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Land Rights and the

Attorney Ranier Chu and Pastor
Isidoro Rabma at the UCPP
Manila, Philippines
Justice for squatters

An introduction to land ownership
in the Philippines
As Church planters we will be involved in
land issues in the following ways;
- Helping squatter communities get title
for their land so they can secure tenure
- Finding land on which to build a Church
that is legal to ensure security of title
Title documents in the Philippines
TCT - Transfer Certificate of Title
OCT - Original Certificate of Title
LRA Land Registry Authority is under the
Department of Justice
All documents are registered with the
Registrar of Deeds at the Land Registry
A parcel of land is called a Lot.

Re-constituted titles
When land has been misused and land
owners may apply for a re-constituted title
to correct and anomaly new titles will only
be issued after new subdivision plans have
been submitted by an attorney. This
process with take about one year.
Never buy land without first sighting the
title and checking that the buildings are
correctly positioned on the Lot
Legal descriptions
Lot No. ???, Certificate of Title No. ????
Subdivision Plan shows how the land is
to be sub-divided and it must be approved
by the Government. Then the parcels of
land involved in the subdivision are
allocated a Lot No. and appear on a
Certificate of Title.
Number of dwellings on a lot?
On one lot there may be a number of
dwellings. These are divided into dwellings
A, B, C, D, etc.
The Local authority building department
has rules related to how many dwellings
can be legally built on a lot. You must find
out this information before building
dwellings on the Lot.
To be sure where the boundaries of the
land are you employ a surveyor to
ascertain where the boundaries of the
land are
The Surveyor finds or calculates survey
points from which to calculate the
boundaries of the Lot.
The survey points are usually marked in
the street
Building Permit
To construct buildings on the land you
need to obtain a building permit

Construction has two main components;
- Land development
Never buy land until you have seen the
legitimate title to the land and made
sure the person selling to you is the
legitimate owner. Employ and Attorney
to help you in this process
- Building
Never build a building without a building

1. Ownership acquired, rights (temporary
with authorization or without)
2. Development earthmoving, roads, curbs
and gutter, drainage, water line, sewer
line, light, telephone, gas pipeline etc.
3. Cost estimate in 2005 ranges from
P1,000 to P10,000 per square meter
1. Cost estimates should be between
P15,000 to P30,000 per square meter.
2. Plans, designs, structural strength calculations
and specifications will be needed to be
submitted with the building permit application
3. Estimate the total amount to build making a
list of all materials and costs involved in the
4. Funds. Ensure that all funds are accounted for
and sufficient to pay for the whole project

Implementation of the construction
1. Start only after you have got the building permit
2. Make arrangements for temporary facilities for the
Church to meet in while the construction is underway
3. Actual construction involves civil works-layout,
excavation, soil testing for strength, foundation laying,
rebars, form works for the steel in the foundation tied
into the walls, columns, beams, concrete pouring,
slabs, plumbing, masonry, electrical, waterline, fire
hydrant, extinguishers, stairs, ceiling, partitions, tile
works, roofing, water tanks, water proofing etc.
4. Finishing works floor finishes, wall finishes, lattice
works and interior designs, painting and varnishing,
lighting, and curtains etc