Siquijor Representative Rav Rocamora today filed a bill for the expeditious titling of real properties used as public school sites to the Department of Education (DepEd).
“Thousands of school sites are in danger of being displaced because the lots they are on are owned by private persons or by other government instrumentalities,” explained Rep. Rocamora.
“This leaves our public schools subject to the will of the landowner. What if they decide to sell the land or end the lease agreement? Does that mean that our schools will face the possibility of being evicted?”he added.
According to the 2015 figures of the DepEd, there are 15,581 sites where public elementary and secondary schools are located where the land is not under the name of the DepEd.
“Thankfully, the DENR has already issued special patents regarding those lands that are classified as alienable and disposable. However, that still leaves plenty of sites owned by someone else. Some lots have questionable ownership due to donations that lack formal documentation while others are owned by local government units and they are simply leasing the lots to the public schools on a long-term basis,” noted Rocamora.
House Bill No. 3754 mandates that all public school sites that have been utilized as such for at least five years, which are of the public domain or owned by persons other than the DepEd, to be titled in favor of the education department. The bill provides various methods to achieve this, such as summary expropriation, negotiated sale, or the immediate transfer of the sites from national government agencies and instrumentalities.
As for lots owned by the LGUs, if the same is under a contract of usufruct with the DepEd, the contract will be annotated in the Certificate of Title of the real property and all reasonable efforts will be exerted for the subsequent acquisition of the property. If the LGU wishes to reacquire the land, the bill mandates that a replacement site and buildings be provided first before the site is vacated.