Lucena City: Majority of the country’s 129 Register of Deeds (RD) are dismayed with the Land Registration Authority’s (LRA) information technology (IT) project because instead of making transactions faster and cheaper, it resulted in delays and made securing titles and other documents more expensive.
According to Lucena Provincial Register of Deeds Sherwin Fernandez who dared speak on the matter, they often find themselves at the receiving end of criticisms from an angry public when, in fact, the problem emanates from the LRA head office in Quezon City.
Fernandez said most of the RDs strongly opposed the IT project.
“Before the computerization, a certified true copy of a document would only cost P30 per page. Now our clients have to pay P260 per page or a 300 percent increase,” Fernandez said.
He added that when processes were done manually, they were able to release a document in one day. Now, it takes months before a document can be released.
“We are being blamed by our clients here. The impression is we are causing the delay and I have to keep explaining the situation that the problem is with the new system, not in our people,” Fernandez said.
He added that numerous complaints have been lodged against them because of the delays in the release of documents since the computerized system was implemented 10 months ago.
“After the IT personnel of LARES [Land Registration System Incorporation] encodes the information into our system here, they will send it to Manila for IT people there to encode it again into the central database. And because there are only 60 IT personnel in Manila encoding land titles for the entire country, it takes them months to return the documents to us,” Fernandez explained.
LARES, a corporation constituted in the Philippines, is under a Build-Operate-Own (BOO) scheme for the Land Titling Computerization Project (LTCP) for the LRA, while ITL Philippines, a software firm, provides data integration and software development services to LARES.
The LTCP covers the development of a “System Integrated Information Technology Solution and Infrastructure” that will interconnect various RDs nationwide. It enables on-line transaction processing and integrates its critical business processes.
Fernandez said upon the inception of the new system, LARES provided them with a one-is-to-one ratio of ITs to LRA employees, but at present, they only have two ITs to assist them.
Jiffy Labaguis, LARES IT personnel assigned in the Lucena Registry of Deeds, agreed that there was an overload of COD (conversion on demand) that was being sent to the central database in Manila.
“Lucena is not the only Register of Deeds being served by the central database in Manila. RDs nationwide send their documents there and whichever is submitted first will be released first,” Labaguis said.
But he has no idea what steps have been taken by his company to address the problem.
“I don’t know what their plans are to address the backlog. Our only role here is to provide assistance to the RD here in Lucena,” he said.
The Registry of Deeds under Fernandez services more than 30 municipalities in Quezon province.
The website of the LRA claims that it has been applying modern technologies to improve its land records management system.
Recently, a combination of microfilm and computerized database systems greatly improved the security, reliability and accessibility of land title information in registries where such a technology has been installed.
The steady introduction of new land title documents, meanwhile, continues to challenge LRA’s ability to keep up with the microfilm operations, and the corresponding development of computerized databases.
With the LTCP, it is envisioned that a query on the status of a land title can be made anywhere, anytime from any of the various Registries of Deeds nationwide.
The LRA said that there will be a shift from paper-based to paperless system, thereby securing tighter control over land titles.
Based on LRA’s record, 129 RD’s are “on-live” operations, computerizing all records, converting these records into the LRA database that will benefit land owners, other government agencies, banking institutions, developers and brokers.