Gordon's Free Patent bill OK’d
CONGRESS has ratified the Free Patent bill which would allow 39 million Filipinos, mostly low-and-middle income individuals, to legally obtain title to the lands they have been possessing for at least 10 years now.
Sen. Richard Gordon, author of Senate Bill 3429 or an Act Reforming the Administrative Titling Process, said the measure will ease the requirements and procedures in the titling of residential and commercial land.
“Many landowners, despite possession of their land, have only rights or tax declaration due to the high cost, long delay and inconvenient procedures of judicial titling,” he said.
Under the present law, residential and commercial landholders can acquire a title only through the court, which would entail hiring of a lawyer, paying for a survey, securing testimonies from neighbors, clearances from the barangay and filing of a court petition, among others.
Gordon said this situation, where many land parcels remain untitled, make for bad economics because landowners cannot secure loans using their property for business and home improvement.
“Without a title, landowners will not be secure in their possession, becoming victims of illegally issued land titles by criminal syndicates,” he said, adding that the Chamber of Thrift Banks and the Makati Business Club have been anticipating the enactment of the Free Patent Act which is seen to benefit the economy.
“This measure is expected to stimulate bank lending with better collateral, allowing homeowners’ access to credit in banking institutions,” said Pascual Garcia III, president of CTB, in his letter to Gordon.
Alberto Lim, MBC executive director, said titled land has more value than untitled land. This will increase the local government’s tax base.
“Aside from more business tax, there will also be more legitimate property transactions so the take from transfer fees, documentary stamps, and capital gains taxes will increase,” he said. By: Bernadette E. Tamayo - Peoples Journal