Civil, Property, Family Laws

Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act

In order to stimulate wealth creation and economic development, Republic Act No. 11231 (RA No. 11231) lifted the restrictions imposed by Commonwealth Act No. 141 (CA No. 141) on the registration, acquisition, encumbrance, transfer and conveyance of lands covered by agricultural free patents.

Previously, Section 118 of the CA No. 141 prohibits the encumbrance or alienation of lands acquired under free patent, except to the government or any of its branches, within five (5) years from the issuance of the patent or grant. Likewise, Section 119 provides that the applicant, his widow, or legal heirs can repurchase a land acquired under the free patent provisions within five (5) years from the date of transfer or sale.

Moreover, corporations, associations, or partnerships are forbidden from acquiring any property right, title or interest on free patent except when the grantee and the Secretary of Natural Resources approves of the conveyance solely for commercial, industrial, educational, religious, charitable, or right of way purposes.

With the enactment of RA No. 11231, an agricultural free patent is now a title in fee simple free of any restriction on its encumbrance or alienation. It applies retroactively such that any restrictions on the acquisition, encumbrances, or dispositions on agricultural free patents issued prior to the enactment of RA No. 11231 shall be removed and immediately lifted.

To see the entire RA No. 11231, click here.

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