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Owning Real Estate Properties in the Philippines

Here are some Laws pertaining to Non-Filipino Citizen ownership of Real Estate Properties in the Philippines. 


R.A. 8179

The rights of natural Born Filipino Citizens who lost their Citizenship to be transferees of Private Land in the Philippines.

Approved on March 28, 1996 

    "Section 10. Other Rights of Natural Born Citizens Pursuant to the Provisions of Article XII, Section 8 of the Philippine Constitution - Any natural born citizens who has lost his Philippine Citizenship and who has the legal capacity to enter into a contract under Philippine Laws maybe a transferee of a private land to a maximum area of five thousand (5,000) square meters in the case of urban land or three (3) hectares in the case of rural lands used by him for business or other purposes. In the case of married couples, one of them may avail of the privilege herein granted: Provided, That is both shall avail of the same, the total area shall not exceed the maximum herein fixed.

    "In case the transferee already owns urban or rural land for business or other purposes, he shall still be entitled to be a transferee of additional urban or rural land for business or other purposes which when added to those already owned by him shall not exceed the maximum herein authorized.

    "A transferee under this Act may acquire not more than two (2) lots which should be situated in different municipalities or cities anywhere in the Philippines: Provided, That the total land area thereof shall not exceed five thousand (5,000) square meters in case of urban land or three (3) hectares in the case of rural land for use by him for business or other purposes. A transferee who has already acquired urban land shall be disqualified from acquiring rural land and vice versa.

Some ways a Foreign National can Secure Property purchase in the Philippines

  1. Have a Filipino Trustee -- Have a Filipino you can trust where you can put the title or ownership of property in his/her name. (CAUTION: SOME DUMMIES ARE NOT DUMB) ...

  2. Form a Corporation -- You can form a corporation with Filipino partners with the sharing of 40% foreign 60% Filipino capital. (The 60% can be the cost of the land)

  3. Lease the Property -- You can lease public and private land for 50 years renewable up to  25 years, (just enough time for return on investments).

  4. Buy A Condominium Unit -- You can own 100% of the unit but not the more than 40% of the entire condominium project.


R.A. 7652 



Declaration of Policy - It is hereby declared the policy of the State to encourage foreign investments consistent with the constitutional mandate to conserve and develop our own patrimony. Towards this end, the State hereby adopts a flexible and dynamic policy on the granting of long term lease on private lands to foreign investors for the establishment of Industrial estate, factories, assembly or processing plants, agro-industrial enterprises, land development for industrial, or commercial use, tourism and other similar priority productive endeavors.

Coverage - Any foreign investors investing in the Philippines shall be allowed to lease private lands in accordance with the laws of the Republic of the Philippines subject to the following conditions:

  1. No lease contract shall be for a period exceeding fifty (50) years, renewable once for a period of not more than twenty five (25) years;

  2. The leased area shall be used solely for the purpose of the investment upon the mutual agreement of the parties;

  3. The leased premises shall comprise such area as my reasonably be required for the purpose of the investment subject however to the Comprehensive Reform Law and the Local Government Code.

    The leasehold right acquired under the long term lease contracts entered into pursuant to this Act may be sold, transferred, or assigned: Provided, That the buyer, transferee, or assignee is a foreign-owned enterprise, the conditions and limitations in respect to the use of the leased property as provided for under this Act shall continue to apply.


  1. Foreign individuals, corporations, associations, or partnerships not otherwise investing in the Philippines as define herein shall continue to be covered by Presidential Decree No. 471 and other existing laws on lease of lands to foreigners.

  2. Withdrawal of the approved investment on the Philippines within the period of the lease agreement entered into under this Act, or use of the leased area for the purpose other than authorized, shall warrant the ipso facto termination of the lease agreement without prejudice to the right of the lessor to be compensated for the damages he may have suffered thereby.

  3. Any lease agreement under this Act, which is renewable at the option of the lessee subject to the same terms and conditions of the original contract, shall be interpreted to mean as renewable upon the mutual agreement of the parties.

  4. In addition to the conditions for the renewal of a lease agreement after the period of fifty (50) years as provided herein, the foreign lessee shall show that it has made social and economic contributions to the country.

  5. In the case of tourism projects lease of private lands by foreign investors qualified herein shall be limited to the projects with an investment of not less that five million (5M) US dollars, seventy percent (70%)  of which shall be infused in the said project within three years  from the signing of contract.