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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

The Register of Deeds Lost My Land Title, Should I be Concerned?

Under P.D. 1529, the Registry of Deeds is the primary agency in charge of the safekeeping and custody of land titles.[1] However, the said land titles may be lost or destroyed even while in the possession of their custodian. As a land owner, you may ask, why should I be concerned?

P.D. 1529 provides the answer, to wit:

Reconstitution of lost or destroyed original of Torrens title. Original copies of certificates of title lost or destroyed in the offices of Register of Deeds as well as liens and encumbrances affecting the lands covered by such titles shall be reconstituted judicially in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Republic Act No. 26 insofar as not inconsistent with this Decree.”[2]

Reconstitution can either be through an administrative or a judicial proceeding.

Administrative reconstitution may be availed of only in case of substantial loss or destruction of land titles due to fire, flood or other force majeure under certain conditions.[3] Otherwise, the remedy will be through a judicial reconstitution by filing a petition before the appropriate court. [4}

The purpose of the reconstitution of a titles, documents, books, or records is to have the same reproduced in the same forms they were when the loss or destruction occurred, after observing the procedure prescribed by law.[5]

Verily, a property owner must be concerned about the reconstitution of his title even if it were the Register of Deeds who lost it. The law makes it the obligation of the property owner to institute the judicial proceeding for reconstitution when the loss or destruction of the property title does not meet the requirements to warrant an administrative proceeding for reconstitution which is instituted at the instance of the Register of Deeds.

For clarity, a real property such land or condominium is registered and covered by two separate original titles, one copy is with the property owner and another copy is with the Register of Deeds. To be binding upon the whole world, any lien or transaction covering a particular property must be reflected in the title with the Register of Deeds as it is reflected in the duplicate original copy of title in the possession of a property owner. With this, reconstitution of title is a matter of necessity.

After a successful reconstitution proceeding, the property owner is then restored to perform proprietary acts or acts of dominion such as sale, mortgage, and lease.

[1] Development Bank of the Phils. v. Acting Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija, UDK No. 7671, (1988).

[2] P.D. 1529, sec. 110, (1978).

[3] RA No. 26, as amended by RA No. 6732

[4] Ibid.

[5] Serra v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. L-34080 & L-34693, (1991).

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