Free Patent Qualifications
Any Filipino citizen who is an actual occupant of a residential land may apply for a Free Patent Title under this Act, provided that in highly urbanized cities the land should not exceed two hundred (200) square meters; in other cities it should not exceed five hundred (500) square meters; in first class and second class municipalities it should not exceed seven hundred fifty (750) square meters; and in all other municipalities it should not exceed one thousand (1000) square meters; provided further, that the land applied for is not needed for public service and/or public use.
This Act shall cover all lands that are zoned as residential areas, including town sites as defined under the Public Land Act; Provided, That none of the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 705 shall be violated. Zoned residential areas located inside a delisted military reservation or abandoned military camp, and those of local government units or town sites which preceded Republic Act No. 7586 or the NIPAS Law, shall also be covered by this Act.
The application on the land applied for shall be supported by a map based on an actual survey conducted by a licensed geodetic engineer and approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and a technical description of the land applied for together with supporting affidavit of two (2) disinterested persons who are residing in the barangay of the city or municipality where the land is located, attesting to the truth of the facts contained in the application to the effect that the applicant thereof has, either by himself or through his predecessor-in-interest, actually resided on and continuously possessed and occupied, under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership, the subject land for at least ten (10) years and has complied with the requirements prescribed in Section 1 hereof.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and subject to private rights, if any, public land actually occupied and used for public schools, municipal halls, public plazas or parks and other government institutions for public use or purpose may be issued special patents under the name of the national agency or local government unit concerned; Provided, That all lands titled under this section shall not be disposed of unless sanctioned by Congress if owned by the national agency, or sanctioned by the sanggunian concerned through an approved ordinance if owned by the local government unit.
Removal of Restrictions
The restrictions regarding encumbrances, conveyances, transfers or dispositions imposed in Sections 118, 119, 121, 122, and 123 of Chapter XIII, Title VI of Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended, shall not apply to patents issued under this Act.
Period for Application
All applications shall be filed immediately after the effectivity of this Act before the Community Environment Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the DENR. The CENRO is mandated to process the application within one hundred and twenty (120) days to include compliance with the required notices and other legal requirements, and forward his recommendation to the Provincial Environment Natural Resources Office (PENRO), who shall have five (5) days to approve or disapprove the patent. In case of approval, patent shall be issued; in case of conflicting claims among different claimants, the parties may seek the proper judicial remedies.
Implementing Rules and Regulations
The Director of the Land Management Bureau of the DENR shall promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act, and shall see to it that such are gender responsive.
All laws, decrees, executive orders, executive issuances or letters of instruction, rules and regulations, or any part thereof, inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this Act, are hereby deemed repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
If, for any reason or reasons, any part or parts of this Act shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid by any competent court, other parts or provisions thereof not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.
This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.