DENR-12 rushing mapping survey

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 Nov) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 12 is targeting to complete by next year the ongoing cadastral survey or mapping of the region’s 45 municipalities and five cities.

Datu Tungko Saikol, DENR Region 12 executive director, said Wednesday the mapping activities are currently ongoing in various localities within the region that were covered by its cadastral survey program this year.

He said they expect to complete all pending surveys by the end of 2015 based on a target earlier set by the DENR central office.

Saikol said President Benigno S. Aquino III had instructed the DENR central office to ensure that all cadastral surveys would be completed by the end of his term in 2016.

“Our survey activities are presently moving well and on track to meet (the 2015 target),” he told reporters.

In 2013, the DENR released a total of P110 million for the implementation of 13 cadastral surveys or projects in the region.

Supported by the World Bank, the agency expanded the initiative to 15 more areas or localities this year.

Saikol said the ongoing cadastral surveys are classified as Category B and are funded under the National Program Support-Environment and Natural Resources Management Program.

A Category B project involves the survey and setting of the political boundaries of all barangays in a city or municipality, he said.

A cadastral survey involves the mapping of extensive areas covering an entire municipality or city consisting of several or many parcels of land and is undertaken for the purpose of land registration.

Political boundary surveys, which are among the activities set in Republic Act 2259 or the Cadastral Act, is deemed important in terms of addressing land claims, boundary problems and other related disputes.

Saikol said they are currently fast-tracking the conduct of the cadastral surveys in the region to help resolve the pending boundary disputes among local government units (LGUs).

He specifically cited conflicts involving the boundary areas of South Cotabato with the provinces of Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao and Sarangani as well as between North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

“We’re hoping to resolve these with the completion of the cadastral surveys,” he said.

Saikol said that upon completion of the surveys, they will immediately release the results to the concerned LGUs.

He said the contending LGUs may use the survey results or cadastral maps in resolving boundary conflicts as well as claims and ownership of disputed areas.

“If the LGUs are not satisfied with the result of the survey, they may elevate the matter to the proper courts or the Department of Justice,” he added.