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Getting A Title for Your Land

A few readers have been asking lately about the process involved in titling their lands. There are two ways to get a title to a property. One is through a court order which will yield an Original Certificate of Title (OCT) or through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) which will issue a free patent.

Below is discussed the process of getting an OCT through the court. The presentation below is a translation of the steps outlined by the Land Registration Authority (LRA) in their effort to educate persons on the process.

1. Survey of land

Have your lot measured by a licensed surveyor who will also prepare the plans on a tracing cloth or diazo polyester film.

2. Approval of plan

The plan has to be approved by the Director of Lands or the Regional Technical Director under which the property is within his or her jurisdiction. The plan should include the technical description verified and certified by the Director of Lands or the Regional Technical Director or any of his authorized and qualified representatives.

3. Filing of application

The application for land registration should be typewritten and is to be filed at the Regional Trial Court in the city or province under its jurisdiction. There should be seven (7) copies of this document and sworn by the applicant.

The application should contain the original plan on a tracing cloth or diazo polyester film from the Director of Lands or the Regional Technical Director or a certified true copy duly certified and attested by any of the said officials plus two printed copies of the said plan.

The application should also include three (3) copies of the technical description verified and certified, again by any of the relevant official in conformity with LRC Circular No. 365.  Another three (3) copies of the certificate from the surveyor or Geodetic Engineer or a certificate of non-availability from the Regional Technical Director is also required. Lastly, four copies of the latest Tax Declaration or Assessment Certificate from the local Assessor’s Office should be included.

The application should contain the following data and information: description of the property, civil status of the applicant, name of spouse, if applicable. If annulled, state the court which gave the decision. If a minor, the age should be stated. The name and the full address of the applicant should be included together with the list of occupants of the lot and the names of the neighbors, if known. If not, there should be detailed descriptions as to how to get in touch with these neighbors. If the applicant is a minor, the name and full address of the guardian should also be given. The citizenship of the applicant should also be stated.

4. Land registration case number

The Clerk of Court will give a Land Registration Case Number after receiving the application.

5. Date of Hearing

The court shall set a date of hearing of the application in accordance with Section 23 of PD 1529 and LRC Circular No. 353. The court order of the first hearing shall be sent to the LRA together with a copy of the application, original or certified copy of the plan on a tracing cloth or Diazo Polyester Film, duplicate copy of the technical description, surveyor’s certificate, latest Tax Declaration, and proof of payment of the publication fee of the Official Gazette.

6. Publication

A Notice of Initial Hearing prepared by the LRA should be published in the Official Gazette and in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. The publication fee should be paid to the Clerk of Court which will be forwarded to the Director of the National Printing Office.

7. Oppositions

 All persons who claim ownership or have interests in the property should file their opposition with the court so that they may be heard.

8. Evidence

The applicant and/or any other parties laying claim to the property shall then present evidences of their ownership.

9. Decision

After the hearing/s the court shall then come out with a decision as to who the court decides in the rightful owner of the property based on the evidences presented. Once the decision becomes final, it shall issue an Order asking the Administrator of the LRA to give the Decree of Registration for the said rightful owner.

10. Decree of Registration

After receiving the said Court Order, the Administrator shall issue the Decree of Registration bearing a number typewritten on the Original Certificate of Title. The original and owner’s duplicate copies shall be sent to the Registry of Deeds under which the lot is located.

11. Certificate of Title

Once received by the Registry of Deeds, the office will issue an OCT number and will keep a copy in the vault of the Registry.  The Registry of Deeds will then give the owner his or her duplicate copy of the Original Certificate of Title after paying all legal fees.

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