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Manila Trading & Supply Co. vs.

Register of Deeds of Manila

GR No. L-5623, January 28, 1954
The Manila Trading and Supply Co. leased the three parcels of land in the Port Area, Manila,
from the Philippine Government. The lease is recorded on the Government's Certificate of Title No.
4938. The last war has destroyed many of the structures built by the company upon the lots. After
the liberation, it erected new buildings that cost over a million pesos.
Thereafter, it requested the Manila Court of First Instance to require the Register of Deeds to
enter and annotate its declaration of property ownership of such valuable building improvements on
the title certificate. The court granted the request. In response to this, the Register of Deeds
demanded the payment of P1,308 as an assurance fund pursuant to section 99 of Act No. 496. The
provision states that the register of deeds shall collect the payment of one-tenth of one per centum,
as an assurance fund, of the assessed value of the real estate upon original registration of land and
upon entry of a certificate showing title as registered owners in heirs or devisees.
The appellant company refused to pay said amount insisting that Section 99 is inapplicable
because the matter is not an original registration of land. They further argue that the Legislature
knew that buildings and improvements are not land. On the other hand, the respondents
averred that the said law speaks not only of land but also of "real estate" and "interest." The register
of deeds was upheld. Hence, the company made an appeal.
Is the owner of buildings erected on the land leased from another person required to
contribute to the assurance fund when he petitions for annotation of his ownership on the
corresponding certificate of title?
Does the word land contemplated under Section 99 of Act No. 496 include interests,
improvements and buildings?
YES. The word "lLand" as used inunder Section 99 of Act No. 496 includes interests,
improvements, and buildings. While the same section uses "real estate" as synonymous with land,
buildings are likewise considered "real estate." Although Act No. 496 is entitled as Land
Registration, it also permits the registration of interests, improvements, and buildings. Buildings may
not be registered separately and independently from the parcel on which it is constructed. The
statute only uses the word land as a short term equivalent to land or buildings and improvements
to avoid frequent repetition of buildings and improvements, unless a different interpretation is
required by the intent or the terms of the provision itself, which is not the case of Section 99. On the
contrary, to consider buildings as within its range would be entirely in line with its purpose because it
would be unfair for petitioner to enjoy the protection of the assurance fund even as it refuses to
contribute to its maintenance.