Donated piece of land can be reclaimed by donor

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
What document is needed to donate a land? May a donation that is validly executed be revoked and the ownership of the land be reverted to the donor?

Dear RB,
Donation is a process wherein a person transfers gratuitously the ownership of a thing or a right in favor of another, who accepts it (Article 725, Civil Code of the Philippines (CCP) ). To be able to validly donate a land or any immovable, the donor needs to execute a Deed of Donation, specifying therein the land donated and the value of the charges that the donee must satisfy. The donee, on the other hand, needs to accept the donation during the lifetime of the donor. He may signify his acceptance of the donation in the same deed of donation or in a separate public document. If the donee made his acceptance in a separate instrument, it shall be necessary for him to notify the donor of the same in an authentic form. Such acceptance shall also be noted in the deed of donation and in the instrument where the acceptance was made (Article 749, CCP).

Once the donation has been validly executed, the donee shall become the owner of the property donated. There are instances, however, when the donation may be revoked and the donor may recover the property donated. The grounds for revocation of donation are enumerated in Article 765 of the abovementioned law, to wit:

Article 765. The donation may also be revoked at the instance of the donor, by reason of ingratitude in the following cases:

1. If the donee should commit some offense against the person, the honor or the property of the donor, or of his wife or children under his parental authority;

2. If the donee imputes to the donor any criminal offense, or any act involving moral turpitude, even though he should prove it, unless the crime or the act has been committed against the donee himself, his wife or his children under his authority;

3. If he unduly refuses him support when the donee is legally or morally bound to give support to the donor.

If any of the foregoing grounds is present, the donor may file a petition before the court for the revocation of his donation. The donor, however, has only one year to file this petition to be counted from the time he had knowledge of the fact of any of the grounds and it was possible for him to bring the action (Article 769, CCP).

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that 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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1 Comment

  1. Dear Pao,

    I need your help pls.

    We decided to get a motorcycle which is 3years to pay way back in 2009.After 8months the motorcycle got stolen and we had to go to the police station to inform them and file for police blotter. They require us to get the chasis number for them to easily find it,We seek help to the company but they never gave us the information we need. months no information was given to us We decide not to pay them. Then this year 2014 we received a demand letter forcing us to pay 314,000pesos for penalty and cost of the motorcycle. Do they have the right to file estafa for this?Thanks. Hope to hear something from you soon.