s site that was submitted by the project’s proponents is allegedly fake.

Osmeña said the title of the land occupied by the National Grains Authority, now National Food Authority (NFA), is stamped “canceled.” He added that he has acquired a copy of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 125869.

He said the document that Fifth Avenue submitted to DENR was allegedly not stamped “canceled” and contains, instead, the certification that “is an existing title or not yet canceled as of this date.”

Ciudad is a joint venture of the Provincial Government and private developer Fifth Avenue Property Development Corp.

The P1.2-billion residential and commercial development will rise on Province-owned lots located along Gov. M. Cuenco Ave., Cebu City—what is known as the Banilad-Talamban corridor. The land occupied by the NFA is part of the area to be developed as Ciudad.

Erasures

Lawyer Benedicto Taylan, deputy chief of the Cebu City Register of Deeds, said the lot title of the Ciudad site remains valid despite erasures and marginal notes on the document.

Provincial Attorney Marino Martinquilla showed Sun.Star Cebu TCT No. 125869.

The word “cancelled” on the top left portion of the document was erased by correction fluid. On the second page of the document are the annotations—“Deed of Donation of Real Property by the Province of Cebu to National Grains Authority (now NFA)” and “This title is hereby cancelled and in lieu thereof TCT Nos. 162713-15 are issued”—which were enclosed in brackets and marked “withdrawn.”

“TCT 162713-15 was never issued,” said Taylan.

Taylan confirmed the erasures and marginal note “withdrawn” on the title.

Withdrawn

He said the note “withdrawn” referred to the two annotations regarding the lot donation to the NFA and issuance of a new title because the donation was not consummated. But he said he does not know why the donation was made official.

Martinquilla told Sun.Star that the donation to NFA was not consummated because the deed of donation was not signed by the President of the Philippines.

Barangay Apas and Fifth Avenue officials said the public hearing will be conducted as scheduled.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said the DENR 7 should iron out the kinks in documentary requirements related to the ECC application of the Ciudad project before conducting a public hearing.

He said DENR has a memorandum that it will not start processing ECC applications unless all documents are submitted and cleared.

Martinquilla revealed that when Fifth Avenue first applied for the project’s ECC, the DENR returned the title of the lot because it was marked “canceled.”

But he said Fifth Avenue was able to obtain certification from the Registry of Deeds, signifying the validity of the title.

The ECC is the last requirement that Fifth Avenue needs to secure a building permit.

But Young and Osmeña said they have another basis to stop the project. They pointed out that there is a pending case in court blocking Ciudad’s implementation.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2011.

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