By Ariel Paolo A. Tejada, pia 1, Ilocos Norte
LAOAG CITY, April 10 (PIA) — The provincial government’s trailblazing land registration program which the Office of the Provincial Assessor implemented paved the way for its chief to be recognized as the 2013 Most Outstanding Provincial Assessor.
Provincial Assessor Atty. Erme Labayog was given the Exemplary Public Service Award by the Press Media Affair Center (PMAC), a government-registered media organization.
The media group gives the exemplary public service award to outstanding personalities for their integrity, devotion of duty, exemplary leadership, well-rounded personality, socio-civic mindedness, respect to human rights and economic contribution to the country.
Labayog, described by employees as hardworking, dedicated and humble, will receive the award on April 13 in a ceremony at the Manila Hotel.
According to Labayog, he earned the award because his office is carrying out projects that are not implemented in any other Philippine province.
One example, he said, is the Titulo a Natalged (Secure Land Title) program of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN).
“We are persistent in having our provincial properties titled through the Titulo a Natalged program. This program is not present in other provinces,” Labayog said.
The PGIN started implementing the Titulo a Natalged program last August, 2011 through the Executive Order 50-11 issued by Gov. Imee R. Marcos. It aims to help Ilocanos obtain their titles on alienable and disposable lands that they have been long occupying.
Labayog said that Ilocos Norte is the first province in the country to be a beneficiary of the Revenue Generation and Land Administration Reforms (REGALA) project in January, 2012.
REGALA project is funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction through the Asian Development Bank. It aims to computerize all land information and real property tax assessment in the province.
The assessor also said that Ilocos Norte will also be the first local government unit (LGU) to implement a housing program for government employees and other constituents who may be qualified as recipients through a loan from Pag-Ibig.
“We are the only LGU which was able to obtain a housing development loan from Pag-Ibig,” said Labayog.
The housing projects are located in the cities of Laoag and Batac.
Labayog said that eight houses will be awarded this month to the first successful applicants of the housing loan.
In December 2012, Labayog was named by the Bureau of Local Government and Finance as the Most Outstanding Assessor for Region I.
Labayog was a practicing lawyer before becoming the Provincial Assessor of Ilocos Norte in September 2010.#