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Land records not affected by DENR fire

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag March 14,2017 - 10:22 PM


Five buildings inside the DENR compound in Banilad were damaged by fire on Monday. (CDN FILE PHOTO)

LAND records at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are intact.

This assurance from Emma Melana, DENR regional director, comes after a fire broke out at the DENR compound in Barangay Banilad, Mandaue City, early Monday morning.

“The (active) land records are stored at the records building occupied by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7),” Melana told Cebu Daily News.

The EMB-7 building, which is adjacent to the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP), was spared from the dawn fire.

Two buildings were totally destroyed on that day: the old research facility and the Land Management Services (LMS) buildings.

Inside the research building were duplicates of accounting vouchers. The original copies are under custody of the Commission on Audit (COA) for audit purposes.

The destroyed LMS building held the offices of the Land Management Division and the Survey division.

It contained office communication documents and the daily time records (DTR) of retired DENR-7 employees.

Duplicate blue prints of land maps were also destroyed, but Melana assured that original copies of these records are all intact at the regional office. All land records will also be encoded and computerized this year.

Land records with pending cases are also stored in their office in Sudlon, Lahug, Cebu City.

Three offices have copies of these land records with pending cases: the LMS, the legal division and the City Environment and Natural Resources (Cenro).

“They are separated from other regular land records para hindi talaga mawala (so they won’t be lost),” Melana said.

‘Training center’

As far as Melana could recall, the destroyed buildings in Barangay Banilad, Mandaue City, were constructed after 1998.

The buildings also housed the main DENR-7 office; and transactions were done there until operations were transferred in 2014 to the DENR office in Sudlon, Lahug, Cebu City, situated on a lot donated by the Cebu provincial government.

When they transferred into the new DENR-7 building, former DENR-7 Director Isabelo Montejo reassigned the two buildings and placed it under the EMB-7.

Melana said the EMB plans to convert the research building to a training center while they were still evaluating how to use the old LMS building.

“Those were not abandoned buildings. These are still strong enough (for occupancy),” Melana said.

Melana said the regional Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP-7) will determine the cause of the fire based on its investigation.

But she said fire started at the back of the sampling room of the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB) 7.

She tasked EMB-7 Director William Cuñado to come up with an assessment of the damage. Cuñado was, however, unavailable for comment yesterday.

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TAGS: barangay Banilad, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, fire, land, Mandaue City, Records

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