This Decree shall be known as the "Property Registration Decree."
Sec. 2. Nature of registration proceedings; jurisdiction of courts.Edit
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. Courts of First Instance shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all applications for original registration of title to lands, including improvements and interests therein, and over all petitions filed after original registration of title, with power to hear and determine all questions arising upon such applications or petitions. The court through its clerk of court shall furnish the Land Registration Commission with two certified copies of all pleadings, exhibits, orders, and decisions filed or issued in applications or petitions for land registration, with the exception of stenographic notes, within five days from the filing or issuance thereof. chan robles virtual law library Sec. 3. Status of other pre-existing land registration system. - The system of registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law is hereby discontinued and all lands recorded under said system which are not yet covered by Torrens title shall be considered as unregistered lands. Hereafter, all instruments affecting lands originally registered under the Spanish Mortgage Law may be recorded under Section 113 of this Decree, until the land shall have been brought under the operation of the Torrens System.
The books of registration for unregistered lands provided under Section 194 of the Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Act No. 3344, shall continue to remain in force; Provided, that all instruments dealing with unregistered lands shall henceforth be registered under Section 113 of this Decree.
CHAPTER II -- THE LAND REGISTRATION COMMISSION AND ITS REGISTRIES OF DEEDSEdit
In order to have a more efficient execution of the laws relative to the registration of lands, geared to the massive and accelerated land reform and social justice program of the government, there is created a commission to be known as the Land Registration Commission under the executive supervision of the Department of Justice.
Sec. 5. Officials and employees of the Commission.Edit
The Land Registration Commission shall have a chief and an assistant chief to be known, respectively, as the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner of Land Registration who shall be appointed by the President.
The Commissioner shall be duly qualified member of the Philippine Bar with at least ten years of practice in the legal profession, and shall have the same rank, compensation and privileges as those of a Judge of the Court of First Instance.
The Deputy Commissioner, who shall possess the same qualifications as those required of the Commissioner, shall receive compensation which shall be three thousand pesos per annum less than that of the Commissioner. He shall act as Commissioner of Land Registration during the absence or disability of the Commissioner and when there is a vacancy in the position until another person shall have been designated or appointed in accordance with law. The Deputy Commissioner shall also perform such other functions as the Commissioner may assign to him. They shall be assisted by such number of division chiefs as may be necessary in the interest of the functioning of the Commission, by a Special Assistant to the Commissioner, and by a Chief Geodetic Engineer who shall each receive compensation at the rate of three thousand four hundred pesos per annum less than that of the Deputy Commissioner.
All other officials and employees of the Land Registration Commission including those of the Registries of Deeds whose salaries are not herein provided, shall receive salaries corresponding to the minimum of their respective upgraded ranges as provided under paragraph 3.1 of Budget Circular No. 273, plus sixty per centum thereof across the board, notwithstanding the maximum salary allowed for their respective civil service eligibilities. chan robles virtual law library The salaries of officials and employees provided in this Decree shall be without prejudice to such benefits and adjustments as may from time to time be granted by the President or by the legislature to government employees.
All officials and employees of the Commission except Registers of Deeds shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice upon recommendation of the Commissioner of Land Registration.
(1) The Commissioner of Land Registration shall have the following functions:
(a) Issue decrees of registration pursuant to final judgments of the courts in land registration proceedings and cause the issuance by the Registers of Deeds of the corresponding certificates of title;
(b) Exercise supervision and control over all Registers of Deeds and other personnel of the Commission;
(c) Resolve cases elevated en consulta by, or on appeal from decision of, Registers of Deeds;
(d) Exercise executive supervision over all clerks of court and personnel of the Courts of First Instance throughout the Philippines with respect to the discharge of their duties and functions in relation to the registration of lands;
(e) Implement all orders, decisions, and decrees promulgated relative to the registration of lands and issue, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Justice, all needful rules and regulations therefor; (f) Verify and approve subdivision, consolidation, and consolidation-subdivision survey plans of properties titled under Act No. 496 except those covered by P.D. No. 957.
(2) The Land Registration Commission shall have the following functions:
(a) Extend speedy and effective assistance to the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Land Bank, and other agencies in the implementation of the land reform program of the government;
(b) Extend assistance to courts in ordinary and cadastral land registration proceedings;
(c) Be the central repository of records relative to original registration of lands titled under the Torrens system, including subdivision and consolidation plans of titled lands.
There shall be at least one Register of Deeds for each province and one for each city. Every Registry with a yearly average collection of more than sixty thousand pesos during the last three years shall have one Deputy Register of Deeds, and every Registry with a yearly average collection of more than three hundred thousand pesos during the last three years, shall have one Deputy Register of Deeds and one second Deputy Register of Deeds. The Secretary of Justice shall define the official station and territorial jurisdiction of each Registry upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Land Registration, with the end in view of making every registry easily accessible to the people of the neighboring municipalities. The province or city shall furnish a suitable space or building for the office of the Register of Deeds until such time as the same could be furnished out of national funds.
Sec. 8. Appointment of Registers of Deeds and their Deputies and other subordinate personnel; salaries.Edit
Registers of Deeds shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Secretary of Justice. Deputy Registers of Deeds and all other subordinate personnel of the Registries of Deeds shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Land Registration.
The salaries of Registers of Deeds and their Deputies shall be at the following rates:Edit
(1) First Class Registries - The salaries of Registers of Deeds in first class registries shall be three thousand four hundred pesos per annum less than that of the Deputy Commissioner.
(2) Second Class Registries - The salaries of Registers of Deeds in second class Registries shall be three thousand four hundred pesos per annum less than those of Registers of Deeds in first class Registries.
(3) Third Class Registries - The salaries of Registers of Deeds in third class Registries shall be three thousand four hundred pesos per annum less than those of Registers of Deeds in second class Registries.
(4) The salaries of Deputy Registers of Deeds and Second Deputy Registers of Deeds shall be three thousand four hundred pesos per annum less than those of their corresponding Registers of Deeds and Deputy Registers of Deeds, respectively.
The Secretary of Justice, upon recommendation of the Commissioner of Land Registration, shall cause the reclassification of Registries based either on work load or the class of province/city, whichever will result in a higher classification, for purposes of salary adjustments in accordance with the rates hereinabove provided.
Sec. 9. Qualifications of Registers of Deeds and Deputy Registers of Deeds.Edit
No person shall be appointed Register of Deeds unless he has been admitted to the practice of law in the Philippines and shall have been actually engaged in such practice for at least three years or has been employed for a like period in any branch of government the functions of which include the registration of property. The Deputy Register of Deeds shall be a member of the Philippine Bar: Provided, however, that no Register of Deeds or Deputy Register of Deeds holding office as such upon the passage of this Decree shall by reason hereof, be removed from office or be demoted to a lower category or scale of salary except for cause and upon compliance with due process as provided for by law.
Sec. 10. General functions of Registers of Deeds.Edit
The office of the Register of Deeds constitutes a public repository of records of instruments affecting registered or unregistered lands and chattel mortgages in the province or city wherein such office is situated. It shall be the duty of the Register of Deeds to immediately register an instrument presented for registration dealing with real or personal property which complies with all the requisites for registration. He shall see to it that said instrument bears the proper documentary and science stamps and that the same are properly cancelled. If the instrument is not registrable, he shall forthwith deny registration thereof and inform the presentor of such denial in writing, stating the ground or reason therefor, and advising him of his right to appeal by consulta in accordance with Section 117 of this Decree.
Sec. 11. Discharge of duties of Register of Deeds in case of vacancy, etc.Edit
(1) Until a regular Register of Deeds shall have been appointed for a province or city, or in case of vacancy in the office, or upon the occasion of the absence, illness, suspension, or inability of the Register of Deeds to discharge his duties, said duties shall be performed by the following officials, in the order in which they are mentioned below, unless the Secretary of Justice designates another official to act temporarily in his place: (a) For the province or city where there is a Deputy Register of Deeds, by said Deputy Register of Deeds, or by the second Deputy Register of Deeds, should there be one; (b) For the province or city where there is no Deputy or second Deputy Register of Deeds, by the Provincial or City Fiscal, or any Assistant Fiscal designated by the Provincial or City Fiscal;
(2) In case of absence, disability or suspension of the Register of Deeds without pay, or in case of vacancy in the position, the Secretary of Justice may, in his discretion, authorize the payment of an additional compensation to the official acting as Register of Deeds, such additional compensation together with his actual salary not to exceed the salary authorized for the position thus filled by him.
(3) In case of a newly-created province or city and pending establishment of a Registry of Deeds and the appointment of a regular Register of Deeds for the new province or city, the Register of Deeds of the mother province or city shall be the ex-officio Register of Deeds for said new province or city.
There shall be prepared in every Registry an index system which shall contain the names of all registered owners alphabetically arranged. For this purpose, an index card which shall be prepared in the name of each registered owner which shall contain a list of all lands registered in his name. The Register of Deeds shall submit to the Land Registration Commission within ten days after the month to which they pertain his monthly reports on collections and accomplishments. He shall also submit to the Commission at the end of December of each year, an annual inventory of all titles and instruments in his Registry.
There shall be a Chief Geodetic Engineer in the Land Registration Commission who shall be the technical adviser of the Commission on all matters involving surveys and shall be responsible to him for all plats, plans and works requiring the services of a geodetic engineer in said office. He shall perform such other functions as may, from time to time, be assigned to him by the Commissioner.
The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to land, whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives:
(1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in 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.
(2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription under the provision of existing laws.
(3) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandoned river beds by right of accession or accretion under the existing laws.
(4) Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner provided for by law. Where the land is owned in common, all the co-owners shall file the application jointly.
Where the land has been sold under pacto de retro, the vendor a retro may file an application for the original registration of the land: Provided, however, That should the period for redemption expire during the pendency of the registration proceedings and ownership to the property consolidated in the vendee a retro, the latter shall be substituted for the applicant and may continue the proceedings. A trustee on behalf of his principal may apply for original registration of any land held in trust by him, unless prohibited by the instrument creating the trust.
The application for land registration shall be in writing, signed by the application or the person duly authorized in his behalf, and sworn to before any officer authorized to administer oaths for the province or city where the application was actually signed. If there is more than one applicant, the application shall be signed and sworn to by and in behalf of each. The application shall contain a description of the land and shall state the citizenship and civil status of the applicant, whether single or married, and, if married, the name of the wife or husband, and, if the marriage has been legally dissolved, when and how the marriage relation terminated. It shall also state the full names and addresses of all occupants of the land and those of the adjoining owners, if known, and, if not known, it shall state the extent of the search made to find them.
The application, shall, in form, be substantially as follows:
Republic of the Philippines
Court of First Instance of _________________
The undersigned, ____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________hereby applies (or apply) to have the land hereinafter described brought under the operation of the Property Registration Decree, and to have the title thereto registered and confirmed: AND DECLARE . . . . .
1. That the applicants/s is/are the owners of the land (by virtue of inheritance or deed of sale or conveyance and/or possession in accordance with Section 14 of said Decree), together with the building and improvements thereon, with the exception of the following: ______________________________________________________________________________ which is/are the property of ____________________________ residing at _____________________________ The said land, consisting of ____________________ parcel/s is/are situated, bounded and described as shown on the plan and technical descriptions attached hereto and made a part hereof, with the following exception: __________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
2. That said land at the last assessment for taxation was assessed at P ____, Philippine currency, and the buildings and other improvements at P ___________, Philippine currency.
3. That to the best of my/our knowledge and belief, there is no mortgage or encumbrance of any kind whatsoever affecting said land, nor any other person having any interest therein, legal or equitable, or in possession, other than as follows: ________________________________________________________ ______________________
4. That the applicant/s has/have acquired said land in the following manner: ________________________________ (Note: Refer to Sec. 14 of said Decree. State also whether the property is conjugal, paraphernal or exclusive property of the applicant/s)
5. That said land is occupied by the following person: _______________________ ________________________________________________________
6. That the names in full and addresses, as far as known to the undersigned, of the owners of all adjoining properties, of the persons mentioned in paragraphs 3 and 5, and of the persons shown on the plan as claimants, are as follows: _____________________________________________________________________
7. That the applicant/s is/are single or married to _____________________ (Note: if marriage has been legally dissolved, state when and how the marriage relation terminated.) ________________________________________________________
8. That the applicant's/s' full name, age, citizenship, residence, and postal address/es is/are as follows: _______________________________________________ _________________________________
9. That (Note: - If the land included in the application is bounded by a public or private way or road, there should be stated in this paragraph whether or not the applicant claims any and what land within the limits of the way or road and whether the applicant desires to have the line of the way or road determined.) ___________________________________________________________________________
10. That the following documents are attached hereto and made a part hereof: ____________________________________________________________________________
Signed at ___________________ this _____________________ day of _______________, in the year nineteen hundred and ______________________.
(Post Office Address)
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROVINCE (OR CITY) OF _______________
On this _______________ day of _________________________,19 ________ personally appeared before me the above-named _______________________ ___________________________ known to me to be the person/s who executed the foregoing application and made oath that the statements therein are true of his/their knowledge, information and belief. The Residence Certificate/s ______________________ of the applicant/s ______________ was/were exhibited to me being No. _________________ issued at ___________________ dated ____________, 19 __________.
If the applicant is not a resident of the Philippines, he shall file with his application an instrument in due form appointing an agent or representative residing in the Philippines, giving his full name and postal address, and shall therein agree that the service of any legal process in the proceedings under or growing out of the application made upon his agent or representative shall be of the same legal effect as if made upon the applicant within the Philippines. If the agent or representative dies, or leaves the Philippines, the applicant shall forthwith make another appointment for the substitute, and, if he fails to do so the court may dismiss the application.
The application for land registration shall be filed with the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the land is situated. The applicant shall file together with the application all original muniments of titles or copies thereof and a survey plan of the land approved by the Bureau of Lands. The clerk of court shall not accept any application unless it is shown that the applicant has furnished the Director of Lands with a copy of the application and all annexes.
Sec. 18. Application covering two or more parcels.Edit
An application may include two or more parcels of land belonging to the applicant/s provided they are situated within the same province or city. The court may at any time order an application to be amended by striking out one or more of the parcels or by a severance of the application.
Amendments to the application including joinder, substitution, or discontinuance as to parties may be allowed by the court at any stage of the proceedings upon just and reasonable terms. Amendments which shall consist in a substantial change in the boundaries or an increase in area of the land applied for or which involve the inclusion of an additional land shall be subject to the same requirements of publication and notice as in an original application.
Sec. 20. When land applied for borders on road.Edit
If the application describes the land as bounded by a public or private way or road, it shall state whether or not the applicant claims any and what portion of the land within the limits of the way or road, and whether the applicant desires to have the line of the way or road determined.
Sec. 21. Requirement of additional facts and papers; ocular inspection.Edit
The court may require facts to be stated in the application in addition to those prescribed by this Decree not inconsistent therewith and may require the filing of any additional paper. It may also conduct an ocular inspection, if necessary.
Sec. 22. Dealings with land pending original registration.Edit
After the filing of the application and before the issuance of the decree of registration, the land therein described may still be the subject of dealings in whole or in part, in which case the interested party shall present to the court the pertinent instruments together with a subdivision plan approved by the Director of Lands in case of transfer of portions thereof and the court, after notice to the parties, shall order such land registered subject to the conveyance or encumbrance created by said instruments, or order that the decree of registration be issued in the name of the person to whom the property has been conveyed by said instruments.
Sec. 23. Notice of initial hearing, publication, etc.Edit
The court shall, within five days from filing of the application, issue 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.
The public shall be given notice of the initial hearing of the application for land registration by means of
Upon receipt of the order of the court setting the time for initial hearing, the Commissioner of Land Registration shall cause notice of initial hearing to be published once in the Official Gazette and once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines: Provided, however, that the publication in the Official Gazette shall be sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the court. Said notice shall be addressed to all persons appearing to have an interest in the land involved including the adjoining owners so far as known, and "to all whom it may concern." Said notice shall also require all persons concerned to appear in court at a certain date and time to show cause why the prayer of said application shall not be granted.
(a) Mailing of notice to persons named in the application. - The Commissioner of Land Registration shall also, within seven days after publication of said notice in the Official Gazette, as hereinbefore provided, cause a copy of the notice of initial hearing to be mailed to every person named in the notice whose address is known.
(b) Mailing of notice to the Secretary of Public Highways, the Provincial Governor and the Mayor. - If the applicant requests to have the line of a public way or road determined, the Commissioner of Land Registration shall cause a copy of said notice of initial hearing to be mailed to the Secretary of Public Highways, to the Provincial Governor, and to the Mayor of the municipality or city, as the case may be, in which the land lies.
(c) Mailing of notice to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, the Solicitor General, the Director of Lands, the Director of Public Works, the Director of Forest Development, the Director of Mines and the Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. - If the land borders on a river, navigable stream or shore, or on an arm of the sea where a river or harbor line has been established, or on a lake, or if it otherwise appears from the application or the proceedings that a tenant-farmer or the national government may have a claim adverse to that of the applicant, notice of the initial hearing shall be given in the same manner to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, the Solicitor General, the Director of Lands, the Director of Mines and/or the Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, as may be appropriate.
The Commissioner of Land Registration shall also cause a duly attested copy of the notice of initial hearing to be posted by the sheriff of the province or city, as the case may be, or by his deputy, in a conspicuous place on each parcel of land included in the application and also in a conspicuous place on the bulletin board of the municipal building of the municipality or city in which the land or portion thereof is situated, fourteen days at least before the date of initial hearing. The court may also cause notice to be served to such other persons and in such manner as it may deem proper.
The notice of initial hearing shall, in form, be substantially as follows:
To (here insert the names of all persons appearing to have an interest and the adjoining owners so far as known, and to all whom it may concern): An application (or petition) having been filed in the above-entitled case by (full name and address) praying for the registration and confirmation (or for the settlement and adjudication, in case of petition in cadastral proceedings) of title to the following described lands: (Insert description) You are hereby served this notice to appear before this Court at its session to be held at _________________ on the ______________ day of _______________, 19 ______, at _____________ o'clock in the _________ then and there to present such claims as you may have to said lands or any portion thereof, and to submit evidence in support of such claim; and unless you appear at said Court at the time and place aforesaid, your default will be recorded and the title to the lands will be adjudicated and determined in accordance with law and the evidence before the Court, and thereafter you will forever be barred from contesting said application (or petition) or any decree entered thereon. Witness, the Hon. ________________________ Judge of the Court of First Instance of _______ this _______ day of _________________, in the year 19______.
The certification of the Commissioner of Land Registration and of the sheriff concerned to the effect that the notice of initial hearing, as required by law, has been complied with shall be filed in the case before the date of initial hearing, and shall be conclusive proof of such fact.
Sec. 25. Opposition to application in ordinary proceedings.Edit
Any person claiming an interest, whether named in the notice or not, may appear and file an opposition on or before the date of initial hearing, or within such further time 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 filing the same and apply for the remedy desired, and shall be signed and sworn to by him or by some other duly authorized person. If the opposition or the adverse claim of any person covers only a portion of the lot and said portion is not properly delimited on the plan attached to the application, or in case of undivided co-ownership, conflicting claims of ownership or possession, or overlapping of boundaries, the court may require the parties to submit a subdivision plan duly approved by the Director of Lands.
If no person appears and answers within the time allowed, the court shall, upon motion of the applicant, no reason to the contrary appearing, order a default to be recorded and require the applicant to present evidence. By the description in the notice "To all Whom It May Concern," all the world are made parties defendant and shall be concluded by the default order. Where an appearance has been entered and an answer filed, a default order shall be entered against persons who did not appear and answer.
C. HEARING JUDGMENT AND DECREE OF REGISTRATIONEdit
Sec. 27. Speedy hearing; reference to a referee.Edit
The trial court shall see to it that all registration-proceedings are disposed or within ninety days from the date the case is submitted for decision. The Court, if it deems necessary, may refer the case or any part thereof to a referee who shall hear the parties and their evidence, and the referee shall submit his report thereon to the Court within fifteen days after the termination of such hearing. Hearing before a referee may be held at any convenient place within the province or city as may be fixed by him and after reasonable notice thereof shall have been served the parties concerned. The court may render judgment in accordance with the report as though the facts have been found by the judge himself: Provided, however, That the court may in its discretion accept the report, or set it aside in whole or in part, or order the case to be recommitted for further proceedings.