How do I check the ownership of a land title in the Philippines?
You can check this at the Register of Deeds, which is usually located in the town hall of the municipality, or at the justice court.
You can ask the seller to give you a photocopy of the title, for the Register of Deeds will need the title number and the owner's name.
The title will have a seal to make it official. And a certain quality of paper that is used also. You know it when you see it. It looks very, very official and impressive.
A copy of taxes paid in some rural areas will do also. Since not all deeds have been registered yet in rural areas.
A clean title means nothing if it is not registered or put up for registration by the person paying for the land ownership.
I know that in some rural areas you have to go back and forth between offices a lot to find out who can prove ownership of the land, depending n the lands destination: building, farming, commercial.
Maybe this article will help you: https://www.securitybank.com/blog/7-ways-to-ensure-your-land-title-is-real-and-clean/
If you decide on letting a lawyer do this for you, take a lawyer that is not a local one (in the same municipality as the landowner or land), to prevent scams/bribes, and ask around for the lawyers' reputation first.
-Jeanette Slagt, lived in The Philippines (2015-2019)
Quick answer : Prior to buying the property, get a copy of the title from the seller and then request for a certified true copy from the Register of Deeds. Compare those two documents. The most important part here is to check for liens and annotations.
Long answer: Part of your due diligence is to secure from Register of Deeds all the titles preceding the current owner’s title, all the way back to the OCT, or the original certificate of title. It may cost you, but it’s well worth it. This will tell you the history of the title and if there’s no gap in the trail of ownership. Having no gap strengthens the possibility that the land has no other claims to it.