Update as of 7 Feb 2017 6:11 AM: Read this blog below of Atty. Laserna. Though this is quite long but it’s worth reading it.
TITLING OF LANDS:
For purposes of legal research of foreign readers visiting this blog, on the subject of the legal system involving the titling of public lands in the Philippines, may I share some basic readings thereon as published in the website of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (www.lmb.denr.gov.ph). I have also added a relevant 1999 Supreme Court decision on the same subject matter.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can one acquire TITLE?
For original registration, when no title has yet been issued over a parcel
of land, it can be acquired either by:
1. Judicial proceedings – by filing petition for registration in Court.
2. Administrative proceedings – filing an appropriate application for
patent (e.g. homestead) in the Administrative body (DENR) and
registration of this patent becomes the basis for issuance of the
Original Certificate of Title by the Register of Deeds.
What are the main classification of lands as to ownership?
1. Private properties – those which are titled.
2. Public lands – those which have not been titled as
well as those public dominion or outside the commerce
of man such as road, public plaza and rivers.
What are Public Lands?
All Lands that are not acquired by private person or corporation, either by grant or purchase are public lands. The common understanding therefore, is that all lands which have no title or not registered to private individual are public land. These are
1. Alienable or disposable (A & D Lands) – those that can be acquired or issued title. Our constitution provides that only agricultural lands can be disposed of to private citizens.
2. Non-alienable lands – includes timber or forest lands, mineral lands, national parks. No title can be issued over any portion within this area.
What are the modes of disposition or how can one acquire title over A&D lands? The modes are:
1. by Homestead Patent
2. by Sales Patent
3. by Lease
4. By Free Patent or Administrative legalization
What are the evidence or proof of ownership over a parcel of land?
The best evidence of ownership is the certificate of title duly issued by the Register of Deeds concerned. However, in the absence of a title, tax declaration coupled by actual possession and existence of improvement also substantiate claim for ownership.
What is a TITLE?
A title refers to the legal right to own a property and the certificate of title is the document which confers such right of ownership to an individual, association or corporation.
How can one acquire TITLE?
For original registration, when no title has yet been issued over a parcel of land, it can be acquired either by:
1. Judicial proceedings – by filing petition for registration in Court.
2. Administrative proceedings – filing an appropriate application for patent (e.g. homestead) in the Administrative body (DENR) and registration of this patent becomes the basis for issuance of the Original Certificate of Title by the Register of Deeds.
In subsequent registration of Title, what are necessary to effect the same?
Transfer of title is effected by executing a document such as deed of sale wherein the registered owner (seller) transfer the ownership to a buyer. The capital gains tax and other taxes must be paid before clearance can be secured from the BIR. This will be submitted to the Register of Deeds concerned, together with the title which will be surrendered for issuance of a new title in the name of the buyer.
Subsequent registration of title is a function and jurisdiction of the Register of Deeds under the LRA as the land involved is already a private property outside the jurisdiction of the DENR.
In case the registered owner dies, how can ownership be transferred to the heirs?
When a registered owner died without leaving a last will and testament, the heirs can transfer the title to themselves by executing an extra-judicial settlement of the estate, on condition that the heirs are in agreement of how to
dispose the properties. If there is conflict and heirs can not agree, they should
bring a case before the court which will make a decision for them.
Is possession the same as ownership? Who are informal settlers??
No. Possession means actual and exclusive control of property by physical occupation and this could be in good faith or in bad faith. On the other hand, ownership implies the legal right of possession, control and enjoyment by the owner who has established evidence that he owns the property.
Informal settlers are those in possession of land without the benefit of a title and without consent of the owner. Their possession is not permanent and has no legal basis for occupation. The possessor must strive to acquire title to the land before his possession can become permanent.
In cases where there are conflicting claims, who shall have a better right?
In cases where both claimants have no title, there are many factors to consider
like actual possession. The one who occupies the land especially in good faith has
better right as against someone with doubtful documents or has recently acquired
rights without knowledge of the one in possession. However, all factors must be
fully evaluated to determine preferential rights….
A free patent is a mode of acquiring a parcel of alienable and disposable public land which is suitable for agricultural purposes, thru the administrative confirmation of imperfect and incomplete title. Agricultural public lands classified as alienable and disposable are subject for disposition under Free Patent.
The applicant for a free patent must comply with the following qualifications:
1. He must be a natural born citizen of the Philippines.
2. He must not be the owner of more than twelve (12) hectares of land.
3. The land must have been occupied and cultivated for at least thirty (30) years prior to April 16, 1990 by the applicant or his predecessors-in-interest and shall have paid the real estate tax thereon.
4. A minor can apply for a free patent, provided he is duly represented by his natural parents or legal guardian and has been occupying and cultivating the area applied for either by himself or his predecessor-in-interest
The following are the steps leading to the approval and issuance of a free patent:
1. Filing of application;
3. Posting of notice for two (2) consecutive weeks in the provincial capitol or municipal building and barangay hall concerned;
4. Order of approval of application and issuance of patent;
5. Preparation of Patent in Judicial Form 54 and 54-D and the technical description duly transcribed at the back thereof;
6. Transmittal of the Free Patent to the Register of Deeds concerned for the issuance of the corresponding Original Certificate of Title.
The following officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are authorized to approve applications for homestead and free patents:
1. Up to 5 hectares – Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO)
2. More than 5 Ha. to 10 Ha. – Regional Executive Director of the DENR.
Homestead Patent is a mode of acquiring alienable and disposable lands of the public domain for agricultural purposes conditioned upon actual cultivation and residence.
Where should Homestead Application be filed?
A Homestead application like any other public land applications should be filed at the DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources Office where the land being applied for is located.
Who are qualified to apply
1. Citizens of the Philippines.
2. Over 18 years old or head of the family.
3. Not the owner of more than 12 hectares of land pursuant to the 1987 constitution
Can a married woman make a Homestead entry?
A married woman can now apply for a patent application under DAO-2002-13 dated June 24, 2002 issued by the then Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Heherzon T. Alvarez. This is in accordance with Article II, Section 14 of the Constitution and Republic Act No. 7192 otherwise known as the “Women in Development and Nation Building Act” as implemented by DAO No. 98-15 of May 27, 1998 on “Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of Gender and Development (GAD) Activities in the DENR”. This Administrative Order gives women, equal right as men in filing, acceptance, processing and approval of public land applications.
1. Application fee of P50.00;
2. Entry fee of P5.00;
3. Final fee of P5.00;
4. Approved plan and technical description of the land applied for;
5. Actual occupation and residence by the applicant;
Steps leading to the issuance of a Homestead patent
1. Filing of application;
2. Preliminary Investigation;
3. Approval of application;
4. Filing of final proof which consists of two (2) parts;
a. Notice of intention to make Final Proof which is posted for 30 days.
b. Testimony of the homesteader corroborated by two (2) witnesses mentioned in the notice. The Final Proof is filed not earlier than 1 year after the approval of the application but within 5 years from the said date.
5. Confirmatory Final Investigation;
6. Order of Issuance of Patent;
7. Preparation of patent using Judicial Form No. 67 and 67-D and the technical description duly inscribed at the back thereof;
8. Transmittal of the Homestead patent to the Register of Deeds concerned.
Signing and Approving Authority For Homestead and Free Patents:
Up to 5 hectares (has.) – PENRO
More than 5 Has. to 10 Has. – RED
More than 10 Has. – DENR Secretary
MISCELLANEOUS SALES PATENT
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 730 is an act permitting sale without public auction of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain for residential purpose.
The application to purchase the land is called the Miscellaneous Sales Application and the corresponding patent is called the Miscellaneous Sales Patent.
Who are Qualified to Apply?
A Filipino citizen of lawful age, married; if single, applicant must be the head or bread winner of the family;
He is not the owner of a home lot in the municipality/city where the land applied for is located;
He must have occupied in good faith the land applied for and constructed a house thereon where he/she and family is actually residing.
Requirements in the filing of a Miscellaneous Sales Application under R. A. No. 730
Application Filing fee of P50.00;
Approved plan and technical description of the land applied for;
Affidavit of the applicant stating that:
He is not the owner of any other home lot in the municipality/city where he resides.
He is requesting that the land be sold to him under the provision of R. A. No. 730.
If the applicant is single, he must submit an affidavit stating that he is the head or bread winner of the family;
The land is not needed for public use.
Maximum area that may be granted to an applicant
The applicant can only be granted a maximum area of 1,000 square meters.
Presidential Decree No. 2004 dated December 30, 1985 amended Section 2 of Republic Act 730 thus, lands acquired under this Act before and after the issuance of patent thereon are no longer subject to any restriction.
Steps in Acquiring a Miscellaneous Sales Patent
Filing of application at the CENRO;
investigation and appraisal of the land applied for;
Survey of the land if not yet surveyed;
Investigation report whether the applicant possesses the qualification for direct sales;
Comment and recommendation of the District/City engineer with the concurrence of the Regional Director, Department of Public works and Highways;
Recommendation to the PENRO for approval of appraisal and request for authority to sell without public auction;
Approval of appraisal and grant of authority to sell by the PENRO;
Posting of notice of sale without public auction for thirty (30) consecutive days in the following places:
CENRO Bulletin board
Municipal building bulletin board
Barangay Hall bulletin board
On the land itself
Submission of the proofs of posting and payment of at least 10% of the appraised value of the land;
Order of Award;
Proof of full payment of the purchase price of the land;
Order issuance of Miscellaneous Sales Patent in Judicial Form No. 167 with the technical description duly inscribed at the back thereof;
Approval and signature of the Miscellaneous Sales Patent by the official concerned;
Transmittal of the Miscellaneous Sales Patent to the Register of Deeds concerned for the issuance of the corresponding Original Certificate of the Title to the applicant.