Patent for Residences

Opinions Unlimited

by Atty. Tony(APA) Acyatan (Atty. APA – chairman of Acyatan & Co., CPAs-DFK International is president of PICPA in 1990 and ASEAN Federation of CPAs (1998-2000) and Accountancy Hall-of-Famer (2006).

FREE TITLES: There are three ways procuring titles to real estate.  First one is by way of the courts – under the Land Registration Law (Act 496) Act.  Second is through the Cadastral Law – whereby government technical men conduct technical surveys of localities and the occupants apply for titling with the cadastral court.  The third is via administrative procedure wherein the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources grants patents for the titles.

Under the new Free Patent Act on Residential Lands – occupants of untitled residential lots may now apply for Free Patent with the nearest CENRO.  The area limits are:  200 SqM for highly urbanized cities, 500 Sqm for other cities, 750 SqM for first/second class municipalities and 1,000 SqM for all others.  Applicants must be Filipinos, who have occupied the residential land for at least TEN (10) years. The properties should not be needed for public use.

ETHANOL: Under the Biofuels Act of 2006, government mandates that gasoline should have at least 10% ethanol content by February 2011.  This requirement gives positive impetus to sugar cane (and molasses) domestic production.  Alas – after four years, local sources are insufficient to fill the need.  Fuel oil importers will now be forced to also import costlier ethanol in order to comply with the law.

It is an example of a good intention which has not been implemented properly and on time.   The sad consequences could be – blatant breach of the law with oil dealers failing to produce the correct measure of E10 blend – or the government putting the positive legal provisions on hold. Another option is to allow oil companies to import as a group – ethanol but at lower tax rates.

ELECTRICITY: In due time, electric consumers will be slapped with P1.06 per kilowatt hour – not as income to the power retailers including Meralco and the rural electric cooperatives – but as universal charge for the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.  The added cost is intended to recoup past losses which are now part of PSALM’s stranded liabilities.

Approval of said imposition is in the hands of the Energy Regulation Commission which is now evaluating the PSALM proposal.  Problem is said process cannot be done smoothly because the applicant does not want to submit the documents detailing the $8.0 billion liabilities.  Then lame reasons given are:  “the loan agreements are not the issue in their petition” and that “some of documents have confidential provisions”.  Are these claims for “executive privileges”?

CHINESE GOODS: We have long wondered why Chinese products sold all over the world are so cheap.  The secret is not in the cost of materials but in the floor-level labor rate component. With the “democratization” of mainland China, the workers there – principally those in the southern coasts (Shen-Shen/Shanghai, etc.) are now gradually asking for better wages.

This means the era of very cheap Chinese goods is now about to end.  Complicating the situation is the “divorce” of the yuan exchange rate from the US dollar – which will make the Chinese currency costlier thereby requiring more dollars for the payrolls. The shrinking cost advantage will certainly reduce orders for Chinese goods as more countries will shift to locally produced items.  It may be positive news for our local producers!

QUOTATION: Always share love.  Where there is great love, there will be miracles.

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