This is the Philippines and this is the reality.
A big majority of property in the Philippines is NOT yet released for Titling and for this reason it is sooooo cheap.
Buying Tax Dec Property means you are buying the “RIGHTS” to live on a certain property, and in a big majority of cases, no-one will ever question or bother your ownership rights over this property again.
There are 2 types of Tax Dec land.
One being Alien and Disposable (A & D) and the other Timberland.
The A & D Tax Dec can be easier to apply for Titling, whereas Timberland might take longer or due to its location, especially if within the Protected Area (like National Park) may not be granted Title, however it might be possible to apply for a special Govt Tenure. (see below)
Most local people (possibly 90% in fact) knowing the often conflicting paper trails of the DENR follow the “Wait and See” approach. However that said there are now many people building grand homes on their TAX DEC lands and a good few of them are pushing for release so they can Title their lands. The DERN are slow to do this but it does evolve slowly.
So if you desire to just reside here and to live here for many years and you have lots of patience to do it the local way then there is a big chance you can eventually have your Tax Dec property released for Residential Titling, years from now. You don’t need to do anything, just enjoy living in the Philippines.
Working with the DENR can be a process and a half, depending on who you know, and they do have a tough job, dividing their intention to protect as well as to develop. Prior to a recent Moratorium of the FLAGT within the protected Area, which is temporarily on hold, DENR Tenure for FLAGT is 25 year lease with another 25 year extension and costs approx US$2,000 each lot.
FYI: Many of the Big Resorts like Miniloc and Lagan are only Tax Dec land.
Like I said most locals would NEVER bother and knowing what I know, I wouldn’t either.
However I would build it into the possible FUTURE budget if I had too.
You are welcome to read this info below on the subject:
A Special Forest Landuse Agreement (FLAG) is a contract between the government and a person, authorizing the latter to temporarily occupy, manage and develop in consideration of a government share, any forest land of the public domain for specific use. FLAGs authorize all types of uses of mangrove forest lands other than the production of timber and non-timber resources. The uses may include, but are not limited to, warehouse siting, drydock/shipbuilding/ship breaking site, industrial processing, landing site, water reservoir, etc.
FLAGs have a maximum duration of 25 years and are renewable for the same period.
The qualified applicants include Filipino citizens and associations, corporations, cooperatives, partnerships or a juridical person, for which at least 60% of the capital is owned by Filipino citizens. Awarding these types of uses is subject to government bidding process.
The minimum entry fee for each type of forest land use is not lower than 5% of the zonal value of the area.
The only difference between the FLAgT and a FLAG is the entry fee, which is based on the area and the highest entry fee offered by the applicant. The minimum entry fee schedule is:
• 0.5. ha and below – P 25,000
• 0.51 – 1 ha. – P50,000
• 1.0 – 5 ha – P100,000
• Over 5 ha – P150,000
Outside the Protected the best is SIMFA and this is considerable less costly and for a greater area.
Socialized Industrial Forest Management Agreement is an agreement entered into by and between a natural or juridical person and the DENR wherein the latter grants to the former the right to develop, utilize and manage a small tract of forestland consistent with the principle of sustainable development. (DENR Administrative Order No. 96-24)
1. Application fee:
• 1 – 5 ha – P 500
• Over 5 – 10 ha – P1,000
• Over 10 – 100 h. – P5,000
• Over 100 ha.-300 ha – P7,500
• Over 300 ha – 500 ha – P 10,000
2. Sketch map of the area
3. For Individuals/Family Units:
• Community Tax Certificate
• Certification from Barangay Captain and Municipality/City Mayor that the applicant is a resident of the area where the site located.
• If a government employee, authorization from the head of agency where the applicant is employed.
4. For Cooperatives/Associations:
• Certified true copy of the Certificate of Registration with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or Securities and ; Exchange Commission (SEC);
• List of duly elected officers and members and their ;addresses, duly certified by the Board Secretary.
Resolution/minutes of meeting, duly certified by the Board Secretary, indicating the Cooperative’s or association’s interest in participating in the program.