Mayor Adelino Sitoy of the municipality of Cordova, Cebu recently declared the titling of properties a priority for his administration.
Issued on July 14, 2011, Executive Order No. 17, s. 2011 created a Land Management Council Council (LMC) and a Land Management Office (LMO) in Cordova, a third-class municipality in the 6th district of Cebu Province.
The EO is in consonance with DENR Administrative Order 2010-06 which provides guidelines on DENR-LGU partnership in titling and programs and encourages the creation of LGU land information office and cadastral council to facilitate titling.
The LMC is composed of the Municipal Assessor, Treasurer, Planning and Development Coordinator, Environmental and Natural Resources Officer and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENR) and headed by the Mayor.
It shall gather, maintain and update information about land policies, issues, challenges and opportunities; analyze such information to recommend appropriate policies and management intervention to the Mayor and Sangguniang Bayan; and supervise the activities of the LMO.
Supervised by the Municipal Assessor, a Land Management Office was created to carry out the policy direction set by the LMC. Coordination with other agencies such as the DENR and Register of Deeds shall be undertaken to obtain information, technical assistance, training and specific technical services.
The first LMC meeting was held on 3 August 2011 chaired by Mayor Sitoy and attended by representatives of DENR Regional Office (Region 7), DENR-CENRO Cebu City and Cebu City LMO, Cordova municipal officers with Vice-Mayor Rodrigo Jumao-as, and the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), a public advocacy organization implementing the Property Rights for Economic Progress program with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Asia Foundation.
FEF provided a background on the benefits of LGU titling, Republic Act No. 10023 (Residential Free Patent Act) and the DENR-LGU partnership on titling.
DENR Regional Technical Director for Lands said that the first step to be undertaken for the DENR-LGU partnership on public land titling is the signing of a Memorandum of Partnership Agreement between the DENR Regional Executive Director of Region 7 and Mayor Sitoy. Ms. Liezl Gonzaga of the Cebu City LMO shared their experience on their start-up activities prior to titling. Cebu City LMO was established on January 14, 2011.
The next step identified is training the members of LMC and LMO on public land titling and systematic adjudication. The LMC meeting shall meet monthly or as often as necessary.
FEF is a public advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the cause of economic and political liberty, good governance, secure and well-defined property rights, and markets-oriented reforms. FEF believes that ensuring a secure property rights regime will result in a stable and fertile environment ripe for economic progress.
It counts among its members former and present Cabinet secretaries and undersecretaries, leading figures in the academe, respected media personalities and opinion makers, and prominent members in the business and finance community.