Land Rights Philippines

Working towards secured property rights in the Philippines

About Us

The Foundation for Economic Freedom is a public advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the cause of economic and political liberty, good governance, secure and well-defined property rights, market oriented reforms and consumer protection. To learn more about the Foundation, visit




What is the Residential Free Patent Act?

The Residential Free Patent Act is a law authorizing the administrative issuance of free patents on residential lands to every qualified Filipino without an actual land title. This means that you do not have to go through a lengthy, tedious and costly court process to gain legal rights to the land that you have been occupying and cultivating for a minimum of 10 years.

The Residential Free Patent Act was promulgated on March 9, 2010 and principally authored by former Senator Richard Gordon and former Representative Antonio Cerilles (Second District, Zamboanga del Sur).


What are the benefits I will enjoy from having a land title?

  • Permanent ownership of the land you are occupying is guaranteed if it is titled in your name.
  • It will enable you to use your land for economic activity such as sale, lease or collateral for loans.
  • Your rights to the land will be secured by a legal document and protected by the government.


Am I eligible to apply for a Free Patent for my Residential Land?
Yes, if:

  • You are a Filipino citizen who is an actual occupant of the residential land for at least 10 years.
    If you are below 18 years of age, you must be duly represented by your guardian.
    If you are the heir of a deceased applicant, you should be qualified.
  • You have no pending land registration case filed in court on the land subject of the patent application.
  • Only one application shall be allowed per applicant.


What lands may be issued title?

  • All lands that have been identified and zoned as residential through the appropriate ordinance by the LGU and the land is not needed for public service and/or public use.
  • Residential lands within areas zoned as mixed residential and commercial or mixed residential and industrial.
  • 200 square meters – highly urbanized cities
  • 500 square meters – other cities
  • 750 square meters – first/second class municipalities
  • 1,000 square meters – all other municipalities
    (Note: the 1,000 limitation does not apply to 3rd class municipality only, but to all other municipalities not classified as 1st/2nd class)

The public land application for RA 10023 should be accompanied by a certification from the municipal/city planning office stating that the land subject of application is within the residential or mixed used zone.


Where can I apply?

Application is at the DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO). For lots located at the National Capital Region, application is at DENR Regional Office-NCR.


What are the requirements for application?

  • A plan based on an actual survey conducted by a licensed geodetic engineer and approved by the DENR.
  • Technical description of the land applied for.
  • Supporting affidavits of two disinterested persons who are residing in the barangay of the city or municipality where the land is located.


How long does the process last?

The CENRO is mandated to process a completed application for free patent within 120 days to include compliance with the required notices and other legal requirements. The CENRO will forward its recommendation to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), which shall have five (5) days to approve or disapprove the patent application.

In case of disapproval (i.e. when two or more parties have different claims on a specific land), parties may seek proper judicial remedies.