Land registration process to go cashless
The government plans to adopt an online payment system for land registration, one of several reforms harnessing modern technology in order to reduce human intervention that breeds under-the-table transactions.
In a keynote speech on Wednesday before members of the Chamber of Thrift Banks, Land Registration Authority (LRA) administrator Eulalio Diaz III said the government agency wants to speed up the land registration process and eliminate the need for “personal services” in getting things done.
Diaz, a land registration lawyer who was previously involved in land development and acquisition, said he learned from experience that for LRA’s services to improve, the agency must get rid of “interventions” in transactions.
He said the online transaction for land registration is now undergoing final negotiations with the Bureau of the Treasury and the Commission on Audit. He said they plan to implement the program by this year.
An online chattel mortgage registration system is also in the works, he said.
Diaz said LRA also implemented a computerization of registries and put in place stricter policies against fake and spurious titles.
“This is to avoid the use of cash in transacting with the registries, for security purposes and convenience,” Diaz said.
He said 152 out of 167 registries have already been computerized. This also means 97 percent of all transactions are now being done electronically.
Diaz also cited LRA’s “general name search” facility, which allows investigative offices like the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Office of the Ombudsman, Anti-Money Laundering Council, National Bureau of Investigation and the Supreme Court to access documents and information involving land ownership of people and corporations.
“Soon, however, it will also be open to private individuals for purposes of estate settlement,” Diaz said.
Other LRA reforms include linkages with banks for faster verification of titles and loan applications and verification system with the BIR to check fake titles.
“Our system is like a cell phone, for as long as there is a new technology that can be used, then it will be used to build a better one,” Diaz said.