Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Land titles: issues and questions (1)

Requirements and procedures in the issuance of an original certificate of title

1. Survey of the land - the lot is surveyed by a licensed surveyor who will prepare a plan on tracing cloth or Diazo polyester film.

2. Approval of the plan - The plan will need to be approved by the Director of Lands, or the regional lands director, or regional technical director, who has jurisdiction over the location of the land. The plan should have a technical description to be verified and certified by the Director of Lands or the regional technical director or his authorized personnel making such certification.

3. Filing of application - The application for land registration needs to be typewritten and filed with the Regional Trial Court where the land is located. The application shall be in seven copies, signed and sworn to by the applicant.

The application shall contain the following:

- The original plan on the tracing cloth or Diazo polyester film certified by the Director of Lands or regional technical director, or copy on tracing cloth or Diazo polyester film attested to or certified by the official or the official authorized to certify, along with two printed copies of the plan.

- Three copies of the technical description which are verified and certified by the regional technical director or his authorized official representative, in accordance with LRC Circular 11365.

- Three copies of the certificate of the surveyor or geodetic engineer, or certificate of non-availability from the regional technical director

- Four copies of the latest tax declaration or assessment certificate from the assessor’s office

- The application shall contain the following data or information: description of the land, civil status of the applicant, full name and residence of the applicant, persons renting the land and the owners of the nearby lands if known, and if the applicant is a minor, the full name and address of his legal guardian; citizenship of the applicant.

4. Land registration case number - The clerk of court will provide a land registration case number after receiving the application.

5. Date of hearing - The court will set the date and time for the hearing of the application. The court order for the first hearing will be sent to the LRA together with a duplicate copy of the application, original or certified copy of the plan on tracing cloth or Diazo polyester film; duplicate original copy of the technical descript-ion; surveyor’s certificate; the latest tax declaration and proof of payment of publication fee to the Official Gazette.

6. Publication - The notice of the initial hearing prepared by the LRA will need to be published in the Official Gazette and once in the newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. The cost of publication must be paid by the applicant to the clerk of court after filing the application. The amounts will be given to the National Printing Office.

7. Opposition - All persons claiming ownership or who may have any interest in the land may file an opposition to the court so they may be heard in court.

Note: Please read the Supreme Court decision in Recto vs. Republic (G.R. No. 160421; October 4, 2004) for an informative discussion of the requirements and procedures in the issuance of an OCT.

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