Public warned vs. misleading info on cost of processing land title

The Land Management Bureau (LMB) has urged the public to ignore and stop sharing a Facebook post claiming that P50.00 is all it takes to secure a land title, calling it “misleading and erroneous.”

The post claims that those who wish to have their lands titled only need to pay an application fee of P50.00 or a “package fee” of P185, which includes the “application fee, stamp and clearance.”

It even cited an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as the source of the information, probably to make the post look authentic.

LMB Director Emelyn Talabis said the information provided was “incomplete” even as she warned the public against sharing it.

“Sharing of information must be carefully verified to avoid misleading the public into having the wrong conclusion or generalization,” Talabis said.

According to Talabis, the standard land titling application fee of P50.00 had been increased to P60.00 since 2000 when then President Joseph Estrada issued an executive order raising fees and charges in government agencies by 20 percent.

She said the “package fee” of P185.00 mentioned in the FB post refers to “necessary fees such as documentary stamps, clearances, and affidavits from other agencies which must be paid and secured during or prior to the process of filing an application.”

At the same time, Talabis made some clarification as to the claim in the subject FB post that applicants do not have to pay as much as P20,000 to have their lands surveyed since land surveyors are already receiving salaries from government.

Talabis explained that the DENR has limited manpower and budget allocated for subdivision survey activities. This is why the agency offers the service on a “first come, first served” basis, she said.

She said those who cannot be accommodated by the agency may opt to have their lots surveyed by private geodetic engineers.

“Geodetic engineers have tariffs that they follow, and that payment for their services depends on the survey,” she pointed out.

Talabis added that other fees would have to be considered on some factors, such as the type of land and patent being applied for, as well as the mode of transfer of ownership like inheritance, donation, and purchase.

The applicant, she said, may also be required to pay other taxes or charges by other agencies involved in the titling process, such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Register of Deeds.

Aside from fees, Talabis said an applicant may also be required to submit documents like marriage and/or death certificates, original title, power of attorney, proof of publication, approved plan and technical description of the land, proof of occupation, and judicial forms.

Talabis said the LMB has been flooded with inquiries since the misleading information on land title processing fees started circulating on FB.

LMB is a staff bureau of the DENR responsible for administering, surveying, managing and disposing alienable and disposable lands. ###