Press Release
March 21, 2010

Gordon: Free patent law to benefit 39 million Filipinos with untitled lands

Bagumbayan Party presidential bet Sen. Richard J. Gordon is optimistic that approximately 39 million Filipinos residing on government lands for more than 10 years, would now be able to legally obtain the lands after the free patent bill is signed into law.

Gordon, author and co-sponsor of Republic Act 10023 or the Free Patent Act which was signed into law last March 9, said the law extends the grant of free patent, formerly limited to agricultural lands, to residential lands in all municipalities and cities, given certain conditions, without a need for payment to the government.

"The Free Patent Act will pave the way for residential landowners, particularly low and middle income landowners, to title their lands through an easier, speedier and more affordable administrative proceeding," he said.

"Once they avail of the free patent, many families will be able to sleep better because they have secure titles to their lands. They will be able to obtain loans from their banks if they need to; bequeath the property or divide it among their children if they wish to; and get a higher value for their property because they now have a registered title," he added.

The Free Patent Act, ratified by the two houses of Congress last December, seeks to ease the requirements and procedures in the titling of residential lands and bring to life such dormant wealth.

Prior to the enactment of the law, landowners could only acquire title through the court under the present Public Land Act that often resulted in tedious process.

The newly signed RA 10023 cut down the period of eligibility for titling from 30 years to 10 years. Any Filipino who has paid all the real estate taxes for 10 years shall be entitled to free patent for such parcel of land in all municipalities and cities. Only alienable lands that are not needed for public service or public use can be subject to free patent.

Gordon said the free patent law will help the country towards its goal of attaining a robust economy because it will boost bank lending with better collateral, allow homeowners access to credit in banking institutions for entrepreneurial or homebuilding activities and reduce the risk of fake titling and land frauds.

"This law is a good economic stimulus because the land market, arguably the biggest of the markets in terms of size and value, will perk up, and there will be more land-related transactions and more revenue for government," the Bagumbayan standard-bearer said.

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