By Darlene Motil
RIZAL– Ninety-nine percent of public school sites in Angono, Cardona, Teresa, Morong, Tanay, and Pililla, in the province of Rizal, are not registered to the Department of Education (DepEd). These lands are often subject to disputes, such as revocation of donated lands by the heirs of previous owners, development programs of the local government units (LGUs), and lack of proper legal documentation.
Maria Emily Matias, CheckMySchool coordinator, found out about this problem in land titling in the course of monitoring the schools since 2016.
In 2017, the CMS Coordinator reported that Quisao National High School received a notice of demolition and several schools were being ejected from the land they are situated. These problems hinder or disrupt the delivery of education services.
Prompted by this widespread problem, the DepEd Division of Rizal, through the office of School Governance and Operations Division, partnered with CheckMySchool in conducting an orientation on “School Sites Ownership and Land Titling: Processes and Requirements”. It was held last February 21, 2018, at the Rizal Division Office.
The event was attended by 79 public school district supervisors, principals, custodians, teachers-in-charge (TICs), and members of General Parent Teacher Associations, coming from selected public schools of Rizal province.
In the orientation, Ms. Sorayda M. Rangiris of DepEd’s Sites Titling Office gave an overview on DepEd’s guidelines on school sites acquisition and titling. She mentioned the government’s annual allocation of funds to be utilized exclusively for public schools land procurement.
The DepEd Memorandum no. 184 released on November 3, 2017 says that “the Congress has allocated a total amount of PhP76,120,000.00 to DepEd in GAA 2016 and another PhP76,120,000.00 in GAA 2017 for the acquisition, improvement, survey, and titling of school sites”. (Read full content of DepEd Memorandum No. 184).
Also sharing his expertise on real properties, Provincial Assessor Joseph Ceñidoza reminded the school authorities to ensure that every document relative to land ownership is notarized and genuine. “Kung ang hawak nyo lang ay photocopy na hindi certified [“If you’re holding a copy that is not certified] true copy, it’s a scrap of paper. Legal documents must be signed by the notary public.”
In October 2017, a DepEd Rizal memorandum instructs public schools to submit their documents for land titling as soon as possible. All documents will be collated and examined by the division office of Rizal; complete and accurate documents will be submitted to DepEd Central.
DepEd Rizal aims to have a full legal ownership over the lands where their schools are built. CMS actively monitors the progress of this issue and its resolution for the benefit of other CMS local areas dealing with the same issue.
If there’s any issue, problem or anything that you think needs improvement in your school, let us know if CMS can help. Go to http://www.checkmyschool.org/cms-can-help/.