Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    by C.K. It has been a very difficult January for me this year.  While enjoying a break in far away Philippines, the sad news that my aunt has gone into coma made me rush the 3 days left in my stay in Manila.  I was praying hard that she will be there when I come back [...]

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Page added on August 18, 2010

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The Philippine Lawyer – CAN FORMER FILIPINOS OWN LAND (REAL ESTATE) IN THE PHILIPPINES? (PART III)

-Ferdie Aguirre

(About the writer: G. Ferdinand (Ferdie) Aguirre has more than 20 years of combined experience as a legal professional in the Philippines and in Canada. After graduating from the Ateneo de Manila College of Law in 1987 and passing the Bar given that year, he has held the following positions in the Philippine Corporate world: Asst. Senior Vice President of the Philippine National Bank, Senior Manager of the Law Division of the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company and as Chief Legal Counsel of Unibancard. His private practice included having successfully handled several major cases and being included in the Philippine case books. Ferdie Aguirre was also a professor of Political Science and Business Law before migrating to Ontario Canada in 2005 where worked as a Paralegal. He is presently a Court Agent & a Commissioner for Oaths in Alberta and is now working on his admission to the Alberta Bar. Ferdie Aguirre may be reached at (403) 6131168 /(403) 4747168 or at pilipinolegalservices@yahoo.ca)

CAN FORMER FILIPINOS OWN LAND (REAL ESTATE) IN THE PHILIPPINES?

(PART III)

Due to numerous requests for me to discuss this matter more fully, I am sharing a very informative write-up from the website of our Philippines Embassy in Ottawa.

The article deals on the Dual Citizenship Act where one of the benefits of the law is to allow former Filipinos to acquire real properties in the Philippines without any restrictions. Below is an excerpt from the said article.

x x x

Three decades after the balikbayan program was proclaimed, the landmark Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act was passed on 29 August 2003, bringing to a full circle the restoration of the rights of many of our nationals abroad.

Filipinos who re-acquire Filipino citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225, or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003, even more popularly known as the Dual Citizenship Law, may once again enjoy full civil, economic and political rights enjoyed by all Filipino citizens. Among these are:

  • Right to own real property in the Philippines;
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x

x x x x x x

Right to own real property: The Philippine Constitution prohibits foreigners from owning real property in the Philippines. This is why before the Dual Citizenship Act, former Filipinos had to settle with the Land Title being in the name of a dummy, like a family member or friend. It is true that there are some privileges granted to former Filipinos as far as property ownership is concerned, but these privileges are limited and far more restricted than the rights that current Filipino citizens enjoy.

Owning real property is an important economic and social milestone for Filipinos. Thus, many former Filipinos, having found the economic wherewithal while working abroad, want to buy real property in the Philippines, either as a form of investment or for use upon retirement. Understandably, they want the title to be in their own name.

Anybody who has seen an OTC, or Original Certificate of Title, or a TCT, or Transfer Certificate of Title, will note that the land owner is always described as a “Filipino citizen.” It is a very rare person who has seen an OTC or a TCT in the name of a “foreign citizen.” This is because laws pertaining to ownership by foreigners, even former Filipinos, are so complicated that it is much more simple and straightforward to register land as a Filipino citizen.

This is a clear benefit for Dual Citizens who want to buy real property in the Philippines. Before, former Filipinos had to settle with the title being in the name of a family member or friend. Now, as Dual Citizens, they can have property titled in their own name.

x x x

I suggest that former Filipinos, especially those intending to retire in the Philippines, avail of this law. Not only will it restore and strengthen their ties with their roots, it will also allow them to exercise all the rights and privileges of a citizen including the right own real property.

(Legal Disclaimer: This article is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be neither formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.)