SENATE TO ASSIST IN TITLING SCHOOL SITES
The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is seeking to complete within a year the summary titling of public school lands, according to Sen. Chiz Escudero.
Escudero, who chairs the committee, said the titling of the lands will be done simultaneous with the conduct of geohazard mapping to determine if schools are not within danger zones.
“Our target is to finish the summary titling of school sites within a year. In the process, we also hope to ensure that these lands are not vulnerable to geologic hazards for the safety of our students,” Escudero said.
As of this year, the Department of Education (DepEd) owns a total of 48,740 school sites all over the country. However, it was found that only 36,258 of these school sites have ownership or occupation documents under DepEd’s name.
Escudero’s committee recently approved Senate Bill No. 1730, or the act providing summary titling of real properties used as public school sites, to ensure that the government has legal ownership over these lands to avoid potential property disputes.
The veteran lawmaker noted that “public school sites have always been subjected to property disputes, frequent transfer of location, revocation of donations of lands where they are situated, and urban planning and development programs of the local government units (LGUs).”
“These legal disputes hinder the adequate education of our youth. It has negative impacts on the overall development of the nation in tapping and harnessing the talents of the Filipino youth, if schools, considered as their second abode, is constantly threatened with legal disputes and uncertainties,” he said.
In most cases, Escudero said, public schools sites are owned by LGUs or are subjects to long-term lease agreements with private individuals. In some cases, parcels of lands were donated but lacked the proper legal documentation and support on the transfer of ownership. /MP