Nationwide cadastral survey nearing completion - DENR

There is no stopping the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) from finishing this year the government’s century-old cadastral survey project, which is important in determining the political boundaries of local governments as well as the properties of private owners.

This was according to DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, who expressed optimism the project that was first launched in 1913 will finally be completed within the year after the 2014 report of the department’s Land Management Bureau (LMB) presented a “generally positive outlook.”

He said the LMB reported that the government has already completed the cadastral survey of more than 86 percent of the entire 1,634 cities and towns under the DENR’s administrative jurisdiction.

“Already completed is 1,419 cities and municipalities covering 28.8 million hectares, or 86.84 percent of the total 1,634 cities and towns, ” Paje said, noting that more than half of the areas were completed under the current administration’s watch.

The country’s Cadastral Survey Program started way back in 1913 with the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 2259, also known as the Cadastral Act.

LMB records show between 1913 and 2009, only 753 cities and municipalities nationwide were surveyed, covering some14 million hectares.

Areas surveyed from 2010 to 2014 reached 14.8 million hectares where some 666 cities and towns are located.

“Completing the 102-year-old cadastral project of the government is one of the priorities of the DENR and hopefully it would be among the important legacies of the Aquino administration,” Paje said.

Paje lamented that the project has not reached final completion for lack of resources and sustained focus by previous administrations.

The environment chief, however, said that the Aquino administration is eager and willing to finish the project.

Thus, in 2010, the Aquino administration vowed to prioritize reforming the country’s land services as part of its social contract with the Filipino people.

“A significant portion of that 10-decade performance of the cadastral project was achieved during the Aquino administration in a matter of four years. Next year may well be a watershed year as we are finally drawing nearer to closing a century-old chapter in the saga of country’s cadastral service,” Paje pointed out.

At the same time, Paje said that for 2015 the DENR also aims to issue some 61,000 patents for residential, commercial and industrial lands, and 56,000 more for agricultural lands under the Cadastral Survey and Land Management Program.

A cadastral survey is intended to determine the administrative boundary of a city or a municipality and its component barangays. It also includes the determination of administrative boundary lots in alienable and disposable lands of the public domain for purposes of land titling.

“Cadastral survey is essential to efficient patent distribution and in accelerating countryside development. As such, completing the country’s cadastral needs bears directly to the President’s strides to spur economic productivity and growth in the countryside,” Paje said.

He added that wrapping up the country’s cadastral survey will ultimately determine the country’s actual total land area. ### 




Paje hopes Pope’s pitch for the environment will stir action vs climate change

Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje has lauded Pope Francis for making another pitch for environmental protection during his five-day visit to the Philippines, calling it an “important signal of encouragement” for all to take action on climate change.

“Even Pope Francis recognizes the problems of climate change and understands the need to address them. He surely adds a strong voice to global efforts to combat climate change,” Paje said.

Paje also noted the statement of the Pontiff recognizing the Philippines as among the countries extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Braving strong winds and driving rain, Pope Francis on Saturday made a dramatic visit to Tacloban City, ground zero of Supertyphoon Yolanda, which killed at least 6,000 people, left a million homeless and displaced four million when it struck in November 2013.

In his written speech, the pope reminded the faithful on the “need to see, with the eyes of faith, the beauty of God’s saving plan, the link between natural environment and the dignity of the human person.”

Francis, during his visit to the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday, said in a prepared text that man was destroying nature and betraying God’s calling to be stewards of creation.

“As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling,” the Pope said in the text.

Paje expressed hope the papal visit would inspire more Filipinos to take an active role in protecting the country’s environment and natural resources.

“The decision of Pope Francis to speak for environmental conservation and awareness is an absolutely inspiring act that makes him an influential protector of the planet,” the environment chief said.

Francis, who took his name from the saint regarded as the patron of the animals and the environment, has brought environmental issues to the forefront since he was elected as leader of the Catholic Church nearly two years ago.

At his inauguration in March 2013, the Pope immediately called all people “to respect God’s gift of creation and to exercise wise stewardship of its resources for the benefit of the whole human family.”

Paje said Filipinos should heed the call of the Pope to “act with respect towards nature.”

“We must learn to nurture and safeguard, and not exploit nature. As Pope Francis said, never destroy God’s creation because if we do, it will destroy us in the end,” he pointed out.

According to reports, the Pope’s long-awaited encyclical on the environment was almost finished and that he hoped it would be published in June, ahead of a United Nations meeting on climate change in Paris, France, in November. #  



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