Selling Price vs. Tax Declaration Value

Under Section 34 of B.P. Blg. 129 regarding delegated jurisdiction in cadastral cases, the value of the lot is not to be determined from the selling price in the deed of sale annexed to the petition but rather from the value indicated in the tax declaration.

The delegated jurisdiction of the MTC over cadastral and land registration cases is indeed set forth in the Judiciary Reorganization Act, which provides: Sec. 34. Delegated Jurisdiction in Cadastral and Land Registration Cases. - Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts may be assigned by the Supreme Court to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases covering lots where there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots where the value of which does not exceed One hundred thousand pesos (₱100,000.00), such value to be ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement of the respective claimants if there are more than one, or from the corresponding tax declaration of the real property. Their decision in these cases shall be appealable in the same manner as decisions of the Regional Trial Courts. (As amended by R.A. No. 7691)

Thus, the MTC has delegated jurisdiction in cadastral and land registration cases in two instances: first, where there is no controversy or opposition; or, second, over contested lots, the value of which does not exceed ₱100,000. (G.R. No. 162322. March 14, 2012)

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