There is a proposal in the City Council for an ordinance to clamp motor vehicles that are parked illegally.Â The proposal seems to be good but the question is who determines what is illegal parking?Â If you are parked on a private lot or in a lot you owned, are you illegally parked?
Road Network History
In 1916 the then Municipal President (now: Mayor) Celestino Gallares created a road network for the Municipality of Tagbilaran.Â The circumferential limit is the now Tamblot St. then to the location of the LTO (Land Transportation Office) then out to the Venancio Inting Ave. at â€œThree Stoneâ€ of Poblacion Uno.
Roads or streets were then proposed with Plaza Rizal as the focal point with a concentric design.Â The network looks like a â€œSpider webâ€.Â The widths of the roads varied from 4 meters to 10 meters wide.
In 1925 to 1928 there was a Cadastral Survey for the Municipality of Tagbilaran and the â€œGallares Planâ€ road network was delineated in the survey.Â The barrio roads did not exist yet.Â In 1930 the Cadastral Hearings under Judge Rich was begun to award the land titles in accordance to the Cadastral Survey.Â Until now many land titles are not yet completed.Â For example, Lot No. 1, was awarded to the Municipality of Tagbilaran but until now the City of Tagbilaran has not yet completed the Land Title.Â This is the lot occupied by former City Hall and now occupied by the City Division Office.Â The city has no Certificate of Title to Lot No. 1.
The three more steps needed are: 1.) A Geodetic Engineer will make a Lot Plan.Â 2. Submit the Lot Plan and Court decision to the Land Registration Commission (LRC).Â 3. The decision of the LRC will be presented back to the Regional Trial Court that will issue the Certificate of Title.
On July 1, 1966 the Municipality of Tagbilaran became the City of Tagbilaran.Â It promptly created the City Engineerâ€™s Office (CEO).Â The CEO then made road widening projects because the city streets were becoming smaller with respect to the vehicular traffic.
The potential source of the problem was that the roads were widened without acquiring or paying for the land that was now made part of the widened road.
Now, if you can see a main street that is wider than 10 meters and a side street that is wider than 6 meters, you can be sure that the extra width is still in the title of a private owner.Â In other words, the sides of the existing city streets are still privately owned. It is the city street that is just tolerated by the private owners.
Who Is Illegal?
If the private owner will park his vehicle in the side of the street that encroached on his land, can you call the owner of the land illegally parked?Â Is it not the street that is illegal?
Until now there is still mutual toleration.Â But if and when the City Administration will begin clamping the vehicle so that it cannot move, then for sure many cases will be filed against the City of Tagbilaran.Â Can a city ordinance prevail against the land title of the vehicle owner?Â It is the reason why I made a caveat or warning.
In 1968 the new City Officials proposed a new road network for the whole City of Tagbilaran.Â It was still a â€œSpider web-lookingâ€ road network with the now new City Hall as the hub or center.
When the City Ordinance was passed, agents of the City Engineering Office begun to go to the barrios to asked for lot-donations so that barrio roads can be opened.
Many lot owners willingly signed the donation papers because they knew the advantage of having a road in their place.
I have seen those donation papers. It was already about 2 meters high when piled one on top of the other. The City Engineering then constructed the barrio roads.
Alack and Alas! The City Council in their wisdom decided to reject the land donations for the barrio roads.Â The reason was, the donations were not indicated in the land titles of the owners.Â The City Council wanted that the donors will be the ones to spend time, money and effort to subdivide their lot and donate the new title for the road to the City of Tagbilaran.
Naturally the landowners balked. So now practically all barrio roads are on private lands. Now can the City declare a vehicle to be illegally parked in the barrio roads when it is now the road that is illegal?
No Geodetic Engineer
Since July 1, 1966 until the present or 50 years later, no geodetic engineer is or was employed in the City Engineering Office.Â Nobody is in charge of surveying the land of the city.
When I was a City Councilor from 1988 to 1995, and as a Geodetic Engineer and Chairman on the Committee on Engineering, I made an investigation.
I went to the archives of the Court of First Instance (now: Regional Trial Court) and read the records of the Cadastral hearings for Tagbilaran. (Note: The records are in Spanish.)
One interesting record I found is about Tamblot St. from CPG Ave. up to the Girls Scout building. The award of the Cadastral court of a 10m wide road is now the location of the Girls Scout building, the Persons with Disability Building, and part of the Putong Provincial High School. The present road occupied by the Tamblot St. is on private lands.
I do not know why the Provincial Government has claimed that the lot that was awarded to the Municipality of Tagbilaran is theirs.Â The Cadastral Court decision is for Tagbilaran but was not pursued by Tagbilaran until a Certificate of Title was obtained.
Now can the City of Tagbilaran say that a vehicle is illegally parked in Tamblot St. when it is located in private lands?
The City of Tagbilaran must first locate the private lots encroached by the City Streets and pay for it so that they can claim the street as its own. (By Jes B. Tirol)