WHO MAY APPLY FOR REGISTRATION UNDER PD 1529

In document Land Title and Deeds Review Notes (Page 103-107)

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 provisions of existing laws;

3. Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandoned river beds by right of accession or accretion; and

4. Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner provided for by law.

NOTES:

All these persons must be natural-born Filipino Citizens. However, by way of exception, juridical persons may apply for registration of leased agricultural and disposable lands not exceeding 1,000 hectares in area for a period of 25 years and renewable for not more than 25 years. (Sec. 3, Chapter XII, 1987 Constitution)

Notwithstanding the prohibition in the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions against private corporations holding lands of the public domain except by lease, still a private corporation may institute confirmation proceedings under Section 48(b) of Public Land Act if, at the time of institution of the registration proceedings, the land was already private land.

(See related case)

Republic Of The Philippines Vs. Emmanuel Cortez G.R. No. 186639 February 5,2015

Facts:

This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to annul and set aside the decision of CA.

February 2003, Cortez filed with RTC an application for judicial confirmation over a parcel of land in Manila. He submitted tax declarations from 1966 to 2005, survey plan of the property with the annotation that it is alienable and disposable and other documents.

Cortez alleged that the tax declarations were under the name of his mother from which he inherited the land. A testimony was also submitted saying that the family of Cortez have in fact occupied the land for over 60 years. RTC granted Cortez the application for registration of the title.

After its finality, RP, represented by Solicitor General appealed to the CA alleging that RTC erred in granting the application for registration.

Pointing out that there was no evidence the Cortez were in possession of the subject land in open, adverse and continuous possession of the property for more than 30 years. CA dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the RTC.

Issue:

Whether CA erred in affirming the RTC?

Held:

Petition is meritorious.

Applicants for original registration of title to land must establish compliance with the provisions of Section 14 of

P.D. No. 1529, which pertinently provides that: Sec. 14. Who may apply.

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.

x x x x

After a careful scrutiny of the records of this case, the Court finds that Cortez failed to comply with the legal requirements for the registration of the subject property under Section 14(1) and (2) of P.D. No. 1529.

The 1st requirement was not satisfied, the survey plan does not constitute incontrovertible evidence to overcome the presumption that the subject property remains part of the alienable public domain. To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable, an applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of the government such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order, an administrative action, investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators, and a legislative act

or statute. The applicant may also secure a certification from the Government that the lands applied for are alienable and disposable.

The Court nevertheless emphasized that there must be an official declaration by the State that the public dominion property is no longer intended for public use, public service, or for the development of national wealth before it can be acquired by prescription; that a mere declaration by government officials that a land of the public domain is already alienable and disposable would not suffice for purposes of registration under Section 14(2) of P.D.

No. 1529. The Court further stressed that the period of acquisitive prescription would only begin to run from the time that the State officially declares that the public dominion property is no longer intended for public use, public service, or for the development of national wealth.

Note: properties classified as alienable and disposable land may be converted into private property by reason of open, continuous and exclusive possession of at least 30 years. Such property now falls within the contemplation of "private lands" under Section 14(2) of PD 1529, over which title by prescription can be acquired. Thus, under the second paragraph of Section 14 of PD 1529, those who are in possession of alienable and disposable land, and whose possession has been characterized as open, continuous and exclusive for 30 years or more, may have the right to register their title to such land despite the fact that their possession of the land commenced only after 12 June 1945.

LIMITATIONS ON LAND OWNERSHIP BY CORPORATIONS

In document Land Title and Deeds Review Notes (Page 103-107)

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