Deed registration serves as notice on land sold

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
My mother bought a 500-square meter land from Mr. A. They executed a notarized Deed of Sale in 2004. My mother failed to register the document before the Register of Deeds. Last month, we heard that Mr. A offered to sell 1,000 square meters of his land to Farah. Allegedly, to be included in the 1,000 square meters he intended to sell was the portion that he previously sold to my mother. Can we register the Deed of Sale with the Register of Deed so that we can enforce our claim to the land that my mother had bought?

Dear Logan,
Yes, you can register the Deed of Sale with the Register of Deeds. The procedure to be observed in the registration of the Deed of Sale involving a portion of a certain titled land is provided under Section 58 of Presidential Decree (PD) 1529 that states:

“If a deed or conveyance is for a part only of the land described in a certificate of title, the Register of Deeds shall not enter any transfer certificate to the grantee until a plan of such land showing all the portions or lots into which it has been subdivided and the corresponding technical descriptions shall have been verified and approved pursuant to Section 50 of this decree. Meanwhile, such deed may only be annotated by way of memorandum upon the grantor’s certificate of title, original and duplicate, said memorandum to serve as a notice to third persons of the fact that certain unsegregated portion of the land described therein has been conveyed, and every certificate with such memorandum shall be effectual for the purpose of showing the grantee’s title to the portion conveyed to him, pending the actual issuance of the corresponding certificate in his name.

Upon the approval of the plan and technical descriptions, the original of the plan, together with a certified copy of the technical descriptions shall be filed with the Register of Deeds for annotation in the corresponding certificate of title and thereupon the officer shall issue a new certificate of title to the grantee for the portion conveyed, and at the same time cancel the grantor’s certificate partly with respect only to the portion conveyed, or, if the grantor so desires, his certificate may be canceled totally and a new one issued to him describing therein the remaining portion: provided, however, that pending approval of the plan, no further registration or annotation of any subsequent deed or other voluntary instrument involving the unsegregated portion conveyed shall be effected by the Register of Deeds, except where such unsegregated portion was purchased from the government or any of its instrumentalities. Xxx” (Emphasis supplied).

In your situation, the registration of the Deed of Sale will be annotated by way of memorandum on the certificate of title of Mr. A, and will serve as a notice that the unsegregated portion of the land was sold to your mother. The Certificate of Title of Mr. A, however, will not be canceled and a new one shall not be issued in the name of your mother until a subdivision plan with technical description has been approved by the Bureau of Lands and the owner’s duplicate certificate of title is presented pursuant to Section 50 of PD 1529.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to


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