Issue of July 9, 2017
Mt. Province

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DPWH–CAR paid P20M for road right–of–way claims in 2016
by Jeannen Manahan

The Department of Public Works and Highways Cordillera has spent a total of P20 million on outstanding road right-of-way (RROW) claims in the region as of last year.

The payments were made as part of the agency’s efforts to settle the claims, including obstruction cases.

DPWH-CAR Financial Management Division Chief Maria D. Sanga also assured that efforts are made to ensure that the claimants are paid on time.

DPWH-CAR legal counsel Maria Dionesia R. Guillermo said DPWH-CAR is establishing relationships with the local government units and some agencies in monitoring and ensuring that the RROW claimants have valid claims.

It has also partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and entered a memorandum of agreement with the Land Registration Authority to track the validity of claims of some complainants.

Guillermo added that DPWH-CAR is working closely with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples regarding affected ancestral lands. She said the NCIP gives them proper certification on the extent of the RROW, which will not affect the land titles.

Guillermo added that they can manage the roads jointly with the agency if needed.

“We always make sure that we acquire the RROW before initiating projects,” Guillermo said.

In Baguio City, Engr. Edward Magalgalit of the Survey and Inspection Division of the City Engineering Office said the office receives five to 10 complaints every month. Some of these are minor claims, while some complainants do not have definite proofs of ownership.

He said some complaints are settled after complainants are presented with a certification that the land being claimed is publicly owned.

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