What is the Land Tenure in Philippines?

Published by Handy Work on


The Philippines has a unique land tenure system. Most of the Philippine land is classified as public land (may be owned by the federal government) or private land (may be owned by a person or corporation).

Types of private lands

Freehold land

A piece of property that is not subject to any conditions for use, sale or transfer.

Condominium unit

A unit in an apartment building, townhouse, as well as a single-family house that together form part of a larger development project.

Condominium units may have their own title deeds and you can sell them individually. An association for all the owners holds the ownership shares in the common areas of the development project in proportion to their ownership share.

This means that even after an owner sells his interest in such common areas he will continue to enjoy the benefits therefrom like ownership in the common facilities and having voting rights to elect representatives who will represent his interests in these common areas.

The advantages of owning condominium units are its holding period and tax benefits. Ownership shares in condominium projects are usually not subject to capital gains tax.

Ownership shares may result in capital gains if one decides to sell them before 5 years from the date of purchase (this period can sometimes extend). After five (5) years from date of purchase, the ownership shares can act as capital assets and will be subject to the normal tax rules.

Leasehold land

A piece of property that is subject to a lease agreement. The owner of the land may be a corporation or an individual. Leasehold lands are subject to the rules and regulations of the lease agreement.

What Documents Are Required for Real Estate Transaction?

In order for you do your real estate transaction, you need several documents like Certificate/Title Deed; Tax Declaration; Transfer Certificate; Contract; etc., which you can get from your lawyer/solicitor/notary public, etc., depending on what kind of transaction you want to do with your real estate property – whether it’s sale, purchase, mortgage loan, etc.

Certificate/Title Deed

It is a document that the government issues to the owner of a piece of property. It is a written document that contains information about the property, such as its location, size, and other relevant information.

The Certificate/Title Deed is the same as Torrens Title.

Tax Declaration

A document issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to an individual or corporation who owns a piece of property. It contains information about the property’s assessed value and tax rate.

Transfer Certificate

A document issued by the Register of Deeds (ROD) to transfer ownership from one person to another.

This document can be for both real estate and personal properties. The Transfer Certificate is the same as Transfer Tax Declaration or Transfer Tax Clearance Certificate.


A written agreement between two parties that outlines their obligations and responsibilities in relation to a certain transaction.

In real estate transactions, contracts are usually for sale and purchase transactions, lease agreements, mortgage loans, etc., depending on what kind of transaction you want to do with your real estate property – whether it’s sale, purchase, mortgage loan, etc.


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