Land Registration of Real Estate Property in the Philippines Act 496 or PD 1529
Land registration is governed by Act 496 –“The Land Registration Act” (effectivity date –February 1, 1903). It was replaced by PD 1529 – “Property Registration Decree” (effectivity date – June 11, 1978) which amended and codified the laws related to registration of property.
Land Registration is defined as the inscription or recording or annotation of acts and contracts relating to the ownership of and other rights over land. It is done in the office of the Register of Deeds of the city or province where the property is located. There shall be at least one Register of Deeds for each province and one for each city.
Registration is a mere ministerial act by which an instrument is sought to be inscribed in the records of the office of the Register of Deeds and annotated at the back of the instrument. It is not declaration by the state that such an instrument is valid and subsisting interest in the land. The effect and validity can only be determined in an ordinary case before the courts, not before the court acting merely as registration court which has no jurisdiction over the same.
PURPOSE OF REGISTRATION
- To give notice of true status of real property and real rights thereto.
- To prejudice third persons.
- To record acts or contract such as the acquisition of ownership and other real rights over real property.
- To prevent the commission of frauds, thus insuring the effectivity of real rights over real property.
KINDS OF REGISTRATION
- Original Registration – it is the first registration of the land whereby an Original Certificate of Title is entered in the Registry of Property and a duplicate owner’s copy issued to the owner by the Register of Deeds.
- Judicial – through the courts
- Voluntary – instituted by the applicant under the provisions of Act 496 or PD 1529
- Compulsory – at the instance of the state under provision of the Act 2259 – Cadastral Act with pertinent provisions of Act 496 and PD 1529.
- Administrative – acquisition of land patents to public agricultural lands and registration thereof under section 107 of CA No. 141.
- Subsequent Registration- it is a process where the Original Certificate of Title is canceled and subsequently registered under a Transfer Certificate of Title in favor of the new owner in cases of land conveyance such as sale, donation or assignment.
WHERE TO APPLY FOR ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF TITLE
The Regional Trial Courts shall have the exclusive jurisdiction over all application for original registration of the title to lands including improvements and interest therein.
WHO MAY APPPLY FOR ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF TITLE
- Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in interest have been in open, continues, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposal lands of the public domain under a bonafide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.
- Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription under the provisions of existing laws.
- Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandoned riverbeds by right of accession or accretion under the existing laws.
- Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner provided by law. Where the land is owned in common, all the co-owners shall file the application jointly.
JUDGMENT CONFIRMING OR DENYING TITLE
The court shall determine all conflicting claims of ownership and interest in the land subject of the application. If after considering the evidence and the reports of the commissioner of the National Land Transfer and Deeds Registration Administration (NALTDRA) and the Director of Lands Management Bureau, the court finds that the applicant or the oppositor has sufficient title proper for registration, judgment shall be rendered confirming the title of the applicant, or the oppositor, to the land or portion thereof which shall become final and executor upon the expiration the thirty (30) day period from the date of receipt of notice of the judgment.
DECREE OF REGISTRATION AND ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE OF TITLE (OCT)
Thereafter, the court shall issue, within fifteen (15) days from entry of judgment, an order to the Commissioner for the issuance of the decree of registration and the corresponding certificate of title which shall bear the date, hour and minute of its entry, and shall be signed by him. It shall state whether the owner is married or unmarried, and if married, the name of the spouse. It shall contain the description of the land as finally determined by the court.
Upon receipt by the Register of Deeds of the original and duplicate copies of the Original Certificate of Title (OCT), the same shall be entered in his record book and shall be numbered, dated signed and sealed.
By the Registered of deeds with the seal of his office. The certificate of title shall take effect upon the date of entry thereof.
TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
Transfer certificate of Title (TCT) is the subsequent certificate of title by the Register of Deeds pursuant to any voluntary instrument relating to the same land. It shall show the number of the previous certificate covering the same land and also the fact that it was originally registered, giving the record number, the number of the original certificate of title, and the volume and page of the registration book in which the latter is found.
Attachment is a judicial order, emanating from a legal action, authorizing the sheriff or other public officer to take all the property or rights of any party so as to preserve the property to satisfy future judgment in favor of the plaintiff. Attachment is governed by Rule 57 of Rules of Court. There are three kinds of attachment:
- Preliminary attachment – issued during the progress of a legal action. It may be cancelled any time.
- Garnishment – usually for personal property
- Levy on Execution- issued after final judgment
A written statement, signed and sworn to before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oath, by whoever claims any part or interest in the registered land hostile to the registered owner, arising after the date of original registration, setting forth fully his alleged right or interest, and how or under whom acquired, reference to the number of the certificate of title of the registered owner. The name of the registered owner, and a description of the land in which the right or interest is claimed. It shall take effective period of thirty (30) days from the date of registration. After lapse of the said period, the annotation of the adverse claim may be cancelled upon filing of a verified petition by the owner. After cancellation, no second adverse claim based on the same ground shall be registered by the same claimant.
REQUISITES FOR REGISTRATION OF AN ADVERSE CLAIM
- A written statement containing the following:
- The claimant’s alleged right or interest in the property
- How or under whom such right is acquired
- A reference to the volume and page number of the certificate of title of the registered owner of the land.
- A description of the land in which the right is claimed
- Residence or address where notices may be served upon the claimant
- The statement must be signed and sworn before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oath.
NOTICE OF LIS PENDES
Lis Pendes is a Latin term meaning a pending litigation. A notice of Lis Pendens, when registered with the registry of deeds where the land is recorded serves as a warning to third parties that a particular real property is in litigation involving the following:
- to recover possession of real estate
- to quiet title thereto
- to remove clouds upon the title thereof
- for partition
- other proceedings of any kind in court directly affecting either the title to the land or use or occupation thereof or the building thereon
Notice of Lis Pendens may be cancelled upon order of the court after proper showing that:
- the notice is for the purpose of molesting the adverse party; or
- it is not necessary to protect the right party who caused it to be registered
- it may also be cancelled by the registered of Deeds upon verified petition of the party who caused the registration thereof.
REGISTRATION OF PATENTS
Whenever public land is alienated, granted or conveyed by the government to any person, it shall be the duty of the official issuing the instrument of alienation, grant, patent or conveyance in behalf of the Government to cause such instrument to be filed with the Registered of Deeds of the province or city where the land is located, and to be registered like other deeds and conveyance, whereupon a certificate of title shall be entered as in other cases of registered land, and an owner’s duplicate issued to the grantee.
RECORDING OF INSTRUMENTS RELATING TO UNREGISTERED LANDS.
(As provided by section 113, PD 1529)
No deeds, conveyance, mortgage lease or other voluntary instrument affecting land not registered under the Torrens System shall be valid except as between the parties thereto, unless such instrument shall have been recorded in the office of the Registered of Deeds for the city or province where the land lies.
The Register of Deeds shall keep a Primary Entry Book and a Registration Book. The primary Entry Book shall contain among other particulars, the entry number, the names of the parties, the nature of the document, the date, hour and minute it was presented and received. The recording of the deed and other instruments relating to unregistered lands shall be affected by way of annotation on the space provided therefore in the Registration Book, after the same shall have been entered in the Primary Entry Book.
After recording on the Record Book, the Register of Deeds shall endorse, among other things, upon the original of the recorded instruments, the file number and the date as well as the hour and minute when the document was received for recording as shown in the Primary Entry Book, returning to the registration or person in interest the duplicate of the instrument, with appropriate annotation, certifying that he has recorded the instrument after reserving one copy thereof to be furnished the provincial or city assessor as required by existing laws.
FUNCTIONS OF THE REGISTER OF DEEDS
- It is public repository or records of instruments affecting registered or unregistered land chattel mortgage in the province or city wherein such office is situated.
- To register immediately an instrument presented for registration dealing with real or personal property which complies with all the requisites for registration.
- To see to it that instruments presented for registration bears the proper documentary and science stamps and the same are property cancelled.
- To deny registration, if such documents is not registrable, and inform presenter of such denial in writing, stating his reason for denial, and advising him of his right to appeal such decision in accordance with section 117 of this PD 1529.
TWO KINDS OF REGISTRATION SYSTEMS NOW USED IN THE PHILIPPINES
- Registration under the Torrents System which covers both original and subsequent registration. (Act 496 –Land Registration Act, effective Feb. 1, 1903) is a system of registration named after Sir Robert Torrens who advised it as a member of South Australian Parliament, from his experience as a Register of Deeds. A Torrens Title is the certificate of ownership issue under the Torrens System of registration by the government, through the Register of Deeds, free from all liens and encumbrances except such as expressly noted thereon or otherwise reserved by law.
- Registration under sec. 194 of the Revised Adm. Code. This law deals with land not registered under Torrens System. Amended by Act 2837 and later, by Act 3344 dated December 8, 1926. Presently under Section 113 of PD 1529. Rights acquired under this system are not absolute; they must yield to better rights.
Spanish Mortgage Law is no longer in effect after August 16, 1976 by virtue of PD 892 that disallowed the use of the Spanish Title as basis for titling and registration.
RA No. 6732 –An Act allowing administrative reconstitution of original copies of certificates of titles lost or destroyed due to fire, flood and other force majeure, amending for the purpose section 110 of PD 1529 and section 5 of RA No. 26.
ADMINISTRATIVE RECONSTITUTION MAY BE AVAILED OF IN CASE OF:
- Substantial loss or destruction of land titles due to fire, flood or other force majeure as determined by the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority.
- Provided, that the number of certificates of titles lost or damaged should at least be 10% of the total number in the possession of the Office of Register of Deeds
- Provided further, that in no case shall the number of certificates of title lost or damaged be less than five hundred (500).
PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE RECONSTITUTION
- Filing of the petition and other related documents for reconstitution of title with the Register of Deeds
- Transmittal by the Register of Deeds of the petitions to the Reconstitution Division of LRA
- Examination and verification of title
- Plotting of technical description to determine the relative position
- Final examination of titles and accompanying documents
- Sending of notices to petitioner together with the affidavit form to be accomplished by the latter.
- Issuance of the order of reconstitution officer
- Issuance of the reconstituted title by the Register of Deeds.
GUIDELINES ON HOW TO DETECT FAKE TITLES
- Check if the initials, signatures, technical description, annotation and other component elements appearing on the front and at the back of the original are exactly the same as that appearing on the owner’s duplicate copy of the title. Any variance is a ground for suspicious
- Judicial forms for titles are considered accountable forms. A serial number is assigned to each judicial form. The serial number to be used for the original copy is printed in red and the serial number in consecutive order to the various Registries of Deeds. Any certificate of title bearing a serial number which is not among the ones delivered to a particular registry is of doubtful authenticity.
- A number is assigned to each judicial form. It is indicated on the upper left-hand corner of the form. Example: judicial form No. 109 is used for the original copy of the TCT which emanated from a decree of registration and judicial form No. 109-D is used for the title is not proper form as indicated by the Judicial Form number, this should be investigated.Immediately below the Judicial form number is the year the form was printed or revised. If, for instance, the judicial form on which the title was prepared bears a date previous to the time when such form was printed or revised, then this is a ground for suspicion.
- The owner’s duplicate coy of the title contains the words “owner’s Duplicate Certificate” on the left side margin of the judicial form. On the lower left corner of the form is affixed a red seal. The seal should not blot or stain when wet.
- The last two digits of the title number should correspond with the page number of the registration book indicated on the upper right corner of the title. Any variance should be investigated.
- A reconstituted transfer certificate of title is identified by the letters “RT” preceding the title number, while the reconstituted original certificate of title carries the letter “RO” before the title number.
- The Central Bank judicial form is printed on security paper which contains security features. The paper is 50% cotton and 50% chemical wood pulp with artificial colored silk fibers. It has a NALTDRA or LRA watermark which can be seen if held against the light. Patently fake titles are usually printed in forms made of cartolina or some other material of inferior quality.
- Check if the Register of Deeds who signed the title was the incumbent register of deeds at the time the title was issued.
- Check the entry of a related transaction in the primary entry book to be certain that the title was issued on the basis of a duly registered documents
- Check the Enumeration Book or logbook which contains information on the personnel assigned to prepare the title on a certain date and the serial number of the judicial form used.
- Check the Releasing Book if there was a title of such number that was released by the registry in that certain date.
- Of necessary, trace the history of the title to determine the genuineness of its source. This may entail going back to the mother title, the derivative titles and relevant documents.
- If necessary, trace the history of the title to determine the genuineness of its source. This may entail going back to the mother title, the derivative titles and relevant documents.