Transco, LRA ink deal for ROW-land purchase

THE National Transmission Corp. (Transco) and the Land Registration Authority (LRA) signed last Tuesday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will pave the way for the former to acquire all titled properties falling within the transmission line right-of-way (ROW) corridor. The properties to be acquired has a total length of 12,679 kilometers at P38,500 per km.

Under the MOA, LRA will provide Transco the following services: verification of Certificates of Title, provision of printout and soft copy of digital parcel maps of the titled properties, use of geo-spatial query service and issuance of certified true copies of certificates of titles or documents submitted in support of land transactions.

Transco, for its part, shall provide the LRA with technical details required to identify the properties registered under Transco and establish the technical coordinates of transmission lines. Transco shall also pay the LRA based on provided data or information and bear all costs and expenses not included in the scope of work of the LRA.

Transco President Melvin Matibag said the MOA with the LRA is part of Transco’s plan to outsource the survey of all existing transmission lines and substations to hasten the resolution of ROW claims involving its transmission lines and substations.

He added engaging the services of the LRA would be more efficient and cost effective considering the very tedious procedural process of releasing requested land titles from different Registries of Deeds in different regions of the country.

“LRA is the sole custodian of land titles and records and is the only entity that can provide data on land titles and digitized parcel maps that Transco requires,” Matibag said. “This will secure the government from bogus claims presenting spurious land titles. Also, the data that Transco needs is proprietary only to LRA.”

Transco is responsible for all existing ROW claims with causes of action accruing prior to January 15, 2009, the date that the transmission function was turned over to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

“We’re trying to have titles to all assets of Transco. It goes with our ownership of the assets. Since the Napocor [National Power Corp.] days, there was no title,” said Matibag. “It should have been done before, but I cannot answer that why. We are just making things right now.”

Transco was previously an integral part of the NPC, another state-owned firm, created under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

Transco has been separated from the Napocor since March 1, 2003. Its transmission lines link various power plants, distribution utilities and electric cooperatives.

The LRA is currently implementing its land-titling computerization project, which aims to maintain online information on titles that are current, complete and accurate, safeguard its records from tampering or destruction, deter substitution or insertion of questionable data, and move to a largely paperless system.

“They are saying that Transco assets are so huge, but we you have no proof of ownership. There’s a survey and, at the same time, the LRA will assist us in providing documents,” Matibag said. “Supposed to be, all properties that were expropriated are owned by the government. Transco and the LRA will identify the areas and come up with a valuation.”