The Land Titling Computerization Project (LTCP) is an enterprise-wide flagship initiative of the Land Registration Authority that computerizes and streamlines all business processes and requirements of the LRA. It integrates and secures the various information and database systems of the LRA Central Office (LRA CO) and Registries of Deeds (RDs) to improve the security of titles and registered deeds, instruments and documents, and provide an enhanced service delivery facility for the benefit of citizens. The LTCP covers the following major processes:
- Registration of deeds and instruments affecting Titled Land;
- Registration of deeds and instruments affecting Untitled Land;
- Registration of deeds and instruments affecting Chattel Mortgages;
- Registration of deeds and instruments affecting Personal Properties; and,
- Verifications, Certifications, and Certified True Copies.
Background and Problem
Prior to the implementation of the project, the land titling system of the LRA has been largely paper-based with titles and documents being prone to loss and wear and tear. The LRA CO mainly issues Decrees of Registration (for the first time a property is brought into the Torrens System) and approves Subdivision and Consolidation Plans affecting Titled Properties, while the actual registration of deeds and instruments and issuing of land titles are done by the various Registries of Deeds (RDs) having jurisdiction on the corresponding properties. The records of the RDs are not available in the LRA CO and this set-up in titling management created inefficiencies that affected reliability and accessibility of land title information, created delays in service delivery to clients, and created opportunities for corruption (i.e., fixer culture) in the LRA System. The LRA management had repeatedly called out “package deals” among LRA and RD employees in memoranda it released in 1995, 2002, and 2003, and yet this seemed to do little in curbing such a rampant systemic problem. The LRA management said that fixers thrived inside because the agency could not efficiently and effectively manage the volume of business transactions it had with the public. The delays that sprang from these voluminous transactions pushed certain clients to deal with fixers and enabled RD staff to make manipulations and discretions in their dealings with clients.
Solution and Impact
The LTCP attacks these systemic issues in land titling by addressing their root cause: poor system management. Computerization of all business processes of LRA has greatly improved turnover time for the generation of records and issuance of titles and related documents since all records are electronically accessible and regularly backed up. The new information system management has also enabled streamlining and standardization of all business processes and requirements, and the logging of all activities on a framework, thus leaving no room for delays and additional requirements and therefore no opportunities for discretion and bribery. To further expedite delivery of service, the LTCP installed an online tracking system that guides clients on the steps of a business process and helps them monitor the status of their requests. More importantly, the LTCP has promoted transparency and service reliability through:
- Standard Workflow;
- Standard Documentary Requirements;
- Standard Fees;
- Electronic Archiving of Records;
- Logs; and,
LRA reported in 2012 that the computerization project is already in the fourth out of the five phases of implementation. The first four phases of the project focused on the full computerization of the LRA CO and the RDs while the fifth phase deals with the generation of digital parcel maps corresponding to the land titles. In 2017, the LRA announced that it was able to implement the computerization project in 159 sites of the 162 target RDs and that more than 99% of LRA’s transactions are now being processed through the Computerized Systems. The Agency aims to complete digitization and scanning of all manually issued Certificates of Title in its system of records by December 2019. The agency continuously introduces measures to make the LTCP more responsive to client needs. For instance, through the Title Trace Back (TTB) functionality of the Computerized System, the transacting public are now able to trace the history of a title, helping them to verify the legitimacy of a property’s title. Another innovative solution that is being implemented under the LTCP is the Anywhere-to-Anywhere (A2A) Services. This service allows the Clients to secure a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Title by requesting it from the nearest computerized Registry of Deeds, even if the registered property is under the jurisdiction of another RD. Part of the new services offered by LTCP are the Geo-Spatial Query Services (“GQS”) and the Parcel Verification Service (“PVS”) or Lot Location Service, which are mapping services used for the graphical representation of land parcels with respect to its geographic location and features within an area.
These are now being availed of by several government agencies for the right of way validation process. In November 2017, LRA launched the Title Upgrade Program (TUP) under the LTCP to ensures the security and integrity of the land titles when people upgrade their manually issued titles into eTitles. In June 2018, the Title Owner Identity Verification System (TOIVS) was launched to help protect buyers from fraudulent sale of real properties from unverified owner, wherein using the System, registered owners may enroll their titles so that prospective buyers shall be able to view the Plan, Block, and Lot Information of the Titles, the contact information, and the photo of the registered owner or the authorized representative. In this same year, the Transaction Preview Notice (TPN) was introduced to help reduce User Errors by allowing the clients to check and verify the encoded title details, which shall be reflected on the Newly-Generated Title and/or annotation, as the case may be. The Agency also plans to launch soon additional service features for the LTCP such as: the eSerbisyo which shall allow its clients to request for Certified True Copy (CTC) of titles through an online web portal; and the Citizen’s Land Registration Portal (CLRP), a web-based self-service portal which shall allow LRA Clients to enter relevant information for registration.