The digital wave has taken over almost every aspect of society, causing a lot of shift in the way we do things. It makes distance a non-issue, simplifies once complicated processes, and enables us to access what we need with a click of a button or a swipe of a finger. The digitalization of government systems in the Philippines is no doubt still a work in progress, but the country has made significant improvements ever since a digital strategy was formally established to help these offices shift to an e-Government-focused system.
The vulnerability of paper
One of the most pressing concerns about relying on physical papers is the inconvenience they bring to its stakeholders–in this case, the citizens who need them. For example, those who need to authenticate their documents used to deal with long queues and wait for hours just to get the papers they need. Documents that can only be accessed in specified offices also put the individual at an inconvenience because of the time and money that they have to spend traveling to a specific government office branch.
These delays in transactions can be painful for individuals who need their official papers for important businesses. Often, people are forced to dedicate a certain amount of time in their schedule just to take care of them, and leave some extra room for all the possibilities of being delayed. An example is when a request for a document gets denied because of insufficient requirements or a mistake in details. Such situations can further stretch the process, causing the person to waste more time in obtaining official papers.
To date, a number of government agencies have made leaps in shifting to digital processes. One remarkable example is the Land Registration Authority’s (LRA) Anywhere-to-Anywhere or A2A Program. Launched in 2012, it allows landowners to apply for the Certified True Copies (CTC) of their properties at any Registry of Deeds near them.
The A2A Program is focusing on providing faster and better service in response to the common concern of landowners having to travel to far-flung places where the Registry of Deeds office handling their titles are located. To address the problem, the LRA focused on digitizing the CTCs of land titles and focused on widening their network of offices where people can access them regardless of where their original document is listed.
All land titles are managed in a computerized and centralized registry, which enables any Registry of Deeds office to access and create copies of them. Moreover, landowners are also assured that they will not face any delays in retrieving their titles because of the pre-scheduled time set for the pick-up of their papers. It also makes the CTCs less prone to fraudulent activities by minimizing the human element of processing them.
The process of application is simple. The property owner simply needs to submit a letter of request or transaction application form and claim their CTC of property title at the nearest LRA Registry of Deeds office. At present, the department has 164 satellite offices, including extension offices across all islands. There are a total of 159 live offices that are ready to accommodate landowners.
The A2A Program is just one of the groundbreaking digital moves of the LRA. The department is now set on expanding their reach nationwide to give landowners a smoother experience in processing their documents. Also in the pipeline of their digital plans are projects like the LRA Aksyon Agad Center, Lot Location Service, and Parcel Verification Service. For more information about the A2A program, visit the LRA website by clicking here. You can also access the list of Registry of Deeds offices using this link.