Torrens System

What is land registration?

Land registration is a judicial or administrative proceeding whereby a person’s claim of ownership over a particular land is determined and confirmed or recognized so that such land and the ownership thereof may be recorded in a public registry.

What is Torrens title?

Torrens title is the certificate of ownership issued by the land Register of Deeds, naming and declaring the owner of the real property described therein, free from all liens and encumbrances except such as may be expressly noted thereon or otherwise reserved by law. Its effect is that it can be conclusive against the whole world, it is guaranteed to be indefeasible, unassailable, and imprescriptible. The title once registered cannot be impugned, altered, changed, modified, enlarged, or diminished except in some direct proceeding permitted by law.

What are the kinds of registration?

1. Original registrationis the first registration of the land whereby an Original Certificate of Title is entered in the Registry of Property and a duplicate owner’s copy is issued to the owner by the Register of Deeds. It can be further classified into:

a. Judicial registration which will be done through the courts. It may either be voluntary where it instituted by the applicant under the provisions of Act 496 or PD 1529 or compulsory at the instance of the State under provision of Act 2259 (Cadastral Act)

1. Voluntary -instituted by the applicant
2. Compulsory- at the instance of the State

b. Administrative registration wherein theacquisition of land patents to public agricultural lands and registration thereof under Section 107 of CA No. 141 (The Public Land Act)

What is subsequent registration?

Subsequent registration is a process where the Original Certificate of Title is cancelled and subsequently registered under a Transfer Certificate of Title in favor of the new owner in cases of land conveyance such as sale, donation or assignment.

Who may apply for original registration of title?

According to Presidential Decree 1529 “Amending and Codifying the Laws Relative to Registration of Property and for Other Purposes”, or also known as Property registration Decree, it has laid down the enumeration of who may apply for original registration of Title.

Section 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to land, whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives:

(1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.

(2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription under the provision of existing laws.

(3) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandoned river beds by right of accession or accretion under the existing laws.

(4) Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner provided for by law.

Where the land is owned in common, all the co-owners shall file the application jointly.

Where the land has been sold under pacto de retro, the vendor a retro may file an application for the original registration of the land, provided, however, that should the period for redemption expire during the pendency of the registration proceedings and ownership to the property consolidated in the vendee a retro, the latter shall be substituted for the applicant and may continue the proceedings.

A trustee on behalf of his principal may apply for original registration of any land held in trust by him, unless prohibited by the instrument creating the trust.

What are the attributes and limitations on certificates of title and registered lands?

A. Free from liens and encumbrances
B. Incontrovertible and Indefeasible
C. Certificate of title not subject to Collateral Attack

What are the parts and information on the title?

• Title Form Information- where the type of form, date of revision and serial number can be found
• Survey Information- where the parcel identity (lot, block, survey plan number), location, adjoining parcels, tie point, tie line, bearings and distances from corner to corner and the area and date of survey can be found
• Registration Information- where the name of the Register of Deeds, title number, book number, page number, place/time/date of registration, name and signature of registrar and historical information (date and place of original registration, OCT No., Volume No., Page No., Decree No., record/name of original owner, number of cancelled title for OCT) can be found
• Ownership Information- where the name/s of all persons whose interest make up the full ownership, citizenship, civil status, postal address

What is Homestead patent?

It is issued (by the Director Lands) over land not of the public domain is a nullity, devoid of force and effect against the owner whose title is covered by an OCT or TCT.

What is the Registration of title under Act 3344?

Registration of untitled lands or lands with imperfect titles is ineffective against third persons. That in case of double sale, the title registered under the Torrens System is superior than title registered under Act 3344. Registration under the Torrens System, at the Registry of Deeds is needed so that title shall be binding upon third parties.

What is a decree of registration?

It is issued by the administrator of LRA upon order of the court. It shall bind the land and quiet title thereto – 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. Certificate of title becomes indefeasible after ONE YEAR from issuance of the decree.

What is an assurance fund?

Sec 95 of Property Registration Decree provides that a person who, without negligence on his part sustain loss or damage or is deprived of land or any estate or interest therein in consequence of the bringing of the land under the operation of Torrens System or arising after the original registration of the land, through fraud or in consequence of any error, may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for the recovery of damages paid out of the Assurance Fund within 6 years from the time the right to bring such action accrues.
The assurance fund is intended to relive innocent persons from the harshness of the doctrine that a certificate of title is conclusive evidence of indefeasible title to the land.

What is the rule on conveyance of only a portion of a land?

The Register of Deeds shall not enter any new title in favor of the grantee until a plan indicating the portions into which the land has been subdivided shall first be presented, together with the technical descriptions thereof. Meantime, the deed of conveyance may be annotated at the owner’s certificate.


Cadastral Act, Act No. 2259

Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988

Peña, N. Registration of Land Titles and Deeds. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.
Presidential Decree No. 27, “Decreeing the Emancipation of Tenants from the Bondage of theOil, Transferring to Them the Ownership of the Land They Till and Providing the Instruments and Mechanism Therefor”

Property Registration Decree 1529, “Amending and Codifying the Laws Relative to Registration of Property and for Other Purposes”

Public Land Act, Com. Act No. 141, “Title and Application of the Act, Lands to Which It Refers, and Classification, Delimitation and Survey Thereof for Concession”

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