Monday, June 10, 2019

Inside Real Estate: Property Rights Vs. Titled property in the Philippines

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A week ago, I was with one of my friend who chanced upon an acquaintance of ours who introduced herself as a called “real estate agent per se”. We were in this one of social event of an unnamed organization and she hitched a ride with us on our way home after the activity. While driving to our destination we talked to her about what she was doing for a living and mentioned that she is owns a upholstery shop and on the sides as works as a “real estate agent per se” thereby mentioning about real estate to us (me and my friend) were both curious about the property she mentioned so we decided to have an ocular inspection of the subject property with her. 

On our visit, it seems the neighborhood is quiet but questionable. It seems to be a in a bad neighborhood with questionable characters of people propping out their heads on their windows when we passed by, roads are not concreted an no sewerage or canal to disburse rain water during monsoon season. Just a few meters away, there was a wide river with newly constructed rip-rap on the shoreline of the river plus a soon-to-be constructed connector road encompassing the two major highways. 

As we were discussing the price she mentioned that a lot of her clients bought these properties without knowing the legality in property acquisition, some who bought the said properties are investors of some sort who looking for a buck to make but have zero knowledge of real estate investing. An enterprising buyer of hers said that they have an ongoing negotiation on the property beside the soon to be constructed road behind the rip-rap.  The so called agent have mentioned to us of her buyer's intention of setting up a business or a residential unit on the soon to be constructed connector road.  

Subject Properties in Question    

On my research, the properties are being sold for just a fraction of a price and they were only issued with Property rights as what the real estate agent said. To the best of my knowledge, property rights are only given to those who wish to stay in that particular land and will pay an amount of money including the payment of taxes (real estate tax) under the owner's name. In my thoughts and based on legal know how, they still don't own the land and they do not have a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) or Original Certificate of Title (OCT) and is still technically owned by the landowner. They only have an agreement of some of sort a written deed to show if it comes to court litigation (if this happens).  

I asked someone who has better knowledge on the subject property and asked their opinions about it and they pointed out that the properties in question might be owned and registered as a public land (Republic of the Philippines) under the auspices of Department of Environmentand Natural Resources (DENR) because it is nearby a river's edge and cannot be owned by private individuals alone or can be owned by the current tenant(s). They could be tricked or deceived of owning that property and are considered as informal settlers or not if my judgement serves right?

Sample of a Transfer Certificate of Title


In hindsight, the legality of the property could be questioned if the scenario was placed into court litigation between the assumed tenants and the alleged real owner of the properties. It is a wise decision to ask for a legal opinion from a reputable lawyer with extensive background in real estate before acquiring a property in question.

"Let C. F. Baluyut Realty be of your guide and of service to your real estate needs."

About the Writer

CRB Benedict Baluyut is a professional real estate broker, real estate appraiser and associate of C. F. Baluyut Realty. He is currently the Vice President for External Affairs, Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (REBAP) - Pampanga Chapter. You can get in touch with him at

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