Home » Real Estate Laws » RA 10023 - Free Patent Act » Free Patent Act (RA 10023), signed into law

Free Patent Act (RA 10023), signed into law

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

Click here to read the 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

To our financial freedom!

Jay Castillo

Real Estate Investor
Real Estate Broker License #: 20056
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72 thoughts on “Free Patent Act (RA 10023), signed into law”

  1. On the process po kami ng pagbili ng agricultural land, tax dec ang pinanghahawakan, pano po kung d agad namin mai-apply ng free patent, na hanggang Dec. 30 na lng ang deadline ng application tapos ubos na rin ang form, ibig sabihin ba wala ng chance na mapatituluhan ang lupa?

  2. Hi.wanting to buy a riceland but no title the seller provides only tax dec and Oha.what does oha means.if i buy this property , i want to register these ans gain a title would it be possible?how long the process will last?and how much will it cost me.the agreed selling price is php 400,000 for a 3, it a fair price?



  3. Hi Sir!

    i would like to mortgage my Free patent (Katibayan na Original na Titulo with five year restriction period that it cannot be mortgage neither sell) property to a bank, the bank requires me to secure Deed of Mortgage or Clearance to mortgage from the DENR. I went to DENR but the staff told me that there are not able to issue deed of mortgage or clearance to mortgage even the restriction period of 5 years already lapse.

    while, the bank personnel discussed to me if the account is approved and did not secure clearance to mortgage from the DENR and the accounts turns sour the bank cannot foreclose the property.

    Hoping for your expert advise.

    thank you!

  4. Hi jay. Is there a difference between an original cert of title and a TCT in terms of its use as a loan collateral or as a basis for selling a propertY? I noticed that banks indicate TCT as a loan requirement. Thanks!

  5. Hi sir Jay and sir elmer i would like to ask is it possible to sell a land with an OCT but has a free patent.?
    the OCT was given to mr. Topacio dated Aug 6 1981 and now Mr. topacio wants to sell his property., pls help i dont really have any idea., thanks

  6. Hi! Jay,

    We have a free patent title under our name. We wanted to build our house through a bank loan but the bank do not honor a free patent as collateral, the requires Transfer Certificate of Title. Can a free patent title be converted into Transfer Certificate of Title? How can this be done? What are the procedures? Thanks in advance.

  7. may tanong lang po ako may bibilin akong house and lot pre patent siya paano po ba ang procedure non legal poba ito. Salamat po

  8. Hi!

    I’ve been searching the internet regarding OHA but havent found any information, i hope you can help me with this.
    My father bought a land and he said they dont have a land title when they purchased it, and they only have was OHA.

    What does OHA stands for, and are we secured having only that OHA rather than having the Land Title itself.

  9. Good morning!
    I would like to clarify lang po regarding our present residence now. We have been tenant for more than 30 years now and the registered owner of the said lot property claimed an amount as our payment being a tenant but on year 2006, registered owner advice us to stop paying them as tenant.

    Our issue here is, they are now telling us to abondoned the property and they will not give us any amount as tenant since we used the said lot already for the past 30 years.

    Is it possible if we ask for us to owned this property since we are residing and tenant for the past 30 years already?

    They are forcing us to abondoned the property and said they sue us in court if we cannot do this agad agad.

    Hope you can enlighten us on this.


  10. hi po may tanong lang po ako…kami po ay 17 yrs. ng nakatira sa may east side ng brgy.commonwealth Q.C hindi po kami bigyan ng aprubal ng ngc namin para sa patent dahil di daw po kami qualified dahil renter ang nakalagay sa aming qualification stub …kahit mahigit na sampung taon na po kaming di umuupa.ang renter po ba ay pwedeng mag avail ng free patent?may hangganan po ba ang absent of homeowner?ilan taon po?kailangan pa po ba ng waiver ng dating may ari ng bahay?kailangan ko po ng agaran nyong tulong…maraming salamat po…God Bless you po…

  11. Hi po,

    I bought a130 sqm. lot since last 2010. The owner didn’t inform us the the lot is under Pre-Patent. We already built our house on it and by this december we will be occupying our house. The lot pre-patent period will expire until 2014. Ask ko lang po sana if we can already apply for the land title being the owner of the said lot? may assurance po ba na makaka apply kami for title? what are legal process to do?..

    hoping for your prompt reply.

    thanks po,


  12. I am applying for free patent. OFW po ako, two years ago na. Tanong ko lang po kong wala namang problema mag apply ng free patent. My children are living in the property kasama po yong nagbabantay sa kanila. thanks po.

  13. Hello po mga Sir:

    Ang aming lugar ang mayroong 1200 sqm na me 21 families po na nakatira for more than 30 years na po. Ang aming samahan ang nag babayad ng amilyar pero hinde po consistent. Ang may ari po ng lupa ang isang German pero never pong nag claim at nagpakita sa amin. Maari po bang mapa sailalim kami ng RA Act na ito?

    Anu po ang una hakbang ang dapat naming gawin?

    maraming salamat po

  14. Hello ElmerM,

    I am interested in applying for a free patent on a public land which is less than 100 square meters and is adjacent to a titled lot that we are occupying as tenants for 25 years and 10 months. We introduced improvements thereof like riprapping preventing soil erosion. Am I qualified to apply on the said public land even if not actually occupying it? Thanks and more power.

  15. Good day sir.                                                                                                            Gusto k lang po magseek ng advice s inyo . 27 years n po kmi nagba2yad ng tax sa lupang aming kinatatayuan , nbili po nmin ito ng rights kya ang agreement nmin ay transfer of rights dahil nga po wlangtitulo kya wlang deed of sale n doc.more than 60 families po kmi d2. nkapangalan po s aming binilhan un tax dec. until now kya po un anak nya ay naghahabol pa ngayon at pinagbabayad kmi ng 3k/sqm.. dapat po b kmi magbayad o ipaglaban nmin ang aming karapatan n nbili n nmin ito s kanyang ama..d nga lang deed of sale kundi transfer of rights ang pinirmahan nmin .wla nman po cyang titulo o doc n ipinaman ito ng kanyang ama s kanya dahil nga beninta n ito saamin kung sakali daw at mkapagbayad kmi  p raw magpapatitulo. inaply po ito ng asosasyon 4 tittling kay langan daw po pirma  nung tapagmana ng may ari ayaw nya pumirma kylangan nmin magbayad, masyado po mataas hinihingi nya byad d po nman nmin kya  at kung sakali magbayad kmi rights p rin hawak nmin anytime pwede rin kunin ito ng govt. d po ky pinipirahan lang kmi .at d parin po kmi sure kung talagang matitituluhan ito.. pweae po b ito s free patent iaply nmin. sana po matulungan nyo kmi…. look forward for your quick  response…. thank you po,,, GOD BLESS                                                                                                        

  16. somebody offered me a Free Patent Title approved by President Benigno Aquino last 2010… do i have the right to own such lot after buying…. or is there a law prohibit me to buy the said lot.

  17. gud day jay…

    gusto po ng tatay at nanay ko na ibinta ang lupa nila na mya titulo na free patent…na release yung titilo sa aug. 14 2009 paano namin ma ibinta ang lupa? bda 5yrs after pa apra mai binta ang lupa na free patent ang titulo?
    sa anong paraan ma ibinta ang lupa nila…matanda na kasi cla gusto nila ma enjoy yung pinaghirapan nila…

  18. Hi Sir Jay, Sir Elmer,

    Need your help on this.
    My husband and I are planning to buy a residential lot at Taguig amounting to 4000 per sq meter. The land is a huge property and was subdivided by the owner. The agent told us that the land we will be buying has a “mother title” and that we can apply for our own title once the whole land has already been sold.

    Is this legal? Is it true that we can apply for our own TCT once we fully paid our lot with reference to the mother title?

    How can we check if the mother title number truly exists?

    Hoping for your soonest reply.


  19. good morning sir jay, sir elmer,

    gusto ko lang po malinawan nais po kase namin na pagawan ng titulo yung lupa namin kaya lang po namatay na po yung tatay ko eh yung documento pong nagawa lang eh deed of waiver of rights na katunayan na binibigay na nya skin yung lupa. yung oha po pati sa kanya rin pinangalan ng assessor kase pangalan daw po nya yung nakalagay sa cadastro. posible pa po bang magawan ng titulo?

  20. @chito…based on your description the property is already titled property bought by the city and being redistributed to you. So the law will not be applicable to you. Although, I think the distribution scheme of the city is already a good one so the best thing is to continue complying with the requirement of the city’s programme.

    @madeline…best way is to check the status of the title either through your local cenro and register of deeds. if you have a copy of the so-called patent or title.

    @jane sfc…sorry i cannot answer you on this. except verify whether your title is under your family’s name or not. if it is under your family or parents name..then you have every right to dispose of it…the buyer of the lot or bank if ever will be the one’s who have to consider the situation that there are other residents within the property and if they will still want to buy or accept your mortgage with that situation in the property…

    @mang antonio….tignan ninyo muna kung ang lupang sinasabi ninyo ay tinatawag na public land??? (pagaari ng gobyerno or lgu)…at kung zoned residential ba ito???..kung ito ay titled property na pagaari ng gobyerno eto ay hindi public land kungdi patrimonial or lgu titled private property at hindi kasama sa RA10023…may iba pong batas na sasakop dito para maipamigay o mapatitulohan…

    @debbie…if a court has ordered that the land be titled to you then what you need to do is follow it up with the register of deeds (RoD) for the issuance of the title…what you did is called judicial issuance of title…get a certified copy of the court decision ordering the titling of the property under your name and bring it to the RoD for issuance of title…if the court has issued an order for titling, then you dont have to apply for the free patent under RA 10023 because the court has already issued the title to you…

    • Hi Elmer,

      Again, thank you so much for taking time to answer the questions being posted here with regards to the free patent act. On behalf of all the people you are helping, we just want to let you know that we really appreciate what you are doing and will always be grateful to you. Thanks again and may your tribe increase! God Bless you!

      best regards,
      Jay Castillo

  21. Sir Jay and Sir Elmer,

    Good Day!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to put up this website. It is really of great, great comfort that people like you provide information on such an important but very, very confusing process. I truly hope you get to read this inquiry.

    My family has been in the process of applying for a land title for the past 6 yrs. and we are gettting frustrated with the system. We have a lawyer ( a distant relative ) who handles the processing but i have a reason to believe that he deliberately gives us ambiguous answers whenever we inquire about the status. Reading thorough this article, I presume that the procedures we undergone for the application of land title is covered by the Public Land Act. The Court has already ordered the preparation or issuance of the land title. Unbeknownst to us, a letter was recently received by our lawyer from the Land Registration Authority inquiring whether our property which is being applied for original registration of title is already covered by the land patent. Our property is in metro manila and is 184 sqm and subdivided into 4 lots. I am thinking of just handling the legwork myself and am wondering what should be the next step? Should we apply for the land patent? Don’t want to depend on our lawyer anymore as i have noticed that he tends to be dishonest and misleads us.

    your response will be very much appreciated. Thank you.

  22. SIR

    Maraming pong salamat sa ipagkakaloob nyong kasagutan…napakalaking bagay para sa aking kung mabibigyan po pa ninyo ng linaw ang kalagayan namin dito sa barangay commonwealth west side…Maraming pong salamat


    Antonio joaquin

  23. Sir

    I don’t know if this letter of mine could reach you…kasi may isang buwan na rin ang nakaraan nung may huling sumulat sa inyo…tanong ko lang kung maari ko narin patitulohan itong lupang kinatitirikan ng bahay ko ng mahigit na rin sampung taon.Nais namin ng anak ko na hatiin sa dalawa itong 270sqm. Trentay sais ang idad ng anak ko at may apat na anak…Dito kami sa barangay commonwealth west side…Salamat naman at hindi sinasadya ay na kita ko ito sa computer R.A 10023…isa ito sa maaaring makatulong sa mga mahihirap na naninirahan sa sariling bansa subalit walang pagkakataon na magkaruon ng sariling lupa…liban lang kung may-kaya ka…

  24. Hi sir Elmer and sir Jay,

    Thank God we have concerned individuals like you. Please enlighten us on our current case too.

    My mother has a titled 300sq. mtr. residential lot way back 2002. The lot has our family house. Our problem is that there are distant relatives living at the back for more than 30 years. If we sell or mortgage our house and lot, what would be their rights? We wanted to get a lawyer for this unfortunately we are not that aware of residential lot laws.

    Hope you could enlighten us or direct us to the right agency or people.


  25. hello Jay,

    I have a problem & i just want to get an advice for this one we live in an area where im also born & all of my brothers. My father & his parents was there since 1970 let say then now this land been in a case for a long time then now suddenly they claim they won so they are telling us either we pay the land or choose other part in the same area. But this is the main thing they said its free patent & 800/sqm then they said we will only see title of the land after we pay in five years do you think they really have a title of the land because its alot of people already paid portion of money to them & to the lawyer they have. I’m very concern for this people not only for my self & family. This is a big amount of money now.

  26. Hello Mr. Elmer M.

    I would like to ask for your opinion.

    We live in a residential lot about 143sq. meters for already 13 years in a highly urbanize city of Davao.

    We are a community for about less than 200 families living in this parcel of land already subdivided.

    This is a titled land which has been mortgaged to the bank but was repurchased by the Local City Planning and Development Office of local LGU here in Davao. The title is in the hands now of the Local City Planning Office of Davao. We are paying about P400/month for our lot to the Local City Planning Office for a period of 10 years. Then after 10 years which will end at 2014 thats the only time we can get our Land titles.

    My question, instead of waiting for the 2014 to come with this new law R.A. 10023 can we instead avail of this law? Are we Covered by this law?

    Thank you.

  27. Hello Mr. Elmer M.

    I would like to ask for your opinion.

    We live in a residential lot about 143sq. meters for already 13 years in a highly urbanize city of Davao.

    We are a community for about less than 200 families living in this parcel of land already subdivided.

    This is a titled land which has been mortgaged to the bank but was repurchased by the Local City Planning and Development Office of local LGU here in Davao. The title is in the hands now of the Local City Planning Office of Davao. We are paying about P400/month for our lot to the Local City Planning Office for a period of 10 years. Then after 10 years which will end at 2014 thats the only time we can get our Land titles.

    My question, instead of waiting for the 2014 to come with this new law R.A. 10023 can we instead avail of this law? Are we Covered by this law?

    Thank you.

  28. I already have in possesion a free patent title for a lot we bought. Is this considered a “clean and full” title. The free patent title was issues to us Sept.2008 and I want to know if Im going to sell a parcel of the said lot what should I do?

  29. Dear Sir Jay and Sir Elmer,

    My husband brought their inherited 400 sqm. lot to his Unties and their house are built on this residential lot for more that 30 years His Untie gave us all the real property taxes under her name proved that they are updated in paying the annual tax (Amilyar). We are planning to apply for the TCT under my husband name. Could you please advice us the requirements to be need for this TCT application and guide us as well what are the procedure.

    Thank you,

  30. @philip NC—if the property is already titled, it cannot be just be expropriated by the DPWH without compensating the owner of the property. The DPWH has a power to expropriate but you would have to be paid for the property. You would want to get a lawyer and file a case in court and administrative case against the DPWH.

    @regent – if you already have the OCT but have not transferred it, you should be able to transfer it under your name. but you would need a copy of the deed of absolute sale to present to the register of deeds and payments of the necessary taxes, i.e. transfer tax, assessments, etc….these are the standard requirements for the registration/transfer of certificate of titles..a licensed real estate broker should be able to assist you properly on this…

    @toybitz —just a clarification, is the property public land that is alienable and disposable??? this could easily be verified by the cenro. if it is then you could have it titled under the new law so long as you also comply with the other requirements which is the property being used as a residence (i.e. house and your or any of your relatives/family residing in the property)….hope all of this helps…

    for all others interested, we would be establishing an private office that would help assist people with problems on their properties, specially those applying for patents or planning to perfect their claims on public alienable and disposable land…this would be comprised of public land experts and lawyers who have dealt with this issues as former experts/advisers to the DENR and Land Management Bureau. This office would charge specific fees depending on the extent of the work needed for your property.

    I would however, still answer, any queries you may have on your public land claims, through this forum, if jay c and the admin, would still allow me. thanks

  31. HI ELMER,

  32. Hi. We bought a free patent ORC sometime in 2001 and it is not yet transfered until now. The OCT is named under the Heirs. We already have the OCT in our possession. Can we transfer this lot to our name? And we are faced by the problem that the vendees are nowhere to be found.

  33. Furthermore, the property was acquired from a private person who is the occupant of this property even before 1800s. Thus, this is definitely NOT a public domain but an alienable/ disposable land.

    Situated in residential area in San Fernando City, La Union. DPWH entered the place without permission or notice, damaged or cut down 15 fruit bearing trees, damaged our fence and left it open to public vandalism. The house inside the property was also vandalized. This was done because of the DPWH project road project.

    Are we smelling graft and criminal actions by DPWH? Your comments will be highly appreciated. Thanks

  34. Hi Elmer M or jay Castillo,

    We have a parcel of land in San Fernando City, La Union with OCT registered under the provision of Free Patent Law. The property is properly fenced, taxes updated and with improvements such as fruit-bearing trees and a house. Can the government (DPWH) project just simply encroach on our property without any notice? They said that the government do not have to pay the encroached portion since it was rgistered under free patent. Please comment. Thanks

  35. Hi sir Jay,

    There is a public land attached to our property and we have been maintaining it for decades (24 years) and continues possession of the said property including the public land. My query is, can we apply for free patent?

    • @louie paraiso- wat do you mean attached to your property? is this included in your titled property? meaning part of the technical description? I am guessing it is not. what do you mean by maintaining? are you using it as residence (with house/structure of course?) or just vacant land? if you are not actually residing in the property, then you are not qualified. anyway, please first ascertain, what kind of public land is it? you can verify this with your local CENRO. if it is used as agricultural land, you can apply for free patent for agricultural land. if it is located in a zoned residential area ( you will have to establish that you must prove that you have been actually continuously residing in that property for the last 10 years.

      • Sir Elmer M.

        It’s a zoned residential area and not an agricultural area.
        What I mean “attached” is that it is actually adjacent to our titled property and what I mean about “maintaining” is that we used and cleaned our titled property including the adjacent public land wherein we already built a canal and a septic tank on the said public land.

        Thank you for the previous response.

  36. HI Jay,
    I bought a lot from Megaworld. They did not put any standby Meralco lines, PLDT lines, and stopped taking care of the landscaping after their lots have all been sold out. They completely ignored all my complaints. Now the guard they posted there started letting thieves inside their place. Nawalan ng motor yung aking contractor. They promised us a gazebo, pool, playground yun pala kami ang magpapagawa nun. I repeatedly emailed MEGAWORLD but even their website is bogus. Sobrang manloloko pala ang MEGAWORLD! I am not telling everyone I know NEVER EVER BUY MEGAWORLD! Super manloloko. Natawa lang sila when I started asking them about the playgroung they promised! The place is in White Plains Terraces!! NEVER BUY MEGAWORLD! Manloloko sila

    • Hi Theresa, thank you for sharing this with us. Personally I have not yet bought any property from them so I don’t have any first-hand experience to share.

      I hope someone from Megaworld can answer this somehow, and maybe someone also from HLURB, etc.

  37. @wilfredo tagros—you have to be residing on the property to qualify for the free patent. that’s a basic criteria of the law.

    @jovani — the law is silent precisely because there are no restrictions to the patent once it is issued. you can immediately have it registered with the RoD for issuance of an original certificate of title and then transfer it to another person/buyer.

  38. SIR,

    Good Day!

    sir, i would like to ask if the Free Patent Certificate can be use as collateral in loan application, like in pag-ibig or any banks or lending Institution.

    IRR is silent regarding on this matter. although it was mentioned in salient features of the code.



  39. I bought 222 sqm lot 2 years ago, took possession and fenced subject lot, previous house erected thereat was demolish and at present have not erected house inside. The continuous possession of subject property is more than 10 years from predecessor-in-interest to our present possession.

    Under sec. 3.2 qualifications, am I qualified to apply under RA 10023?

  40. I bought an untitled property 2 years ago from the registered owner who acquired same more than 10 years ago. said property has a house erected thereat by an squatter also occupied the lot for more than 10 years already. Before we take possession of said lot, we made an amicable settlement with that squatter, pay them an amount for their transfer but demolish the house. when we take possession there was no more house up to now but presently I fenced the said lot.

    My question sir, under IRR of RA 10023, sec. 3 qualification.

    Am I qualified to apply? since the subject lot has no more house inside, but only fence, although it has continous possession of the subject lot from predecessor-in-interest to our present possession.

  41. hi elmer,
    i tried to get a soft copy of the IRR at the DENR website but I can’t seem to find it. The link only shows the article regarding the approval of said IRR. any suggestion how I could get hold of a soft copy?

  42. Hi to all. The IRR for the RA 10023 -Free patent for residential lands has already been released and published last week. Please see the DENR website ( for its soft copy. Thanks and cheers!

  43. Hi, I am very interested to know when the IRR will be released as I have an untitled lot to be applied for this new law, thanks

  44. Hi Elmer,

    We have been occupying a portion of a lot for more than 10 years already but still considered a government property in a highly urbanized city. The area that we are occupying is less than 200 sqms which is portion of the total area which are still unsubidivied among the heirs. The total area was processed under Townsite Sales Application but discontinued due to fear of auction under the old law. May i know if we can apply for the segregation of our lot alone from the total area for separate titling since this is less than 200 sqms. even if the other heirs dont want to? Thank you.

  45. hi elmer,
    im ramon, and i just want to ask if a land that was bought a year ago but the previous owner has been residing there for more than 10 yrs would qualify for a free patent under the new act?

    • if the previous owner could be established that he has been residing in the property for more than 10 years, then yes, you can qualify by the “predessors-in-interest” provision. this must be established by the submission of an affidavit by two disinterested residents in the same barangay where the property is located/. You would also need a document to show that such sale has been completed, e.g. deed of sale.
      You might also want to verify first whether the property is public alienable and disposable land?
      these are the basic requirements of the new law. but please wait for the IRR for the complete details of the documentation requirement.

  46. I have some relatives who bought their “RIGHTS” on a small piece of lot (maybe about 50 sq-m) for the more than 10 years now. They build their own small store in it. They are paying their “taxes” to the barangay. The lot is public and beside the community of “informal settlers” (squatters). will they qualify here. Are informal settlers entitled to this? I can see some big gray areas which may be considered in the drafting of the IRR. I hope it would be an honest to goodness IRR that would be made to the advantage of our brothers in the depressed areas. I request a reply on this matter. Thanks.

    • Hi Erni, thanks for raising your question, I’m sure there a lot of people out there who have the same question. I’m not really an expert on the Free Patent law but I’m sure Elmer above would be glad to answer with a comment.

    • Hi Erni,

      To be sure whether you fall under the new law. first ascertain if the land is public land? There are many types of public land (national and LGU-lands). If public land that was classified as forestlands but has now developed into a settlement area, then your property will be qualified. Next, please confirm the transfer of rights. Do you have a formal document or understanding on this transfer of rights. Next has the LGU zoned the area as residential. This is a major requirement of the law to establish whether it is already been designated residential by an LGU zoning ordinance even if it is classified as forestlands. Then of course the ten years (which would be established through an affidavit by 2 disinterested residents). The payment of “taxes” to the barangay??? (what is this?)…is this real property taxes?? anyway, this is now just an additional consideration to establish your occupancy. The affidavit is the primary requirement. Of course, you also have to establish that the structure you have constructed is also being used as residence. This could be worked out by establishing that they also stay or reside in the property. With this you can already apply for free patent for that property. The only fees you have to pay would be for the administrative processing of the patent. Your application would be evaluated by the local CENRO and endorsed for approval to the PENRO. This are just some of the possible guidelines that owuld be included in the IRR. We are still drafting and refining the initial guidelines which we hope could be released by May 2010. Thanks for your patience.

      • Hi Elmer,

        My grandparents had lived for almost 50 yrs in a govt lot and i think the land can be applied for a free patent. Today 6 families (all relatives) live there. I just like to
        to ask wif a patent is synonymous with rights or a land title? our LGU has offered to sell the land for 350K
        however it was not bought til this time bec. some of my rela-
        tives who live there has no cash to shell for their part of
        the land..any advice sir? Thanks alot m advance…

        • Hi Eric,

          As I noted earlier, please check the type of government land your parents/relatives are occupying. If it is public land (i.e. classified as forest land) and is now zoned as residential by the LGU then it is covered by the new law. Your relatives/parents can apply for free patent for that land subject to area limitatiions (i.e. 200sqm if land is located in HUC, 500sqm for other types of cities; 1-3rd class municipalities =750sqm and 1,000 sqm for all other municipalities). You only need an affidavit from 2 disinterested residents/parties to establish 10 years actual occupancy (meaning you must show that there is a house and that you have been continuously residing/occupying it for the last 10 years). Hopefully this helps. But do remember the DENR is not yet accepting applications because the IRR is still being drafted. Hopefully by May the initial IRR guidelinws will be out already.

        • ooopss…i forgot to add, yes a free patent is actually a title. You will be issued an original certificate of title (OCT) once you bring the free patent to the register of deeds (RoD).

  47. Hi,

    I’m Elmer M and I am part of the team that worked on the Free Patent Law for Residential Areas. We have been working on this for two years and finally it is a law. We are now on the stage of preparing the IRR that would cover the new law and hopefully it would be beneficial to those who are occupying untitled public land in residential areas soonest. We hope to have the first draft of the IRR out by May 2010. If you have any queries or would want us to brief you on the salient points of this law and what is the emerging thinking on the IRR please do send me you inputs and replies. Happy Easter to all.

    • Hi Elmer, it is a great honor for me to have one of the team members who worked on the Free Patent Act to visit and leave a comment here, thank you very much! I see the new law as something that a lot of Filipinos would really benefit from.

      I will surely let you know if I or any of the readers have questions about the IRR as I believe you would be in the best position to answer them. Thanks again!

    • hello Elmer! I applied for a loan and I used my TCT as collateral.  I inherit this residential lot from my parents, but the Exquisite Lending did not approve my application because they saw a note at the back of the TCT, Note: this is covered under F.P.A. (VII-7).  My TCT was issued on 2008.  And it is already verified in ROD that it is already under my name.  I am not cleared why they are not accepting it as a collateral… Just because of the note at the back that it is covered under F.P.A.. They told me that I have to cancel it first before they will accept it as a collateral.  Can you give me clear explanation why?  Do you think they are right?  Because I doubted it.

  48. damn.. my relatives got kicked out of the land we were occupying for 29 years just over a year ago. im pretty sure we were up to date on taxes too. thanks for sharing…

    • Hi Allan, I second to that! I look forward to the release of the implementing rules and regulations of the free patent act and I really hope it would be very simple for people to make use of this new law. Thanks for dropping by!


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