Real estate ownership rules (I)-A A +A
Real Estate Updates
Sunday, September 1, 2013
REAL Estate starts with the kind of property subject of ownership. It may be immovable/real or movable/personal. Real property refers to the interest, benefits and rights inherent in the ownership of the physical real estate. It is the "Bundle of Rights" with which the ownership of real estate is endowed and the rights or interests which the owner has in the thing owned. Under the Civil Code, Immovable or Real Properties are enumerated and described under Article 415.
On the other hand, personal Property, generally, are all movable items; that is, those not permanently affixed to and part of "Real Estate." It consists of every kind of property that includes money, movable goods or chattels, or all property that is not "real property." Under the Civil Code, Movable or Personal Properties are enumerated and described under Articles 416, 417 and 418.
Generally, property is either of public dominion or of private ownership. Property of private ownership, besides the patrimonial property of the State, provinces, cities and municipalities, consists of all property belonging to private persons, either individually or collectively.
"Ownership" is the right of persons/entities to possess and use a thing to the exclusion of others. It is the independent right of a person to the exclusive enjoyment and control of a property, including its disposition and recovery, subject only to the restrictions established by law and right of others. Under the Philippine Constitution, the pertinent provisions on ownership embodied therein are:
1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. (underscoring supplied) - (Section 1, Article III - Bill of Rights)
2. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. (underscoring supplied) - (Section 9, Article III - Bill of Rights)
Regalian Doctrine of Property Ownership
This doctrine refers to a legal principle that holds that all natural wealth - in the form of agricultural, forest, timber and mineral lands of the "Public Domain" and all other natural resources belong to the State. Thus, even if a private person owns the property where minerals are discovered, his ownership does not give him the right to extract or utilize said minerals without permission from the State to which such minerals belong.
"Regalian" comes from the English root word "regal" - meaning royal or royalty. It is explained in the adage that says: "Everything in the country without a registered owner is owned by the State." It is closely related to the Latin term "Res Nullius," which got its roots from the Latin term "res" meaning "things" and "nullius" which means without an owner. "Res Nullius" therefore means things without an owner. Examples: fish in the ocean and seas, wild animals found in forested areas, plants in the wild forest, etc.
Since everything must have an owner, if there are no private claimants or owners, then that particular property is presumed to be owned by the State. Likewise, when a person dies without any heir, then the State succeeds to the estate of the deceased by virtue of its power of escheat.
Social Concept of Property Ownership
This doctrine specifically imposes upon the property owner his correlative obligation that includes the following pertinent provisions related to this concept:
1. The State shall promote social justice to ensure the dignity, welfare and security of all the people. Towards this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, enjoyment and disposition of private property, and equitably diffuse property ownership and profits.
2. The rights of the individual impose upon him the correlative duty to exercise them responsibly and with due regard for the rights of others.
Stewardship Concept of Ownership
It is a legal document that holds that property ownership presupposes concomitant obligation to the State and the community, and that the property is supposed to be held by the individual only as trustee by people in general. As a mere trustee, the property owner must exercise his rights to the property not just for his own exclusive and selfish interest but for the good and general welfare of the nation as a whole. It carries the following features and characteristics:
1. "Ownership" carries with it a distinct social obligation. As stewards (or caretakers) of their lands, the owners are duty bound to use or utilize their properties in a manner that will promote not only their welfare and benefit but also of the State.
2. "Every citizen retains the right of private ownership." However, when his landholdings exceed the requirements for his essential necessities or its utilization is not conducive to the general welfare, the State may exercise its authority to control or regulate such right.
3. The right of the citizen to own land continues to be guaranteed by the New Constitution. The guarantee extends to the exercise of the so-called "Bundle of Rights" or attributes which are inherent in ownership, subject only to the limitations or restrictions imposed by law or government regulations. (To be continued)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 02, 2013.