• Living parents can transfer property title to children’s names

    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I have a question on inheritance. My husband and I were married in 1980. We have two children. While we are still alive as their parents, can we give our pieces of property to our two children as their inheritance? How are we going to this?

    Thank you!

    Dear Lourdes,
    There is no law that prohibits you from giving your pieces of property to your children while you are still alive. We may not call the transfer in the strict sense of the word as inheritance, in view of the provisions of the law on succession that the rights to succession are transmitted only at the time of the death of the decedent.

    The relevant provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines as to succession are as follows:

    “Art. 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law.

    Art. 777. The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent.”

    From the foregoing provisions, it is clear that the rights of a person to succeed to the assets of his predecessors commenced from the time of the death of such predecessor. In your case, the rights of your two children to their inheritance from you will commence from the time of your death and that of your husband.

    In yet another provision of the law, one of the modes of acquisition of a property is by way of a donation. The appropriate provisions of the Civil Code are as follows:

    “Art. 725. Donation is an act of liberality whereby a person disposes gratuitously of a thing or right in favor of another, who accepts it.

    Art. 750. The donations may comprehend all the present property of the donor, or part thereof, provided he reserves, in full ownership or in usufruct, sufficient means for the support of himself, and of all relatives who, at the time of the acceptance of the donation, are by law entitled to be supported by the donor. Without such reservation, the donation shall be reduced in petition of any person affected.”

    Thus, gleaning from these provisions of the law, you can validly dispose of or transfer the title to your pieces of property from your names to that of your two children in your lifetime through donation. Provided that the donee (your two children) will accept the donation.

    In giving donations, you are, however, liable to pay the required and the necessary gift tax or the donor’s tax under the law. Section 98 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) provides that there shall be levied, assessed, collected and paid upon the transfer by any person, resident or non-resident, of the property by gift, a tax computed as provided in Section 99. The gift tax is a tax on the privilege of transmitting one’s property or property rights to another or others without adequate and full valuable consideration (Vitug and Acosta, Tax Law and Jurisprudence 2006 Edition, page 225). The tax is computed depending on the fair market value of the property subject of the donation. If, however, the fair market value of the property does not exceed P100, 000.00 and such is the only donation made in a calendar year, the same is not subject to any donor’s tax (Section 99, NIRC).

    After paying the necessary gift or donor’ tax, then you can proceed to have the Deed of Donation registered with the appropriate Register of Deeds in order to commence the transfer of the title to the property to the names of your two children.

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that our opinion is based solely on your narration of facts 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 dearpao@manilatimes.net


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    1. Marius de Jess on

      Dear Jun Deriada:

      Thanks so much for your enlightening reply to my query.

      That is correct, now I see the solution, how to avail of peculiar privileges to senior citizens who have two residences, they just have to obtain a certificate of residence from the one or the other city where they have residence, no need to obtain a senior citizen i.d. from both.

      That is very sensible.

      I will just say that the way the Quezon City OSCA official ‘confiscated’ my senior citizen i.d. of Quezon City, etc., and will return this i.d. if and when I surrender to him my Marikina i.d., it is reminiscent of extortion, in particular because he did not issue to me a receipt.

      Thanks a lot for your explanation, I will now be resigned to have lost my Quezon City senior citizen i.d. to an OSCA official of this city; still emotionally I am not happy, in particular owing to the lack of due process and lack of a receipt from the part of this official.

      Well, that is life: namely, and even if we proceed with total sincerity in regard to the request for a service from the government, there are always government personnel who react toward us as though they are dictators, pardon the term, though.

      And I still am not happy with the Quezon City Government, for to date there is no display anywhere of a Citizens Charter in the city hall and in its premises.

      That is a patently longstanding culpable neglect to comply with the law on displaying for public perusal a Citizens Charter from the part of any government agency at all.

      Thanks again, fellow citizen, Jun Deriada.

    2. Dear PAO
      We are 5 in children and our mother is already disabled. We have our youngest brother stole all my mother’s land title and we found out that he is selling it. Can he legally sell it with our permission? We gathered that he was able to fake a deed of donation. We have no idea as to what he is doing. Until we received a letter from one of the tenants of my mother’s apartment that they are ready to pay our brother who stole the titles.

    3. Marius de Jess on

      [ To the Editor: Please send this query to Persida Acosta, Head of Pao ]

      Dear Persida Acosta Head of PAO,

      Here is the query:

      Is it illegal for a senior citizen to hold two senior citizen i.d. cards, issued by the OSCA of each of two city halls; he obtained two cards because he has two homes and pays property tax on both homes to each respective city.

      An officer of one city hall took away the i.d. card issued five years ago by the OSCA of this same city hall, without giving a receipt for the confiscation, on the ground that it is illegal to possess two i.d. cards, even though the senior citizen has two homes and lives in both cities, and pays property tax to both cities punctually, fully, and faithfully every year.

      Please reply to this query, and I would appreciate more communication with the PAO legal officer taking up my query.

      I am a 78 years old widower, I have two homes, one in Marikina City and one in Quezon City; I obtained a senior citizen i.d. in each city without any problems whatsoever.

      But three months ago when I went to the Quezon City OSCA to request a booklet for grocery purchases (for from the beginning I was given only one booklet and it was for medicine purchases only), the OIC asked to see my Quezon City senior citizen i.d. card which I presented to him. Upon learning from me that I also have a Marikina City i.d. card, he told me to return tomorrow and turn over to him my Marikina City i.d. card, otherwise he will keep my Quezon City i.d. card.

      I tried to reason with him: that the law requires only that a senior citizen applicant be a resident of the place to obtain an i.d. card, it says nothing of any prohibition against obtaining two cards as the senior citizen lives in two places.

      He says that it is the policy now of Quezon City to not allow senior citizens to hold more than one i.d. cards, in order to prevent senior citizens from abuses.

      I told him that I never abuse, besides any senior citizen committing abuses with purchases is just silly, because the little extra quantities obtained from two places are not worth the trouble and the guilt involved.

      And besides I told him that there are peculiar privileges granted by the local government, adding to the common privileges provided for in the national law: how can I enjoy the peculiar privileges of respectively each city where I have residence, if senior citizens like me are supposedly prohibited from holding two i.d. cards.

      No, I told him I am not going to surrender to him my Marikina City i.d. card issued by the OSCA of Marikina City to me, because I would not give up the senior citizen privileges of Marikina City, available to me whenever I stay there.

      So he keeps my Quezon City senior citizen card with him, and does not issue a receipt either to me. I call that illegal confiscation of document.

      I have been troubled by this situation and found no solution anywhere in the Quezon City Hall, until I finally remember that the PAO also issues opinions on questions of law.

      From my research, there are no city ordinances and no mayor’s executive orders prevailing in Quezon City prohibiting senior citizens from holding two i.d. cards, it is just the idea of the OIC.

      Please study the senior citizen law, and tell me whether any local government official can just interpret the law as to deprive senior citizens of privileges they have access to, owing to their being senior citizens, and they happen to live in two places, and they do pay property taxes in both cities fully, punctually, without fail every year.

      May I hope to receive a reply to this query.

      Thank you,

      Marius de Jess

      • Dear Marius:

        I am a President of a Senior Citizens Association from Davao City. Allow me to share my opinion on your queries.

        I would like to start by quoting Sec. 4 (c) Functions of OSCA, as prescribed in the Implementing Rules and Regulations issued by DSWD relative to RA 9994 (The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010). FYI, DSWD is the Lead Implementing Agency of the government as mandated by RA 9994. As such, their IRR is an integral part of RA 9994.

        Section 4. Functions of OSCA – The Office for Senior Citizens Affairs shall have the following functions:
        a) xxx
        b) xxx
        c) To maintain and regularly update on a quarterly basis the list of senior citizens and to issue national uniform individual identification cards and purchase booklets, free of charge, which shall be valid anywhere in the country;
        d) xxx

        Query 1: Is it illegal for a Senior Citizen to hold two (or more) Senior Citizen ID cards?

        My Opinion: We only need one valid ID card, which indicates that we are at least 60 years of age, to avail of all the privileges and benefits prescribed by RA 9994. This ID card may be the one issued by OSCA, a passport, driver’s license, voter’s ID, SSS/GSIS ID, PRC card, Postal ID or just a Barangay-issued certification. And most importantly, this is Valid nationwide.

        Can we have two active passports, 2 driver’s licenses, 2 SSS IDs, etc..? NO. Same reason, we cannot (and should not) have two OSCA-issued ID cards. Remember, one of OSCA’s functions is to maintain and update on a quarterly basis the DATABASE of Senior Citizens nationwide. If you possess two or more OSCA IDs, then you are counted more than once in the National Statistics of Senior Citizens, which leads to misinformation.

        Query 2: How can I enjoy the peculiar privileges of respectively each city where I have residence, if I don’t have an OSCA ID issued by that city?

        My opinion: I am assuming that these so-called ‘peculiar privileges’ are not included in RA 9994. These may be in the form of Free Movies. Free B-day cakes, Free Meals, Free Medicine, Free Consultation etc. which are not yet included in RA 9994 but are given by the respective LGU for their Senior Citizen residents.

        For you to avail of these ‘peculiar privileges’, all you need is a Certification from your Barangay that you are a Resident of that City. You do not need a duplicate OSCA ID. Now, if your city officials will not give you these ‘peculiar privileges’ for Senior Citizens, then you can file a formal complaint with your OSCA Complaint Board.

        Caution: Just ensure that you are not receiving the same ‘peculiar privilege’ from two cities (e.g. Free B-day cake). This is tantamount to Abuse of Privileges.

        On the issue of ‘Purchase Booklets’, I agree that there are two types of booklets, one for Medicine and Medical Equipment/Supplies and one for the purchase of Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities. We are entitled to these booklets which are also valid nationwide.

        I suggest that you request your ‘grocery booklet’ from the city which issued you your medicine booklet for proper control and monitoring.

        Caution: If proven that a Senior Citizen is abusing his privileges, such as using two booklets for the same purchases, per RA 9994, he may be criminally liable to pay a fine of not less than P50,000.00 and imprisonment of not less than six months.

        I hope my opinions have answered your queries.