The Compostela cadastral "blunder" oversleeps - I

AS IT APPEARS - Lorenzo Paradiang Jr. -

A failed “public accountability” of long past local administrations of Compostela, Cebu had been the serious problem calling for the correction of messed-up cadastral survey of the landholdings of the whole town. One can attest that this urgent matter had been brought to official attention repeatedly, but then no solution came about.

When Municipal Mayor Ritchie Wagas took over, again, one made representations to take up the cudgels for an accurate cadastral survey of the then Bureau of Lands. In fact, one had appeared before the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) some years back. Subsequent inquiries with Ex-Mayor Gilbert Wagas revealed that the DENR-Central Visayas demurred for lack of funds for the correction project.

Meantime, with the huge “blunder” affecting the still unsettled, lingering, and imminent dispute between and among boundary disputants, not only in one sitio or barangay but throughout the whole town, the threatening “bombshell” remains in limbo.

Shall the DENR wait any further for the bombshell to explode among the adversely-affected land owners? Incidentally, Ex-Mayor Gilbert Wagas had relayed the DENR advice for the landowners to take up and file action on case-to-case basis. Why should the big problem be left to individual landowners to spend for the “blunder” of the DENR? Besides, the voluminous records are with the DENR; moreover many of them “cannot afford”, what with hiring a Geodetic Engineer and a team of personnel, as well as for a lawyer to handle the case.

One had originally inquired on the Bureau of Lands team led by Geodetic Engineer Espina on notice requirement and he asserted that lot owners were so notified. But when pressed why as small lot owner himself one didn’t receive any notice, Espina just stupidly remarked that they were in a hurry to finish their work to transfer to Carmen, Cebu. When one countered: “So, you are in unusual haste… sacrificing “accuracy” for wasted time,” Espina had no more rejoinder.

Significantly, the whole “blunder” has uniform effect, that is, one lot is with altered boundary – usually the western side – being “short” of some 3 to 5 meters being over-lapped by the lot of another. One foolish comment from the geodetic surveyor then was: “Ang nalapas sa imong yuta, nabawi man sad na, kay sa sidlakan nimong pag-utlan nadugangan man sa yuta sa imong kanait didtong dapita. Pagka-uplok nga daku… nagdagon-dagon lang sa linapasay.”

In Cabadiangan alone, one can cite many ensuing disputes, since many lot owners had consulted him on the matter. Besides, two lots inherited from deceased parents, have been so over-lapped on the western sides. Besides, when one had appeared in the aforecited SB session, the town officials also had similar feedbacks from other barangays.

Thus, it could be auspicious – although late by so many years since the erroneous cadastral survey was during the time of then Mayor Democrito Reynes – that lately there was the news item on the “DENR to speed up cadastral survey” in Minglanilla, Argao, Tuburan, and Tabuelan.

After one year and nine months from the May 10, 2010 election impasse, the 17 barangay captains of their “leaderless” town have now realized through a virtual “eternity” to seek help from Governor Gwen F. Garcia. The negative nuances of local politics surprisingly resurrected upon the unexpected “manna” of P7M assistance from the Capitol.

The kind Lady Governor bided her time for barrio officialdom to raise the “SOS” banner. It came at the heels of the inauguration of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) project in Mulao, together with NIA’s covered court. It was a lucky star for the town that Lady Gwen committed the DPWH and the Provincial Engineer to do rehab of the Mulao road artery.

(To be continued)

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