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Jag Iesu Iigo G.

Law 2 S.Y. 2014-2015

Q&A (Adapted from Paras 17
Ed., 2013)
TITLE I Classification of Property
Chapter 1 Property in relation to person whom it belongs

1. How is property classified according to ownership?

Article 419. Property is either of public dominion or of private ownership.

2. What is public dominion?

Properties owned by the State (or its political subdivisions) in its public or sovereign capacity and intended
for public use and not for the use of the State as a juridical person.

3. What is private ownership?

Private ownership or property owned by:
(a) The State in its private capacity, and is known as patrimonial property; and
(b) Private persons, either collectively or individually.

4. What is the presumption of ownership of property?

Property is presumed to be State property in the absence of showing to the contrary. All lands not clearly of
private dominion are properties of the state. Burden of proof to overcome presumption of public domain lies
in the person applying for registration.

5. What are the things of public domain?

Article 420. The following things are property of public domain:

(1) Those intended for public use, such as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by
the State, banks, shore, roadsteads, and others of similar character;
(2) Those owned by the State, without being for public use, and are intended for some public service or
development of national wealth.

6. What are the three kinds of properties of public dominion?

(1) Property for public use (can be used by public or everybody and not limited to privileged individuals)
and others of similar character
(2) Property for public service (which can be used only by duly authorized persons)
(3) Property for development of national wealth (e.g., minerals, coal, oil, forest, and other natural

Roads refer to those public ways constructed and maintained by the national government.
Canals artificial waterways designed for navigation or for irrigation or draining land
Port place where ships may take on or discharge cargo; anchorage for ships; ports include airport and
Shores portion of the land bordering the sea which is subject to the ebb and flow of waters
Roadstead place less sheltered or enclosed than a harbor where ships may ride at anchor

7. What are examples of and others of similar character?

(a) Public streams
(b) Natural beds of rivers
(c) River channels
(d) Waters of rivers
(e) Creeks
(f) Reclaimed lands from the sea
(g) Accretion of land to the shore by the natural flow of the sea
(h) Private lands taken by natural works of the sea (natural expropriation)
(i) Submerged lands
(j) Foreshore lands

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Jag Iesu Iigo G. Murillo
Law 2 S.Y. 2014-2015

8. What are the characteristics of properties of public dominion? OPRA EC

(a) Outside the commerce of man (cannot be the object of any contract except in cases of repairs or
improvements and other incidental things of similar character.)
(b) Cannot be acquired by prescription
(c) Cannot be registered under the Land Registration Law and be the subject of a Torrens Title; if included
in torrens title, land remains public dominion still
(d) They, as well as their usufruct, cannot be levied upon by execution, nor can they be attached
(e) In general, can be use by everybody
(f) Can be real or personal

9. What is patrimonial property?

Article 421. All other property of the State, which is not of the character stated in the preceding article, is
patrimonial property.

In fine, patrimonial property of the State is the property it owns but which is not devoted to public use, public
service, or development of the national wealth. It is wealth owned by the State in its private capacity.

Article 422. Property of public dominion, when no longer intended for public use or for public service, shall
form part of the patrimonial property of the State.

10. Who may effect conversion of property of public dominion to patrimonial property?

Only the executive and possibly the legislative departments have the authority and power to make
declaration that any land so gained by the sea is not necessary for purposes of public utility.

11. How are properties of political subdivisions divided?

Article 423. The property of provinces, cities, and municipalities is divided into property for public use and
patrimonial property.

12. What are the properties for public use owned by the political subdivisions?

Article 424. Property for public use in provinces, cities and municipalities consist of provincial roads, city
streets, municipal streets, the squares, fountains, public waters, promenades, and public works for public
service paid for by the said provinces, cities or municipalities.

13. What are the patrimonial properties of the political subdivisions?

All other properties owned by any of them are patrimonial and are governed by this code, without prejudice
to the provisions of special laws.

14. What is the basis of classification for the properties of the political subdivisions?

They may also be classified as follows:

(a) Those acquired by their own funds political subdivisions have ownership and control
(b) Those which do not fall under (a) political subdivisions held this property in trust for the state for the
benefit of its inhabitants.

15. If property is for public service, is it patrimonial or public domain?

In the Civil Code, it is patrimonial. But in the law of Municipal Corporations, property for public service are
properties of public domain otherwise governmental activities would be impaired.

16. What are private properties?

Article 425. Private properties other than patrimonial properties of the State, Provinces, Cities, and
Municiplaities, consists of all property belonging to private person, either collectively or individually.

17. What should an applicant establish to prove that the land subject of an application for registration is

An applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of the government such as a presidential
proclamation or an executive order, and administrative action, investigation reports of Bureau of lands
investigators, and legislative act or statute.

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Jag Iesu Iigo G. Murillo
Law 2 S.Y. 2014-2015

They must prove that:
(1) The land forms part of the alienable and disposable agricultural lands of the public domain; and
(2) They have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious since time immemorial or within time
required by law for acquisitive prescription.

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