If you are a foreigner and wants to own land in the Philippines…

Filipinos have a nationalistic attitude towards land. In our cutlure, we witness our kababayans always coming home to the place they were born from. Here in Mandaue, Cebu, businessmen say it is very hard to buy property because they are priced “emotionally.” Meaning, they factor in the sentimental value into the price.

That is why the framers of the Philippine Constitution, restricted ownership of real property to Filipinos.

But if you are a foreigner how do you do go about owning real property in the Philippines the legal way?

The most common advice is just buy a condominium unit. Foreigners can buy condominium unit because a condominium corporation may be composed of 40% foreign ownership, the rest is Filipino ownership. The government will require though a certificate that the 60%-40% requirement is complied. In other words, the condominium corporation does not exceed 40% foreign ownership.

The other practice of foreigners especially pensioners from abroad is marry a Filipina and have the name registered under the Filipina wife. But I heard some instances when this setup becomes problematic as when relationships turn sour.

A former natural born citizen also can own land in the Philippines. If you are a Filipino before, but changed your citizenship after, you may still own land. But you can only own land if it was passed to you by inheritance. And this has some limitations, which I am not going to cover. As this is just a blog and not a legal advice.

Author: Aldren

A Cebu-based practicing labor and corporate lawyer plodding through life one post at a time.

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