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ARELLANO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW

LAND TITLES & DEEDS


Atty. Claudie M. Mendoza
Summer 2017

I. Introduction
A. Land Administration

B. Government Agencies Involved in Land Administration

C. Public and Private Lands

1. Public Domain Lands

2. Private Domain Lands

C. Land Titles and Land Registration

1. Title as Naked Right of Ownership

2. Titled Land as Registered Land

3. Untitled Land as Unregistered Land

II. Land Ownership in the Philippines


A. Pre-Spanish Concept of Land Ownership

B. Spanish Period

1. Ownership of Lands by Discovery

2. Land Titles Issued during the Spanish Period

3. Spanish Mortgage Law

C. American Period

1. Treaty of Paris of 1898 Between the U.S. and Spain

2. Philippine Bill of 1902 (First Constitution)

III. Land Classification


A. Definition

B. Laws Relating to Land Classification

1. Agricultural Lands - Commonwealth Act No. 141 (Public Land Act)

2. Forest Lands - Presidential Decree No. 705 (Revised Forestry Code)

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3. Mineral Lands - Republic Act No. 7931 (Mining Act of 1995)

4. National Parks - Republic Act No. 7598 (National Integrated Protected Area
System Act)

C. Rules on Land Classification

1. Classification describes the legal nature not the natural state of the land

2. Executive Department determines land classification (CA No. 141 and PD No.
705)

3. Congress has the power to reclassify of land (Section 4 of Republic Act No.
6657)

4. Congress will determine the final forest line

5. Disposition of public lands limited to agricultural lands;

D. Classification of Lands

1. Criteria in Land Classification

2. Lands of the Public Domain

3. Agricultural lands.

4. Forest Land

5. Mineral Lands

6. National Parks

IV. Identifying Lands - Survey and Mapping


A. Basic Concepts in Land Surveys and Mapping

1. Land Survey

2. Survey Maps

3. General Uses:

4. Use for Property Identification

B. Government Agencies with Land Survey and Mapping Functions

1. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

2. National Mapping and Resource Information Agency (NAMRIA)

3. Land Registration Authority (LRA)

4. Local Governments

C. System of Land Survey and Mapping in the Philippines


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1. Persons Authorized to Conduct Land Surveys

2. Defining Legal Boundaries

3. Survey Authority and Survey Order

4. Cadastral and Isolated Surveys

5. Narrative Technical Descriptions

6. Survey Maps and Records

7. Court Determination of Land Boundaries

IV. Modes of Acquiring Title to Public Lands


A. Ownership of land must be traced to a government land grant

1. Direct Grants (Homestead, Sales, Free Patent)

2. Indirect Grants (Prescription, Accretion and Accession)

3. Land Grants Excludes Minerals

B. Jurisdiction of the DENR

C. General Conditions Necessary for the Issuance of a Land Patent (Direct Grant)

1. Alienable and Disposable Lands

2. Surveyed and Delineated

3. Not for Public or Quasi-Public Use or Appropriated by the Government.

4. Not private lands

5. Restrictions and limitations on Transfers of Land Patents

6. Area limitation under the Constitution and the law

6. Qualification of Applicant

C. Public Land Grants in Agricultural Lands

1. Homestead - Title II, Chapter III, Sections 12 to 21 of Commonwealth Act No. 141

2. Sales - Title II, Chapter IV, Sections 22 to 32 of Commonwealth Act No. 141;

3. Lease - Title II, Chapter V, Sections 33 to 43 of Commonwealth Act No. 141;

4. Free Patent - Title II, Chapter VI, Sections 44 to 46 of Commonwealth Act No. 141.

D. Public Land Grants In Residential, Commercial, Industrial Lands

1. Sales - under Title III, Chapter VIII, Sections 60 to 68 of Commonwealth Act No


141;
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2. Republic Act No. 730 (1952) - Direct sale of residential lands subject to conditions

3. Batas Pambansa Bilang 223 (1982-1987) - limited residential free patent

4. Republic Act No. 10023 (2010) - Residential Free Patent Law

D. Restrictions on Patents

1. On Transfers and Conveyances

2. Easements and Servitudes

E. Title Obtained by Operations of Law (Section 14, PD No. 1529)

1. General Considerations

2. Concept of Adverse Possession & Prescription

F. Section 14, Paragraph (a) Open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession
and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a
bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier;

G. Section 14, Paragraph (b) - Those who have acquired ownership of private lands
by prescription under the provision of existing laws;

H. Section 14, Paragraph (c) - Right of accession or accretion;

I. Section 14, Paragraph (d) - Those who have acquired ownership of land in any
other manner provided for by law.

J. Title issued under CARP (Republic Act No. 6657, as amended by Republic Act No.
9700)

1. Coverage

2. Exemptions and Exclusions. (Section 10, RA No. 6657)

3. Retention Limits Land Area

4. Ceiling of Award to Beneficiaries

5. Transferability of Awarded Lands

6. Repurchase

7. Collective Titles

K. Title issued under IPRA Law

1. Identification and delineation of Ancestral Domain

2. Issuance of Ancestral Domain Certificate of Title

3. Ancestral Domain and the Regalian Doctrine

VI. Procedure and Processes


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A. Public Land Applications

1. General Rules

2. Processes and procedure are governed by administrative orders, circulars and


manuals; below is a summary of the process:

B. Confirmation of Imperfect Title

1. General Rules

2. Ordinary Registration Procedure (See Section 14 to 30 PD No. 1529)

3. Cadastral Registration Proceedings (Sections 35-38 of PD No. 1529)

I. Introduction
A. Land Administration
The term “land administration” refers to the processes of recording and disseminating information
about the ownership, value and use of land and its associated resources. Such processes include
the determination or “adjudication” of rights and other attributes of the land, the survey and
description of these, their detailed documentation and the provision of relevant information in
support of land markets. (UNICE, 1995)
Land administration can be likened to accounting and bookkeeping, except that instead of money,
it is land that is being inventoried, accounted and booked. Land is inventoried, accounted and
booked through land survey - by dividing it into parcels or lots for easy identification. The
corresponding ownership or interest over these parcels is also accounted and in some instances,
awarded and adjudicated to the owner. The ownership in each of these parcels are thereafter
registered in the Register of Deeds. The lands so identified, adjudicated and registered become
“titled lands” whose ownership are considered as “indefeasible” or certain. Thus, land
administration systems are not primarily concerned with general data on land but are concerned
more with detailed information of each land parcel within its jurisdiction.
A good land administration system should have the following components to be effective:

✓ Land Survey and Mapping - where land boundaries are identified and land parcels are
created;
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✓ Land Adjudication - where interests on land are identified and ownership resolved;

✓ Land Registration - where land titles are created and interest on land registered in a public
registry; and

✓ Cadastre - is normally a parcel based and up-to-date land information system containing a
record of interests in land (i.e. rights, restrictions and responsibilities).
The central component of an effective land administration system is the cadastre where records
on land survey, adjudication and registration are integrated. It usually includes a geometric
description of land parcels linked to other records describing the nature of the interests, ownership
or control of those interests, and often the value of the parcel and its improvements. It may be
established for fiscal purposes (e.g. valuation and taxation), for titling/legal purposes (transfers
of land), for management of land and land use (e.g. for planning and other administrative
purposes), and for sustainable development and environmental protection. The “tax map” and
“tax roll” of the LGUs in the Philippines is an example of a fiscal cadaster. The “tax map” is usually
based from the “cadastral survey” of the area conducted for titling purposes.
Land administration provides for an immediate means of identifying with certainty and accuracy
the ownership and interest in a land. This information can only be provided by an efficient land
administration based on a modern and efficient system that will:

✓ Guarantee ownership and security of tenure;

✓ Support the land market by facilitating recording of interest and transfers of ownership;

✓ Support land and property taxation;

✓ Reduce land disputes;

✓ Facilitate land reform;

✓ Improve urban planning and infrastructure development;

✓ Support environmental management; and

✓ Produce statistical data.


B. Government Agencies Involved in Land Administration
The primary land administration functions of land surveying and mapping, land titling and land
registration are performed by different government agencies. The duties and responsibilities of
the officials and employees of these agencies are prescribed by laws, rules and regulations,
including the specific procedure that has to be followed in the conduct of the land administration
activities.
Below are the national agencies with major land administration functions. These agencies are
involved directly in activities on surveying and mapping, titling and registration of lands:

✓ Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the main agency involved
in land classification, land surveys and titling of public land. It issues land patents in the form
of homestead, sales and free patents as well as land leases and other permits on public
agricultural lands. (Commonwealth Act No. 141, Public Land Act, 1936, see
http://www.denr.gov.ph);
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✓ Land Registration Authority (LRA) assists court in tilting of private lands (original and
cadastral land registration proceeding), decides questions regarding registration of
instruments, approves simple subdivisions of registered lands and exercise supervision over
the Registers of Deeds (RDs). (Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1529, Property Registration
Decree, 1978, see http://www.lra.gov.ph);

✓ Registrars’ of Deeds registers patents, Certificate of Land Ownership Awards, Certificate of


Ancestral Domain Titles/Claims (CADT/C) issued by DENR, the Department of Agrarian
Reform, National Commission on Indigenous People respectively and the judicial decrees
issued by LRA. It is also responsible for the registration of subsequent voluntary and
involuntary transactions on registered lands. (P.D. No. 1529, Property Registration Decree,
1978);

✓ Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is responsible for the agrarian reform program of the
government. It issues agrarian reform land grants in the form of Emancipation Patents and
Certificate of Land Ownership Awards that are registered by the Registrar of Deeds. (Republic
Act No. 6657/9700, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), 1988, see
http://www.dar.gov.ph);

✓ National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) resolves issues on ancestral lands. It


undertakes delineation of ancestral domain land (self-delineation) and issues CADT/Cs that
are registered by the Registrar of Deeds. (Republic Act No. 8371, The Indigenous Peoples’
Rights Act, 1997)

✓ The Courts (Judiciary) hear and adjudicate private claims on lands of the public domain.
Court judgment is the basis of LRA in the issuance of Decrees that are registered by the
Registrar of Deeds. (Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, Judiciary Re-organization Act, 1980 and
P.D. No. 1529, Property Registration Decree, 1978)

✓ Local Government Units (LGUs) issue tax declarations, prepare tax maps, zoning
ordinances, conversions of lands and perform other land management functions. (Republic
Act No. 7160, The Local Government Code, 1990)

C. Public and Private Lands


There are two basic principles that underpin land ownership in the Philippines. The first is State
ownership under the concept of the Regalian Doctrine. The second is the right to private
ownership.
The first principle in our land laws is the Regalian Doctrine, which holds that all lands belong to
the State and only by a grant from the State can land pass into private ownership. Thus under
the Constitution, all lands of public dominion and all other natural resources are owned by the
State and all lands not otherwise clearly appearing to be privately owned are presumed to belong
to the State, which is the source of any asserted rights to ownership of land. Under this concept,
private title to lands must be traced to some grant, express or implied, from the State. This finds
expression in Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution (National Economy and Patrimony)
and likewise incorporated under Book 2, Title 1, Chapter 3 of the New Civil Code.
The second principle is the principle of private ownership. It includes not only the right to use and
enjoyment, but also the right to exclude others, including the State, from the land. This right is
protected under the Constitution and under the law that gives land owners absolute control and
exclusive rights on the basis of legal, state-conferred ownership, subject only to certain limitation
on police power (land use and environmental protection) and eminent domain.

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Based on these principles, and tenure or the modes of holding or occupying land in the Philippines
can be generally divided into public and private lands.

1. Public Domain Lands


Public Domain Lands are lands that are owned by the State. These are referred to as lands of
the Public Domain.
Ownership by use - It includes lands that are intended for public use, such as roads, canals,
rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State, banks, shores, roadsteads and
others of similar character, and lands that are intended for some public purpose.
Ownership by classification - Forest and mineral lands and national parks are all lands of
the public domain and no private ownership is allowed in this type of lands.
Ownership in its Private Capacity - Lands that are owned by the State in its private capacity
are called “patrimonial properties.”

2. Private Domain Lands


Are those lands that are owned by private persons. Private lands are originally acquired from the
State by qualified private persons (original disposition). Once acquired, it becomes private
property and it can be transferred by the owner to any person who is allowed by the law to acquire
lands.
Private land ownership is limited to A and D lands and is primarily governed by the following laws:

✓ The Constitution

✓ New Civil Code of the Philippines

✓ Public Land Laws

✓ Property Registration Decree

✓ Agrarian Reform Laws

✓ Ancestral Domain Law

C. Land Titles and Land Registration


Every land administration system should include some form of land registration component for
the recording of rights and interest on land. In some countries, this information is guaranteed by
the State, an example of which is the Torrens system of land registration that originated from
Australia. The information regarding ownership is usually contained in a cadastre or a parcel
based inventory of land with ownership/interest attributes for each parcel. Land registration
provides for a safe and certain foundation for the acquisition, enjoyment and disposal of such
rights in land.

1. Title as Naked Right of Ownership


As discussed earlier, we say that the source of all title to lands is the State. Lands that are held
by private persons are originally acquired from the State through land grants, direct (patents) or
indirect (by operations of law). Once the land has been granted, it becomes private and the land
becomes segregated from the lands of the public domain. Thereafter, said land becomes the
absolute property of the private owner to the exclusion of everyone, including the State.
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As private property, the owner can exclude anyone, use and occupy the land, and transfer
complete ownership or allow its use by some other persons with minimal interference from the
State. In the strict legal sense, this ownership is referred to as a “title”. It means the lawful cause
or ground of control and enjoyment of land.

2. Titled Land as Registered Land


We tend to use the word “titled land” differently from the legal sense of these words. We use
“titled land” in the colloquial to mean that a land has been registered in the Register of Deeds and
covered by the Torrens System. Thus, the significance of the word “titled land” and its opposite
“untitled land”, does not lie on the bare ownership of the land (the legal meaning) but on the fact
of whether or not “such ownership on the land has been registered” at the Register of Deeds. In
short, when we use the word titled land, what we really mean is registered land.

3. Untitled Land as Unregistered Land


We use the word “untitled land”, on the other hand, to mean private lands that is not registered in
the Register of Deeds and not covered by the Torrens System. When we use the word untitled
land, we refer to bare ownership of land or ownership that has not been adjudicated either
judicially or administratively and registered as Torrens title under P.D. No. 1529. The land has
already been acquired by operation of law and is now private land although its final adjudication
for purposes of Torrens registration is still suspended.
This ordinary meaning of the word “untitled land” has been used in the same ordinary sense by
some land agencies as well. For example, Untitled Private Agricultural Lands (UPAL) are used
by the DENR and DAR to mean lands that have been considered as private lands already by
operation of law but said private ownership is not registered with the Register of Deeds. Although
UPALs are unregistered land, the DAR pays the owner/claimant compensation when such land
is covered and distributed. The most common evidence of ownership on this type of tenure is the
tax declaration that is filed by land owners in the Assessor's Office of Local Governments for
purposes of real property tax assessment and payment.

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II. Land Ownership in the Philippines
A. Pre-Spanish Concept of Land Ownership
"Land tenure (in pre-hispanic Philippines) was defined. In the Barangay system, house lots were
owned by occupant families. Back of the houses were the family fields, in parcel or strips, much
like the strip fields in many villages in Western Europe. The most valuable is the tubigan or
watered land, which indicates that the basic crop was rice”.
"The institution of private property in land contradicts modern assertion that all Barangay land
was owned in common. Traditions and customs vested ownership in the family. The family land
can be transferred via inheritance, purchase or barter and could be pledge as security for debts.
Inheritance is not governed by rules of primogeniture common in many European cultures; the
children inherits in equal parts."
"According to Morga, lands such as fields, nipa palm groves and wooded properties are barter
items among natives. Land transfers also occurred via non-payment of debts."
"In addition to the family residential lots and stip fields, the land system includes an undivided
tract of land owned by the Barangay as a community. This tract generally covered the adjoining
wood or forest, slopes, tinges, and fertile uplands, fishing areas and in coastal sites, mangroves
and swamp lands. It must be noted that this institution of commonly owned tracks approximated
the contemporary European institution of the village common." 1

B. Spanish Period
1. Ownership of Lands by Discovery
All lands in the Philippines were acquired by the Spanish crown through discovery.

2. Land Titles Issued during the Spanish Period


Private property ownership on land was introduced through land grants from the Spanish crown
to settlers and to indigenous population by way of royal grants, sale and possessory titles.
Modern legislations on land - Royal Decree of February 13, 1894 - Various laws on land
disposition was codified under the Royal Decree of February 13, 1894 providing for the rules on
sale, compromise and prescription on crown lands. Possessors of alienable public lands under
cultivation who have not obtained nor applied for adjustment (composicion con el estado) on the
date of such decree may still obtain a gratuitous title to the land by means of a possessory
information upon establishing the existence of any of the following conditions: (1) continuous
cultivation of the land during the preceding 6 years; (2) possession of the land for 12 consecutive
years and cultivation of the same during the preceding 3 years; or (3) open and continuous

1
OD Corpuz (1997), Economic History of the Philippines, UP Press
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possession for at least 30 years in case the land has not been under cultivation. A system of land
registration was introduced known as “Ley Hipoticaria” or Mortgage Law, the last of which was
in 1894 (The Spanish Mortgage Law).

These are the land titles issued under the Spanish Period.
Titulo Real - Title to land granted generally to Spanish subjects in order to encourage them to
settle and go out to the people of the new territory are called titulo real. (Law 1 and 3, Title 13,
Book 4, Recopilacion de las Leyes de las Indias)
Concession Especial - This is a form of acquiring title to land accomplished through the exercise
of a special power by the Governor-General of the Philippines without any authority of a special
law. (Law II, Title 15, Book 2 of the Law of the Indies)
Titulo de Composicion con el estado - By these titles, unlawful entries and detainer of lands
by private individuals who extended their possessions beyond the original grants were legalized
under certain conditions. This was conceived as a means of compromise between the Crown as
the owner of the land and the private individual as the usurper. These titles were then evidences
of absolute ownership but may likewise be lost by prescription. The titles were granted by the
Spanish Government through the Direccion General de Administracion Civil, pursuant to the
provision of the Royal Decree of 25 June 1880; that granted by the Chief of the Province by
delegation pursuant to the provisions of Royal Decree of 31 August 1888; and that granted also
under the Royal Decree of 13 February 1894.
Titulo de Compra - This is acquired in accordance with the regulations for the sale of public
lands in the Philippines approved by the Royal Decree of January 26,1889. Under the regulations,
the application to purchase must be published in the Gazetta de Manila setting forth the
description of the land and giving 60 days in which anyone can present his objection to the same.
A similar notice in the dialect was required to be posted in the municipal building of the town in
which the property was situated, besides making it public by the town crier. The sale was
conducted at public auction and awarded to the highest bidder and covered not only vacant lands
but also public lands occupied without title.
Informacion Possesoria - Ley Hipotecaria - The informacion posesoria proceedings under the
provisions of the Mortgage Law made effective in the Philippines on December 1, 1889 were
available to those who had claim to lands to have their possession recorded in the Registry of
Deeds.
Under Article 393 of the Spanish Mortgage Law, the registered possessory information
proceedings do not ripen into ownership except under certain conditions such as: (a) that an
applicant has been in open possession of the land; (b) that an application to this effect has been
filed after the expiration of twenty (20) years from the date of such registration; (c) that such
conversion be announced by means of a proclamation in a proper official bulletin; (d) that there
is a court order for the conversion of the registration of possession into a record of ownership;
and (e) that the Register of Deeds make the proper record thereof in the Registry
But such recorded possessory information proceedings did not ripen into ownership except under
certain conditions, the most important of which was the expiration of 20 years after the entry or
record in the Registry of Deeds of the possessory information proceedings. And under Article 394
of the Mortgage Law, the entry or record of possession in the Registry of Deeds did not prejudice
the owners of the property although his title had not been recorded, unless prescription had
confirmed and secured the claim recorded.

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3. Spanish Mortgage Law

✓ Introduced by the Spanish, also known as the Ley Hipotecaria or “law on mortgage”

✓ This is a land registration system, meaning it is not limited to registration of mortgages but
also includes transfers and other dealings on lands.

✓ This is the predecessor of the torrens system of land registration.

✓ This system was founded on titles issued during the Spanish regime that were registered
under the mortgage law.

✓ The latest version of this law was implemented in the Philippines in 1894 as part of the
three “provincias de ultramar" with a uniform mortgage law for them—the Ley Hipotecaria
de Ultramar, also known as Ley Maura, after Don Antonio Maura y Montaner, then Ministro
de Ultramar.

✓ The system co-existed with the Torrens System of Land Registration Act No. 926 (An Act
to Provide with the Adjudication and Registration of Lands in the Philippines, 1902).

✓ It was discontinued in 1977 (PD No. 892, Discontinuance of the Spanish Mortgage System
of Land Registration and of the Use of Spanish Titles as Evidence in Land Registration
Proceedings)

C. American Period
1. Treaty of Paris of 1898 Between
the U.S. and Spain
What can a holder of a land title
registered under the Spanish
✓ All properties of the Spanish crown
Mortgage do during the American era?
were transferred to the United States
A holder of a Spanish Title registered
✓ It excludes private lands or lands that under the Spanish Mortgage Law may
were already given by the Spanish continue to use the system in his land
Crown in favor to private persons dealings or he may have the land
registered anew under Act No. 496 under
✓ Two types of land ownership - Lands the Torrens System. If he opted for Act of
the public domain (all lands that No. 496, he has to file a land registration
belongs to the Spanish Crown) and case with the land registration court.
private lands.

2. Philippine Bill of 1902 (First


Constitution)

✓ Provides for the rules on disposition of lands of the public domain.

✓ Introduction of two modes of acquiring titles to land.

✓ Public land grants - homestead, sales, free patents;

✓ Confirmation of Titles - imperfect titles from the Spanish and title by prescriptions (by
operations of law)

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✓ Resulted to the enactment of 2 laws
a. Act No. 496 (Land Registration Law)
Provided for the registration of private lands in “fee simple” (Section 19) or those lands that
are already disposed by the crown as private lands, completed title.

b. Act No. 926 (Public Land Act)


Provided for the rules on disposition of public lands (undisposed crown lands) through
sales, homestead, and free patent; provides for the rules on confirmation of imperfect
spanish grants and possessory titles (by prescription)

CASES:
1) Johnson vs Mackintosh (21 U.S. 543 (1823))
2) Chaves vs. The United States (175 U.S., 552)
3) Valenton vs Marciano 3 Phil. Reports 537, 2 Off. Gaz., 434, March 30, 1904;
4) Cansino vs Valdez, G.R. No. L-2468, July 16, 1906
5) Cariño vs Insular Government, 212 U. S., 449
6) Jones vs. Insular Government, G.R. No. L-2506 April 16, 1906, 6 Phil.122
7) Susi vs. Razon and Director of Lands, G.R. No. L-24066, December 9, 1925
8) Mapa vs. Insular Government, G.R. No. L-3793, February 19, 1908, 10 Phil.,1753
9) Cornelio Ramos vs. Director of Lands, (G.R. No. 13298 November 19, 1918)
10) Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Abella, G.R. No. L-25010 October 27, 1926, (49
Phil. 49)
11) Jocson vs Director of Forestry
12) Oh Cho vs Director of Lands, 75 Phil. 890
13) Uy Un vs. Perez, 71 Phil. 508 "En Español”
14) Mindanao vs. Director of Lands, L-19535, July 10, 1967

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III. Land Classification
A. Definition
Land classification pertains to “classification of lands of the public domain as a natural
resources” . Under Philippines laws, all natural resources are owned by the State. However,
lands classified as agricultural may be declared alienable and disposable and may be disposed
as private lands to qualified citizens through homestead, sales and other grants.

B. Laws Relating to Land Classification


1987 Constitution Article XII, Sections 2 and 3 providers for the classes of lands of the public
domain - Agricultural, Forest, Mineral and National Park. These lands are governed by the
following laws:

1. Agricultural Lands - Commonwealth Act No. 141 (Public Land Act)


2. Forest Lands - Presidential Decree No. 705 (Revised Forestry Code)
3. Mineral Lands - Republic Act No. 7931 (Mining Act of 1995)
4. National Parks - Republic Act No. 7598 (National Integrated Protected Area
System Act)
C. Rules on Land Classification
1. Classification describes the legal nature not the natural state of the land
2. Executive Department determines land classification (CA No. 141 and PD No.
705)
3. Congress has the power to reclassify of land (Section 4 of Republic Act No.
6657)
4. Congress will determine the final forest line
5. Disposition of public lands limited to agricultural lands;

✓ Only to Filipino citizens; corporations cannot receive a public land grant except by way
of lease (not more than 1,000 hectares)

✓ Limit is 12 hectares by way of homestead, sales and grants

✓ Previously 16 hectares (Phil. Bill of 1902); 24 hectares in 1935 Constitution; 12 hectares


under the 1987 Constitution

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D. Classification of Lands
1. Criteria in Land Classification
Executive Order No. 192 (June 10,
✓ Chapter II of PD No. 705, Revised 1987) created the National Mapping
Forestry Code of the Philippines and Resource Information Authority
(NAMRIA), integrating into it the
✓ DENR study, devise, determine and
functions and powers of the Natural
prescribe the criteria, guidelines and
methods for the proper and accurate Resources and Management Center
classification and survey of all lands of (NRMC), the National Cartography
the public domain. Authority (NCA), the Bureau of Coast
and Geodetic Survey (BCGS), and
✓ Through an Inter-Bureau action - the Land Classification Teams of the
DENR Sectoral Bureaus on Lands
then Bureau of Forest Development
(LMB), Forestry (FMB), Mines (MGB)
and Protected area (PAWB) (transformed into a Forest
Management Bureau performing staff
✓ The Land Classification Teams of the
forest bureau was transferred to
NAMRIA (National Mapping and Resource Information Authority) under EO No. 192 in
1987.

✓ Topography 18% in slope unless covered by existing titles or approved public land Commented [1]:
No land of the public domain eighteen per cent (18%)
application or actually occupied openly, continuously, adversely and publicly for a period in slope or over shall be classified as alienable and
of not less than thirty years (30) disposable, nor any forest land fifty per cent (50%) in
slope or over, as grazing land
✓ Areas below 18% but are needed for forest purposes (see enumeration in Section 16 of
PD No. 1529

✓ Marking of forest boundaries


2. Lands of the Public Domain
Used to describe so much of the lands in the Philippines that has not been subjected to private
rights. Public lands are also used in a limited sense to describe such lands as are subject to
sale or other modes of acquisition or concession under the public land laws.
1987 CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE XII, SECTION 3.

✓ Lands of the public domain are classified into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands,
and national parks.

✓ Agricultural lands of the public domain may be further classified by law according to the
uses which they may be devoted.

✓ Alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands.

✓ Private corporations or associations may not hold such alienable lands of the public
domain except by lease, for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not
more than twenty-five years, and not to exceed one thousand hectares in area.

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✓ Citizens of the Philippines may lease not more than five hundred hectares, or acquire not
more than twelve (12) hectares thereof by purchase, homestead, or grant.

3. Agricultural lands.

✓ Alienable and disposable lands refer to those lands of the public domain which have been
the subject of the present system of classification and declared as not needed for forest
purposes.

✓ Suitability for agricultural use is the criteria;

✓ Before, the court can make a determination of what are considered as agricultural lands;

✓ Agricultural Lands are further sub classified as residential, commercial, industrial, etc.
under Section 9 of the Public Land Act.

4. Forest Land
Definition of Forest Land - Forest lands include the public forest, the permanent forest or
forest reserves, and forest reservations. (PD 705)
(a) Public Forest - Public forest is the mass of lands of the public domain which has not been
the subject of the present system of classification for the determination of which lands are
needed for forest purposes and which are not.
(b) Permanent Forest or Forest Reserves - Permanent forest or forest reserves refer to
those lands of the public domain which have been the subject of the present system of
classification and determined to be needed for forest purposes.
(c) Forest Reservations - Forest reservations refer to forest lands which have been reserved
by the President of the Philippines for any specific purpose or purposes.
(d) Production Forest - forest stands tended primarily for the production of timber. This
includes natural and man-made forests.

5. Mineral Lands
(a) Definition of Minerals - Minerals, for legal purposes, refers to all naturally occurring
inorganic substance in solid, gas, liquid or any intermediate state excluding energy
materials such as coal, petroleum, natural gas, radioactive materials and geothermal
energy.
(b) Definition of Mineral Lands under the old Mining Act (CA No. 137) - those lands in which
minerals exist in sufficient quantity or quality to justify the necessary expenditures to be
incurred in extracting and utilizing such minerals
(c) Definition of Mineral Lands under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA No. 7932) - any
area where mineral resources are found
(d) In relation to land titles - A certificate of title is considered void when it covers property
of public domain classified as mineral lands because possession of mineral lands, no
matter how long does not confer possessory rights.

Page 16 of 44
6. National Parks

✓ New Class - It was introduced only in the 1987 Constitution as a distinct and separate class
of lands. National parks as a classification is implemented under Republic Act No. 7586 or
the NIPAS law (An Act Providing for the Establishment and Management of National
Integrated Protected Areas System, Defining its Scope and Coverage for other Purposes)

✓ Definition - a forest reservation essentially of natural wilderness character which has been
withdrawn from settlement, occupancy or any form of exploitation except in conformity with
approved management plan and set aside as such exclusively to conserve the area or
preserve the scenery, the natural and historic objects, wild animals and plants therein and
to provide enjoyment of these features in such areas. It is a relatively large area not
materially altered by human activity where extractive resource uses are not allowed and
maintained to protect outstanding natural and scenic areas of national or international
significance for scientific, educational and recreational use. (Section 4 par. (a) of RA No.
7586)
CASES:
Agencies Involved
15) DOJ Opinion No. 23, Series of 1995.
16) DENR vs Yap (G.R. No. 167707, October 08, 2008)
Agricultural Land
17) de Aldecoa vs Insular Government (G.R. No. 3894. March 12, 1909)
18) Krivenko vs. Register of Deeds of Manila (18 G.R. No. L-630. November 15, 1947)
Mineral Lands
19) Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. vs. Dumyung (GR No. L-31666, April 20, 1929)
20) Republic vs. Court of Appeals and dela Rosa (GR No. L-43938, April 15, 1988)
Ancestral Domain (RA No. 8371) "The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997.”
21) Cruz vs. DENR Secretary (G.R. No. 135385, December 6, 2000)
Survey Error
22) Republic vs. Peralta, et al., En Banc (G.R. No. 150327, June 18, 2003)
Lands declared by the courts as agricultural lands prior to the introduction of land
classification;
23) Sta. Monica Industrial and Development Corporation vs. Court of Appeals (189 SCRA 792)
24) Director of Forestry vs. Villareal (G.R. No. L-32266 February 27, 1989)
Lands already registered by the Court as Private Lands
25) Republic vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 155450, August 6, 2008) d)
Bureaucratic Constraints in Classification of Lands

Page 17 of 44
26) Republic of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, En Banc (G.R. No. 127245, January 30,
2001)

IV. Identifying Lands - Survey and Mapping


A. Basic Concepts in Land Surveys and Mapping
The first activity in land administration is surveying and mapping. The activity is intended to create
land parcels. Land parcels are the basic unit of real property and the starting point in the

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determination of the identity of the land by describing its location, boundaries, area, physical
description, and in certain kind of surveys, the tenure claims existing at the time of the survey.

1. Land Survey
Land surveying is the process of measuring and delineating the natural and artificial features of
the earth. The surveyor’s observations, measurements and computations are usually reduced
into maps that are drawn from the survey data gathered. Maps are visual representations or
descriptions of the land; measured and delineated with a certain degree of precision and show
the relationships between physical elements of that space through symbols (Cadastral Survey
and Records of Rights, Binns 1951) FAO Land Tenure Studies)

2. Survey Maps
A well-drawn map is an accurate scale model of the surface of the land which when presented in
two dimensions at a sufficiently large scale, can be used to indicate any point on the land with
accuracy (Binns, 1951). The large/small terminology arose from the practice of writing scales as
numerical fractions: 1/10,000 is larger than 1/10,000,000. However, it is important to recognize
that even the most accurate maps sacrifice a certain amount of accuracy in scale to deliver
greater visual usefulness to its user. Digitally and cartographically-enhanced large-scale
topographic maps (1:10,000 scale) provide more detailed information on administrative
boundaries, drainage systems, existing infrastructure, major establishments, road networks,
topography, vegetation, and other economic indicators, showing the present development in the
area at barangay level. Similarly, medium and small scale maps (1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale)
are support tools for applications at municipal and provincial levels. Administrative maps indicate
political boundaries of provinces and regions of the country. (NAMRIA)

3. General Uses:
The measurements and delineations of land, when recorded in the form of maps either on paper
or within a computer, can be the basis of an accurate inventory of land resources. In the
Philippines, an accurate inventory of land and its legal classification is important since only certain
types or kinds of public lands can be subject to disposition, private ownership, registration and
titling. An example of this type of map used for inventory of natural resources are the Land
Classification Maps (LC Maps) of the DENR that show the delineation between alienable and
disposable (A and D) lands and those that are not subject to disposition. LC Maps are generated
from forest delineation surveys that mark the boundaries of agricultural lands and the non-
disposable forest/mineral lands and national parks. These maps are kept by NAMRIA that has
the mandate to conduct delineation surveys under Executive Order (E.O.) No. 192.

✓ Inventory of land parcels with its boundaries;

✓ Inventory and full and accurate knowledge of natural resources of the land;

✓ Best means of obtaining, recording and analyzing such knowledge resulting to better land
classification and land use planning;

✓ Necessary for planned development of natural resources, town planning schemes, orderly
development of industries and systems of communication;

✓ Enable land transactions to be effected safely, quickly and cheaply;

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✓ The cadastral maps and corresponding index maps can be conveniently used as a BASE
MAP for the recording of any information which requires maps of these scales. Cadastral
maps greatly assist every branch of the public service connected with land, (e.g. taxation,
irrigation, drainage, flood control, etc.) making them more efficient;

✓ Besides the economic, fiscal, agrarian, scientific and administrative uses, there is a growing
demand for maps and plans of all kinds for recreational purposes, for air travel, for the use of
tourists in connection with historical, archeological or artistic studies, for commercial and
industrial purposes and for educational purposes; and

4. Use for Property Identification


To a private land owner, the fact that the land is properly mapped and that rights are clearly
registered is of the greatest benefit since it provides security of tenure, minimizes disputes and
litigation, and provides better access to credit.
An accurate and large-scale map is the only sound basis for a record of rights, privileges, duties
and responsibilities to land. No system of registration of rights can be effective and no system of
land taxation can be just and efficient without a description which enables the land affected to be
identified with certainty on the ground, and no such identification can be regarded as certain
without a suitable map to which the description can be referred. Examples of this type of maps
are the cadastral maps, cadastral index maps, tax maps, subdivision maps, etc. Cadastral maps
and other property survey maps are kept by the DENR while subdivision maps of registered
properties subdivided by the Authority are kept by LRA. Tax maps are kept by the Local
Assessor’s Office.

B. Government Agencies with Land Survey and Mapping Functions


DENR is the primary agency that exercises direct control and supervision over survey of lands in
the Philippines (Section 4, CA No. 141). Such control is done through the issuance of Survey
Standards - Issues manuals and technical bulletins, that surveyor’s has to follow in measuring
and describing the boundaries of the land. The DENR also has direct supervision of the conduct
of all surveys through inspection, verification and approval of surveys that are required to be
submitted under the provisions of CA No. 141 and PD No. 1529. The LRA has concurrent
jurisdiction to approve simple subdivision of registered lands (Section 6 Par. 1 (f) of PD No. 1529).
However, there are other government agencies that has survey functions too. Below are these
agencies and their functions.

1. Department of Environment and Natural Resources


The primary agency in-charge with the survey of lands in the Philippines. Its mandate includes:

✓ Issuance of Rules and Regulations that will govern the conduct of surveys in the Philippines
(Land Management Bureau (LMB));

✓ Conduct of actual surveys on lands of the public domain;

✓ Conduct of administrative boundary surveys (i.e. political boundaries);

✓ Inspection, verification and approval of all original surveys on untitled A and D lands (DENR
Regional Officer) such as Isolated Land Surveys and Cadastral Surveys;

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✓ Inspection, verification and approval of all subdivision and consolidation on untitled A and D
lands; and

✓ Inspection, verification and approval of simple survey plans (the resulting lots is not more than
9 and without road lots); and

✓ Inspection, verification and approval complex Survey Plans (the resulting subdivision is more
than 9 lots or less than 9 lots if the subdivision will create road lot/s).

2. National Mapping and Resource Information Agency (NAMRIA)


NAMRIA, an agency attached to the DENR, is the principal mapping agency of the government
and is responsible for the production of thematic maps at various scales in support of the
government’s development planning, environmental management, and multi-hazard mapping,
among other programs. It is mandated to establish and maintain the Philippine Reference System
of 1992. NAMRIA also conducts forest delineation survey to segregate A and D lands from forest
and mineral lands and national parks.

3. Land Registration Authority (LRA)


LRA has limited survey approval functions on "simple subdivision" of titled or registered lands.
LRA and DENR can both approve simple survey subdivision on titled or registered lands. A survey
subdivision is considered simple subdivision when the survey will result to the creation of not
more than nine (9) lots without road lot is complex.

4. Local Governments
Cities and Municipalities also have survey and mapping functions in support of its land use
regulation and land taxation mandates. These functions are as follows:

✓ Approval of all complex subdivisions by the Sangguniang Bayan/Lungsod under the Local
Government Code;

✓ Ensure the conformity of subdivision surveys with the comprehensive land use plan of the
LGU;

✓ Receive and compile copies of all approved survey plans furnished by Geodetic Engineers on
surveys conducted within their jurisdiction; and

✓ Maintain a system of tax mapping, showing graphically all data concerning the real property
(land and improvements).

C. System of Land Survey and Mapping in the Philippines


Land surveys in the Philippines is primarily conducted for the purpose of land disposition and
registration in support of tenure or legal hold on land. The survey of the land is necessary before
it can be disposed by the state, or titled or registered. Without a survey, the government cannot
determine with certainty the identity of the land, its location, orientation, position, boundaries and
area. Without this certainty, there is no “object certain” that will define the physical extent of
ownership or holdings which is necessary for land as property, to be secured, protected, enjoyed
or transferred to exist.

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1. Persons Authorized to Conduct Land Surveys
Land surveys are conducted by surveyors who are licensed Geodetic Engineers (GE)2. These
GEs are organized into a professional organization called the "Geodetic Engineers of the
Philippines, Inc." (Republic Act No. 8560 as amended by Republic Act No. 9200, The Philippine
Geodetic Engineering Act of 1998). The practice of geodetic engineering is a professional and
organized act of gathering physical data on the surface of the earth with the use of precision
instruments. It is also the scientific and methodical processing of these date and presenting them
on graphs, plans, maps, charts or documents (Article II, Section 2 (a), RA No. 8560).

✓ Geodetic Engineers are under the supervision of the DENR or LRA while doing land survey
works.

✓ The GE has to comply with the survey standards and the rules and regulations set forth by
the DENR under the current Manual of Surveys.

✓ The GE must obtain such survey and tenure information on records available with the DENR
or LRA as is necessary to locate or relocate the boundaries of any land to be surveyed and
to connect his or her survey to the survey system in the Manual.

✓ A GE can conduct land survey activities pursuant to Section 2 (a) of Republic Act No. 8560
(Philippine Geodetic Engineering Act of 1998) or for works not requiring strict legal accuracy
under arrangements with a client, in such a manner as agreed upon by them or if the survey
is not intended for land registration, disposition or tenure definition.

✓ However, the GE must comply with the standards and the rules and regulations set forth by
the DENR, if the survey is of a class that requires approval under existing land laws.
Geodetic Engineers, when conducting surveys that requires the approval of the DENR or LRA,
shall give due notice in advance to the adjoining owners of the property to be surveyed of the
date and hour of the survey for the protection of their rights. They are to report all objections made
by adjoining property owners or claimants during the survey and demarcating/describing the
boundaries claimed by them.
The survey plans/data sets that the survey project generates, including the maps and plans, are
also submitted to the DENR and to the LRA (simple subdivision) for approval, before it can have
full legal effects. However, GEs may prepare sketch plans that show the indicative location,
position and area of land for purposes other than land registration without need of DENR/LRA
approval.

2. Defining Legal Boundaries


Lot boundaries delineate the extent of land ownership of land owners. Boundaries define the
extent of the parcel, lot or property unit in accordance with specific standards, rules and
regulations issued by the DENR. Boundaries also help identify the land as it will show the
contiguous parcels bordering the land. Boundary lines (also commonly called property lines)
2
The profession was first created under Republic Act No. 4374 (An Act to Regulate the Practice of Geodetic
Engineering in the Philippines.) A Geodetic Engineer - is any person who is technically and legally qualified to practice
geodetic engineering under these laws, which term supersede “surveyor”. The practice of land surveying was first
created under the provisions of Act No. 2711 (Revised Administrative Code of 1917) with the Bureau of Lands
providing apprenticeship and accreditation of land surveyors. A board of examiners was created under Act No. 3626
to qualify surveyors for private and cadastral surveys and mineral land surveyors. Geodetic engineering was not
recognized as a profession until the enactment of Republic Act No. 4374, the “Geodetic Engineering Law,” on June
19, 1965. Under the Act, any person who was technically and legally qualified to practice geodetic engineering shall
be called “Geodetic Engineer” superseding the term “Surveyor.”
Page 22 of 44
define the extent of legal limits of ownership of land parcels. Marked boundaries are prima facie
evidence of the legal extent of the ownership of property. Marking may be through natural
boundaries, survey monuments or enclosed occupation such as fences and walls.
Generally, boundaries of land are fixed and do not move, although the interpretation of the
location of the boundary can be difficult and professional judgment may vary in its interpretation,
especially if the lots in question came from two different survey systems.
The situation with regard to “natural boundaries” formed by seas, lakes, river, etc., is more
complex as such boundaries are not fixed and are periodically moved. These boundaries cannot
be marked on the ground and are not fixed in one place but changes position over time through
slow and imperceptible accretion or erosion of the described feature.
In built-up areas like old towns, the primary indicator of boundaries will most likely be walls and
fences. However, these can be subject to survey confirmation to ensure that the fences were
properly located before it were built and are not subject to encroachment by the owners of the
adjoining lands. In a new subdivision, the primary indicators of land boundaries will be the survey
marks place by the surveyor on the lots or parcels. These survey marks are made of concrete
monuments that conform to the Manual of Land Surveys.

3. Survey Authority and Survey Order


If a land is still unsurveyed, a private land claimant or a public land applicant on said land is
required to secure a Survey Order or Survey Authority from the DENR before a land survey can
be conducted on the land that he claims. A Survey Authority is an instruction issued by the
authorized DENR Official to a private GE authorizing him/her to conduct survey over a parcel of
land of the public domain for a specific purpose, usually for land registration or public land
disposition. When issued to a government GE, the same is referred to as Survey Order. Survey
Authority or Survey Order for isolated survey less than 12 hectares are issued by the DENR
Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO). Survey authority is valid for a
period of six (6) months following its issuance. (Section 19 of Revised Regulation on Land
Surveys, DAO 2007-29).
A Survey Authority is granted under the following conditions:

✓ The parcel of land is within the A and D area;

✓ The survey is an original survey, meaning there is no existing approved survey on the land or
any ongoing cadastral or public land subdivision project;

✓ There is no existing claims or conflicts on the land;

✓ The land is outside of any existing civil, military or any other reservations; and

✓ There is no pending land registration case or pending litigation in court involving the land or
an existing public land application other than that of the Survey Authority applicant.

✓ The survey applicant must be a public land applicant (homestead, sales, free patent) or must
show that he has acquired a registerable private right recognize by the law (i.e. acquisitive
possession, prescription and accretion)

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4. Cadastral and Isolated Surveys
Surveying and identifying land by boundaries is necessary before A and D land could be disposed
and registered by the government. For purposes of land disposition and property registration,
surveys can be generally divided into two (2) types – Cadastral and Isolated.

(a) Cadastral Surveys


Cadastral surveys are conducted to determine the “metes and bounds” of all parcels
within an entire municipality or city for land registration and other purposes (Section 5,
DAO 07-29). Cadastral survey involves the survey of a whole municipality (or an
extensive portion of the same or those covering an area of more than 1,500 hectares
under Public Land Subdivision Survey) for identifying and delineating the individual
parcels of all land owners and claimants which will be the basis of the issuance of titles
or patents later. It is intended primarily for the purpose of quieting titles to all lands within
a particular area by way of compulsory adjudication proceedings filed by the government
after the completion of the cadastral survey project. The owners of lots surveyed must
lay a claim to their land holdings and must prove their ownership during the subsequent
court proceedings. Failure on their part to do so may give the court no choice but to
declare these lands as public lands and be disposed under the Public Land Act. All the
other types of surveys are considered isolated.
The LMB assigns the Cadastral Project Number that is unique for every municipality or
city. The cadastral project is then divided into cases with one barangay
considered/assigned as one unique case. However, the DENR has resorted to
contracting the cadastral projects by Module, wherein one (1) Module consists of one (1)
barangay. A municipality with twelve (12) barangays may have twelve (12) cadastral
survey module contractors. All said modules will bear the same Cadastral Survey Project
Number. The first municipality that underwent cadastral surveying is Pilar, Bataan in 1909
with Cadastral Project Number 1 or “Cad-1” issued to it.
Every parcel of lot in a cadastral survey project is assigned a unique lot number which
will be done consecutively from Lot No. 1 without duplication. An assigned lot number in
one (1) barangay (barrio) cannot be assigned to a certain lot in another barangay (barrio)
of the covered municipality.
Once a cadastral survey project is conducted on a municipality or city, all previous
isolated surveys of parcels conducted within the area should be integrated and reflected
in the cadastral records either as accepted, amended or rejected. If a previous survey is
accepted, the surveyor will designate a new lot number in the cadastral survey. The
previous isolated survey and the lot number of the land, however, are still indicated in the
cadastral survey map for reference purposes.
Cadastral Surveys also include the delineation of the boundaries of the various political
units (barangay, municipality, and province) as well as the boundaries between the
forested areas and A and D lands.
Cadastral maps generated by the surveys are also used as preliminary reference in real
property tax mapping and land use mapping by local governments.

(a) Isolated Surveys


Land claimants may request for an isolated survey of his land prior to the government
initiated cadastral survey for purposes of ordinary land registration or patent application.
The government also initiates surveys of public land for land disposition purpose such as
Page 24 of 44
free patent, homestead and sales. These surveys are conducted on A and D lands of the
public domain in areas where there is no approved or existing cadastral survey or
cadastral project.
Isolated surveys may contain a single lot as in the case of private survey (PSU), free
patent survey, homestead, agricultural sale or multiple lot/parcels such as in the case of
Public Land Surveys. As mentioned earlier, the approved isolated land surveys are
integrated, either as accepted or modified or rejected, once a cadastral project is
subsequently conducted in the area.
Under the present land survey manual, all surveys that are not cadastral are categorised
as isolated surveys including subsequent subdivision and consolidation surveys of a
previously surveyed land, though these may be within a cadastral area.

5. Narrative Technical Descriptions


The description of boundaries to the land (commonly called technical description) are contained
in various survey data sets that are generated during surveys. It includes the surveyors field
notes, lot data computations, paper maps, etc. However, description of the land is reduced using
a narrative style commonly called “Technical Description” when the identity of the land is
described in legal documents including the Patents issued by the DENR and Certificate of Title
issued by the Register of Deeds.
Technical description uses directions and distances along with physical features of the land to
define and describe the boundaries of a parcel of land.
The boundaries are described in a narrative style, working around the parcel in sequence, using
bearing and distance from a known control point (location monuments) to a point of beginning
(point 1), going to the next point or corner (point 2 and succeeding) and finally returning to the
point of beginning to create a polygon. It may include references to other adjoining parcels (lots).
The description is based on the markings on the ground with permanent concrete monuments.
Sample of a Narrative Technical Description:

LOT 18, BLK. 15, Pcs-13-003519

A parcel of land (Lot 18, Blk. 15 of the cons. subd. plan, Pcs-13-003519, being a portion
of the consolidation of Lots 17 Blk. 2, 15 Blk. 3, 15 Blk. 4, 15 Blk. 5, 12 Blk. 5, 15 Blk. 7, 1 &
17 Blk. 9 & 16 Blk. 12, all of Pcs-13-001412, Lots 5 & 5-A, both of Pcs-3866 &Lot 783-A,
Psd-49419, LRC Rec. No.), situated in the Barrio of Bagbag, City of Quezon, Province of
Metro Manila, Island of Luzon.

Bounded on the S., along line 1-2 by Lot 14; along line 2-3 by Lot 15; along line 3-4 by
Lot 16; along line 4-5 by Lot 17, all of Blk. 15 of the cons. subd. plan; on the NW., along line
5-6 by Lot 541, Piedad Estate; on the N., along line 6-7 by Lot 12 of Blk. 15 and on the E.,
along line 7-1 by Road Lot 6, both of the cons. subd. plan.

Beginning at a point marked "1" on plan, being S. 85 deg. 37' E., 1,305.16 m. from
LM No. 20, Piedad Estate.

thence Due West, 13.00 m. to point 2;


Page 25 of 44
thence Due West, 10.00 m. to point 3;
thence Due West, 10.00 m. to point 4;
thence S. 65 deg. 10' E., 6.5 m. to point 5;
thence N. 40 deg. 35’E., 16.78 m. to point 6;
thence Due East, 16.16 m. to point 7;
thence Due South, 10.00 m. to the point of;

beginning, containing an area of THREE HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR (334)


SQUARE METERS, more or less. All points referred to are indicated on the plan and are
marked on the ground by P.S. cyl. conc. Mons 15x60 cms; bearings True; Date of the original
survey, July 1 – Dec. 14, 1907 and that of the cons. subd. survey on May 20-30, 1988.

6. Survey Maps and Records3


Survey records may be found generally at the Survey Records sections of government land
agencies. In the DENR, survey records are with the Technical Records Section, Survey Division
of the DENR Regional Office. The LMB only retains some survey records, mostly duplicates, after
it decentralised its records to the DENR Regional Offices. In LRA, survey records are with the
Subdivision and Consolidation Division.
Large scale government surveys such as cadastral surveys generate the following survey
records:

✓ Cadastral Maps indicating individual parcels and their actual geographic position;

✓ Lot Data Computation Books;

✓ Lot Description Books;

✓ Monument Description Books;

✓ Technical Description (TD) of all lots within the Cadastre;

✓ Geographic Positions of Reference Points;

✓ Land Use Maps and Land Use Registers;

✓ Political Boundary Maps;

✓ Tax Maps used for Realty Tax Valuation/Collection;

3
Reminder: The lot/s on survey plans and land titles are stated in a simple plane that adjusted the curvature of the
earth in order to present the parcel in a two dimensional map. The adjustments sometimes create seeming overlap
when projected against the map of a different contiguous parcel plan from a different survey system. It is advisable for
land buyer to engage the services of a Geodetic Engineer in order to be sure where the true boundaries of the land
lies. Incurring this survey expense makes good sense to any land buyers or mortgagee.
Page 26 of 44
✓ List of all claimants/occupants or owners of lands; and

✓ Cadastral Cost Registers.


Below are some of the commonly used large scale maps that establish land ownership and
support land titling and registration.

(a) Land Classification (LC) Maps


These maps are generated by the land classification unit of the DENR/NAMRIA/FMB
after delineation survey is conducted, to ascertain the extent of A and D lands of the
public domain.

(b) Cadastral Maps


These maps are generated by cadastral surveys executed by the DENR for purposes of
land titling. It covers all parcels of an entire or large portion of municipality. There is also
a list of cadastral claimants per lot that is submitted by the surveyor to DENR as part of
the survey data set. All land parcels are given a unique parcel identifier (by lot number).
Cadastral maps are not updated once it is approved. Subsequent changes to the parcels
are not reflected in the approved cadastral map.

(c) Subdivision Maps


These are parcel maps derived from subdivisions of isolated survey plans and isolated
cadastral lots. All derivative parcels of the subdivision are assigned a unique lot number
that follows the sequence of the original or "mother lot", i.e. Lot 1 to Lot 1-A, Lot 1-B, and
so forth.

(d) Tax Maps


These maps are generated by the Assessor's Office of the LGU for purposes of identifying
land parcels for land taxation (real property tax). A unique parcel identifier (Property Index
Number) is assigned to each parcel within the municipality. Updating of the map is done
by the tax mapping section of the Assessor's Office, based from subdivision/consolidation
survey plans of GEs submitted to the LGU. The initial component of LGU tax maps are
mostly derived from DENR cadastral maps.

(e) Cadastral Digital Database (DCDB)


Are computerize maps or spatial representation showing land parcels in the locality. The
Digital Cadastre DataBase (DCDB) is the spatial representation of the land parcels and
land use/administrative/political boundaries in a locality. The DCDB generates a
computerized map base that is used in storing related information on land and at the
same time, can generate hard copy of different map products for the public. The parcels
are generated by computer programs that convert numerical survey data sets or by
digitizing existing paper maps. DCDB usually consists of layers of different spatial
representation of land boundaries that can include administrative boundaries such as
LGU boundaries, proclaimed areas and reservations, land use, roads, natural features,
etc. that can be overlaid and used for land management purposes, taxation or land tilting
and registration

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7. Court Determination of Land Boundaries
Actual occupation and described measurement of the ownership in documents or titles
may be conflicting. If the description of the boundary is ambiguous or otherwise
uncertain, or is in conflict with the occupations, courts may settle the position of the
disputed boundary. The actual location of any boundary, when disputed, should be
subject to the evidence of an on-ground assessment of the land in relation to survey
records, and is best undertaken by a GE.
Where any two or more boundary features or descriptions present conflicting evidence
in the determination of the true boundary position, the courts usually favor long,
acquiescent and undisturbed occupation dating to the time of the survey as the most
convincing evidence of a boundary between properties. As a rule though, when a
property is described by “metes and bounds”, the described bounds (abuttals) take
priority over the stated measurements. What really defines a piece of land is not the area,
calculated with more or less certainty mentioned in the description, but the boundaries
as enclosing the land and indicating its limits. However, special circumstances may lead
courts to give more weight to other evidence presented.
In determining the boundary of the land, the court may consider the following physical
features and survey marks and descriptions:

✓ Monumented lines (boundaries marked by survey or other defining marks, natural or


artificial);

✓ Adjoining boundaries, i.e. contiguous lots, natural or artificial features such as a street
or road;

✓ Statement of length, bearing or directions (“Metes” or measurements in the described


direction); and

✓ Actual occupation.
A GE is not the final arbiter of boundaries which are under dispute between owners. This
is within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. The GE’s role in these matters is one of
fact-finder and expert witness, providing the evidence of what the boundaries are or how
it was derived, upon which the court will make the judgment.
CASES:
23) Golloy v. Court of Appeals, (G.R. No. 47491, May 4, 1989)
24) Cambridge Realty and Resources Corporation vs. Eridanus Development, Inc. and Chiton
Realty Corp., (G.R. No. 152445, July 4, 2008)
25) Felipe de Guzman vs. Manuel de Santos, (G.R. No. 6609. December 2, 1911)

Page 28 of 44
IV. Modes of Acquiring Title to Public Lands
A. Ownership of land must be traced to a government land grant
Regalian doctrine all lands belong to the State. Private lands must be able to trace it’s root to a
grant coming from the State.

1. Direct Grants (Homestead, Sales, Free Patent)


Land is given/awarded by the State to a public land applicant through a land patent; land is
considered as public land; applicant is qualified; applicant must comply with the condition before
the grant is awarded by the State and caused its registration.

2. Indirect Grants (Prescription, Accretion and Accession)


Public land becomes ipso facto (by operation of law) private lands; the state did not directly award
the land (no award of land patent), person acquires the land upon fulfilment of certain conditions;
merely confirms the title during the proceedings where it is determined, during a court hearing
that applicant has qualification and has complied with all the conditions necessary for confirmation
of title.

3. Land Grants Excludes Minerals


Constitutional limitation. All natural resources are owned by the State (Article XII, 1987
Constitution). All public land patents issued to applicants does not convey title to all kinds of
mineral resources as the same remain to be property of the State. (Section 110, PLA).

B. Jurisdiction of the DENR


The administration and disposition of public lands are committed by law to the Director of Lands
primarily, and ultimately to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The jurisdiction
of the Bureau of Lands is confined to the determination of the respective rights of rival claimants
of public lands or to cases which involve disposition and alienation of public lands. The jurisdiction
of courts is limited to the determination of who has the actual, physical possession or occupation
of the land in question (in forcible entry cases, before municipal courts) or, the better right of
possession (in accion publiciana, in cases before the Court of First Instance, now Regional Trial
Court).

C. General Conditions Necessary for the Issuance of a Land Patent (Direct


Grant)
The general conditions for Provided under Section 8 of Commonwealth Act No. 141 or the Public
Land Act.

1. Alienable and Disposable Lands


a) Definition - Alienable and disposable lands refer to those lands of the public domain which
have been the subject of the present system of classification and declared as not needed
for forest purposes.
b) Under Act No. 926 (1903) - Spanish grants are deemed private lands and not subject to
classification; Section 19 of Act No. 496, titles in fee simple;
c) Confirmation of Imperfect Titles applied under Spain, agricultural but court determines
suitability; (Section 48 of Act No. 926)

Page 29 of 44
d) Public land disposition on lands suitable for agriculture as certified by the forestry
department;
e) Under Act No. 2874 (1919) - Present system of land classification of public land was
introduced;
(1) Blocks of lands pre-classified even prior to disposition
(2) Classification of land as a legal object;
(3) Private lands and lands for confirmation of title not subject to
(4) classification, land registration court makes determination
f) Under Republic Act No. 3872 (1964) - Cultural minorities can have titles to Non A and D
Lands
g) Under Section 4, Presidential Decree No. 1073 (1977) - Confirmation of Titles Limited in
A and D Lands only)
h) Under Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997 - Ancestral Domain as private property
of IP.

2. Surveyed and Delineated


No survey no title - land survey is the means to determine the relative location and area of
land for purposes of property identification.

3. Not for Public or Quasi-Public Use or Appropriated by the Government.


4. Not private lands
a) The land must not be private property, nor on which a private right authorized and
recognized by this act or any valid law may be claimed (Sec. 8, CA No. 141). If land is
private already, the owner must file an application for registration of land ownership; See
Judicial confirmation of imperfect title
b) Option of land owner is to obtain “free patent” if qualified. The owner is deemed to have
waived his ownership over the land in favour of the State and thus can file a public land
application for free patent. There is an area limit if the land is public land (12 hectares under
the 1987 Constitution) since it is a public land grant.
c) Patrimonial Property of the Government; Disposition is under Act No. 3038 through Sale

5. Restrictions and limitations on Transfers of Land Patents


a) Commonwealth Act No. 141 (Sections 118, 119, 120, 121 and 123)
b) Presidential Decree No. 2004 (Section 2)
c) Republic Act No. 10023 (Section 5)

6. Area limitation under the Constitution and the law

✓ Under the Philippine Bill of 1902 - 16 hectares

✓ Under 1936 Constitution - 24 hectares


Page 30 of 44
✓ Under 1973 Constitution - 24 hectares

✓ Under 1987 Constitution - 12 hectares

6. Qualification of Applicant
(a) Citizenship
Only citizens of the Philippines can be a grantee of public land; Non-Citizen cannot be a
grantee of public land; In Free Patent, it is required that the applicant is a natural born
citizen of the Philippines. Corporations not allowed since 1973 to acquire public lands,
however, a corporation can lease public lands up to 1,000 hectares (1987 Constitution)
In registration of lands, corporations are allowed to register lands that has already been
acquired by its predecessor through indirect grant; rationale - the land is already private
when acquired and is not part of the public domain anymore. Registration does not
confirm ownership. See Judicial Confirmation of Title

(b) Age
In general, there is no age limitation in public land grants; except in homestead, the
applicant must be 18 years or head of Family if minor

C. Public Land Grants in Agricultural Lands


1. Homestead - Title II, Chapter III, Sections 12 to 21 of Commonwealth Act No. 141
a) Patent issued to frontier lands and newly released A and D lands where no possessory
rights exists
b) Upon approval of homestead application, homesteader is allowed to enter and cultivate A
& D lands
c) Grant of homestead patent is conditioned upon entry, occupation, improvement, cultivation
(1/5 of the land), residency (1 year) and final proof within 5 years
d) Homesteader cannot use share tenancy in complying with the conditions (1973) under
Presidential Decree No. 152
e) Original homestead grantees or direct compulsory heirs who still own the original
homestead at the time of the approval of CARL keeps to retain the same areas as long as
they continue to cultivate the homestead under Section 6 of RA No. 6657 as amended.

2. Sales - Title II, Chapter IV, Sections 22 to 32 of Commonwealth Act No. 141;
a) Upon approval of application, land is appraised and notice is made by publication for
bidding on the land;
b) Conditioned upon appraisal, bidding, entry, cultivation and payment.
c) Payment by 10 equal yearly installment is allowed

3. Lease - Title II, Chapter V, Sections 33 to 43 of Commonwealth Act No. 141;


a) Corporations can lease up to 1,000 hectares
b) Private individuals (citizens) up to 500 hectares;
Page 31 of 44
c) Appraisal, bidding, entry, payment

4. Free Patent - Title II, Chapter VI, Sections 44 to 46 of Commonwealth Act No.
141.
a) Conditioned upon occupation/possession and payment of real property taxes for a certain
period
b) Last amendment on the requirements for free patent under Republic Act No. 6940;
continuously occupied and cultivation and payment real property tax for 30 years prior to
1990)
c) Filing of application up to 2020 only (Republic Act No. 9176, Extending Free Patents)

D. Public Land Grants In Residential, Commercial, Industrial Lands


1. Sales - under Title III, Chapter VIII, Sections 60 to 68 of Commonwealth Act No
141;
a) Same as agricultural sale;
b) Appraisal; bidding; entry; introduction of improvements; and payment

2. Republic Act No. 730 (1952) - Direct sale of residential lands subject to
conditions
a) Any citizen of legal age, not the owner of a home lot in the municipality or city; in good faith
established his residence on a parcel; not needed for the public service; private or direct
sale (appraisal but no bidding); not more than one thousand square meters; occupants has
constructed his house on the land and actually resided therein. 10% payment upon
approval balance may be paid in full, or in ten equal annual installments; restriction on
transfer 15 years;
b) Restriction was removed under PD No. 2004 (1985)

3. Batas Pambansa Bilang 223 (1982-1987) - limited residential free patent


a) Conditions - any citizen, not a registered owner of a residential land in 5th class
municipalities, has been actually residing on, and continuously possessing and occupying,
under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership, paid all the real estate taxes thereon
since June 12, 1945, and not to exceed 3,000 sqm;
b) Not applicable in cities, and in in first class, second class third class, and fourth class
municipalities, and in townsite reservations;
c) Law expires in 1987 without being extended

4. Republic Act No. 10023 (2010) - Residential Free Patent Law


a) Conditions - any citizen; actual occupant, resided under a bona fide claim of ownership for
10 years; land not needed for public service and/or public use; all lands zoned as
residential; townsites included; delisted military reservation or abandoned military camp
included; actual survey; two supporting affidavits of disinterested person(residents)
b) Applies to all cities and municipalities

Page 32 of 44
D. Restrictions on Patents
Patents issued by the government are subject to the following restrictions:

1. On Transfers and Conveyances

✓ Free patents and homestead patents issued by the government are subject to restrictions
regarding transfer and mortgage under Sections 118, 119, 120, 121 and 122 of the present
Public Land Act.

✓ Sales patents on the other hand are covered by Sections 121 and 122.

✓ A qualified restrictions on all patents sold be national cultural minorities are covered by Section
120.

✓ Republic Act No. 730 that provides for the direct sale of residential lands has restrictions on
transfer and encumbrance of 15 years, however, the same was removed by Presidential
Decree No. 2004 in 1985 declaring that paragraph 2 of the said law is too onerous and
prevents utilization of the land.

✓ Republic Act No. 10023 altogether removed the restrictions that are attached to Free Patents
under Section 5.

✓ The policy of the government recently is to encourage the development of formal land market
by making the titles to the land tradable.

2. Easements and Servitudes

✓ The land patented shall likewise be subject to public servitudes that exist upon lands owned
by private persons, including those with reference to the littoral of the sea and the banks of
navigable rivers (Section 111, PLA).

✓ The state likewise reserves a right of way not exceeding sixty (60) meters for public highways,
railroads, irrigation, ditches, aqueducts, telegraph and telephone lines and similar works as
the government or any public or quasi-public service or enterprise including mining or forest
concessionaires, may reasonably require for carrying on its business, with damages to
improvements only.

✓ Republic Act No. 1273 amended Section 90 of the PLA and provided that a strip forty (40)
meters wide starting from the bank on each side of any river or stream that may be found on
the land patented shall be demarcated and preserved as permanent timberland to be planted
exclusively to trees of known economic value, and that the grantee shall not make any clearing
thereon or utilize the same for ordinary farming purposes even after patent shall have been
issued to him or a contract of lease shall have been executed in his favor.
CASES:
29) Balboa vs. Farrales, G.R. No. L-27059, February 14, 1928;
30) Republic vs. Diamonon, G.R. No. L-7813, October 31, 1955;
31) Mejia vs. Mapa, G.R. No. L-7042, May 28, 1954
32) Diaz and Reyes vs. Macalinao, et al, 102 Phil. 999

Page 33 of 44
33) Dauan vs. Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 19 SCRA 223
34) Pascua vs. Talens, G.R. No. L-348 April 30, 1948
35) Simeon v. Peña, GR No. L-29049, December 29, 1970;
36) Benzonan vs CA, 97998, January 27, 1992
37) Vargas and Vargas vs. Court of Appeals, GR No. L-35666, June 29, 1979
38) Santana and Panganiban vs. Mariñas, GR No. L-35537, December 27, 1979
39) Bajenting, et al. vs. Bañes, et al., GR No. 166190, September 20, 2006

E. Title Obtained by Operations of Law (Section 14, PD No. 1529)


1. General Considerations
a) Title was obtained not by registration but “by operation of law” under the assumption that
the occupant of the land is qualified and has complied with the conditions set forth. The law
creates a legal fiction whereby the land, upon completion of the requisite period ipso jury
and without the need of judicial or other sanction, ceases to be public land and become
private property.
b) The title is vested to the occupant ipso facto but it has to be confirmed by the State and
registered.
c) The land must be alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. Section 4 of PD
No. 1073 (1977) amending Section 48 (b) and (c) and Judicial confirmation of imperfect
title based on unperfected Spanish grants are no longer allowed. Adopted in PD No. 1529,
Section 14 (a) in 1978.

2. Concept of Adverse Possession & Prescription


To constitute the foundation of prescriptive rights, possession must be under the claim of title
and adverse to all other claimants (open, continuous, exclusive, notorious possession). Must
be adverse and not merely tolerated. Prescription - prescription does not run against the
government except when it is provided by law; does not run on registered land. It is sufficient
that the land is A and D at the time of application, the period of possession prior to declaration
of A and D is included. Old view: time when the land is still inalienable is excluded in computing
period of adverse possession.

F. Section 14, Paragraph (a) Open, continuous, exclusive and notorious


possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public
domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or
earlier;
a) In 1976 all holders of Spanish titles or grants should apply for registration of their lands
under Act No. 496 within six (6) months afterwards Spanish titles cannot be used as
evidence of land ownership in any registration proceedings under the Torrens system P.D.
No. 892;
b) In 1977 lands that are not declared alienable and disposable are no longer included
however long the possession of the applicant was; judicial confirmation of incomplete titles
to public land based on unperfected Spanish under the laws and royal decrees in force

Page 34 of 44
prior to the transfer or sovereignty from Spain to the United States are disallowed
(Presidential Decree No. 1073);
c) Period of possession before declaration of A and D is not important for disposition as long
as the land is A and D at the time of application (Heirs of Malabanan v. Republic of the
Philippines, G.R. No. 179987, April 29, 2009).
d) Evidence to Prove Adverse Possession
e) Tax Declarations - Not conclusive evidence of ownership but are good indicia of
possession in the concept of the owner. It is at least a proof that the holder has a claim of
title over the property. It announces the tax payer’s adverse claim against the State and
other interested parties.

G. Section 14, Paragraph (b) - Those who have acquired ownership of private
lands by prescription under the provision of existing laws;
a) Prescription of thirty (30) years begins from the moment the State expressly declares that
the public dominion property is no longer intended for public service or the development of
the national wealth or that the property has been converted into patrimonial4;
CASES:
40) Republic vs. de Guzman, 326 SCRA 574 (old view) Alienable and Disposable vs. Time of
Application for Registration
41) Malabanan vs. Court of Appeals
42) San Miguel Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 185 SCRA 722 (1990).
43) Director of Lands vs. IAC and Acme Plywood and Veneer Co. Inc. G.R. No. 73002,
December 29, 1986)
44) Susana Meguinto, et al. vs. Republic of the Philippines, GR No. 134308, December 14,
2000).
45) Republic vs. de Guzman, 326 SCRA 574
46) Republic of the Philippines vs. East Silverland Realty Development Corporation; G.R. No.
186961, February 20, 2012;
47) Tan, et al. vs. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 193443, April 16, 2012.

H. Section 14, Paragraph (c) - Right of accession or accretion;


1. Article 457 of Civil Code to the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the
accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters; Law Of
The Waters - the accretion resulting from the gradual deposit by or sedimentation from the
waters belongs to the owners of the land bordering on streams, torrents, lakes, or rivers;
2. By law, accretion - the gradual and imperceptible deposit made through the effects of the
current of the water belongs to the owner of the land adjacent to the banks of rivers where it
forms. The drying up of the river is not accretion. Hence, the dried-up river bed belongs to the
State as property of public dominion, not to the riparian owner; they are not open to registration

4
Section 14(2) is patrimonial property as defined in Article 421 in relation to Articles 420 and 422 of the Civil Code.
Page 35 of 44
under the Land Registration Act. The adjudication of the lands in as private property is null
and void.
3. Ownership over the accretion received by the land adjoining a river is governed by the Civil
Code; but land has to be registered otherwise it can be lost by reason of prescription and/or
occupation of others;
CASES:
48) Maximo Cortes vs. City Of Manila, G.R. No. L-4012, March 25, 1908
49) Republic vs. C.A. and Tancinco, et al., G.R. No. L-61647 October 12, 1984;
50) Republic vs. Santos III and Santos, Jr., November 12, 2012, 2012G.R. No. 160453
51) Ignacio Grande vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-17652, June 30, 1962

D. Section 14, Paragraph (d) - Those who have acquired ownership of land in
any other manner provided for by law.
E. Title issued under CARP (Republic Act No. 6657, as amended by Republic
Act No. 9700)
1. Coverage
All alienable and disposable lands of the public domain devoted to or suitable for agriculture. All
other lands owned by the Government devoted to or suitable for agriculture; and All private lands
devoted to or suitable for agriculture regardless of the agricultural products raised or that can be
raised thereon.

2. Exemptions and Exclusions. (Section 10, RA No. 6657)


Lands actually, directly and exclusively used for parks, wildlife, forest reserves, reforestation, fish
sanctuaries and breeding grounds, watersheds and mangroves; private lands used for prawn
farms and fishponds; lands used and necessary for national defense, school sites and campuses,
public or private schools for educational purposes, seeds and seedlings research and pilot
production center, church sites and convents appurtenant, mosque sites and Islamic centers,
communal burial grounds and cemeteries, penal colonies and penal farms actually worked by the
inmates, government and private research and quarantine centers and all lands with eighteen
percent (18%) slope and over, except those already developed.

3. Retention Limits Land Area


a) Retention by the landowner shall not exceed five (5) hectares.
b) Three (3) hectares may be awarded to each child of the landowner, subject to the following
qualifications: (1) that he is at least fifteen (15) years of age; and (2) that he is actually tilling
the land or directly managing the farm.
c) Landowners whose lands have been covered by Presidential Decree No. 27 shall be
allowed to keep the area originally retained by them thereunder;
d) Original homestead grantees or direct compulsory heirs who still own the original
homestead at the time of the approval of this Act shall retain the same areas as long as
they continue to cultivate said homestead.

Page 36 of 44
4. Ceiling of Award to Beneficiaries
Not exceeding three (3) hectares, which may cover a contiguous tract of land or several parcels
of land cumulated up to the prescribed award limits. A landless beneficiary is one who owns less
than three (3) hectares of agricultural land.

5. Transferability of Awarded Lands


CLOAs cannot be sold, transferred or conveyed for ten (10) years except by:
a) Hereditary succession;
b) To the government
c) To the Land Bank
d) Other qualified beneficiaries through the DAR.

6. Repurchase
Children or the spouse of the transferor within a period of two (2) years (Sold to the Government
and Land Bank)

7. Collective Titles
Option provided that the total area that may be awarded shall not exceed the total award limit of
all beneficiary. Title to the property shall be issued in the name of the co-owners or the
cooperative or collective organization as the case may be. If the certificates of land ownership
award are given to cooperatives then the names of the beneficiaries must also be listed in the
same certificate of land ownership award.
Cases:
52) DOJ OPINION NO. 100, s. 2012, November 13, 2012

K. Title issued under IPRA Law


1. Identification and delineation of Ancestral Domain Commented [2]:
Sec. 51
2. Issuance of Ancestral Domain Certificate of Title Self-delineation shall be guiding principle in the
identification and delineation of ancestral domains. As
3. Ancestral Domain and the Regalian Doctrine such, the ICCs/IPs concerned shall have a decisive
role in all the activities pertinent thereto.
Cases:
The Sworn Statement of the Elders as to the Scope of
the territories and agreements/pacts made with
53) Cruz vs. DENR Secretary, GR No. 135385, December 6, 2000 neighboring ICCs/IPs, if any, will be essential to the
determination of these traditional territories.
VI. Procedure and Processes
A. Public Land Applications
1. General Rules
The right to lands disposed by the State through patents are administratively determined during
the public land application process. The process is not adversarial since the applicant does not
claim private ownership on the land. The applicant in public land applications is asking the State
for a land grant base on Article XII of the Constitution that allows citizens to receive alienable and

Page 37 of 44
disposable lands, subject to certain conditions, from the State by way of homestead, sale or
grants. It is conditioned generally on the utilization of the land for productive purposes.
During the process of adjudication, the applicant establishes his/her personal qualification and
proves his/her fulfilment of the conditions necessary for the issuance of the particular grant or
patent that he/she applied for.
The government agency that handles the adjudication process is the DENR under
Commonwealth Act No. 141 (Public Land Act) as amended, Republic Act No. 10023 (Residential
Free Patent Law) and Republic Act No. 730 (Direct Sale of Residential Lands). Generally, the
DENR has exclusive jurisdiction over the disposition of lands of the public domain in the absence
of specific legislation to the contrary.
Public land applications are processed at the DENR Community Environment and Natural
Resources Office (CENRO) and patents are generally signed and issued by the DENR Provincial
Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO). The approved and signed patents are
transmitted to the Register of Deeds of the province or city by the DENR for registration (Section
103 of PD No. 1529). Application for a public land grant is administrative in nature although the
DENR is exercising in the process quasi-judicial powers when adjudicating applications and has
authority to determine conflicting claims of applicants and occupants of public land (Section 102,
PLA) subject to judicial review in case of fraud, imposition or mistake, other than error of judgment
in estimating the value or effect of evidence.
The authority to sign patents is generally vested to the President of the Philippines as Chief
Executive. Throughout the years, however, the signing of patent was decentralised by Congress
to the different levels within the bureaucracy of the DENR. Under E.O. No. 192 (1987)
reorganizing and the integration of the different Bureaus under the in the Regional/Field Office
Set-up, the Secretary of the newly organized DENR was given a general mandate to implement
public land laws, with powers to delegate includes the power to sign patents and to delegate the
same to such officers as he may deem fit. At present, up to 5 hectares (PENRO), more than 5
but not exceeding 10 (RED), in excess of 10 (Secretary). Under Republic Act No. 10023, the
authority to sign patent was specifically delegated by Congress to the PENRO (Section 6, RA No.
10023).

2. Processes and procedure are governed by administrative orders, circulars and


manuals; below is a summary of the process:
(a) Survey of the Land

✓ Survey is a requirement before public lands can be disposed to private persons


under the different public land laws.

✓ Survey is necessary in order to identify the land and delineate its boundaries

✓ DENR has records of all approved land surveys. If the land has no approved
survey, the applicant must request for a survey authority from the DENR in order
to have the land surveyed by a private geodetic engineer.

✓ If the land is unsurveyed, the applicant may file the Public Land Application first
and thereafter request for a survey authority/order to delineate his/her claim.

✓ The DENR sometimes conduct simultaneous survey and adjudication of land


(systematic adjudication process).

Page 38 of 44
(b) Filing of Application (CENRO)

✓ Non-lawyers can file and process public land applications (PLA) since the
procedure is non-technical, informal and not adversarial. DENR personnel assist
PLA applicants in the accomplishment of forms and gathering of documents,
evidence and certifications in support of the application

✓ Public Land Applications are submitted under oath; DENR officers may administer
oath to applicants when filing an application

✓ A representative with Special Power of Attorney may file in behalf of the applicant

✓ Application must be complete including all documentary requirements to enable


the land examiner and/or inspector to evaluate the application.

(c) Examination of the Applicant for Personal Qualification to own public land

✓ Check the nationality of the applicant

✓ Check land holdings of the applicant in the land allocation record book
(d) Examination and Inspection of the Land

✓ Ocular Inspection by the Land Inspector to check status (A & D), actual use of the
land and to validate if there are claims or conflicts on the ground

✓ Notice of the application shall be posted by the DENR

✓ Prepare Inspection Report by the Public Land Inspector

✓ Inspection report must be approved by the Land Management Officer

(e) Approval of application

✓ In Free Patents, upon approval of application, a patent is prepared at the CENRO for
signing of the PENRO

✓ In Homestead, upon approval of the application, an entry permit is issued allowing


the homesteader to enter, occupy and cultivate the land upon payment of the entry
fee.
• Final Proof upon completion of the 1/5 cultivation requirement has to be filed by
the homesteader
• Re-investigation and preparation of Re-investigation report, (Cultivation,
residency, etc) upon filing of the filial proof

✓ In Ordinary Sales, upon approval of the application, the land shall be appraised and
the sale shall be published for bidding.
• The land shall be awarded to the highest bidder.
• The applicant, however, can match the highest bid to secure the award.

Page 39 of 44
• Upon full payment (10 equal yearly installments allowed), the DENR shall
inspect the land to check compliance and shall prepare a re-investigation
report;

✓ In Direct Sale under Republic Act No. 730, upon approval of the application, the
land shall be appraised by an Appraisal Committee at the CENRO.
• There is no bidding under RA No. 730
• The appraisal has to be approved by the DENR Secretary before an Order of
Payment shall be issued.
• Upon full payment (10 equal yearly instalment is allowed), the DENR shall
inspect the land to check compliance and shall prepare a re-investigation
report;

(f) Approval and Signing of the Patent


Approval and signing of Patents under E.O. No. 192 (1987), the Secretary of
the DENR was given a general mandate to implement public land laws
including the power to delegate the signing of patents. At present, the signing
authority is as follows: up to 5 hectares (PENRO), more than 5 but not
exceeding 10 (RED), in excess of 10 (Secretary). But under Republic Act No.
10023, the PENRO is specifically designated by the law as the final approving
officer of Residential Free Patents.
(g) Transmission to the Register of Deeds of the Patent by the Approving
Officer (See Section 103, PD No. 1529)
It is the duty of the approving officer to transmit the Patent to the Register of
Deeds for registration. Applicants, however, shall pay the necessary
registration fees before the registered patents are released to them.
CASES:
(55) Geukeko vs. Araneta (G.R. No. L-10182, December 24, 1957; 102 Phil 706)
(56) Ortua vs. Encarnacion, G.R. No. 39919, January 30, 1934;
(57) Custodio Mari vs. Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources (G.R. No. L-5622,
December 29, 1952);
(58) Mauleon vs. Court of Appeals, (G.R. No. L-27762, August 7, 1975)

B. Confirmation of Imperfect Title


1. General Rules
Judicial proceedings for the registration of lands throughout the Philippines shall be in rem and
shall be based on the generally accepted principles underlying the Torrens system.
Powers of the Land Registration Authority
a) Section 6 of PD 1529
b) Register of Deeds, see Section 10 of PD 1529
Page 40 of 44
Ordinary vs. Cadastral Proceedings
Ordinary is isolated and voluntary - pertains to isolated parcel of land initiated voluntarily
by the land owner/occupant
Cadastral is mass and compulsory - pertains to a proceedings covering all the parcels in
the municipality/city; initiated by the government

2. Ordinary Registration Procedure (See Section 14 to 30 PD No. 1529)


a) Filing of the application (Regional Trial Court, BP No. 129)
b) Issuance of an Order setting the date and hour of the Initial hearing which
shall not be earlier than forty-five days nor later than ninety days from the
date of the order.
a) Notices

✓ Publication Official Gazette;

✓ Mailing; and

✓ Posting.
b) Filing of Opposition

✓ Any person claiming an interest may appear and file an opposition on or before the
date of initial hearing or anytime as may be allowed by the court. The opposition
shall state all the objections to the application and shall set forth the interest
claimed by the party; the remedy desired; signed and sworn;

c) Initial/Jurisdictional hearing

✓ Applicant presents evidence of compliance to the order of the court for notices on
the setting of initial hearing; court will ask if there are oppositions

d) Order of Default

✓ If no person appears and answers, upon motion of the applicant the court may
order a default to be recorded and require the applicant to present evidence. But
when an appearance has been entered and an answer filed, a default order shall
be entered against persons who did not appear and answer.

e) Hearing/Referee/Commisioner -

✓ The court may hear the case (applicant presents evidence; oppositors presents
evidence) or refer the case or any part to a referee; hearing at any place within the
province; submit his report thereon to the court within fifteen days after the
termination of such hearing. Court may adopt the report or set it aside for further
proceedings;

f) Judgement -

✓ Within ninety (90) days from the date the case is submitted for decision. The Court,
after considering the evidence and the reports of the Commissioner of Land
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Registration and the Director of Lands, 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. Becomes final upon the expiration of
thirty (30) days to be counted from the date of receipt of notice of the judgment. An
appeal may be taken from the judgment of the court as in ordinary civil cases.

✓ Partial Judgement - All conflicting claims of ownership and interest in the land
subject of the application determined by the court but the court may render partial
judgement where only a portion of the land is contested.

g) Issuance of Decree

✓ After judgment has become final and executory, the court issue an order to LRA
for the issuance of the decree of registration and the corresponding certificate of
title in favor of the person adjudged entitled to registration.

h) Transmission of the Decree to the Register of Deeds


3. Cadastral Registration Proceedings (Sections 35-38 of PD No. 1529)
a) Cadastral Survey of the Land

✓ Order of the Director of Lands to cause a cadastral survey of the lands and the plans
and technical description be prepared.

✓ First Notice - Notice to persons claiming any interest in the lands as well as to the
general public of the survey, giving as fully and accurately as possible the description
of the lands By Publication once in the Official Gazette

• Posting in a conspicuous place on the bulletin board of the municipal building of


the municipality in which the lands or any portion thereof is situated.

• Notice to the mayor of such municipality as well as to the barangay captain and
likewise to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Sangguniang Bayan
concerned.

✓ Second Notice - Notice of the date on which the survey of any portion of such lands
by posting in the bulletin board of the municipal building of the municipality or barrio
in which the lands are situated by the GE or DENR.

✓ Duty of the Geodetic Engineer - To enter upon the lands for the purpose of the survey;
and to mark the boundaries of the lands by monuments set up in proper places
thereon.

✓ Duty of the claimant/s - communicate with the Geodetic Engineer upon his request for
all information possessed by such person concerning the boundary lines of any lands
to which he claims title or in which he claims any interest.

✓ Penalty: Any person who shall wilfully obstruct the making of any survey undertaken
by the Bureau of Lands or by a licensed Geodetic Engineer duly authorized to conduct
the survey under this Section, or shall maliciously interfere with the placing of any
monument or remove such monument, or shall destroy or remove any notice of survey
posted on the land pursuant to law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one
thousand pesos or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
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b) Filing of Petition by DENR

✓ After the survey the DENR through the Solicitor General shall institute original
registration proceedings by filing a petition in Regional Trial Court of the place where
the land is situated against the holders, claimants, possessors, or occupants of such
lands stating that such titles to the land be settled and adjudicated.

✓ Contents:

• A description of the lands and shall be accompanied by a plan; and

• May contain such other data as may serve to furnish full notice to the occupants of
the lands and to all persons who may claim any right or interest therein.

• Where the land consists of two or more parcels held or occupied by different
persons, the plan shall indicate the boundaries of the parcels

• The parcels shall be known as "lots" and shall on the plan filed in the case be given
separate numbers by the Director of Lands, which numbers shall be known as
"cadastral lot numbers”.

• The lots situated within each municipality shall be numbered consecutively


beginning with number one and only one series of numbers shall be used. However
in cities or townsites, a designation of the landholdings by blocks and lot numbers
may be employed instead of the designation by cadastral lot numbers.

• The cadastral number of a lot shall not be changed after final decision has been
entered decreasing the registration thereof, except by order of court. Future
subdivisions of any lot shall be designated by a letter or letters of the alphabet
added to the cadastral number of the lot to which the respective subdivisions
pertain. The letter with which a subdivision is designated shall be known as its
"cadastral letter": Provided, however, that the subdivisions of cities or townsites
may be designated by blocks and lot numbers.

c) Answer

✓ Any claimant in cadastral proceedings, whether named in the notice or not, shall
appear before the court and shall file an answer on or before the date of initial hearing
or within such further time as may be allowed by the court and shall state:

• Marital status;

• Name of the spouse and the date of marriage,

• Nationality

• Residence and postal address, and

• The age

• The cadastral number of the lot or lots claimed

• The name of the barrio and municipality in which the lots are situated;
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• The names and addresses of the owners of the adjoining lots so far as known to
the claimant;

• If the claimant is in possession of the lots claimed and can show no express grant
of the land by the government, the answer shall state the length of time he has held
such possession and the manner in which it has been acquired;

• If the claimant is not in possession or occupation of the land, the answer shall fully
set forth the interest claimed by him and the time and manner of his acquisition;

• If the lots have been assessed for taxation, their last assessed value; and

• The encumbrances, if any, affecting the lots and the names of adverse claimants,
as far as known.

d) Hearing

✓ The trial of the case in a place within the province in which the lands are situated;
Claimant presents evidence

✓ Orders for default and confessions entered, in the same manner as in ordinary land
registration proceedings and shall be governed by the same rules.

✓ All conflicting interests shall be adjudicated by the court and decrees awarded in
favor of the persons entitled to the lands or to parts thereof and such decrees shall
be the basis for issuance of original certificates of title in favor of said persons

e) Judgement

✓ Same as ordinary registration


f) Issuance of Decree

✓ After judgment has become final and executory, the court issue an order to LRA
for the issuance of the decree of registration and the corresponding certificate of
title in favor of the person adjudged entitled to registration.

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