Category Archives: fundamentals of property ownership

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Fundamentals of Property Ownership

PROPERTY refers to things which are capable of satisfying human wants and needs and are susceptible of appropriation.

Under Philippine law, specifically Article 414 of the New Civil Code, property is classified into two: immovable or real property and movable or personal property.

The distinction between the two is very important as there are different laws regarding their acquisition, use, loss, sale, registration, possession and so on.

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Immovable Property

What are real properties according to the law?

Art. 415. The following are immovable property:

(1) Land, buildings, roads and constructions of all kinds adhered to the soil;

*These are immovable as they are more or less of a permanent structure independent and forms an integral part of the land. Land is immovable by nature and by definition.

(2) Trees, plants, and growing fruits, while they are attached to the land or form an integral part of an immovable;

*Since trees and plants are annexed to the land, they form part of it and may even be part of the property of the owner of the land in where they are attached. They are immovable if they are spontaneous products of the soil and incorporated to the land through cultivation and labor. They may either be immovable by incorporation or by nature.

(3) Everything attached to an immovable in a fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be separated therefrom without breaking the material or deterioration of the object;

*Another thing attached to another principal immovable would also make it immovable if the permanency of attachment of the thing is almost tantamount to its unification to the principal immovable that their separation would cause damage and deterioration. This is another example of immovable by incorporation.

(4) Statues, reliefs, paintings or other objects for use or ornamentation, placed in buildings or on lands by the owner of the immovable in such a manner that it reveals the intention to attach them permanently to the tenements;

*It must be noted that these objects must be placed by their owners permanently to the land or building even if such land or building is not owned by him. The intent of the owner of the objects must be looked upon so as to know that he wanted to incorporate it permanently which would make these objects also immovables.

(5) Machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements intended by the owner of the tenement for an industry or works which may be carried on in a building or on a piece of land, and which tend directly to meet the needs of the said industry or works;

*For these objects to become immovable, these must be placed by the owner of the tenement or the property where these objects would be attached and where the industry or works would be carried. These objects must also be essential to said industry or works.

(6) Animal houses, pigeon-houses, beehives, fish ponds or breeding places of similar nature, in case their owner has placed them or preserves them with the intention to have them permanently attached to the land, and forming a permanent part of it; the animals in these places are included;

*The constructions mentioned must be intended by the owner to be permanently a part of the land. The animals though can be transferred from place to place are also included.

(7) Fertilizer actually used on a piece of land;

*These are immovable by destination. If they are used, they form part of the land.

(8) Mines, quarries, and slag dumps, while the matter thereof forms part of the bed, and waters either running or stagnant;

*While these resources remain unsevered, they are considered immovable.

(9) Docks and structures which, though floating, are intended by their nature and object to remain at a fixed place on a river, lake, or coast;

*It can be inferred in the way they are constructed that they are to stay in fixed place and as a permanent fixture to their location.

(10) Contracts for public works, and servitudes and other real rights over immovable property. (334a)

*These are considered real property just because the law said so. Real property itself, produces real right or real right is always regarded as real property.

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To further understand and better differentiate Real Property  from a personal or movable property, real property may be immovable by:

  1. Immovable by nature or those which cannot be moved from one place such as those mentioned in Nos. 1 (with respect to lands and roads) and 8 in Art. 415 of the Civil Code
  1. Immovable by incorporation, or those which are attached to an immovable in a fixed manner as to form an integral part thereof like buildings, walls or fences, trees, statues, animal houses, it is placed in an immovable for the utility it gives to the activity carried thereon, such as machinery installed in a building to meet the needs of an industry in the building, and docks on a river or those mentioned in Nos. 1 (except lands and roads), 2, 3 and 4 of Art 415.
  1. Immovable by destination, or those which are placed in an immovable for the use, exploitation or perfection of such immovable, such as those mentioned in Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of Art. 415
  1. Immovable by analogy, or those which are considered immovable by operation of law because it is regarded as united to the property such as those mentioned in No. 10 of Art. 415

References:

De Leon, H., & De Leon, J. H. (2011). Comments and Cases on Property. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Jurado, D. (1999). Civil Law Reviewer. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

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Movable Property

PERSONAL PROPERTY

As previously mentioned in this post, property in the Philippines is classified by law also as personal property. To also distinguish a personal from real property, this test can be employed whether it is personal:

  1. By description if the object can be moved one place to another and this will not cause injury to the immovable to which it may be attached;
  1. By exclusion, if it is not included in the enumeration found in Art. 415 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
  1. By provision of the law, if real property is considered as personalty by special provision of the law

What are personal properties according to the law?

Art. 416. The following things are deemed to be personal property:

(1) Those movables susceptible of appropriation which are not included in the preceding article;

*By appropriability it means that it can be capable of being possessed by men. Therefore all other things which are not falling under Art. 415 are considered as personal property.


 

(2) Real property which by any special provision of law is considered as personal property;

*There are properties which by nature are real properties. However, special laws and judicial decisions may define them in another manner. These will be controlling and will therefore adopt the status of being a personal property instead.


 

(3) Forces of nature which are brought under control by science; and

*These forces of nature may be for example, electricity, gas, heat, light, oxygen and so forth which, if controlled by man and became subject of appropriation, will become personal properties.


 

(4) In general, all things which can be transported from place to place without impairment of the real property to which they are fixed. (335a)

*By nature these things which can be transported from place to place without causing impairment to where they are previously attached is movable.


 

Art. 417. The following are also considered as personal property:

(1) Obligations and actions which have for their object movables or demandable sums; and

*This provision contemplate various contracts which have for their object movable properties or demandable sums or those amounts which are liquidated or determined. Being so, the subject matter being movable, it makes the right created therein as likewise personal right.


 

(2) Shares of stock of agricultural, commercial and industrial entities, although they may have real estate. (336a)

*This provision includes all juridical entities although they do not issue shares of stock which may mean participation or interest in a business. This also recognizes that although real estate are involved, the law still considers them personal property.

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What are the other classification of personal property?

Art. 418 has further classified movables based on its capability to being used repeatedly. It can further be classified accordingly:

  1. By nature or as to their likelihood of being consumed when it is used according to their nature as mentioned in Art. 418 of the New Civil Code:

 Art. 418. Movable property is either consumable or nonconsumable. To the first class belong those movables which cannot be used in a manner appropriate to their nature without their being consumed; to the second class belong all the others. (337).


  1. By intention or as to their possibility of being substituted by another property having the same kind or quality can be either be fungible or being replaceable by an equal quality and quantity, either by the nature of the substitute or by agreement of the parties. It is also non-fungibles, in opposite, are irreplaceable because identical objects must be returned.

References:

De Leon, H., & De Leon, J. H. (2011). Comments and Cases on Property. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Jurado, D. (1999). Civil Law Reviewer. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

 

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Classification of Properties

CLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTIES ACCORDING TO WHOM IT BELONGS

The New Civil Code expressly classified property according to ownership by this article:

Article 419. Property is either of public dominion or of private ownership.

What are properties of public dominion?

Public dominion or property owned by the State (or its political subdivisions) in its public or sovereign capacity and intended for public use and not for the use of the State as a juridical person.

Article 420. The following things are property of public dominion:
Those intended for public use, such as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State, banks, shores, roadsteads, and others of similar character;
Those which belong to the State, without being for public use, and are intended for some public service or for the development of the national wealth;
Art. 424. Property for public use, in the provinces, cities, and municipalities, consist of the provincial roads, city streets, municipal streets, the squares, fountains, public waters, promenades, and public works for public service paid for by said provinces, cities, or municipalities.

*These subdivisions, however cannot register as their own any part of the public domain unless it can be proved that the grant thereof has been made or possessed under the concept of an owner. They have no authority to control or regulate properties of public domain for they are under the authority of Congress.

What are the kinds of properties of public dominion?

  1. Property intended for public use or which can be used by everybody and others of similar character
  2. Property which is not for public use but intended for public service or those which can be used only by duly authorized persons, such as government buildings and vehicles
  3. Property intended for the development of national wealth such as minerals, coal, oil, forest, and other natural resources

Further, under the 1987 Constitution (Section 3 Article XII) Lands of the public domain are classified into:

Section 3. Lands of the public domain are classified into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands and national parks. Agricultural lands of the public domain may be further classified by law according to the uses to which they may be devoted. Alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands. x x x
  1. Agricultural
  2. Forest or timber
  3. Mineral lands
  4. National parks

Examples of public dominion:  1987 Constitution:  agricultural, forest, timber, national parks, mineral lands, water, minerals, oils, coal, petroleum, sources of potential energy, fisheries, wildlife, flora, fauna, roads, canals, rivers, banks, shores and others similar in character. Agricultural land is the only alienable and disposable land of the government

What are the characteristics of properties of public domain?

  1. It is beyond the commerce of man
  2. It cannot be acquired by prescription
  3. It cannot be registered under the Land Registration Law and be the subject of a Torrens Title
  4. It cannot be levied upon by execution nor can be attached.

What are properties of private ownership?

Private ownership or property owned by the State in its private capacity, and is known as patrimonial property. It may also be owned by private persons, either individually or collectively.

Here are the provisions of the law which point out to this classification:

Article 421. All other property of the State, which is not of the character stated in the preceding article, is patrimonial property.

*Patrimonial property is the property of the State owned by it in its private or proprietary capacity, i.e., the property is not intended for public use, or for some public service, or for the development of the national wealth.

Article 422. Property of public dominion, when no longer intended for public use or for public service, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the State.

*Under Article 422 there must be a formal declaration by the executive or possibly legislative department of the government that the property of the State is no longer needed for public use of for public service; otherwise, the property continues to be property of public dominion notwithstanding the fact that it is not actually devoted for such use or service.

Art. 423. The property of provinces, cities, and municipalities is divided into property for public use and patrimonial property. (343)

*The political subdivisions of the national government may also own properties in their private capacity.

Article 425. Property of private ownership, besides the patrimonial property of the State, provinces, cities, and municipalities, consists of all property belonging to private persons, either individually or collectively.

What are the differences between public domain and patrimonial properties?

  • Public dominion cannot be acquired by prescription, even by city or municipality.
  • Patrimonial property of the State may be the subject of acquisition through prescription.
  • Public lands become patrimonial property upon express government manifestation that the property is already patrimonial and declaration that these are already alienable and disposable.
  • And only when the property has become patrimonial can the prescriptive period for the acquisition of property of the public domain begin to run.
  • 113 of the Civil Code: All things that are within the commerce of man are susceptible to prescription, and that the property of the State or any of its subdivisions not patrimonial in character shall not be the object of prescription.

How are lands of public domain reclassified?

A positive act of the Government is necessary to enable such reclassification, and the exclusive prerogative to classify public lands under existing laws is vested in the Executive Department, not in the courts.

Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. x x x

*The Constitution places a limit on the type of public land that may be alienated. Under Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, only agricultural lands of the public domain may be alienated; all other natural resources may not be.

Article XII, Section 3, of the 1987 Constitution states:

Sec 3. x x x Alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands. Private corporations or associations may not hold such alienable lands of the public domain except by lease, for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and not to exceed one thousand hectares in area. Citizens of the Philippines may lease not more than five hundred hectares, or acquire not more than twelve hectares thereof by purchase, homestead or grant.

*The Constitution has laid down a prohibition for private corporations or associations to own lands of public domain but may enjoy such only by lease in accordance to the terms expressly provided in the abovementioned section.

Article 422. Property of public dominion, when no longer intended for public use or for public service, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the State.

*Under Article 422 there must be a formal declaration by the executive or possibly legislative department of the government that the property of the State is no longer needed for public use of for public service; otherwise, the property continues to be property of public dominion notwithstanding the fact that it is not actually devoted for such use or service.

What lands may not be declared open to disposition or concession?

  • Those which have been reserved for public or quasi-public uses;
  • Those which have been appropriated by the government;
  • Those which have become private property like the friar lands and the ancestral lands under the IPRA Law
  • The Revised Forestry code also provides that no land of the public domain 18% in slope or over shall be classified as alienable and disposable;
  • Submerged lands like the waters (sea or bay) above them are part of the inalienable natural resources.

What are the classification of lands under the Constitution?

  • Classification under 1935 Constitution- Agricultural, forest or timber
  • Classification under 1973 Constitution- Agricultural, industrial, commercial, residential, resettlement, mineral, timber and mineral lands
  • Classification under 1987 Constitution- Agricultural, forest, timber and national parks
    • All others under the 1987 Constitution are patrimonial property
    • No public land can be acquired except by a grant from the State

References:

1987 Constitution of the Philippines

Cebu oxygen & Acetylene Co., Inc. V Bercilles, 66 SCRA 281, 1975)

De Leon, H., & De Leon, J. H. (2011). Comments and Cases on Property. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

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Who can own lands in the Philippines?

As a general rule only Filipino citizens and Corporations/Partnerships where at least 60% of the Authorized Capital Stocks (ACS) of which is owned by Filipino citizens.

However the following are the cases wherein the abovementioned rule can be excused:

  1. Property is acquired prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution;
  2. Acquisition by hereditary succession being the legal heir
  3. Acquisition of not more than 40% interest in a condominium project pursuant to R.A. 4726;
  4. Former natural born citizen of the Philippines who became a citizen of another country but is now returning to the Philippines to reside permanently, subject to limitations under BP 185 and RA 8179;
  5. Filipina who marries an foreigner but retains her Philippine citizenship can acquire and own land;

From the above enumeration, the 1987 Constitution, Article XII has laid down two sections to justify some of the above exceptions:


SECTION 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain.
SECTION 8. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Article, a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private lands, subject to limitations provided by law.

 Who are natural and natural born citizens?

Natural citizens of the Philippines are:

  • Citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution
  • Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines (any parent)
  • Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority (18 years old) – born anywhere in the world

Natural born citizens are those:

  • Born in the Philippines
  • Those born of Filipino mothers and non-Filipino father who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority
  • Naturalized under Naturalization Law
  • Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens but have not renounced their Phil. Citizenship
  • Those who acquired dual citizenship
  • Those who acquired derivative (origin or descent) citizenship
  • The unmarried child, legitimate or not or adopted, below 18 years of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines.
  • Section 7 of Art. XII of 1987 Constitution states that a natural born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Phil. citizenship may be a transferee of private lands subject to limitations provided by law

 Rules regarding former natural born Filipino citizens acquiring lands in the Philippines

Mode of acquisition may be through both voluntary deeds (sale or donation) and involuntary deeds (foreclosure, execution, tax delinquency sale)

Area allowed (maximum)

  1. If the purpose is for residence:
  • 1,000 square meters of urban land
  • 1 hectare of rural land

2.If the purpose is for business

(refers to the use of land primarily, directly and actually in the conduct of business or commercial activities in the broad areas of agriculture, industry and services, including the lease of land but excluding the buying and selling thereof)

  • 5,000 square meters of urban land
  • 3 hectares of rural land

A transferee who acquired urban or rural land for residential purpose while still a Filipino citizen may acquire additional urban or rural land for residential purpose which, when added to that already owned shall not exceed the maximum area allowed by law. It shall also apply to a transferee who already owns urban or rural land for business purpose while still a Filipino citizen.

A transferee who has already acquired urban land for residential purpose shall be disqualified to acquire rural land for residential purpose and vice versa.

A transferee of residential land under BP 185 may still avail of the right to acquire land for business purpose under RA 8179.

*In case of married couples where both are former natural born Filipino citizens, both of them may avail provided that the total acquisition shall not exceed the maximum area allowed.

Can aliens acquire lands in the Philippines?

General rule: Aliens are not qualified to acquire land in the Philippines.

Exceptions:

  • Aliens may acquire private land by inheritance
  • PD 713 (May 27, 1975) Allows Americans who were formerly Filipino citizens, Americans who became permanent residents of the Philippines and Americans who have resided in the Philippines continuously for at least 20 years and are in good faith had acquired private residential lands for family dwelling purposes in the Philippines prior to July 3, 1974 to continue holding such lands and transfer ownership over the same to qualified persons or entities.
  • BP 8179 (March 16, 1982)Former natural born citizens of the Philippines who has lost his citizenship may be transferee of a private land up to a maximum area of 1,000sqm in case of urban land and 1 hectare for rural to be used as his residence; In case of married couples, only one may avail and if both the total area should not exceed the maximum herein fixed
  • RA 8179 (March 28, 1996) 5,000sqm urban land/ 3 hectares rural land for business or other purposes
  • RA 9225 (August 29, 2003) Aliens may re-acquire Filipino citizenship

References:

1987 Constitution of the Philippines

See Borromeo vs. Descallar, G.R. No. 159310, February 24, 2009

De Leon, H., & De Leon, J. H. (2011). Comments and Cases on Property. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

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Ownership

What is land ownership?

 Land ownership is the right and interest which a person has in land to the exclusion of others. It is the independent right of exclusive enjoyment and control over land for the purpose of deriving there from all advantages required by the reasonable needs of the holder of the right and the promotion of the general welfare but subject to the restrictions imposed by law and the rights of others

What are the kinds of ownership?


    1. Full ownership refers to all the rights of the owner. This may include the right to possess, use and enjoy the property, to the fruits, accessories, to consume the thing by its use, dispose or alienate or vindicate and recover. The law has given the owner these right by virtue of this provision:

      Art. 428. The owner has the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations than those established by law. The owner has also a right of action against the holder and possessor of the thing in order to recover it. (348a)

 Full ownership may enjoy these bundle of rights as elements or attributes of ownership:

 a. Right to Possess (jus possedendi)

b. Right to Use and Enjoy (jus utendi)

c. Right to Receive the Fruits & Accessories (jus fruendi)

d. Right to Abuse and Consume (jus abutendi)

e. Right to Dispose or Alienate (jus disponendi)

f. Right to Recover Possession and/or Ownership (jus vindicandi)

g. Right to Construct any work or make plantation or excavation

h. Right to have ownership of the Hidden treasures found in the property;

i. Right to Exclude others; and

j. Right to Fence the property.

  1. Naked ownership refers to ownership where the right to use and the fruits has been denied
  1. Sole ownership refers to ownership which is vested to only one person.
  1. Co-ownership refers to ownership rights to own a whole property together with the others and at the same time owner of an aliquot part thereof. Co-ownership defined by law as:

Art. 484. There is co-ownership whenever the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons.x x x

 What are the characteristics of ownership?

  1. It is a general right over all utilities of a thing subject to the limitations of real rights of others.
  2. It is an independent right since it can exist without the necessity of any other right.
  3. It is an abstract right because it can exist distinct and independent of its constituent parts.
  4. It is an exclusive right for there can only be one ownership but there may be two or more owners.
  5. It is generally a perpetual right and is not usually limited by time and may last as long as the thing exists.
  6. It is an elastic right since the power included therein may be reduced in quantity or quality without affecting the nature of the dominion.

What are the types of estates?

  1. Freehold Estate- which indicates title of ownershipFee simple-absolute title
  2. Fee tail-one designed to pass title from the grantee to his heirs/ the intent of the grantor being to keep the property in the grantee’s line of issue
  3. Life Estate-one held for the duration of the life of the grantee
  4. Less-than-freehold estate-a right short of title
  5. Estate for years- in the nature of lease
  6. Tenancy from period to period
  7. Tenancy at will

What are the essential requisites of tenancy relationship?

  1. The subject matter is agricultural land
  2. The parties are the landowner and the tenant
  3. There is consent
  4. The purpose is agricultural production
  5. There is personal cultivation by the tenant
  6. There is sharing of harvest between the parties

CO-OWNERSHIP


Art. 484. There is co-ownership whenever the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons. In default of contracts, or of special provisions, co-ownership shall be governed by the provisions of this Title. (392)

  What are the rights of co-owners?

  1. There is no co-ownership when the different portions owned by different people are already concretely determined and separately identifiable, even if not yet technically described.

 Art. 493. Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. (399)

2. A co-owner may sell his right over an undivided portion to the extent owned by him. If the co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will affect only his share but not those of the co-owners who did not consent to the sale. No co-owner is obliged to remain in the co-ownership and the co-owner may demand at anytime partition of the thing owned in common.


Art. 1612. If several persons, jointly and in the same contract, should sell an undivided immovable with a right of repurchase, none of them may exercise this right for more than his respective share. The same rule shall apply if the person who sold an immovable alone has left several heirs, in which case each of the latter may only redeem the part which he may have acquired. (1514)
Art. 1514. A person to whom a document of title has been transferred, but not negotiated, acquires thereby, as against the transferor, the title to the goods, subject to the terms of any agreement with the transferor. If the document is non-negotiable, such person also acquires the right to notify the bailee who issued the document of the transfer thereof, and thereby to acquire the direct obligation of such bailee to hold possession of the goods for him according to the terms of the document. Prior to the notification to such bailee by the transferor or transferee of a non-negotiable document of title, the title of the transferee to the goods and the right to acquire the obligation of such bailee may be defeated by the levy of an attachment of execution upon the goods by a creditor of the transferor, or by a notification to such bailee by the transferor or a subsequent purchaser from the transfer of a subsequent sale of the goods by the transferor. (n)
Art. 1884. The agent is bound by his acceptance to carry out the agency, and is liable for the damages which, through his non-performance, the principal may suffer. He must also finish the business already begun on the death of the principal, should delay entail any danger. (1718)

  3. The right of repurchase may be exercised by a co-owner to the extent of his share alone. Stated in the preceding articles are the right of redemption/pre-emption.


Art. 1623. The right of legal pre-emption or redemption shall not be exercised except within thirty days from the notice in writing by the prospective vendor, or by the vendor, as the case may be. The deed of sale shall not be recorded in the Registry of Property, unless accompanied by an affidavit of the vendor that he has given written notice thereof to all possible redemptioners. The right of redemption of co-owners excludes that of adjoining owners. (1524a)

 What is diverse co-ownership?

Diverse co-ownership is when benefits are assorted to different kinds such as to different owners or shareholders in a corporation.

What are surface, subsurface and air rights?

  1. Land, in its legal significance, extends from the surface downwards to the center of the earth and extends upwards indefinitely to the skies
  2. The surface and subsurface rights of an owner entitle him to construct thereon any works or make any plantations and excavations without detriment to servitudes and special laws.
  3. Air right is the right of an owner to use and control the air space over his land subject to the requirements of navigation, laws or contract.

What is the right to accession?

  1. The ownership of property gives the right by accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is incorporate or attached thereto whether naturally or artificially.
  2. With respect to the produce of the property, to the owner belongs the natural fruits (spontaneous products of the soil), industrial fruits (those produced by land by cultivation or labor) and civil fruits (the rental income of buildings and lands)
  3. With respect to immovable properties, the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belongs the accretion that they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the water. The owners of estates adjoining ponds, lagoons do not acquire the land left fry by the natural decrease of the waters or those lost in extraordinary floods.
  4. Whenever a river, changing its course by natural causes, opens a new bed through a private estate, this bed shall become of public dominion.

What are the kinds of accession?

  1. ACCESSION DISCRETA or the rights pertaining to the owner of a thing over everything which is produced thereby such as natural, industrial and civil fruits
  2. ACCESSION CONTINUA or the right pertaining to the owner of a thing over everything which is incorporated or attached thereto either naturally or artificially
  3. ACCESSION INDUSTRIAL or which takes place in case of building, planting or sowing
  4. ACCESSION NATURAL which may be through:
  • ALLUVION or the ACCRETION which lands adjoining the banks of rivers gradually receive from the effects of the current of the river
  • AVULSION or the accretion which takes place whenever the current of a river, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank a known portion of a land and transfers it to another estate

What are the rules on hidden treasure?


Art. 438. Hidden treasure belongs to the owner of the land, building, or other property on which it is found. Nevertheless, when the discovery is made on the property of another, or of the State or any of its subdivisions, and by chance, one-half thereof shall be allowed to the finder. If the finder is a trespasser, he shall not be entitled to any share of the treasure. If the things found be of interest to science of the arts, the State may acquire them at their just price, which shall be divided in conformity with the rule stated. (351a)
Art. 439. By treasure is understood, for legal purposes, any hidden and unknown deposit of money, jewelry, or other precious objects, the lawful ownership of which does not appear. (352)

What is the difference between possession and ownership?

Possession and ownership- Possession may signify outward evidence of title but it is not necessarily the title itself. Ownership refers to the evidence of right over the property. One may possess a property but not own it like in lease or in the case of informal settlers.

Ownership by possession- it is meant as the exercise either by the same person who holds and enjoys the property or material possession. It may also be in the name of the other like symbolic possession which is acquired by the execution of a public instrument

 What is the difference between possession and occupation?

The law requires both possession and occupation for an applicant for an applicant or an original registration.

Possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right; it should also include the idea of occupation. To constitute the foundation of prescriptive right under a claim of title, possession must be adverse of in hostility to the true owner. Occupation can be held by another in his name – constructive possession.

What is the rule in case of conflict of possession?

In case of conflict or dispute regarding possession, the rule of preference is as follows:

  • The present possessor shall be preferred;
  • If there are two possessors, the one longer in possession;
  • If the dates of the possession are the same, the one who presents a title;
  • If both possessors have titles, the court shall determine the rightful possessor and owner of the land.

References:

De Leon, H., & De Leon, J. H. (2011). Comments and Cases on Property. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Tolentino, A. (1999). Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. II. Quezon City: Central Professional Books, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

Waite V. Peterson 8 Phil 449, G.R. No. L-3636 August 29, 1907

Limitations upon the Right of Ownership

chainlink-690503_1280Limitations upon the right of ownership:

  • General limitation imposed by the State in the exercise of its inherent powers.
  • Limitations imposed by specific provisions of the law;
  • Limitations imposed by the transferor of the property;
  • Limitations imposed by the owner himself; and
  • Limitations inherent in the property.

A. GENERAL LIMITATIONS imposed by the State for its benefit is through its three inherent powers:

  1. Police power refers to the right of the State to enact laws or regulations in relation to persons and property as may promote public health, public morals, public safety, and the general welfare and convenience of the people. It is also imposed towards one’s personal liberty or property to promote the general welfare. It may be through an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property for the purpose of promoting the common good.
  1. Eminent domain refers to the power of the State to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation. It is expressly provided in the New Civil Code that:
Art. 435. No person shall be deprived of his property except by competent authority and for public use and always upon payment of just compensation. 
Should this requirement be not first complied with, the courts shall protect and, in a proper case, restore the owner in his possession. (349a)
  1. Taxation refers to the power of the State to impose charge or burden upon persons, property, or property rights, for the use and support of the government and to enable it to discharge its appropriate functions.

B. LIMITATION IMPOSED BY LAW such as legal easement, zoning regulations, building code, rent control, urban and agrarian reform, subdivision regulations, escheat.

C. LIMITATION IMPOSED BY THE OWNER HIMSELF such as voluntary servitudes, mortgages, pledges, lease and deed of restrictions.

D. LIMITATION IMPOSED BY THE TRANSFEROR OF THE PROPERTY such as donation, usufruct.

E. INHERENT LIMITATION example Co-ownership.

References:

Mun. of Pasay v. Manaois, et al., L-3485, June 30, 1950

Tolentino, A. (2002). Commentaries and Jurisprudences on the Civil Code of the Philippines. Quezon City: Central Lawbook Publishing Co., Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

Modes of Acquiring Ownership

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What are the modes of acquiring ownership?

  1. Public Grant is the administrative method of acquiring public lands, such as homestead settlement, free patent and sales patent.
  1. Private Grant is the voluntary transfer or conveyance of privately owned property by an owner, such as by sale or donation. It is the transfer of title to land by the owner himself or his duly authorized representative to another by mutual consent. The Consent of the grantor is an essential element.
  1. Voluntary Transfer of Private Grant is the process by which a land is transferred with the consent and conformity of the owner such as by sale or donation.
  1. Involuntary Alienation or Involuntary Grant is the process by which a land is taken against the consent of the owner, such as expropriation proceedings, execution of judgment, tax sales and foreclosure. This method of transfer does not require the consent or cooperation of the owner of the land, since this is usually carried out against his will.
  1. Descent or Devise (Descent) is acquired by virtue of inheritance, which requires a degree of relationship. (Devised) In devise, succession need not be in favor of a relative. Title to the property is transferred by way of will executed by the Testator. Title by descent may be acquired by virtue of hereditary succession to the estate of a deceased owner. To be an heir, it requires certain degree or relationship with the decedent. In the case of devise, however, succession need not be in favor of a relative. Even a stranger may acquire title by devise if appropriate disposition has been made in his favor by the testator in the latter’s will.
  1. Reclamation is the filling of submerged land by deliberate act of the Government. In the Philippines, there exists no such grant, express or implied, to private landowners. It is only the government that can assert title to reclaimed land.However,the government may declare it property of the adjoining owners and as an increment thereto only when it is no longer necessary for public use.
  1. Accretion is the process by which a riparian land gradually and imperceptively receives addition made by the water to which the land is contiguous. However, this law cannot be invoked for application to cases where the accretion is caused by action of the bay which is a part of the sea, since such alluvial formation along the seashore is part of the public domain and, therefore, not open to acquisition by adverse possession by private persons.
Art. 457. To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters. (336)
  1. Prescription is when one acquires ownership and other real rights through the lapse of time in the manner and under the conditions laid down by law. It is a mode of acquisition of title through continuous, open, adverse possession in the concept of an owner for the period fixed by law.(as discussed in this article )

What is the application of prescription concerning properties of public dominion and patrimonial property?

  1. Public dominion cannot be acquired by prescription, even by city or municipality
  2. Patrimonial property of the State may be the subject of acquisition through prescription
  3. Public lands become patrimonial property upon express government manifestation that the property is already patrimonial and declaration that these are already alienable and disposable.
  4. And only when the property has become patrimonial can the prescriptive period for the acquisition of property of the public domain begin to run.

 

References:

Peña, N. (1966). Registration of Land Titles and Deeds. Quezon City: Central Lawbook Publishing Co., Inc.

Jurado, D. (1999). Civil Law Reviewer. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

Relevant Terms and Concepts in Ownership

A. ACCION INTERDICTAL-is a summary action to recovery physical or material possession only. It consists of the summary actions of Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer.

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B. Forcible Entry -is a summary action to recover physical possession of real property when a person originally in possession thereof is deprived by: force, intimidation, strategy, threat, and stealth.

C. Unlawful Detainer -is a kind of action that must be brought when possession is being unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract whether express or implied.

D. ACCION PUBLICIANA -is an ordinary civil proceeding to recover the better right of possession, except in cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer. What is involved is not possession de facto but possession de jure.

E. ACCION REINVINDICATORIA -is an action to recover real property based on ownership. Here, the object is the recovery of the dominion over the property as owner.

F. CAVEAT EMPTOR (BUYER BEWARE)- requires the purchaser to be aware of the supposed title of the vendor and one who buys without checking the vendor’s title takes all the risks and losses consequent to such failure. The actual possession by people other than the vendor should, at least, put the purchaser upon inquiry. Site identification and survey are a must also. An action for reconveyance is a legal and equitable remedy granted to the rightful owner of land which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in the name of another for the purpose of compelling the latter to transfer or convey the land to him.

 G. DECREE OF REGISTRATION- Issued by the administrator of LRA upon order of the court.  It shall bind the land and quiet title thereto which is the purpose of Torrens System. Land becomes registered only upon transcription of the decree in the original registration book by the Register of Deeds and not on the date of issuance of the decree. register-880805_640Certificate of title becomes indefeasible after one year from issuance of the decree.

H. DOCTRINE OF SELF-HELP- 429. The owner or lawful possessor of a thing has the right to exclude any person from the enjoyment and disposal thereof. For this purpose he may use such force as may be reasonable necessary to repel or prevent an actual or threatened unlawful physical invasion or usurpation of his property.

I. ESTATE-an Estate refers to the totality of the assets owned by a person which include real and personal properties and the interest thereof.

J. PERSONAL ACTION-are those actions filed for the recovery of personal properties,i.e. replevin.

K. PERSONAL RIGHT-refers to the power belonging to one person to demand from another the fulfillment of a prestation or object to give, to do, or not to do.

L. POSSESSION-the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right.

M. REAL ACTION-are those actions filed for the recovery of real properties, i.e. accion interdictal; accion publiciana; and accion reinvindicatoria.

N. REAL RIGHT-is one that confers upon the holder an autonomous power to derive directly from an appropriate property/ thing certain economic advantages, independently of whoever should be the possessor of a property/ thing.

O. REGALIAN DOCTRINE-all lands of whatever classification and other natural resources not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership belong to the State. It also means that is the State reserved the full ownership of all natural resources or natural wealth that may be found in the bowels of the earth.

P. RES NULLIUS-Everything on earth must have an owner. Res Nullius is a Latin term that means things (res) without and owner (nullius). Since everything must have an owner, if there are no private owners or claimants, then that particular property is presumed to be owned by the State. Likewise, when a person dies without any heir, then the State succeeds to the estate of the deceased.

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Q. RIPARIAN OWNER-is the owner  of the property adjoining or abutting the bank of a river.

R. SOLUTIO INDEBITI-means that no person shall enrich himself at the expense of another.

S. STEWARSHIP PRINCIPLE OF PROPERTY OWNERSHIP- provides that the property owners are bound to use or utilize their lands in a manner that will promote welfare and benefits not only for themselves but also for the State. Ownership of land carries with it a distinct social obligation. Owners are obliged to use their properties to promote the general welfare and not only their interest, thus the State may regulate or control land ownership.

T. WRIT OF DEMOLITION- If the writ of possession issued in a land registration proceeding implies the delivery of possession of the land to the successful litigant therein, a writ of demolition must, likewise, issue, especially considering that the latter writ is but compliment of the former which, without said writ of demolition, writ of possession would be ineffective. Demolition is upon special order of the court.

U. WRIT OF POSSESSION- Employed to enforce a judgment to recover the possession of land. It commands the sheriff to enter the land and give possession of it to the person entitled under judgment.

Usufruct

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The law expressly provides that a usufruct is:


Art. 562. Usufruct gives a right to enjoy the property of another with the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the title constituting it or the law otherwise provides. (467)

*Usufruct is a real right by virtue of which a person is given the right to enjoy the property of another with the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the title constituting it or the law provides otherwise.

What are the requisites of usufruct?

  1. Essential requisites are those that are – the right to enjoy the property of another; and
  2. Accidental – the obligation of preserving the form and substance of such property.

What is abnormal usufruct?

Abnormal usufruct involves properties which must be consumed or expended or else, it would be useless to the usufructuary. This is an exception to the rule that the usufruct must preserve the form and substance of the usufruct. Thisrefers to that where the usufructuary does not have any obligation to preserve the form and substance of the property which is the object of the usufruct. The law has laid down the rules for abnormal usufructs in the following articles:


Art. 573. Whenever the usufruct includes things which, without being consumed, gradually deteriorate through wear and tear, the usufructuary shall have the right to make use thereof in accordance with the purpose for which they are intended, and shall not be obliged to return them at the termination of the usufruct except in their condition at that time; but he shall be obliged to indemnify the owner for any deterioration they may have suffered by reason of his fraud or negligence. (481)
Art. 574. Whenever the usufruct includes things which cannot be used without being consumed, the usufructuary shall have the right to make use of them under the obligation of paying their appraised value at the termination of the usufruct, if they were appraised when delivered. In case they were not appraised, he shall have the right to return at the same quantity and quality, or pay their current price at the time the usufruct ceases. (482)

 What is caucionjuratoria?

The caucionjuratoria refers to the usufructuary, which files a verified petition in court asking for the delivery of the house and furniture necessary for himself and his family without filing any bond or security. This may also apply to instruments or tools necessary for an industry or vocation in which the usufructuary is engaged. The usufructuary shall take care of the property/ things given in usufruct as good father of a family. This case is contemplated in this article:


Art. 587. If the usufructuary who has not given security claims, by virtue of a promise under oath, the delivery of the furniture necessary for his use, and that he and his family be allowed to live in a house included in the usufruct, the court may grant this petition, after due consideration of the facts of the case.The same rule shall be observed with respect to implements, tools and other movable property necessary for an industry or vocation in which he is engaged.If the owner does not wish that certain articles be sold because of their artistic worth or because they have a sentimental value, he may demand their delivery to him upon his giving security for the payment of the legal interest on their appraised value. (495)

References:

De Leon, H., & De Leon, J. H. (2011). Comments and Cases on Property. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Jurado, D. (1999). Civil Law Reviewer. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines