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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

2 thoughts on “Classification of Properties

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    alѕⲟ ᴠerү ɡоⲟɗ.

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