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Fundamentals Of Property Ownership 



1. General  Rule - Only Filipino Citizens and corporations or partnerships at least 60% of the capital of which is owned  by Filipinos are entitled to acquire land in the Philippines. 

2.  As exception to the general rule, alien acquisition of real estate in the Philippines is allowed in the following cases: 

  a.. Acquisition before the 1935 Constitution; 
  b.. Acquisition thru hereditary succession. If foreign acquiree is a legal heir;

This simply means that when the non-Filipino is married to a Filipino citizen and the spouse dies, the non-Filipino as the natural heir will become the legal owner of the property. The same is true for the children. Every natural child (legitimate or illegitimate) can inherit the property of his/her Filipino father/mother even if he/she does not have any Filipino citizenship.

  c.. Purchase of not more than 40% interest in a condominium project; 
  d.. Purchase by a former natural-born Filipino citizen subject to the limitations  prescribed by Law (Batas Pambansa 185 and R.A. 8179) 

3.  A Filipino who married an alien retains her Philippine citizenship (unless by her act or ommision, she is deed to have renounced her Philippine citizenship) and  may therefore acquire real estate in the Phiippines. 


1.  Mode of acquision is not limited to voluntary deeds (such as sale or donation) but includes involuntary deeds (such as tax sale, foreclosure sale, or execution sale). 

2.  Maximum area that may be allowed is as follows: 
  a..  For residential purpose  -  1,000 square meters of urban land or one (1) hectare of rural land (BP 185) 
  b.. For business or other purpose - 5,000 square meters  of urban land or three hectares of rural land. 

  "Business or other purpose" refers to the use of the land primarily, directly and actually in the conduct of business or commercial activities in the broad areas of agriculture, industry and services, including the lease of land, but excluding the buying or selling thereof." 

3.  In case of married couple, one or both of them may avail of the privilege, provided that the total acquisition shall not exceed the maximum area allowed.

4. A transferee of residential land under BP 185 may still avail of the privilege granted under RA 8179. 

5.  A transferee who already owns urban or rural land for residential purpose, may acquire additional urban or rural land for residential purpose which, when added to that already owned by him shall not exceed the maximum area allowed by law. 

The same priviledge applies to a transferee who already owns urban or rural land for business purposes. 

6.  A transferee may not acquire more than two urban or two rural lands which should be located in different cities or municipalities. 

7.  A transferee who has already acquired urban land for residential purpose shall be disqualified to acquire rural land for residential purpose and vice versa. The same rule applies to a transferee of land for business purpose.

Dual Citizens

  • Dual citizenship means having two citizenships and passports from two different countries. Dual citizenship allows the citizenship holder full rights of possession of Philippine real property. This is a new law and it is still unclear as to the procedures involved to implement it. Dual citizenship is now available for the following:

  • Former Filipino citizens born in the Philippines , who have immigrated to another country and obtained citizenship of that country.

Note:  For former natural born Filipino Citizen, please visit the Philippine Embassy in your country for more information or  to apply for Dual Citizenship.

Foreign Ownership as a Philippine Corporation

  • Foreign nationals or corporations may completely own a condominium or townhouse. To take ownership of a private land, residential house and lot, and commercial building and lot, foreign nationals or corporations should form a Philippine corporation. The corporation is to be 40% foreign-owned (maximum) and 60% Filipino-owned (minimum), and with at least five [5] incorporators. Upon incorporation, a main bank account should be tied to it. A foreign national may be the sole person in the bank account, allowing him/her total control over the funds derived from the corporation and the income or sale of the asset or property.

Foreign Leasing of Philippine Real Estate Property

  • A foreign national and or corporation may enter into a lease agreement with Filipino landowners for an initial period of up to 50 years, and renewable for another 25 years.


 Note: This document is for information purposes only. The user assumes all risks for its use. www.kaizen-builders.com assumes no responsibility for such use. For more information please contact your Philippine Lawyer or a Licensed Real Estate Broker.

  • What are Step-By-Step Procedure on Buying a Philippine Real Estate Property For OFWs/Filipinos Abroad

    1. You will have a representative and he/she will be called attorney-in-fact will reserve the unit for you. He/ She will sign the forms (reservation form, special power of attorney and authorized representative form) as well as pay the reservation fee.
    The property agent will then send you the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) for you to sign and consularize. This is the legal document authorizing your attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf. Consularize/consularization- is a required process that authenticate the documents by the Philippine consulate. It usually costs 25 USD per document and varies from which country you’re working from. The documents will have a seal and a red ribbon over it. It’s non-refundable.
    2. Once reserved, here are the requirements that you need to submit within 30 days:

    a. The SPA (Consularized) – this must be authenticated by the Philippine consulate
    b. Income Proof (3 months)
    c. Proof of Billing (here in the Philippines)
    d. TIN (for verification. If you don’t have a TIN # in the Philippines, the property specialist may do this for you)
    e. CEC (Certificate of Employment and Compensation) – needs to be consularized as well
    f. Employment Contract (should be in English) – must be with the seal of the employer as well as a signature of the authorized personnel (HR manager, etc…). Can be photocopied as long as it is certified as true and correct.
    g. Post dated checks (PDCs) for the down payment. Requirement may change to some developers. If you don’t have a checking account yet, your attorney-in-fact may open one in his name. If you have a local savings account, you can request for a checking account thru your representative.
    h. Photocopy or scanned copy of your passport and IDs

    3. Your attorney-in-fact will apply for a housing loan with the bank (if bank financing), developer (if in-house financing), or Pag-IBIG (if Pag-IBIG financing).

    4. Send back all the requirements on step 2 via courier to your agent/ property specialist.

    5. The property specialist will then submit all the documents together with the PDC’s to the developer and that is all there is to it. All you need to do is fund the checking account and continue to pay the monthly amortization.
    The steps above will vary depending on the terms of the developer and the bank.
  • How can we make a reservation?

    If you are abroad, you may appoint somebody you know here, a friend or relative whom you can trust and send to him the money for the reservation through any courier. A notarized special power of attorney is required duly authenticated by the nearest consul in your area. Since it normally takes one month for the authentication, you may fax the notarized copy just to process the reservation. The authenticated copy will follow later. If you choose to pay not though somebody, you may pay “bank to bank” direct to the developer’s account. We can send you the bank account of the developer as well as the developer’s contact numbers for your confirmation of the authenticity of these numbers and personalities. As soon as you make the deposit, please notify us right away so we can trace the incoming deposit and immediately issue an official receipt. The copy of the O.R. shall be attached to an email right away while the original shall be sent via post mail.


  • Is the reservation refundable? Is it deductible from the selling price?

    Reservation which is usually a very small amount ranging from P30, 000.00 and up will entitle you to 30 days hold of your unit in your favor. Since the developer refuses to sell this to anyone interested within the period of reservation, the reservation is equitably not refundable. All reservations are deductible from the selling price.

  • Can a foreigner own real estate properties in the Philippines?

    Foreigners do enjoy absolute ownership of a condominium unit. Ownership is evidenced by Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT).

    The ownership of land is allowed only to Filipinos and foreigners who are formerly natural born Filipino Citizens. Foreigners however are allowed to rent a land for a maximum of 50 years

  • What is the procedure of buying a property when I don’t have the time yet to come over to the Philippines?

    You can purchase without necessarily coming over. First, you select from this site the specific property you are interested with. Through this website and sub link sites you will be able to view or choose the unit you like.  We will send you the floor plan’ sample price computation, and requirements.  Once you are decided which unit you like, you may send your reservation fee through any bank assigned to each project.  Upon receipt of your payment “bank to bank, the unit of your choice will be reserved for you in 30 days. Within this 30 day period, all documents required will have to be submitted. The developers required post-dated-check as security payment for the whole down payment and amortization period using in-house financing.  On your monthly payment, Official Receipts will then be sent to you a copy through attachment to email and through snail mail or you may entrust to your Real Estate Agent to keep it until you come home.  The reservation is always deductible from your down payment.

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