Registration of title to alienable land
"My family has been occupying a piece of land in our province for several decades now, which started from the early years of my grandfather. However, my parents told me that we cannot acquire and register the land in our names considering that the same is said to be a part of the public domain. I just want to know if it is true.
Please be informed of the provision of Section 14(1) of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1529, otherwise known as the “Property Registration Decree,” which provides:“Section 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.xxx.” [Emphasis supplied]
Applying the abovementioned provision, it is clear that a land of the public domain may be the subject of land registration proceedings, provided that it is classified as alienable and disposable and that the same has been in the open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the person/s (or through their predecessors-in-interest) who is/are applying for registration since June 12, 1945, or earlier. In Republic of the Philippines vs. Zurbaran Realty and Development Corporation (G.R. No. 164408, March 24, 2014, citing Heirs of Mario Malabanan vs. Republic, G.R. No. 179987, April 29, 2009), the Supreme Court, through Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, enumerated the requirements for a valid land registration under Section 14(1) of P.D. No. 1529, viz:“An application for registration under Section14(1) of P.D. No. 1529 must establish the following requisites, namely: (a) the land is alienable and disposable property of the public domain (b) the applicant and its predecessors in interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the land under a bona fide claim of ownership and (c) the applicant and its predecessors-in-interest have possessed and occupied the land since June 12, 1945, or earlier.The Court has clarified in Malabanan that under Section 14(1), it is not necessary that the land must have been declared alienable and disposable as of June 12, 1945, or earlier, because the law simply requires the property sought to be registered to be alienable and disposable at the time the application for registration of title is filed. The high court has explained that a contrary interpretation would absurdly limit the application of the provision “to the point of virtual inutility.”This opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or further elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to "
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"Registration of title to alienable land"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021