November 29, 2023

The Administrative Order (AO) 504 clearing committee made great strides in clearing applications for land titling in the city, according to Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr.
Yangot, a member of the AO 504 clearing committee, said a total of 39 applications were cleared this year by the committee.
This is 160 percent higher than the committee’s target which was 15. Of the 39 applications, one is deferred pending the resolution of the land dispute between the applicant and the concerned barangay.
Yangot said committee meetings had become more frequent than usual to expedite the clearing process.
The AO 504 clearing committee was formed in 1988 and was tasked to screen and evaluate all townsite sales applications (TSA) within the Baguio Townsite Reservation. 
Earlier, he had started an information drive in the different barangays to encourage constituents to file their applications for titling. The land title, he said, is an important requirement in processing one’s building permit.
“It is public knowledge that many lands occupied by the Baguio residents are not covered by titles. Taking the cue from the order of our mayor that our constituents should process their titles, we took time to inform our people to file their applications,” he said. 
The councilor said the titling of residential lands in the city would result in the increase of collection in real property tax, thereby increasing the city’s revenue.
Applications cleared by the committee undergo investigation, appraisal, publication and sale through public auction before the issuance of a sales patent by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office. 
Requirements for TSA at the AO 504 level are the following: 
Two blueprint copies of survey plan (with vicinity map/location map); two copies of 2×2 ID picture with a name tag; certificate of non-homelot/non-property (from the City Assessor’s Office, City Hall) one original copy; one photocopy of either a voter’s ID, birth certificate or marriage contract; one copy each of two different angles of the  pictures of the land applied for including improvements and access roads; documentary stamp; filing fee of P50;  one photocopy of two government-issued ID; and one long clean white folder and a plastic fastener.
In a forum with the Baguio City Council on Dec. 19, 2022, Rowena Caccam, chief of the Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division of the DENR-CAR, said the City Government of Baguio was able to generate P25.14 million in 2022 and P268.67M from 1998 to present from the sale of public lands. 
The generated sales from public lands are remitted to the City Treasury Office to finance the AO 504 clearing committee for the processing of clearances of applications for land titling.
Earlier, CENRO-Baguio conducted a scheduled mass acceptance of applications for titling of public alienable and disposable lands in order to make public land titling more “accessible” and “transparent.”  – Jordan G. Habbiling