FAQ on Maps and Titles

What are the definitions of Surveying?

§ Surveying is the art of determining the position of points on or near the earth’s surface by the elements in space, namely, distance, direction and elevation.

§ Surveying is the art of measuring and locating lines and angles on the surface of the earth.

§ Surveying is the science and art of determining the area and configuration of positions of the surface and representing them on maps.


What are the kinds of surveys?

§ Original- is the first survey executed on a parcel of land to determine the technical description that will define the extent of ownership and value of the land.

§ Subdivision- a kind of survey wherein a particular subject lot is subdivided into smaller parcels, the number of which may be determined by the owner, geodetic engineer or the designer.

§ Relocation/verification- is undertaken to re-establish boundaries and verify if existing location of the property overlaps to adjoining lots.

§ Topographic- is a survey mad for the purpose of securing field data from which a map can be made representing the three-dimensional relations of the earth’s surface. The features shown include such natural features such as streams, lakes, forests, configuration of the terrain; and man-made features such as roads, buildings, structures, etc.

§ Cadastral- is an urban and rural survey of wide extent for the purpose of locating property lines and improvement in detail primarily for use in connection with ownership, value and transfer of land.

§ Construction- are surveys which are undertaken to provide data regarding locations and elevations and structures which are of concern to engineers, architects, and builders. Examples of such survey are transmission lines, railways, highways, dams, reservoirs, buildings, bridges, etc.

§ Hydrographic- refers to surveying lakes, streams, reservoirs, and other bodies of water. They are of general importance in connection with navigation and the development of water resources for flood control, power, irrigation, and recreation. These are made to gather data to chart bottom areas of water and to measure the flow of stream and river.

§ Photogrammetry- is surveying in which photographs are used to determine configuration of land and determine man-made and natural features.

§ Mining- is a survey which is necessary to fix surface boundaries of mining claims, to establish the position of all underground excavations and surface structures of mines.


What are the elements of surveying?

§ distance

§ direction- measured by a device such as compass or transit

§ elevation- refers to the height of a point above mean sea level


What are the methods for measuring distance?

§ Pacing- this used for approximate measurements of distance

§ Taping- it is a direct measurement using a graduated tape

§ Electronic Distance Measurement- most commonly-used by surveyors. It is a device which automatically measures distance by an electronic computer.


What are the two kinds of direction?

§ Bearing- an angle between a reference meridian and the line of direction.

§ Azimuth- another term used to indicate direction of lines. It is a clockwise angle measured from south meridian.


What are the documents required in presenting any property for sale?

§ Authority to Sell

§ Copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title preferably Certified by the Register of Deeds

§ Lot plan prepared by a licensed Geodetic Engineer and verified by DENR

§ Copy of Tax Declaration


What are the purposes of the lot location documents required in presenting any property for sale?

§ Those are necessary not only for a reliable verification of the authenticity of the title of ownership but also to confirm that the property on the ground being claimed to be is really the one presented by the TCT.

§ Numerous cases of misinterpretations are on record. Some as simple as selling the adjacent lot of the property represented in the TCT, some involves property from different municipalities. Similar cases may occur during construction of houses. Surely you have heard of houses being constructed on another lot, sometimes 3 to 4 lots away or even on the wrong block. Many of these instances mentioned above could have been foiled or avoided if only the buyer or his representative had the skill to verify if the property on the ground being claimed to be is really the property represented by the earlier mentioned documents.

§ A certified true copy of the TCT from the Registry of Deeds confirms only the existence of the TCT, while liens, if any, and other problems can be verify with the title.

§ The lot plan, prepared by a licensed Geodetic Engineer will only attest that the lot as drawn in the Lot Plan represents the lot in the TCT, and if verified by the DENR, it affirms the existence of a survey on the lot and it is on file.

§ The Tax Declaration, which can be verified from the Assessor’s Office, will also confirm the existence of the property while the tax liabilities or tax payment history can be checked with the Treasurer’s Office.

§ *However, the problem is still on how to be sure that the property being pointed out or being claimed to be is really the property represented in the TCT, lot plan and tax declaration. You do not need a surveyor or an engineer to be able to do this.
What are the steps to verify the unity of the property on the ground to that of the lot plan?

§ Orient the lot plan in conformity with that of the lot on the ground by adjusting the orientation of the lot plan until its boundaries are parallel to that of the lot on the ground.

§ Next, with the help of a pocket compass verify if the North-South line on the map is in conformity with the North-South line as directed by the pocket compass.

§ Estimate actual distances of the lot boundaries in the ground it they are in conformity to the indicated distances in the lot plan.

§ *This could be accurately accomplished by pacing which is measuring the distance in terms of the number of your normal steps. Before the actual site inspection, establish a pace factor by repeatedly walking over a known distance of say 20 meters. If the number of normal step needed for you to cover the 20 meter the 20 meter distance is 25 steps, your pace factor is 20/25=80, meaning to say that your 25 steps is equal to 25x.80=20 meters or your 40 steps is equal to 40x.80=32 meters.

§ Verify the adjoining properties and its owners from the neighborhood. They must conform with what is stated in the lot plan and TCT.

§ Calculate the area. It must, more or less approximate whatever is state in the lot plan.

§ Verify the direction of the tie line. It must be in the direction of the location or municipality stated in the TCT.

§ *With the above documents on hand, the site verification work of the broker was made easy. Problem will only arise if the lot plan is not on hand or available as immediately as needed. In urgent situations, the broker must do some plotting work to make a version of the lot plan. Plotting skills, or the capacity to interpret the technical description in the TCT to come out with a rough lot plan, is also necessary to check if a given lot plan really represents the one on the TCT.


What are the important contents of the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT)?

§ TCT No. in relation to the Page No. on the upper right corner

§ The last two digits of the TCT No. should be the same as the page no. in the upper right corner. Although being the same is not a confirmation of the authenticity of the title, being different is an outright evidence that the Title is spurious.

§ Lot No. Blk No. The Lot No. and Block No. and TCT No., Area, Location, and Adjoining Properties must correspond with that of the lot plan and the Tax Declaration

§ Pcs # _________. P-done by a Private Surveyor as such cs- consolidation/subdivision, Pcs- Consolidation/subdivision done by Private Surveyor.

§ Location

§ Adjoining properties at each sides

§ Area

§ Tie point and tie line of point. The location of the tie point as stated in the TCT must be verified by orienting the lot plan in the same orientation of the actual lot being pointed out. As an illustration, suppose, after orienting the lot plan, the direction of the tie point and tie line is towards Antipolo, Rizal, while in the TCT it is stated that the tie point , (say BLLM No.1) is in Quezon City, we can immediately sense that something is remiss.

§ Bearing and distances of the lot boundaries. If you have an idea of the distance after orientation, you can immediately notice any difference, example, the lot being pointed out is shorter than what is indicated in the TCT.


What is a map?

Map is a flat representation of the earth’s surface.


What are the basic pointers in map reading?

§ Cardinal direction- North, South, East, West

§ Bearing or Azimuth- expressed in degrees and minutes wherein 1 degree= 60 minutes, 1 minute= 60 seconds

§ Scale- usually specified on a map to determine actual distance using a scale bar

§ Topographic map or contour lines


What are the points of reference?

Land surveys shall be definitely fixed in position by monuments of said survey and by bearings/ azimuths and distance to “points of reference” of a known position. These points of reference shall be as follows:

§ Bureau of Land Location Monument (BLLM)

§ Political Boundary Monuments:

§ Provincial and City Boundary Monuments (PBM or CBM)

§ Municipal Boundary Monument (MBM)

§ Barangay Boundary Monument (BBM)

§ Bureau of Lands Barrio Monument (BLBM)

All these points of reference are often called and designated as “tie points.” These tie points are connected by an imaginary line to corner “1” usually of the property which is known as the “tie line.” It is described by means of bearings/ azimuth and distance


What is a tie point?

It is a reference point with known geographic position established by the Bureau of Lands.


What is a tie line?

It is an imaginary line connecting from the known geographic position (tie point) to the corner of the titled property.


What basic information can be found in an approved plan?

§ location of property

§ name of owner/ claimant

§ location of land

§ legal authority

§ name of geodetic engineer/ surveyor

§ description of tie point and tie line

§ technical description- bearing and distance of corners/ points along the boundary line in consecutive order

§ subject lot or subdivided lot

§ area in square meter

§ names of adjoining owners or lot numbers

§ date of survey

§ date of approval


What is a lot plan?

It is a map that shows the shape/ configuration of a parcel of land drawn on a paper medium, usually tracing paper, and contains the basic information of a survey plan.


What is a vicinity map?

It is a map that shows the location of the property, indicating known landmarks such as church, bridge, school, commercial establishment and name of roadways leading to the property (shown on either the lot plan or a separate sheet).


What is a contour map?

It is a map showing the terrain configuration of a parcel of land represented by contour lines.


What is a contour line?

It is an imaginary line of constant elevation.


What is Relocation Survey?

It is a survey conducted on a property to verify the boundaries and monuments. Through a relocation survey, it could be established whether there was an increase or decrease in area as appearing in the title.


What is Topographical Plan Map?

It is a plan indicating the elevation of points of the property.


What is Subdivision Scheme?

It is a plan showing how a property will be subdivided indicating the layout and sizes of the subdivision lot, roads, playground, open spaces and other amenities.


What are needed in plotting the technical description of the lot?

§ Protractor and small right triangle

§ Scale or ruler

§ Pencil, eraser and paper

§ *In plotting or in making a map, the actual distance on the ground is represented by smaller measurement to be drawn on the paper. (i.e. the actual distance of 11.00m on the ground if represented by say 1cm =1m we need to lay down on paper only 11cm to represent 11m on ground. 1cm=1m is therefore the scale of the map which is written in a technical manner as 1:100.)


What can be found in plotting data?

§ Bearing- the angle made by a property line and the North South line. “N,E” means “North to East,” “S, W” means “South to West”

§ Degree (deg.)- also written as 30o the unit of measurement of an angle

§ Minute- the notation similar to an apostrophe such as in “N 20 deg 06’E” could be read as “from North 20 degrees 6 minutes to the East”


What are the steps in plotting?

§ Determine the scale to be use

§ If 1:100, this means: 1m=100m, which is the same as 100cm=100m, or 1cm=1m

§ Since the measurement is 11m, you’ll need about 11cm of paper, quite OK but suggest that for initial plotting, use a bigger scale. Say 1:200m which means 1m=200m, or 100cm=200m and 1cm=2m.

§ Select on the paper the location of point “1”. (i.e., just select any point near the middle of the paper. The paper must be oriented, meaning the edges should be facing the N-E-W-S directions.

§ Draw a vertical line passing through the selected point “1” place your ruler at the lower edge of your paper. See to it that the line represents the North-South direction.

§ Place the center of the protractor on point “1” with its vertical line or the 90 deg. mark coinciding with the vertical line earlier drawn. From the vertical line of the protractor, locate the bearing angle, in our example 20 deg. 06’.

§ *N 20 deg. 06’E means the bearing angle of 20 deg. 06’ will start from the top vertical line above the point and incline toward the right.

§ Such that if the line to be drawn is line 3-4 whose bearing is S20 deg. 06’W the bearing angle will start from the bottom vertical line going to the left. This is divided into four (4) major quadrants are called NE quadrant, NW quadrant, SE quadrant, SW quadrant.

§ After marking the given bearing angle of 20 deg 06’NE, draw a line from point “1” passing through the mark of the bearing angle.

§ From point “1” the distance on ground is 11.00meters since our scale is 1.200m or 1cm=2m we need to layout 5.5cm paper to represent the 11.00 meter on the ground. Measure 5.5 cm from point “1”. This is now point “2”.

§ On point 2 draw a vertical line passing point 2, again, parallel to the left and right edges of your paper similar to the procedure done in letter c.

§ Repeat letter d, only this time, bear in mind that you are now plotting line 2-3, whose bearing is S69 deg 54’E. Therefore the bearing angle should be measured from the vertical line at the lower of point “2” and going to the right. Note that the line is in the SE quadrant. If you are using a half circle protractor you have to invert your protractor.

§ Repeat procedure letter e.

§ We are now plotting line 3-4, do the same procedure as in letter c and so forth until point 4 is located.

§ We now have to draw line 4-1 which is already located on paper and just needs to be connected by a line. However, for verification or as a counter check, it is better to proceed again as in letter c.

§ From point “1” after the lot has finally been plotted on the paper, draw the tie line.

§ The tie line is the line that connects point “1” of the lot to a certain fixed surveying monument. In our example, BLBM #1.

§ Note that we are plotting BLBM 1 to line 1 in reverse, because we are beginning at point 12 going to BLBM #1, instead of beginning from BLBM#1 to point 1 should be done in actual relocation survey, since we are in reverse direction, the bearing of point “1” to BLBM#1 should also be reversed. That is the bearing of point “1” to BLBM#1 is N43 deg. 03’W.

§ Place again the protractor on point “1” and layout the tie line. The distance being so large is not expected to be with the paper boundaries. What is important is to indicate in the paper the direction of the tie point (BLBM#1).

§ After plotting the lines, you now have to indicate the bearing and distance of each line on the paper.

§ Indicate the description of the adjoining properties and other needed data.

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