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By Domini M. Torrevillas 
The Philippine Star) | Updated
May 28, 2013

So you’ve have decided to buy that land which you think is a steal. Well, think again. Someone may be stealing your hard-earned money.
Consider this: The Land Registration Authority (LRA) has called on the public to be wary of syndicates specializing in fake land titles.
LRA deputy administrator Ronald Ortile warned that members of these syndicates pretend to be landowners wanting to dispose of their assets.
“There are victims of these syndicates who invested their hard-earned money on a piece of property only to find out that the land title is fake, and the seller just seemed to vanish in thin air,” Ortile said.
I endorse the advice of Administrator Ortile who said that before buying any real estate property we should make sure the documents, particularly the title, are clean. Further, you should compare the owner’s copy of the land title being offered for sale with its counterpart original on file with the Register of Deeds.
Computerizing the land titles is the solution we have been waiting for. Land titles should be converted into e-titles to maintain the security and integrity of your records. The e-titling service is part of LRA’s Land Titles Computerization Project (LTCP) meant to safeguard all information from tampering, destruction, and substitution.
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Administrator Ortile, who is also a lawyer, assured us that e-titles “could not be forged, hacked, replaced, duplicated, or switched.”
Through e-titling, the original paper-based land titles stored in the Registries of Deeds (RDs) are converted to electronic data. These digitized titles are kept in a secure storage or databank developed by the LRA and its private firm partner, the Land Registration Systems, Inc. (LARES).
“If an RD office gets burned or flooded, the system developed for LTCP could recover the files in a few days,” Ortile said. The system in place has several backups, which makes the restoration of damaged data much faster.
Aside from protection against fraud and destruction, e-titles also ensure the integrity and accuracy of the information in land titles, and helps in speeding up the processing of transactions, notably loan applications with the banks.
Needless to say, the LRA has come a long way in systems and services upgrade to the 21st century technology.
This may mean that as lot owners, we can sleep the sleep of the just – no more worries about misadventures with our prized possession – our title to our piece of land.
We can also equate this LRA computerization to a definitive step in eliminating hooligans that prey on unwary lot owners and unsuspecting lot buyers.
As lot owners, let’s do our share in this very necessary move: Have our land titles converted to the paper-less e-titles.
Philippine Real Estate News