Monday, February 28, 2011

Whether or not an action for declaration of nullity of marriage may be a valid case for the notation of a Notice of Lis Pendens

The answer is in the affirmative. In a long line of consultas, the LRA has ruled, to wit:
" Again, it was advanced that the Notice of Lis Pendens could not be given due course on account of the fact that the action subject thereof is for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage which does not fall under the provisions of Section 76 of PD 1529. Consulta No. 1737 settles this, and we quote its penultimate paragraph, Thus:

"Section 76 of PD 1529 authorizes among others, the registration of Notice of Lis Pendens is proceedings of any kind in court directly affecting the title to land or the use or occupation thereof or the buildings thereon and this may very well include a petition for legal separation. Consequently, it is our view that as this issue of title, or ownership of the conjugal partnership, properties are directly involved in a proceeding for legal separation, the remedy of lis pendens is available to the parties thereto."

In a separate ruling, the LRA held that:

"An action for annulment of marriage may be the subject of lis pendens because if the petition is granted by the court the conjugal partnership is dissolved and liquidated and the properties divided between the spouses. Hence, the properties are directly affected in the proceeedings." (Consulta No. 2201)

Sale With Pacto De Retro

A sale with pacto de retro transfers the legal title to the vendee (Aldente vs. Amandoron, 46 Phil 488). Hence, it is subject to the payment of capital gains tax pursuant to Section 21 (e) of the Tax Code. If the period to repurchase expires, the ownership of the property  becomes consolidated by operation of law in the vendee, and the vendor loses all his rights in the property sold (Ortiz vs. Ortiz, 26 Phil. 280; De Bayguen vs. Vda. De Elpa, 143 SCRA 412). The consolidation of ownershio, however, shall not be recorded/ registered by the Register of Deeds without a judicial order after the vendor has been duly heard (Art. 1697, Civil Code of the Philippines). (LRA Consulta No. 2836 dated April 14, 2000)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Certificate of Sale and Real Estate Mortgage

It is a well-established rule that before a Certificate of Sale may be admitted for registration, the mortgage that was foreclosed must first be registered. (LRA Consulta No. 3125)

In Consulta No. 1308, this Authority ruled:
" The Sheriff's Certificate of Sale is likewise not registrable it appearing that the same refers to a mortgage which has not yet been registered. This Commission (now Land Registration Authority) believes that to be registrable, the mortgage that was foreclosed must be registered. The legality of the auction sale conducted by the sheriff has nothing to do with the registrability of the Certificate of Sale. Legality should not be confused with registrability. There are instruments which are perfectly legal and yet, for reasons independent of their legality, unregistrable."

" x x x while a mortgage creates a real right and directly immediately subjects the property upon which it is imposed, whoever the possessor maybe, to the fulfillment of the obligation for whose security it was constituted (Article 2126, Civil Code), for registration purposes, however, it is necessary that the mortgage lien be annotated on the certificate of title where the sheriff's certificate of sale is sought to be recorded to serve as basis for the registration of said certifcate of sale ." (Consulta No. 1828) (Cited in LRA Consulta No. 2958 dated February 7, 2000)

Notice of Lis Pendens

This Authority has occasion to rule in Consulta No. 2108 that:

" x x xNotice of Lis Pendens may only be annotated on existing or uncancelled certificate of title which are registered in the names of those who are impleaded in the pending case. If it is desired to have the Notice annotated, it must appear that the present registered owners are impleaded in the pending case. (LRC Consulta No. 1140) (see also LRC Consulta Nos. 464, 562, 643, 713, 899, 764, 1793)

Notice of Levy

It was held in Cosmopolitan Bank and Trust Corp. vs. CA, 193SCRA 158 ,that " the well-settled doctrine is that proper levy is indispensable to a valid sale on execution. A sale unless preceded by a levy is void (46 Phil 258). Therefore, since there was no sufficient levy of the execution in question the private respondent did not take any title to the properties sold thereunder. Apparently, Reynaldo Angsuco, the highest bidder in the auction sale, to whom the certificate of sale was issued did not take any title to the properties sold thereof. He cannot, therefore, register the right of ownership over the subject property which he did not acquire from the start.

Furthermore, this Authority ruled in Consulta No.946, that: "Thus, aside from the fact that Act 3344 and Act 496 are two entirely  different systems  of registration, the registration under the former of the notice of levy, being without force and effect cannot be the basis for the registration of the Sheriff Certificate of Sale. x x x levy on real property not duly recorded in the registry is not valid and is not an encumbrance, then the property can not be sold at public auction to enforce an encumbrance" (LRC Consulta No. 171, Register of Deeds of Quezon City) (Consulta No. 3097 dated January 10, 2001)

Revived Judgment

Section 6 of Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court provides that:
" Execution by motion or by independent action. A final and executory judgment or order may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry. After the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a judgment may be enforced by action. The revived judgment may also be enforced by motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry and thereafter by action before it is barred by the statute of limitations." (Cited in LRA Consulta No. 3366 dated November 22, 2002)

Dispensing the surrender of the owner's duplicate copy of title

Section 80 of Presidential Decree No. 1529, provides: "Every court rendering judgment in favor of the plaintiff affecting registered land shall, upon petition of said  plaintiff, order any parties before it to execute for registration any deed or instrument necessary to give effect to the judgment, and shall require the registered owner to deliver his duplicate certificate to plaintiff or to the Register of Deeds to be cancelled or to have a memorandum annotated upon it."

While Section 80 requires that the herein registered owner first surrender her duplicate certificates of title for cancellation, in Toledo Banaga vs Court of Appeals in G.R. No. 127941 (302 SCRA 331) the Supreme Court ruled that  " as part of the execution process, it is ministerial function of the Register of Deeds to comply with the decison of the court to issue a title and register a property in the name of a certain person when the decision had attained finality... the formality that the registered owner first surrenders her duplicate certificate of title for cancellation per Section 80 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 bears no merit x x x If execution cannot be held just because the losing party will not surrender her titles, the entire proceeding in the courts, not to say the efforts,  expenses and time of the parties, would be rendered nugatory." (LRA Consulta No. 3358 dated June 11, 2002)

Cancellation of Certificate of Title

In a long line of consultas, it has been settled that LRA has no authority to order the cancellation of any duly issued certificate of title. A certificate of title, once issued under the Torrens system, becomes a conclusive evidence of ownership of the person whose name appears on the face of title thereof. It is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can declare a certificate of title null and void, and it is only the court which can order the cancellation thereof, in the proper proceedings brought before it for such purpose.(LRA Consulta No. 3344 dated June 10, 2002 )

Original Certificate of Title To be issued by the Register of Deeds

Whenever public land is by the Government, alienated, granted, or conveyed to any person, the same shall be brought forthwith under the operation of this Decree. It shall be the duty of the official issuing the instrument of alienation, grant, patent orconveyance in behalf of the Government to cause such instrument to be filed with the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land lies, and to be registered like other deeds and conveyance, whereupon a certificate of title shall be entered as in other cases of registered land, and an owner's duplicate issued to the grantee. x x x" (Sec. 103 of Presidential Decree No. 1529) (LRA Consulta No. 3297)

Reconstitution of a cancelled title

In Consulta No. 1618 and 2815 the LRA ruled that "while Court Orders are worthy of respect and deserving of compliance by miniterial officers, the orders should be understood in conformity with all the statutes and legal principles pertinent thereto. Thus, if the Register of Deeds finds that it is impossible to comply with the directive of the Court because the title to be cnacelled has already been cancelled, then said official has no alternative but to deny registration: x x x "

It is the duty of the Registrar of Deeds upon receipt of a certified copy of the order of reconstitution from the Clerk of Court to ascertain from his records and from the papers presented to him if the certificate of title to be reconstituted was in force at the time of its loss or destruction. If he finds that the same had already been cancelled before it was lost or destroyed, he shall report the matter to the court, which ordered the reconstitution. (Sec. 8, GLRO Circular No. 17) ( LRA Consulta No. 3279)

Registration under wrong system

In Consulta No. 2887, citing Consulta No. 1302, this Authority held that:

" There are two systems of registration prevailing in our jurisdiction. One is the Torrens System of registration for registered land under Presidential Decree No. 1529, and the other is the system of registration for unregistered land under Act No. 3344 (now Sec. 113 of P.D. 1529). These systems of registration are separate and distinct from each other in scope and subject matter. Thus, registration under P.D. 1529 refers to the titled lands, while registration under Act No. 3344 concerns unregistered lands. Documents involving registered lands should be recorded only under P.D. 1529. The registration therefore of an instrument under the wrong system of registration produces no legal effect."

Cancelled certificates of title

It is an established rule that registration cannot be accomplished on a cancelled title (Consulta Nos. 460, 465, 496, 643, 713, 1143 and 744). It has been ruled that where the certificate of title subject of an instrument sought to be registered has already been cancelled and replaced by new ones, recording of the instrument can no longer be accomplished because registration to be effective should be made on the subsisting certificate of title.(LRA Consulta No. 3286 dated October 18, 2002).

It has been consistently ruled  by this Authority that liens or memoranda of whatever nature affecting registered land may only be annotated on existing or uncancelled titles for the reason that a cancelled title may be considered ad a 'dead title" or which has been rendered nugatory with no force and effect whatsoever, by virtue of its cancellation. (LRC Consulta No. 1162)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Original copies of documents

It is a basic requirement in registration that the original copy of the document  sought to be annotated  on the title, and other pertinent papers relative thereto, must be presented and submitted to the Register of Deeds.If the original copy is lost, destroyed or otherwise cannot be presented , a copy thereof certified by its official custodian and accompanied by an affidavit stating the reason why the original cannot be produced, may be accepted for entry and registration. (LRA Consulta No. 3296 dated November 20, 2002)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Notice of Lis Pendens on a Certificate of Title in the name of the Corporation not in the name of decedent

In LRC Consulta No. 32, this Authority held that "while it is true that the function of the Register of Deeds is purely ministerial, he is nevertheless allowed to examine the documents presented whether or not from its face, it appears that there are defects in the fromal requisites or there are some legal deficiencies, he cna properly deny its registration."

In the consulta at bar, the documents presented to the respondent yields from its face, a legal deficiency. The property on which the subject Notice of Lis Pendens is sought to be registered does not belong to the decedent, but to the corporation where deceased Francisco Angeles was a stockholder. It is a basic priciple in law that ownership of some shares of stock in a corporation does not entitle a shareholder to claim ownership over the capital assets of the corporation. In LRC Consulta No.44, this Authority held that " a share of stock only typifies an aliquot part of the corporation's property, or the right to share in the proceeds to that extent when distributed according to law and equity, but the holder is not the owner of any part of the capital assets of the corporation. Nor is he entitled to the possession of any definite portion of its property."
(LRA Consulta No. 3209 dated November 19, 2002, Aleli "corazon" Angeles-Maglaya vs. The Registrar of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Register of Deeds, Improper Party to File Petition for Reconstitution (LRA Circular No. 16 dated March 26, 1990

By virtue of the recent decision of the Supreme Court in "Register of Deeds of Malabon, Metro Manila, vs. Hon. Regional Trial Court, Malabon, Metro Manila, Br. 170", G.R. No. 88623, promulgated on February 5, 1990, the Register of Deeds is not the proper party to file petition for reconstitution of lost or destroyed original copies of certificates of title , as follows:
"Apart from the defective publication of the petition, another reason for its dismissal is that the REgister of Deeds for Malabon is not the proper party to file the petition for reconstitution.Sec. 6 of Rep. Act No. 26, which allowed the Register of Deeds to motu propio reconstitute a lost or destroyed certificate, was expressly repealed or declared to be 'inoperative' by Sec. 6 of Rep. Act No. 6732, approved on July 17, 1989. A petition for reconstitution may now be filed only by 'the registered owner, his assigns, or any person who has an interest in the property' (Sec. 12, Rep. Act No. 26). In other respects, the special procedure provided in Rep. Act No. 26 remains unchanged and thereefore still applies." (Zuniga vs. Vicencio, 153 SCRA 720)



The Land Registration Authority is mandated to issue decrees of registration and certificates of titles and register documents, patents and other land transactions for the benefit of landowners, Agrarian Reform-beneficiaries and the registering public in general; to provide a secure, stable and trustworthy record of land ownership and recorded interests therein so as to promote social and economic well-being and contribute to national development.
To achieve this mission, the LRA is committed to effectively implement the laws and regulations relative to the registration of land titles and deeds; to maintain and foster greater public trust and confidence in the Torrens title through honest, prompt and efficient service to preserve and maintain the integrity of land records; to provide vital, accurate and timely land-related development as well as to provide convenient working conditions and adequate incentives to all LRA personnel.


  • An independent corporate body exercising quasi-judicial functions with automated systems and modern facilities;
  • An effectively managed organization responsive to the needs of its client and its personnel as well.
  • An entity conscious of its role to promote and to attain the full trust and confidence of the public in the Torrens title.

The LRA exists for the sole purpose of implementing and protecting the Torrens system of land titling and registration. It is the central repository of all land records involving registered or titled lands.
It issues decrees of registration pursuant to final judgment of the courts in land registration proceedings and causes the issuance by a registrar of deeds the corresponding certificate of title;

It is tasked to issue all subsequent or transfer certificates of title which may either be issued judicially or administratively; It keeps the title history or records of transaction involving titled or registered lands; It exercises control over the disposition or alienation of registered lands in accordance with existing government rules and regulations; It provides legal and technical assistance to the courts on land registration cases; It extends assistance to other agencies of the government in the implementation cases; It extends assistance to other agencies of the government in the implementation of the agrarian program; Its a revenue-collecting agency of the government.



Sir Robert Torrens originated the system of land registration known today all over the world as the Torrens System. As the Commissioner of Customs in South Australia, Torrens was inspired by the facility with which ships or undivided share therein were negotiated and transferred in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Acts. Becoming a register of deeds, he advised a scheme of registration of title that improved on the old system. When he became a member of South Australia's First Colonial Ministry, he introduced in the parliament a bill providing for the adoption of his scheme of land registration. The measure was passed and came to be known as "Torrens System". On November 6, 1902, the Philippine Commission enacted Act 496, known as Land Registration Law. This provided for the creation of the Court of Land Registration (CLR), the office of the Registers of Deeds and of the institution in this country of the Torrens System of registration whereby real estate ownership may be judicially confirmed and recorded in the archives of the government. However, the system actually took effect on February 1, 1903. Five judges were appointed by the Governor-General with the advice and consent of the Philippine Commission. One judge was designated Judge of Court; the rest were assigned Associate Judges. Other members of the court were a clerk and assistant clerk, both appointed by the Attorney General with the approval of the Secretary of Finance and Justice. Along with the court were established the Registries of Deeds.
Later, the Court of Land Registration, because of Act No. 2374, was given over the Court of First Instance and a new office was established - the General Land Registration Office. On June 17, 1954, Republic Act No. 1151 abolished the GLRO and created in its stead the Land Registration Commissions (LRC). The Commissioner of Land Registration took over the powers and functions of the GLRO, including those of the judge of the fourth branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila. The LRC worked under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, and was in direct control of the Registers of Deeds (RDs) as well as the Clerks of Court of First Instance in land registration cases. It was then that registry of deeds was established in every city and every province and a branch registry was put up wherever else possible at the time. On February 9, 1981, the President of the Philippines issued Executive Order No.649 reorganizing the LRC into the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration (NLTDRA).This agency operated under the administrative auspices of the then Ministry of Justice, and extended effective assistance to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, the Land Bank of the Philippines, and other agencies in line with the Land Reform Program. In a Presidential Memorandum Circular of September 30, 1988, the NLTDRA was changed into the Land Registration Authority. This was in line Executive Order No. 292 dated July 25, 1987, instituting the Administrative Code of 1987, which took effect on November 23, 1989.The Authority has grown through the years. It now has 2500 employees nationwide. And it has consistently increased its revenues though its registries of deeds for the past five years. Many new methods and techniques have been developed by the administration in the defense of the landowner. Time has not stymied the purpose of the agency, but has honored its sense of duty to that of a fine new razor. In truth the authority is more active than ever, willing and able to be defend the integrity of the Torrens system in the Philippines for the benefit of the landowner...the Filipino!!!


A petition for certiorari is not an action directly affecting title to or right of possession of real property or to quiet title thereto, but it is an action primarily directed against the respondent court. Thus, this Authority ruled in Consulta No. 924 that:

"An action directed specifically against a tribunal, corporation, board or person who is charged with unlawful neglect in the performance of an act enjoined by law as a duty resulting from an office, is by very nature a personal and not the real action required by the Rules of Court and Act 496 (now Sec. 76, PD 1529) for purposes of lis pendens." (LRA Consulta No.2309 dated January 27, 2000)

Owner must be impleaded in the complaint

" On the objection that the registered owner of the land sought to be affected by the notice of lis pendens is not impleaded in the pending case, the same finds support not only in the LRC Circular No. 252 dated July 8, 1974 , which provides  that this lis pendens is not registrable in the event that the owner is not impleaded in the action for the simple reason that the property sought to be affected does not belong to the defendant in the civil case mentioned. This is in accordance with the long line of consultas decided by this Commission, where it has been held that a notice of lis pendens which seeks to affect property not belonging to either party to lititgation cannot be registered." (LRA Consulta No. 2653 dated March 20, 2000)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Foreigners as adverse claimants

x x x x being a foreigner is not allowed to own lands in the Philippines. Consequently, he could not have any interest in the property covered by TCT No. _____. To allow registration of the adverse claim will effect be a recognition of his being part owner of the land, situation violative of the Constitution. (LRA Consulta No. 2835)

Cancellation of Adverse Claim

This Authority has abandoned the earlier practice of allowing the cancellation of adverse claim through a sworn  petition by the party interest (a registered owner) addressed to the Register of Deeds. The registered owner must instead address his petition for cancellation of the adverse claim to the proper court. This is in line with the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of "Alfredo Sajonas and Conchita Sajonas, petitoners, versus, the Court of Appeals, Domingo A. Pilares, Sheriff Garcia of Quezon City and the Register of Deeds of Marikina, Respondents," GR No. 102377 promulgated on July 5, 1996, which declared that an adverse claim annotated on the title can only be cancelled by order of the court . (LRA Consulta No. 2805 and 2963)


A criminal case for estafa is a personal action directed against a person of the defendant and does not in any way involve the recovery of possession of real estate, or to quiet title thereto, or to remove clouds upon a title thereof, or partition, or other proceedings of any kind in court directly affecting land or the use  or occupation thereof or the buildings thereon, which may be the basis of lis pendens as contemplated  in Section 76 of P.D. 1529.

Hereditary share as an adverse claim

LRC Circular No. 306, date April 27, 1977 embodies the guidelines in the registration of an adverse claim. Paragraph 8 thereof reads:

8. Hereditary share not a basis of adverse claim. It has been settled by this Commission in a string of consultas that the rights of an heir cannot be the subject of an adverse claim.The claim of heirs based solely on their rights of succession, cannot be the basis of an adverse claim on the property registered in the name of the person from whom they claim to inherit since as such, their claim is certainly not adverse to her. On the contrary, it should be in the interest of the heirs to uphold the title of the one they seek to inherit from in order to have a valid title to succeed to and step into the shoes of their predecessor-in-interest. Such claim based on successional rights, therefore, is not within the contemplation of Sec. 110 of Act 496." (LRA Consulta No. 2849)

Money Claim as an adverse claim. . .

A mere money claim may not be registered as an adverse claim on a Torrens certificate of title and a judge who orders the annotation on the certificate of title of such money claim as an adverse claim acts without any authority in law and commits a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction that calls for the issuance of the correcting writ of certiorari.

Adverse Claim: Formal requisites. . .

The following are the formal requisites of an adverse claim: (Sec. 70 of P.D. 1529)
1. The adverse claimant must state the following in writing:
a. his alleged right or interest;
b. how and under whom such alleged right or interest is acquired;
c. the description of the land in which the right or interest is claimed
2. The statement must be signed and sworn to before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oath;
3. The claimant should state his residence or the place to which all notices may be served upon him. (Lozano vs. Ballesteros, 1991, 1995 SCRA 681, 688-689)

Functions of the Register of Deeds

The Register of Deeds is utterly incompetent to make an appraisal of proofs outside of the documents sought to be registered. He can only determine the registrability of an instrument presented for registration by what appears on its face.
It is precisely his duty to see to it that a document presented  for registration is regular and in due form. (Gonzales vs. Basa, Jr., 73 Phil 704)

Where the document sought to be registered is sufficient in law and drawn in accordance with the existing requirements, it becomes incumbent with the Register of Deeds to perform his ministerial duty without unnecessary delay. The Register of Deed can only be restrained to act by proper injunction from the court. (LRC Consulta No. 298)

There is no existing law nor rule which imposes upon the Register of Deeds the duty to give notice to all parties concerned that a registered land owner is causing to effect transfer of his rights therein in favor of another. (LRC Consulta No. 81, dated May 9, 1956) (LRC Consulta No. 90)

Minors as parties to an instrument of conveyance

The father, or in his absence the mother, is automatically the legal administrator of the property of the minor child. But the father or the mother, as the case may be, cannot sell said property (even is the value be less than P2,000.00), without the approval of a court of competent jurisdiction. (LRC Consulta Nos. 105, 158, 189)

The Register of Deeds should not register any instrument by which  the property of a child under parental authority is sold, alienated, assigned, encumbered or otherwise disposed of by the administrator of the child’s property irrespective of the value thereof, unless such transaction is duly authorized by the Court of competent jurisdiction. Nor should the Register of Deeds register a deed of sale in favor of a minor, who is represented by his father, or mother, as legal administrator, or by a a judicial guardian, unless the investment so made of the ward’s money has been duly approved by the proper Cout, (LRC Consulta No 189)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Documents executed abroad...

Documents executed  in a foreign country cannot be registered unless properly authenticated.In this jurisdiction, documents acknowledged before, and authenticated by , a notary public in a foreign country shall be considered authentic if further authenticated by an ambassador, secretary of legation, charge d'affairs, consul, vice consul, or consular agent of the Philippines in that place. It is the certificate of the proper Philippine officer that gives the stamp of authenticity and in its absence, the document is not considered authentic and is not registrable in the Philippines. (LRC Consulta No.1)


1. Deed of Absolute Sale
2. Certificate Authorizing Registration issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue
3. Real Property Tax Clearance issued by the Treasurer's Office
4. Latest Tax Declaration issued by the Assessor's Office
5.Transfer Tax Receipt from the Treasurer's Office
6. Owner's Duplicate Certificate of Title

Additional Requirements:
1. Board Resolution or Corporate Secretary's Certificate - if the vendor and/ or the vendee is a corporation
2. Articles of Incorporation (if vendee is a corporation)
3. Affidavit pursuant to Batas Pambansa Blg. 185 if transferee/ vendee is a former Filipino citizen
4. DAR Clearance if subject land is an agricultural land
5. Affidavit - if the original copy of the document cannot be produced or submitted for registration (LRA Consulta No. 3296).

When are deeds considered registered under P.D. 1529?

From the moment of payment of the filing fee, the entry and notation of deeds relating to registered land in the entry book, the same are considered registered (Potenciano vs. Dineros, 97 Phil. 196 (1955); Yuasa, et. al. vs. Baltazar, et. al., 56 O.G. p. 480, Jan. 1959, CA).

The moment a document has been entered in the day book and all other requisites necessary for registration have been complied with, there is sufficient registration in law to operate as a conveyance of the property (Levin vs. Bass, et. al., 91 Phil 420 (1952); Domingo, et. al. vs. Par, et. al., 54 O.G. p. 7060, October 27, 1958,CA).

Primary Entry Book

It was held by the Supreme Court in Villasor vs. Camon, et. al., 89 Phil. 404 (1951) that for the registration of voluntary instruments it is necessary not only to register the deed, instrument of assignment, mortgage, or lease in the entry book of the Registrar of Deeds, but a memorandum thereof shall also be made by the Registrar of Deeds on the owner's duplicate certificate and its original.

It should also be noted that entry in the day book is but a preliminary step in the registration,the actual annotation of the memorandum or the issuance of a new certificate of title being the final step to accomplish registration.


The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land insofar as third persons are concerned, and in all cases under this Decree, the regsitration shall be made in the office of the Registrar of Deeds for the province or city where the land lies ( Sec. 51, 2nd par., P.D. 1529)

The act of registration creates constructive notice to the whole world of the fact of such conveyance. (Quilisadio vs. Court of Appeals, 1990, 182 SCRA 401 citing Heirs of Maria Marasigan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 1987, 152 SCRA 253).

Where a party has knowledge of a prior existing interest which is unregistered at the time he acquired a right to the same land, his knowledge of the prior unregistered interest has the effect of registration as to him. The Torrens systme cannot be used as a shield for the commission of a fraud (Gustilo vs. Maravilla, 48 Phil 442).

The law on registration does not require  that only valid instruments shall be registered. Registration must first be allowed and the validity or effect be litigated afterwards. The purpose of registration is merely to give notice (Gurbax Singh, Pablo & Co., et al. vs. Reyes et. al., 92 Phil 177 (1952)).

The rule is well-established that registration in a public registry is a notice to the whole world. The record is constructive notice of its contents as well as all interests, legal and equitable, included therein. All persons are charged with knowledge of what it contains (People vs. Reyes, 1989, 175 SCRA 597, citing Legarda and Prieto vs. Saleeby 1915, 31 Phil 590, Garcia vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. L-48971 and 49011, January 22, 1980, 95 SCRA 380.)

Registration means any entry made in the books of the registry including the cancellation, annotation and even the marginal notes. In its strict sense, it is the entry made in the registry which records solemnly and permanently the rights of ownership and other real rights (page 1, Register of Deeds' Manual of Registration). However, not all claims and alleged rights of ownership are registrable. Only those which prove to be supported by factual documents and based on existing rights, interest and claims are registrable. (LRA Consulta No. 3119)


Reconstitution is the restoration of the instrument or title allegedly lost or destroyed in its original form and condition (Anciano vs. Caballes, 93 Phil 876).

For an order of reconstitution to issue, the following elements must be present:
1. That the certificate of title has been lost or destroyed
2. That the petititoner is the registered owner or has an interest therein
3. That the certificate of title was in force at the time it was lost or destroyed ( Chinest Nationalist Party vs. Bermundo, CA-44100-R, December 11, 1972).

Reconstitution of the original copies of instruments or titles may be done administratively or through the courts. Administrative reconstitution used to be governed by Republic Act No. 26 approved on September 25, 1926. However, due to anomalies resulting from this manner of reconstitution, the procedure was abrogated by Section 110 of PD 1529. At present, administrative reconstitution is governed by Republic Act No. 6732 as approved on July 20, 1989. Judicial reconstitution, is governed by P.D. 1529 which took effect on its approval on June 11, 1978.

NOTE: Reconstitution of title refers to original certificates of title on file with the Registry of Deeds not to the owner's duplicate copy of the certificate of title.

Lost Duplicate (Owner's Copy) Certificate of Title

Section 109 of P.D. 1529 provides that in case of loss or theft of an owner's duplicate certificate of title, due notice under oath shall be sent by the owner or by someone in his behalf to the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land lies as soon as the loss or theft is discovered.

Probative Value of a Torrens Title

A Torrens title is generally a conclusive evidence of the ownership of the land referred to therein ( Ching vs. Court of Appeals, 1990, 181 SCRA 9, 18; Sec. 49, Act 496). A strong presumption exists that Torrens titles are regularly issued and that they are valid. A Torrens title is incontrovertible against any "information possessoria" or title existing prior to the issuance thereof not annotated on the title.

The certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears therein (Ybanez vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 1991, 194 SCRA 743)

KInds of Certificates of Title

1. ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE OF TITLE - The title issued for the first time after the land has been adjudicated and decreed inthe name of its owner in original or initial registration proceedings by the Registrar of Deeds where the land lies pursuant to the decree of registration issued by the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority.
2. TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE - The title issued after the cancellation of the original certificate of title when the land is transferred by the registered owner by reason of sale or otherwise.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Steps in Chronological Order for the Registration of Title to Land Under Act 496

1. Survey of the land by the Bureau of Lands (now Land Management Services) or a duly licensed surveyor;
2. Preparation and filing of the application for registration by the applicant;
3. Setting of the date of the hearing of the application by the court;
4. Trnasmittal of the duplicate of the application and the date of initial hearing together with all documents attahced thereto by the Clerk of Court to the Land Registration Authority;
5. Publication of notice of the filing of the application and date and place of the hearing once in newspaper of general circulation and once inthe Official Gazette;
6. Service of notice upon contiguous owners, occupants, and those hnown to have interest in the property by the Sheriff;
7.Filing of the answer to the application by any person whether named in the notice or not;
8. Hearing of the cause by the court and the presentation of evidence;
9. Promulgation of the judgment by the court;
10. Issuance of an order by the court declaring the judgment final and instructing the Land Registration Authority to issue the decree of registration in accordance with Sec. 39 of P.D. 1529
11. Entry of Decree of registration in the Land Registration Authority;
12. Sending copy of the decree of registration to the corresponding Registrar of Deeds by the Land Registration Authority;
13. Transription of the decree of registrationin the registration book and the issuance of the owner's duplicate certificate of the original certificate of title to the applicant by the Registrar of Deeds upon payment of the prescribed fees.

Who May Apply for REgistration under Act 496 (now P.D. 1529)

Section 14 of Presidential Decree No. 1529, the following persons may file in the proper Regional Trial Court an application  for the registration of title to land, whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives:
1. Those who by themselves or thru 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 bonafide claimof 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 lands of accession or accretion under the existing laws;
4. Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner provided by law.


A certificate of title is a mere evidence of ownership; it is not the title to the land itself as the concept of title is conceived under our Civil Law; " the certificate of title shall be a true copy of the decree of registration " (Sec. 39, P.D. 1529)


There are presently only two (2) systems of registration of real property or rights therein: (1) the Torrens System (2) the system of recording of unregistered  real estate.

The Torrens System was designed to establish a system of registration by which title recorded become absolute , indefeasible and imprescriptible and Act No. 496, otherwise known as the Land Registration Act, was passed and took effect on February 1, 1903.

Presidential Decree No. 1529, The Property Registration Decree was issued to cope with the growing need of updating the Land Registration Act, to codify the various other laws relative to registration of real property and real rights, and to further strengthen the Torrens system.

In order to provide for the registration of instruments affecting unregistered lands, the Administrative Code  in Section 194 established a system of regisration under which all documents, affecting lands not registered under the Spanish Mortgage Law nor under the Torrens System, be recorded in the land records of the province or city where the land lies. This sectionof the Administrative Code was subsequently amended by Act No. 2837 and later on December 8, 1926, Act No. 3344 was passed revising to a considerable extent the provisions of the Administrative Code.

The Meaning of Title

The word title carries a different meaning under different circumstances, But in legal terms, generally it is defined as the lawful cause or ground of possessing that which is ours.It is that which is the foundation of ownership of property, real or personal (Hunt vs. Easton, 21 N.W. 429,431). Title, may also be briefly defined as that which constitutes a just cause of exclusive possession, or which is the foundation of ownership of property.