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Republic Act No.

10023,
What is the New Residential Free Patent Act?
Republic Act No. 10023, otherwise known as an Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free Patents
to Residential Lands or the Free Patent Act which was signed into law by former President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last March 9, 2010.
The newly enacted law aims to ease the requirements and procedures in the titling of residential
lands. This law will benefit about 40 million Filipinos who are living on unregistered land today. This
law amended RA 9176, otherwise known as the Public Land Act.
What is a free patent?
Under the Public Land Act, free patent is the acquisition of public lands by means of an
administrative confirmation of imperfect title. It is intended to legalize the land rights of Filipinos
who are founded to be occupying and cultivating such lands for a certain period of time.
What are the salient features of R.A. 10023?
1. RA 10023 reduces the period of eligibility for titling from 30 years to 10 years. However, only
alienable land not needed for public service or public use may be given a free patent.
2. Any Filipino who has paid all the real estate taxes for 10 years shall be entitled to free patent for
such parcel of land in all municipalities and cities.
3. The Law avoids the lengthy and tedious process of acquiring a title through the courts under the
Public Land Act which usually takes a long period of time.
4. In order to qualify, the land should not exceed 200 square meters if it is in a highly urbanized
city, 500 meters in other cities, 750 meters in first-class and second-class municipalities, and 1,000
meters in third-class municipalities.
5. The law allows the issuance of free patents without payment of outstanding real estate taxes and
removal of restrictions after issuance of free patents.
6. Local government units may also apply for a free patent for public land being used for public
schools, municipal halls, public plazas or parks, and other government institutions for public use.
7.The Law provides security of the property rights of the owner and will also facilitate the title
holders to credit facilities of banks and other financial institutions using their land titles as collateral
for loans.
8. With the new law signed, landowners can now apply with the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR) to acquire a title through a free patent.
What is a residential free patent?
A residential free patent is issued on all land that are zoned as residential areas, including town
sites as defined under the Public Land Act, provided that none of the provisions of PD 705 shall be
violated.
Who are eligible to apply for a residential free patent?
Any Filipino citizen who is in actual occupation of the residential land for at least 10 years may
apply for residential patent. The applicant must be at least 18 years old, if the applicant is a minor
he or she must be represented by their legal guardians. The heirs of a deceased applicant may
substitute the applicant provided that they themselves possess the required application. Only one
application shall be allowed per applicant.

Where to file an application for a residential free patent?


Application shall be filed at the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR
CENRO) which has jurisdiction over the area being applied for