Republic Act No. 3872
TO AMEND SECTIONS FORTY-FOUR, FORTY-EIGHT AND ONE HUNDRED TWENTY OF COMMONWEALTH ACT NUMBERED ONE HUNDRED FORTY-ONE, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “PUBLIC LAND ACT”, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. A new paragraph is hereby added to Section 44 of Commonwealth Act Numbered One hundred forty-one, to read as follows:
“SEC. 44. Any natural-born citizen of the Philippines who is not the owner of more than twenty-four hectares and who since July fourth, nineteen hundred and twenty-six or prior thereto, has continuously occupied and cultivated, either by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest, a tract or tracts of agricultural public lands subject to disposition, or who shall have paid the real estate tax thereon while the same has not been occupied by person shall be entitled, under the provisions of this chapter, to have a free patent issued to him for such tract or tracts of such land not to exceed twenty-four hectares.
“A member of the national cultural minorities who has continuously occupied and cultivated, either by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest, a tract or tracts of land, whether disposable or not since July 4, 1955, shall be entitled to the right granted in the preceding paragraph of this section: Provided, That at the time he files his free patent application he is not the owner of any real property secured or disposable under this provision of the Public Land Law.”
SEC. 2. A new sub-section (c) is hereby added to Section 48 of the same Act to read as follows:
“SEC. 48. The following-described citizens of the Philippines, occupying lands of the public domain or claiming to own any such lands or an interest therein, but whose titles have not been perfected or completed, may apply to the Court of First Instance of the province where the land is located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of title therefor, under the Land Registration Act, to wit:
“(a) Those who prior to the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the United States have applied for the purchase, composition or other form of grant of lands if the public domain under the laws and royal decrees then in force and have instituted and prosecuted the proceedings in connection therewith, but have, with or without default upon their part, or for any other cause, not received title therefor, if such applicants or grantees and their heirs have occupied and cultivated said lands continuously since the filing of their applications.
“(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been, in continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide claim of acquisition or ownership, for at least thirty years immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title, except when prevented by war or force majeure. Those shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter.
“(c) Members of the national cultural minorities who w themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of lands of the public domain suitable to agriculture, whether disposable or not, under a bona fide claim of ownership for at least 30 years shall be entitled to the rights granted in sub-section (b) hereof.”
SEC. 3. Section 120 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:
“SEC. 120. Conveyance and encumbrance made by persons belonging to the so-called “non-Christian Filipinos” or national cultural minorities, when proper, shall be valid if the person making the conveyance or encumbrance is able to read and can understand the language in which the instrument of conveyance or encumbrances is written. Conveyances and encumbrances made by illiterate non-Christian or literate non-Christians where the instrument of conveyance or encumbrance is in a language not understood by the said literate non-Christians shall not be valid unless duly approved by the Chairman of the Commission on National Integration”.
SEC. 4. Any Act, law, rule and regulation or executive order contrary hereto are hereby amended and/or repealed accordingly.
SEC. 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Approved, June 18, 1964
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