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Corruption in DENR approval of cadastral surveys - Raffy Tulfo

Senator Raffy Tulfo on Monday night alleged Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) officials of corruption in the approval of cadastral surveys.

The lawmaker made the allegations during the Senate plenary deliberations on the DENR’s proposed 2024 budget.

According to the DENR’s Land Management Bureau (LMB), the Cadastral Survey Program is the systematic survey of the whole municipality (or an extensive portion) for the purpose of identifying and delineating the individual claims of all land owners and claimants which will serve as basis for the issuance of title or patents.

It also includes the delineation of the boundaries of various political units (barangay, municipality, and city) as well as the boundaries between the forest area and the alienable and disposable land.

According to the senator, corruption occurs after a contractor finishes the cadastral survey.

“Bago ma-aprubahan ng DENR ‘yung ginawang survey ng contractor, the DENR has to sign, tama? Ultimately the DENR has to sign at aprubahan yung ginawang survey ng contractor…Pag hindi pinirmahan ng DENR, ibig sabihin hindi siya nag-a-agree doon sa ginawang cadastral survey, hindi mababayaran ang contractor,” Tulfo said.

(“Before the DENR gives approval to the completed survey of the contractor, the DENR has to sign, right? Ultimately the DENR has to sign and approve the contractor’s survey. Without its signature, it means the DENR does not agree with the cadastral survey, meaning the contractor won’t be paid.”) 

“Dito ngayon tumataga ‘yung DENR ng 30% commission…Bago pipirmahan yan ng DENR… that DENR personnel will ask for a percentage, at least 30%, yung iba medyo mabait daw, 25%,” he added.

(This is where the DENR gets its cut of a 30% commission… Before the DENR gives its signature… DENR personnel will ask for a percentage of at least 30% while others just ask for 25%.”)

Tulfo,who said he was informed by some contractors of this practice, further claimed that DENR personnel asking for commissions has become a “standard operating procedure.”

The senator told the DENR that if they only have supervisors on the ground, the whole process will be monitored.

Senator Cynthia Villar, who defended the budget of the DENR, said the department will prosecute the individuals involved in the alleged corruption.

“Ibigay daw nila ‘yung formal complaint nito then they will prosecute yung tao ng DENR,” Villar said.

(“They said they will file a formal complaint then they will prosecute erring DENR personnel.”)

“Sana may mag-complain para naman in fairness to the management of DENR, para madiscourage. Kasi alam niyo pag hindi tayo nag-prosecute or mag-try tayo to teach a lesson, lalong mangyayari ‘yan. Kailangan may maparusahan para ma-discourage ‘yung gagawa niyan,” she added.

(“I hope someone files a complaint in fairness to DENR management to discourage [corruption]. If we do not prosecute or try to teach them a lesson, the practice will continue. Someone needs to be punished to discourage those who commit these acts.”) —RF, GMA Integrated News