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Paje orders adoption of standard reference system for land surveys and mapping

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Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has mandated all offices of the DENR to adopt the Philippine Reference System of 1992 (PRS92) as the standard reference for all their surveying and mapping activities starting this year.

Paje issued the directive in consonance with Executive Order No. 321 issued in 2004 which sets the year 2010 as the deadline for the integration of old surveys in the PRS92 system. 

“PRS92 is based on the World Geodetic System of 1984 (WGS84) which makes use of the Global Positioning System.  This is now the trend worldwide and its adoption here in the Philippines will definitely put us not only at par with global standards but will also allow for greater efficiency in our land administration program,” Paje said.

According to him, the maps that will generated under the new system will be compatible with global coordinates obtained from GPS and with other coordinate systems adopted in many parts of the world.
“PRS92 will  facilitate the efficient  integration and conversion of  old surveys and maps into the network for the sustainable management and development of the country's natural resources and to establish more accurate spatial positioning for infrastructure and in the establishment of political boundaries of provinces and towns,”  Paje added.

Prior to PRS92, the country uses the old national geodetic network called the Philippine Geodetic Network, which was established by the United States Coast Guard and Geodetic Survey in 1901 to 1946.

Another advantage of PRS92, according to the DENR chief, is in the ease of accessing geographic data, as well as in the accuracy of the information generated by the system.

"Under a single unified system, we hope to end the perennial problem of boundary overlaps and gaps between adjoining parcels of lands so that a particular space on the ground will have only one location in any official Philippine map,” Paje noted.

Paje was also optimistic the project will bring social benefits as will help settle land conflicts, bring down surveying costs, and promote development as it gives DENR surveyors and geodetic engineers more technological muscle to speed up surveying activities, correct faulty surveys and accurately put stake on the ground the exact boundaries from satellite-fed data using Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments.

GPS receivers compute and store coordinates in terms of WGS84 which uses the center of the earth’s mass as its point of origin. WGS84 was developed for the United States Defense Mapping Agency (DMA),

A key component of PRS 92 is the nationwide establishment of permanent reference points – referred to as “mojons” - to serve as control points of all survey activities of both the government and private surveyors for the benefit of landowners. 

“Mojons hold the key to settling bitter boundary disputes and land conflict cases and are pivotal to securing precise surveys needed in guiding local governments in their real property valuation, tax collection, and land use planning,” Paje noted

Among the strategies to support the objectives of PRS92 is information campaign and Adopt-A-Mojon program.

The program aims to enlist the participation of local government units, peoples' organization, and the general public in the establishment and preservation of PRS92 geodetic control points.

Since it is a homogeneous network, it will be used by all agencies of the government such as the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Agrarian Reforms Agriculture, National Irrigation Authority, the academe and others as well as government and private surveyors in their surveying and mapping activities, according to the DENR chief.




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