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Unregistered farm lot

Ian Alfredo Magno .

SOME say congestion is a usual by-product of development. In a developing city like Cagayan de Oro, it is quite typical for residents in nearby less-developed towns to come rushing to the metro, either to canvass for merchandise not available in their locality, sell their produce, seek medical attention in tertiary hospitals, scout for a job, or simply report for work they landed themselves into.

Oftentimes, congestion is manifested in crowded foot traffic, long queues at jeepney stops, and of course, that perennial heavy vehicular traffic.  Likewise, headcounts in enterprising urban households virtually go double due to the rising number of bedspacers, who are usually called “boarders.”

The net effect? This developing city just literally heats up. And this “heating up” is apparently aggravated by pollution, increased volume of garbage (which is at times visibly lying around unattended particularly in urban alleys), and, worst, cutting-off of trees in neighborhoods–turned-commercial zones.

Hence, this logically explains the escalating number of residential villages being established and opened at the city’s outskirts. Commerce’s demand for land area is gradually but steadily pushing conventional residences to the peripheries while towering condominiums seem to gain momentum at the core of the city’s hotspots.

This, too, logically explains why middle-class city settlers go looking for “farmlands” in the neighboring hinterlands. Such “farmlands” are not really farmlands in the strict sense of the word. Perhaps a couple hectares of idle land, which urban congestion-evaders intend to plant some trees here and there, maybe raise some backyard livestock too – that forested feel which is practically extinct in the urban setting.

In the search of that ideal farm-lot, though, it is not uncommon for would-be buyers to stumble upon an unregistered lot.  It is, in fact, surprising to note that although generations of the occupants’ kin had lived in a particular rural environ, still the tract happens to remain inexistent in the local property registry.

This is where the work begins.

It must be noted that having one’s land duly registered is highly crucial, if not extremely important, insofar as administering real properties is concerned.

Before even committing to purchase any piece of property, one must check with the local assessor who the declared owner is. And in the execution of any deed transferring the same, the property description to be indicated therein should be based on the latest tax declaration.

More often than not, rural tracts of land are classified as agricultural, rather than residential. If this is so, one must secure a clearance from the municipal and provincial agrarian reform offices, especially when actual use thereof is residential although its classification as an agricultural land still subsists.  Of course, taxes must be paid.  Upon settling the same, a Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) would then be issued. Thereafter, for all intents and purposes, the registration of the property would be in order.

Section 2, Title I of PD 1529 otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree provides, viz:

“Judicial proceedings for the registration of lands throughout the Philippines shall be in rem and shall be based on the generally accepted principles underlying the Torrens system.”

The Supreme Court held in the case of Leong vs. See G.R. No. 194077 dated 3 December 2014, thereby underscoring the significance of registration, thus:

“The Torrens system was adopted to ‘obviate possible conflicts of title by giving the public the right to rely upon the face of the Torrens certificate and to dispense, as a rule, with the necessity of inquiring further.’

“One need not inquire beyond the four corners of the certificate of title when dealing with registered property.  Section 44 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 known as the Property Registration Decree recognizes innocent purchasers in good faith for value and their right to rely on a clean title…”

(Lawyer Ian Alfredo T. Magno is a Philhealth legal head based in Cagayan de Oro. E-mail:


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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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