BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan warned that the possible enactment of a legislation that will open the validation of 211 titles in the different parts of the city will result to more problems rather than solutions in the disposition of lands in the city.
The local chief executive claimed that the pending legislation in Congress should be seriously studied to weigh its possible impacts to the existing condition of the lands that have unvalidated 211 titles so as not to open the floodgates that will lead to the filing of cases that will render the same useless.
If the land subject of the 211 titles that will be validated is now occupied by inhabitants who had been living in the area for a reasonable period of time and that the same had already been classified as alienable and disposable, he said that the residents who were able to acquire legal instruments to own the property will surely question the legality of whatever law that will be enacted for the purpose that will surely result to further serious delays in the validation of the 211 tiles.
Domogan pointed out that there will be no problem if the land subject of the 211 tiles that will be opened for validation is not yet occupied or classified as alienable and disposable, thus, the need for lawmakers to scrutinize the pending legislation so that it will not appear as a false promise for those who still possess the unvalidated 211 titles.
According to him, the issue on the possible re-opening of the validation of unvalidated 211 titles issued covering certain lands in the city was brought to his attention when he was the city’s representative to the House of Representatives but there were identified serious repercussions once the period for validation will be re-opened.
He urged individuals and groups that have various positions on the issue to bring the matter to the attention of the concerned committees in Congress that are handling the matter so that all their positions will be considered in ascertaining whether or not the said legislation will be enacted.
It can be recalled that the validation of 211 titles issued to individuals in the city covering portions of the city’s townsite reservation expired sometime in February 1987 that rendered the same as a mere scrap of paper.
On April 12, 1912 the Director of Lands instituted in the Court of First Instance of Benguet Civil Reservation Case No. 1, GLRO Record No. 211, for the compulsory settlement and adjudication of claims to private lands within the Baguio Townsite Reservation, pursuant to Sec. 62 of Act 926, in relation to Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Act 267.
On November 13, 1922, the Court of First Instance of Benguet rendered a decision in the aforesaid case, decreeing, except areas inside established reservations and the lands claimed by and adjudicated to private claimants named therein, all lands, buildings and real rights within the Baguio Townsite Reservation, as public properties and declaring all private claims not pursued in said proceedings as barred forever.
Republic Act No. 931, as amended by Republic Act No. 2061, authorized the reopening of cadastral cases up to December 31, 1968 with respect to lands which have been previously declared public lands by the court.
By Dexter A. See