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Arellano University School of Law Ay. 2018 to 2019 Land Titles and Deeds Atty. Francis R. Doble Part 1 Land Registration Introduction A. Land Administration The term “land ddministration" 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 concemed 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; YLand Adjudication - where interests on land are identified and ownership resolved; YLand 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 (ie. 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 Page 1 of 72 Jiscal purposes (e.g. valuation and taxation), for ttling/ 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; Y 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 Neue 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: Y 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); Y 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. tra.gov.ph); Page 2 0f72 ¥ 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) Y 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) Y 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) ©. Public and Private Lands There are two basic principle 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 ail 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. Page 3 of 72