Land Titling

Real Estate Services

Boracay is 98% Untitled

Titling application has been a big issue on Boracay Island since Presidential Proclamation 1801 was issued in 1978 and Philippine Tourism Authority Circular No. 3-82 implementing Proclamation 1801 in opposition to applications for confirmation of imperfect title or free patent on the Island. This Proclamation 1801 declares certain Islands, coves and peninsulas in the Philippines as tourist zones and marine reserves under the administration and control of the Philippine Tourism Authority.

In the early part of 2006, a new Proclamation No. 1064 was issued which concerns land valuation and titling procedures such as Administrative Titling through Free patent and Judicial Titling through local courts which have all been made possible through P.D. 1064.

Except for those persons who have acquired their land from owners holding regular titles, property holdings in Boracay Island are evidenced through another form of government recognized evidence of ownership, which is the "tax declaration". While tax declarations do not provide the declared owner or possessor of land with the security of indefeasible title provided by the Torrens system of land registration, it is however, the next best thing to a Torrens title. It is widely recognized in Philippine jurisdiction as evidence of ownership and possession. This being so, it is an inherent consequence that a persons "title" over the land by "tax declaration" may be subject to direct and collateral attack by adverse claimants. Tax declarations are not generally acceptable to Banks for applying mortgage. The property surveys privately commissioned by holders of tax declarations while never conclusive as to actual boundaries of properties or their declared areas are nevertheless best proof of the metes and bounds of the property covered by the "tax declaration". One common problem with regard to this is boundary disputes with adjoining property owners. In this case, it is imperative for land buyers to investigate if the land area that they are buying is exact as reflected on its tax declaration. To ensure this, buyers need to gather the signatures of the adjoining neighbors to sign on the latest land survey map and to an Affidavit of Adjoining owner as evidence that they have no boundary dispute with them (neighbors).

Just recently, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, in the case of The Secretary of DENR vs. MAYOR JOSE S. YAP et. al, came out with a ruling upholding Proclamation No. 1064 of 2006 issued by President Gloria Arroyo. Proclamation No. 1064 classified certain parts of Boracay as alienable public lands and opened the same to private ownership. While this presidential proclamation declared parts of Boracay as government lands, the Supreme Court clarified that this does not mean automatic ouster from the residential, commercial and other areas occupied by private individuals and corporations. The proclamation actually paves the way for the consolidation of ownership and titling of lands by the present occupants as the Supreme Court upheld the right to possess and the right to claim good faith as builders of improvements. Consistently with this ruling of the Supreme Court and to protect the private investments in Boracay, the Philippine Congress is enacting a law to entitle present occupants to acquire title to their occupied lots or to exempt them from certain requirements under the present land laws. Whether that bill or a similar bill will become a law is for Congress to decide.

SPR real estate, being an experienced agent with these problems has a careful and a more professional approach in securing these requirements, which will protect your property in any anticipated land problems in the future.