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Registering Property in

Philippines

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Philippines. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Philippines to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Check against encumbrances and obtain certified true copy of the land title from the Register of Deeds (RD)

    Agency: Register of Deeds

    The buyer conducts the search against encumbrances and the seller obtains the true copy of the land title from the Register of Deeds (RD)
    4 days PHP 209 - PHP 36 for the certification + PHP 6 for each additional page (2 additional pages needed) + PHP 160.97 IT fee.
    2

    Prepare the notarized deed of sale and related documents

    Agency: Notary

    While the deed of sale can be prepared by anyone, it must be executed before and notarized by a notary public. In many instances, the notary public drafts the deed of sale and conducts the whole process on behalf of the parties. In addition to the deed of sale, the Register of Deeds also requires both the buyer and the seller to submit notarized secretary's certificates containing the resolution of their board of directors approving the sale. The buyer must also produce a certificate from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stating that its articles of incorporation have been registered with the SEC.
    1 day 1 - 2% property value for notarization
    3

    Obtain tax clearance certificate of real property taxes from the Land Tax Division of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO)

    Agency: Real Estate Tax Division of the City Treasurer’s Office

    The seller, after paying any arrears, obtains a tax clearance certificate from the CTO. The documentation shall include: (1) an original of the official receipt evidencing payment by seller of realty taxes; (2) certified true copy of latest tax declarations for each of the land and the warehouse; (3) photocopy of official receipt for payment of real property tax for each of the land and the warehouse for the immediately preceding year. Note: Separate tax clearance for real property tax should be obtained for the land and the warehouse
    2 days (simultaneous with procedure 4) PHP 115 (PHP 50 for tax clearance for land and for real estate plus PHP 15 for documentary stamp tax)
    * 4

    Obtain certified true copy of latest tax declaration and certificate of "with improvement" from the City Assessor’s Office (CAO)

    Agency: City Assessor’s Office

    The seller obtains a certified true copy of the latest tax declaration and a certificate of "with improvement" from the City Assessor’s Office of Quezon City.
    1 day (simultaneous with procedure 3) PHP 250 (PHP 50 per RPU (land(1RPU), Building (1RPU)) + PHP 90 for certificate of "with improvement" + PHP 60 (PHP 20 documentary stamp tax per RPU/document)
    5

    Pay documentary stamp tax and final capital gains tax for the transfer of real property

    Agency: Authorized Agent Bank (AAB)

    The seller or the buyer (based on their agreement) files the Documentary Stamp Tax return and Capital Gains Tax return with the authorized agent bank. This is done within 5 days after the close of the month when the taxable document was signed or within 30 days after the sale, whichever is earlier. The taxes are paid at the authorized bank to the account of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
    The Creditable Withholding Tax at the rate of 6%.
    The Documentary Stamp Tax is 1.5% based on selling price or fair market value, whichever is higher. The buyer should file CWT and pay the CWT at the rate stated above no later than 10 days after the end of the month when the withholding tax was withheld, except for taxes withheld in December for which the deadline is on January 15 of the following year.

    The documentation shall include:
    • Original copy and photocopy of notarized deed of sale of building (obtained in Procedure 1)
    • Certified true copy of transfer certificate of title (in the name of seller)
    • Certified true copy of latest tax declaration (in the name of seller) (obtained in Procedure 2)
    • Photocopy of the latest realty tax receipt
    • Letter-request
    • Identification card of the person requesting
    1 day 1.5% of property value (Documentary Stamp Tax)
    6

    Obtain Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

    Agency: Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

    The Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) is a certification issued by the BIR that the transfer and conveyance of the property was reported and the taxes due have been fully paid.

    The taxpayer/applicant must submit the following documents to the BIR:

    a. Tax identification number (TIN) of seller and buyer;

    b. Notarized deed of absolute sale/document of transfer, but only photocopied document shall be retained by the BIR;

    c. Certified true copy of the latest tax declaration issued by the City Assessor’s Office for the land and improvement applicable to the taxable transaction;

    d. Owner’s copy (for presentation purposes only) and photocopy (for authentication) of the Original Certificate of Title (OCT), or the certified true copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT);

    e. Sworn declaration of “with Improvement” by at least one (1) of the transferees, or certificate of “with Improvement” issued by the City Assessor’s Office.

    f. Official Receipt issued by the Notary Public who notarized the deed of sale


    All documents submitted must also include 2 photocopies. The Certificate Authorizing Registration that will be released will be accompanied by the following documents:

    The Original copy of the Deed of Absolute Sale stamped received by the BIR 2000 (DST) stamped received by the BIR

    Applicant accomplishes BIR forms 2000-OT and 1706 for DST and CWT respectively, based on the ONETT computation sheets prepared by the BIR ONETT team. The applicant files the DST return and CGT return and pays the taxes at the AAB of the Revenue District Office. Upon receipt of proof of tax payment from the taxpayer/applicant, the BIR immediately issues a claim slip.
    14 days PHP 115 (PHP 100 certification fee + PHP 15 documentary tax)
    7

    Pay the transfer tax at the CTO

    Agency: Real Estate Tax Division of the City Treasurer’s Office

    The transfer tax must be paid at the CTO not later than 60 days from the date of execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale or the notarization date thereof, whichever is earlier. The documentation shall include:

    a. Original copy of the deed of sale

    b. Tax clearance certificate from the Treasurer’s Office of Quezon City (obtained in Procedure 3);

    c. Tax declaration from the City Assessor’s Office of Quezon City (obtained in procedure 4) ;

    d. Official receipt of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (for documentary stamp tax) (obtained in Procedure 5);

    e. Certificate Authorizing Registration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (obtained in Procedure 6);
    1 day 0.75% of property price (transfer tax) + PHP 125 (certificate of payment)
    8

    Apply for registration with the Register of Deeds

    Agency: Register of Deeds

    The buyer applies for registration with the Register of Deeds.


    The documentation shall include:

    a. Copy of deed of absolute sale;

    b. Official receipt evidencing payment of transfer tax;

    c. Certificate Authorizing Registration from the BIR (CAR) including official receipts for payment of DST and CGT;

    d. Real property tax clearance from the City Treasurer’s Office;

    e. Original copy of owner's duplicate of TCT (in the name of the seller);

    f. Original or certified true copy of the latest tax declaration;

    g. Notarized secretary's certificate containing resolution of the board of directors of the seller approving the sale;

    h. Notarized secretary's certificate containing resolution of the board of directors of the buyer approving the sale;

    i. Articles of incorporation of the buyer and by-laws; and

    j. Certificate from the SEC that the articles of incorporation of the buyer have been registered.
    10 days Registration fee consisting of PHP 8,796 for first PHP 1.700,000 + PHP 90 for every PHP 20,000 or fraction thereof in excess of PHP 1.700,000 + PHP 199.56 legal research fee (1% of the registration fee) + PHP 30 judicial form fee + PHP 3,104.37 IT fee (PHP 344.93 per document) + PHP 300 primary entry fee (PHP 30 per document) + PHP 480 registration fee for specific documents (PHP 120 per document) + PHP 120 fixed entry fee for specific documents (PHP 30 per document) + PHP 40 legal research fee for specific documents (PHP 10 per document) + PHP 60 annotation fee (PHP 30 per document) + PHP 258 fee for issuance of new transfer certificate of title
    9

    Obtain new tax declaration over the building and the land in the name of buyer from CAO

    Agency: City Assessor’s Office - City Government

    The buyer applies with the CAO for the issuance of a new tax declaration over the building in his name.


    The documentation shall include:

    a. Photocopy of notarized deed of sale;

    b. Copy of latest tax declaration (in the name of seller);

    c. Tax clearance certificate of real property taxes from the CTO;

    d. Certificate authorizing registration from the BIR;

    e. Photocopy of official receipt of transfer tax payment (original copy to be presented);

    f. The transfer certificate of title (TCT) issued by the RD (in the name of the buyer);
    2 days no cost

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 12.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 1.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Register of Deeds
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? No 0.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 4.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://lra.gov.ph/services/requirements/ http://lra.gov.ph/resources/sampl...
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://lra.gov.ph/services/fees/ http://lra.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015...
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://lra.gov.ph/resources/documents/issuances/citizens-charter/
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 0.5
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://lra.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/page-1.pdf
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://lra.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/page-1.pdf
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 4.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 4.5
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? Yes 0.5
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar; Notary; Lawyer; Interested Parties.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar; Notary; Lawyer; Interested Parties.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Regional Trial Court
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 2 and 3 years 1.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) -1.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? No -1.0