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Residential lands in some rural areas have yet been registered and issued Certificates of
Title. One way of acquiring title for a residential property is through Republic Act No.
10023 the Free Patent Act, otherwise known as an Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free
Patents to Residential Lands.

Any person who either by herself, or himself or through his predecessor-in-interest may
apply for a free patent. The following are the easy steps in securing title:

1. Survey

In order to properly determine the metes and bounds of the property subject for Free
Patent, a survey is necessary. This could be done by geodetic surveyors or in some rural
areas, survey may be conducted by the Department of Agrarian Reform or the City
Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO).

2. Secure a Technical Description from the surveyor

After the survey, secure a copy of the technical description of the property stating the area
and its metes and bounds. This should be submitted to DENR together with all other

3. Secure the application form for Residential Free Patent

The form may be downloaded from the internet or you may go directly to the office of DENR
or CENRO to secure the form or download from here
2010-11_125.pdf. The said form requires the following:

1. name of the applicant;

2. address;
3. citizenship;
4. civil status;
5. age;
6. date of birth;
7. location of residential land applied for
8. lot area
9. land area
4. Get a copy of the property’s Tax Declaration

While a tax declaration is not an evidence of ownership this will make the application
speedy as this will show who has religiously been paying for the property.

The assessor’s office may provide a certified true copy of the tax declaration upon payment
of the required fee.

5. Pay any unsettled real property tax or arrears

Any unpaid real property tax obligations must be settled otherwise the assessor’s office may
not provide the required certified true copies of the Real Property Tax Declaration.

Paying the arrears and securing title will allow transfer of tax declaration form to the

6. Apply for a Certification of no pending land registration proceedings covering the

land from the Regional Trial Court.

This is applied for in order to prevent forum shopping or as evidence that no judicial
application for title has been filed before the court. The RTC, upon payment of applicable
fees, should provide the same Certification.

7. Submit the Application form together with the Technical Description of the Property
and the Sketch Plan.

The Technical Description is attached together with the Application for Free Patent.

8. Provide 3 affidavits of uninterested persons

Qualifications are 1.) an actual resident of Barangay of the City/Municipality where the
property is located; 2.) he/she knows the land well; 3. Not related to the applicant by affinity
or consanguinity or not interested with the land.

9. Submit Evidence of Ownership

The applicant must provide how the property was acquired.

1. If the property was acquired through sale then provide a Deed of Sale;
2. If the property was acquired through inheritance then provide proof that property was
acquired by virtue thereof. An Extra-judicial settlement of heirs, Deed of Partition may
be submitted;
3. If through donation then provide Deed of Donation.

10. Secure affidavit from the Barangay Captain

The affidavit will state that the applicant is the occupant of the property and that no dispute
exists involving thereof.

11. Submit the application form together with the attached documents to DENR/CENRO

Upon payment of the applicable fee (more or less P1,500) the DENR/CENRO office will
receive the application. Make sure to get a receiving copy for future verification and follow-

12. Posting
The posting for application will take 15 days as part of its requirement.

13. Ocular Inspection will be done by CENRO;

14. Application form will be submitted to PENRO by CENRO

15. Application form will be submitted to the Register of Deeds

16. Await the Certificate of Free Patent

The CENRO is required to process the application, including the publication within a non-
extendible period of one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of filing. The applicant
may call the office for follow-up and claim the certificate upon confirmation of its completion.