Reconstitution of a Lost or Destroyed Certificate of Title.

What does reconstitution mean?

The Supreme Court (SC) in Dela Paz v. Republic of the Philippines[1] defined reconstitution as follows: Reconstitution is the restoration of the instrument or title allegedly lost or destroyed in its original form and condition. Its only purpose is to have the title reproduced, after observing the procedure prescribed by law, in the same form they were when the loss or destruction occurred.

What are the modes of reconstitution of a lost or destroyed Certificate of Title?

Reconstitution may be done judicially or administratively.

Section 110 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 (P.D. No. 1529), as amended, otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree allows the JUDICIAL reconstitution of lost or destroyed title. The special procedure is provided for in Republic Act No. 26 (R.A. No. 26)

On the other hand, ADMINISTRATIVE reconstitution is provided for under R.A. No. 6732, an act which amends certain sections of P.D. No. 1529, and R.A. No. 26. Administrative reconstitution may be availed of only when the following requisites concur:

a. there is substantial loss or destruction of land titles due to fire, flood or other force majeure as determined by the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority;

b. the number of certificates of titles lost or damaged should be at least 10% of the total number in the possession of the Office of the Register of Deeds; and

c. in no case shall the number of certificates of titles lost or damaged be less than 500.

What are the sources available on which a Petition for Reconstitution may be anchored?

For reconstitution of Original Certificate of Title (OCT):

OCT shall be reconstituted from such of the sources hereunder enumerated as may be available, in the following order: [2]

(a) The owner's duplicate of the certificate of title;

(b) The co-owner's, mortgagee's, or lessee's duplicate of the certificate of title;

(c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;

(d) An authenticated copy of the decree of registration or patent, as the case may be, pursuant to which the original certificate of title was issued;

(e) A document, on file in the registry of deeds, by which the property, the description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original had been registered; and

(f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

For reconstitution of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT):

TCT shall be reconstituted from such of the sources hereunder enumerated as may be available, in the following order: [3]

(a) The owner's duplicate of the certificate of title;

(b) The co-owner's, mortgagee's, or lessee's duplicate of the certificate of title;

(c) A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;

(d) The deed of transfer or other document, on file in the registry of deeds, containing the description of the property, or an authenticated copy thereof, showing that its original had been registered, and pursuant to which the lost or destroyed transfer certificate of title was issued;

(e) A document, on file in the registry of deeds, by which the property, the description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original had been registered; and

(f) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

Note must be taken of the order of the sources as one may not resort to those at the bottom of the list where the preceding ones are available. The importance was reiterated by the SC in the case of Dela Paz v. Republic of the Philippines[4]:

The documents alluded to in paragraph (f) must be resorted to in the absence of those preceding in order. If the petitioner for reconstitution fails to show that he had, in fact, sought to secure such prior documents (except with respect to the owner's duplicate copy of the title which it claims had been, likewise, destroyed) and had failed to find them, the presentation of the succeeding documents as substitutionary evidence is proscribed.

For reconstitution of liens and encumbrances:

Liens and encumbrances shall be reconstituted from such of the sources hereunder enumerated as may be available, in the following order: [5]

(a) Annotations or memoranda appearing on the owner's co-owner's mortgagee's or lessee's duplicate;

(b) Registered documents on file in the registry of deeds, or authenticated copies thereof showing that the originals thereof had been registered; and

(c) Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the liens or encumbrances affecting the property covered by the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

How is reconstitution initiated and what is the procedure for such?

1. A petition for reconstitution shall be filed with the proper Regional Trial Court.


2. Notice of the petition shall be published and copy of the notice shall be sent to the concerned parties.

3. If the court, after hearing finds the documents and evidence sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution, an order of reconstitution shall be issued.


4. Thereafter, the register of deeds shall issue the corresponding owner's duplicate and the additional copies of said certificates of title, if any had been previously issued, where such owner's duplicate and/or additional copies have been destroyed or lost. This fact shall be noted on the reconstituted certificate of title.


5. The register of deeds shall certify on each certificate of title reconstituted the date of the reconstitution, the source or sources from which reconstitution has been accomplished, and whether administratively or judicially.

What are the requisites to be met before the court may order the reconstitution of a destroyed or lost title?

Reconstitution of certificate of title partakes of a land registration proceeding and must be granted only upon clear proof that the title sought to be restored was indeed issued to the petitioner.[6]

Jurisprudence prescribed the requirements to warrant the order of reconstitution, namely: (a) that the certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the documents presented by petitioner are sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed certificate of title; (c) that the petitioner is the registered owner of the property or had an interest therein; (d) that the certificate of title was in force at the time it was lost or destroyed; and (e) that the description, area and boundaries of the property are substantially the same and those contained in the lost or destroyed certificate of title.[7]



[1] G.R. No. 195726, November 20, 2017. [2] Sec. 2, R.A. 26 [3] Sec. 3, R.A. 26 [4] Id. [5] Sec. 4, R.A. 26 [6] Republic of the Philippines v. Abalos, G.R. No. 209385, August 31, 2016. [7] Id.

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