Republic Act No. 10023, otherwise known as an Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free Patents to Residential Lands or the Free Patent Act was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last March 9, 2010. The newly enacted law aims to ease the requirements and procedures in the titling of residential lands.
An estimated 39 million Filipinos living on unregistered lands are expected to benefit from the new law which has amended RA 9176, otherwise known as the Public Land Act, as reported by the Manila Bulletin.
RA 10023 salient features
RA 10023 reduces the period of eligibility for titling from 30 years to 10 years. However, only alienable land not needed for public service or public use may be given a free patent.
Any Filipino who has paid all the real estate taxes for 10 years shall be entitled to free patent for such parcel of land in all municipalities and cities.
With the new law signed, landowners can now apply with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to acquire a title through a free patent. This avoids the lengthy and tedious process of acquiring a title through the courts under the Public Land Act which often meant decades of waiting for court approval.
In order to qualify, the land should not exceed 200 square meters if it is in a highly urbanized city, 500 meters in other cities, 750 meters in first-class and second-class municipalities, and 1,000 meters in third-class municipalities.
Other salient features of RA 10023 are the issuance of free patents without payment of outstanding real estate taxes and removal of restrictions after issuance of free patents
Local government units may also apply for a free patent for public land being used for public schools, municipal halls, public plazas or parks, and other government institutions for public use.
The government expects the Free Patent Law to secure the property rights of the owner and spur entrepreneurial activity in the country as it is expected to facilitate the buying and selling of lands and will also open the doors for title holders to credit facilities of banks and other financial institutions using their land titles as collateral for loans.
Full text of Republic Act No. 10023
Free Patent Act Implementing rules and regulations
The full text of the Free Patent Act does not indicate any timetable for the release of the RA 10023 implementing rules and regulations or IRR and only indicates under Section 7 that the Director of the Land Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall be the one to promulgate the rules and regulations. I just hope that the Free Patent Act IRR is released soon.
Update(May 22, 2010): The Free Patent Act IRR has already been released. The full text of the Free Patent Act IRR can be found here: Free Patent Act Implementing Rules and Regulations
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Text by Jay Castillo. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.