Claiming Damages under PD 1529 Incurred due to Title or Ownership Loss
Presidential Decree No. 1529, or otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree (“PD 1529”), provides for a protection to individuals who rely on a property’s certificate of title as evidence of ownership. That is the Assurance Fund, which is part of our property registration system.
The law allows a person to claim damages that may be incurred due to the unlawful or erroneous issuance of a certificate of title against the Assurance Fund. However, a claim from the fund must meet the strict requirements of Presidential Decree No. 1529, to wit:
“SEC. 95. Action for compensation from funds. — A person who, without negligence on his part, sustains loss or damage, or is deprived of land or any estate or interest therein in consequence of the bringing of the land under the operation of the Torrens system of arising after original registration of land, through fraud or in consequence of any error, omission, mistake or misdescription in any certificate of title or in any entry or memorandum in the registration book, and who by the provisions of this Decree is barred or otherwise precluded under the provision of any law from bringing an action for the recovery of such land or the estate or interest therein, may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for the recovery of damages to be paid out of the Assurance Fund.” (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
In an action against the Assurance Fund, the plaintiff cannot recover as compensation more than the fair market value of the land at the time he suffered the loss, damage, or deprivation.
Claimant Must not be Negligent
In the case of Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental and The National Treasurer of the Republic of the Philippines v. Oscar Anglo, Sr., et al., G.R. No. 171804, 05 August 2015, the Supreme Court emphasized that claims will not be allowed when the claimant is negligent.
Also, under Section 101 of PD 1529, the Assurance Fund shall not be liable for any loss, damage or deprivation caused or occasioned by a breach of trust, whether express, implied or constructive or by any mistake in the resurveyed or subdivision of registered land resulting in the expansion of area in the certificate of title.
Must Claim within Six (6) Years
Finally, any action for compensation against the Assurance Fund shall be instituted within a period of six (6) years from the time the right to bring such action first occurred.
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