Ancestral land title processing on hold

ALL transactions pertaining to Certificates of Ancestral Land Titles (CALTs) on the so-called contentious areas and the 211 land titles in the city remain on hold at the Baguio Register of Deeds.

Land Registration Authority Cordillera (LRA-CAR) head and Acting Baguio Register of Deeds (ROD) Guerrero Felipe bared this in his year-end report to Mayor Mauricio Domogan.

Felipe said the freeze on all CALT transactions including registration of titles and annotations was based on several issuances by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) pending the resolution of cases involving spurious CALTs issued over tracts of lands located within forest reservations, parks and city-owned properties.

Felipe also reported a list of the contentious areas has been submitted to the ROD as per Joint Administrative Oder No. 01-12 and almost all of the CALTs issued in the city were found to be within the said critical spots.

Joint Administrative Oder No. 01-12 by the Land Registration Authority (LRA), the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) mandates the suspension of all transactions particularly the titling and registration activities over identified contentious areas.

The order covers the processing of CALTs and Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) by the NCIP, the processing and issuance of free patents (FP) by the DENR, land acquisition and distribution (LAD) and Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) by the DAR and registration of titles by the LRA.

With this, Felipe said the ROD has not issued any new CALT in the city.

No unvalidated 211 land titles were also registered by the ROD last year following the discovery of the subdivision and titling of an unvalidated lot covered by a 211 title located in Busol watershed in 2013.

This triggered an investigation on the status of 211 titles in the city by a task force composed of the DENR Land Management Bureau, Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General, the LRA through the ROD and the city assessor’s office.

The investigation revealed a total of 281 original certificates of title have been issued covering 211 land titles and these OCTs have been subdivided.

At present, a total of 6,206 titles have been applied for validation and only 938 remain on process.

The ROD stopped registering 211 titles unless these titles were fully validated since the investigation took place. (Aileen Refuerzo)
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