Press Release
December 24, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today asked public officials, particularly heads of field offices of frontline government agencies, to delegate their authority to sign documents to any of their deputies if they would go on leave during the Christmas season to avoid disruption of services to the public.

Pimentel gave the advice after learning about the complaints of some people, including balikbayans from the United States, that the Land Registration Administration office was unable to act on their request for registration of their properties when they went to that office last week due to the absence of the register of deeds.

He said they were told that the register of deeds has gone on vacation for the remaining week of December and would be back in office in January. The problem is that the register of deeds did not bother to delegate his authority to sign certificates of land titles and other pertinent documents to anyone, causing a disruption of the normal operations of the office to the detriment of the transacting public.

Pimentel said it would be a pity if the Balikbayan Filipinos, who came back to their homeland to have their properties properly registered, would return to the US and other countries without the purpose of their trip to the country being accomplished.

"Public functionaries should not neglect their primary duty of rendering services to the people who, in the first place, are the ones paying for their salaries and allowances. Let us not give them a reason to feel frustrated or to think that the government is insensitive to their needs," he said.

Meanwhile, Pimentel batted anew for the implementation of a cadastral survey of all lands in the country as a mechanism for protecting the land ownership of the people in view of the proliferation of fake land titles.

The proposal is embodied in a bill filed by Pimentel with the Senate a long time ago.

"The intention of the bill is to place all lands in the country under a cadastral survey because by doing so, we make sure that even the poorest of the poor who are occupying a certain land and claiming the land to be their own would be somehow entitled to have title over that land and therefore, the owner can capitalize on that title," Pimentel explained.

"Without any title to the land, many of our people will remain poor because they have no way to raise capital for their needs," he said.

Pimentel urged the LRA to intensify the campaign against the syndicates of land title forgers preying on hapless landowners and buyers, and to see to it that the culprits, once caught, are prosecuted and convicted by the courts for their offenses.

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