VERA FILES FACT CHECK: MISLEADING post on DENR land surveying, titling fees revived

An old, misleading post about land surveying and titling costs is making the rounds on the web once again.

The July 30, 2018 Facebook post, recently reshared by several pages and accounts, carried a screengrab of an unidentified netizen’s Facebook status claiming that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Caraga Regional Director Charlie Fabre said land titling was only worth P50, and that a P185 package already included “application fees, stamping and clearance”.

It also told the public they need not pay “P10,000 to P20,000++” to have their land surveyed, citing that surveyors were already “on the government’s payroll.”

DENR’s Land Management Bureau (LMB) - which handles the processing and issuance of land titles - disproved the misleading post in an October 2018 report and several subsequent press releases.

The agency’s Oct. 9, 2018 press release said the online post misleads on three points.

First, LMB Director Emelyn Talabis clarified that the P50 land titling fee had already been raised to P60 under former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s term.

Second, the P185 “package fee” also merely refers to “necessary fees such as documentary stamps, clearances, and affidavits from other agencies which must be paid and secured during or prior to the process of filing an application” and does not take into account possible charges by other agencies “such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Register of Deeds.”

Lastly, Talabis said some may have to pay tens of thousands of pesos in surveying fees to private land surveyors if they do not get accommodated under the department’s “first come, first served” policy as it has a limited number of land surveyors or geodetic engineers.

Also, Fabre, who was supposed to be the source of the information, was no longer DENR’s Caraga regional director when the misleading post was first published in July 2018. He was reassigned as Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Negros Oriental province in February of that year.

The misleading online post has been shared over 891,000 times and has received over 39,000 reactions.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)


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