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PIA Press Release

"Mother of all surveys" to strengthen land titling in Central Luzon

San Fernando City, Pampanga (24 October) -- At least 1,000 boundary markers or mojons shall be recovered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region III in three provinces and 13 towns of Central Luzon in a bid to elevate the region's surveying and mapping activities to a level at par with global standards and to support key development programs.

Leonardo Aggabao, DENR deputy director for lands management, said the mojons, some dating to as far back as the 1930s, shall now be tied up with the Philippine Reference System of 1992 (PRS92) to provide a standard surveying and mapping reference coordinate system.

"Most of these mojons have been overtaken by development and can now be found inside titled properties, residential areas and private backyards. Some have been removed to give way to infrastructure development," Aggabao explained, adding this has contributed to faulty surveying and mapping.

He said at least 100 land conflict cases have been filed by the DENR in local courts since 2004 alone, mostly stemming from survey overlaps and multiple titling brought about by imprecise surveys and unreliable maps.

"Our maps are generally old, some dating to as far back as the 1900s. If you look at them, they are only a little better than the first maps used by sailors and traders as navigation maps in the 1500s," Aggabao said.

He said the PRS92 project shall use state-of-the-art Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments, and using the mojons as benchmark, DENR surveyors and geodetic engineers can now correct faulty surveys and accurately stake on the ground the exact provincial and town boundaries from satellite-fed data.

"Surveys and maps are prerequisites for better planning and judicious utilization of land and natural resources. They also form the basis for efficient land administration policies," explained DENR regional chief surveyor Junie Fernandez, saying PRS92 shall facilitate land titling and transfer of titles, reduce risks of land and property boundary gaps and overlaps, and improve land reform and tenure system."

Dubbed as the "mother of all surveys", the PRS92 shall lay down a national network of geodetic control points (GCPs) where all new surveys and maps shall be referred and old surveys shall be integrated, squarely settling land boundary and ownership disputes which usually clog the local courts.

The mojon recovery operations shall cover the towns of Arayat, Bacolor, Guagua, Mexico, Sta. Ana, and the City of San Fernando in Pampanga; Calumpit, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Meycauayan, Obando, and Pulilian in Bulacan; and Botolan in Zambales.

As this developed, Aggabao urged all local government units (LGUs), private entities, and the general public to support the project by "adopting" the geodetic control points represented by the mojons in their respective jurisdictions.

"These mojons should be protected and preserved. They represent important information crucial to accurate surveys and maps. In no case should these be removed or relocated," he said.

Beginning with the mojon recovery operations, PRS92 shall complete the country's spatial data infrastructure to ensure a reliable geographic information database for both government and private organizations engaged in development work. (DENR III/PIA-Pampanga) [top]

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