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HOW TO DIVIDE LAND IN THE PHILIPPINES (SUMMARY)

How to divide lands in the Philippines; a summary

Updated on May 30 2024

The process of dividing land into different ownerships can be complex and requires a thorough understanding of the land division or subdivision laws in the Philippines. This guide provides an overview of the steps involved in land division and key considerations to bear in mind.

1. Understanding Land Division

Land division, or subdivision, is the process of splitting a piece of land into two or more parcels. These parcels can then be owned by different individuals. The process involves legal, administrative, and sometimes engineering procedures to ensure the new parcels are valid, accessible, and suitable for development.

Before embarking on land division, it's crucial to understand that not all lands can be subdivided. There are restrictions based on the zoning of the land, its size, and sometimes even its shape. Also, lands that are still under mortgage or with unsettled legal issues may not be eligible for division. Therefore, it's necessary to check these issues before proceeding.

2. Understanding the Legal Framework

Land subdivision in the Philippines is governed by the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree and the Revised National Building Code. Both these laws, along with local ordinances, set the rules and guidelines for subdividing land.

The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree, or Presidential Decree No. 957, regulates the sale of subdivision lots and condominiums. The law aims to protect buyers against misrepresentation and fraudulent activities by sellers and developers.

The Revised National Building Code, or Presidential Decree No. 1096, contains technical requirements for buildings and structures, including the subdivision of lands.

3. Process of Land Division

a. Initial Assessment

This step involves checking the feasibility of the land division. It includes verifying the zoning of the land, assessing its physical attributes (such as topography and soil type), and determining the potential size and number of new parcels.

b. Survey and Plan Preparation

A licensed geodetic engineer must conduct a survey to establish the boundaries of the land and the proposed new parcels. The engineer will then prepare a subdivision plan, which must conform to the guidelines set by the Land Management Bureau and local government ordinances.

c. Approval of the Subdivision Plan

The subdivision plan must be submitted to the relevant agencies for approval. These include the Local Government Unit (LGU), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). Each of these agencies will review the plan and either approve it or request changes.

d. Registration of the New Parcels

Once the subdivision plan is approved, the new parcels can be registered with the Land Registration Authority (LRA) and new titles can be issued.

4. Considerations in Land Division

When dividing land, it's important to consider the intended use of the new parcels. For instance, if the new parcels are intended for residential use, they must comply with the minimum lot size requirements for residential zones.

Also, the new parcels must have access to a public road. If the existing land does not border a public road, an access road or easement must be created as part of the subdivision plan.

Lastly, consider the impact of subdivision on the value of the land. In some cases, dividing a land could increase its total value. However, this may not always be the case, especially if the new parcels are too small or oddly shaped.

5. Legal Assistance and Professional Advice

Given the complexity of land division, it's advisable to seek legal advice and professional help. A lawyer can help you understand the legal requirements and implications, while a geodetic engineer can assist with the technical aspects of surveying and plan preparation. A real estate consultant or broker can also provide valuable insights on the marketability and value of the new parcels.

In conclusion, land division in the Philippines is a complex process that requires careful planning, a good understanding of the legal framework, and professional advice. It involves several steps, including initial assessment, survey and plan preparation, approval of the subdivision plan, and registration of the new parcels. Despite the challenges, dividing land can be a viable strategy for landowners to maximize the use and value of their property.

 

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