Advantages of the Torrens system

The following, according to the Supreme Court (G.R. No. 5246, September 16, 1910, citing Sheldon on Land Registration, pp. 75, 76), are the benefits of the system of registration of titles, to wit:
  1. Promotes security over insecurity;
  2. Reduces the costs of and the time needed for conveyances;
  3. Promotes brevity and clarity over obscurity and verbiage;
  4. Simplifies ordinary dealings that he who has mastered the ‘three R’s’ can transact his own conveyancing;
  5. It affords protection against fraud;
  6. Restores to their just value estates held under good holding titles but suffered depreciation due to some technical defect; and
  7. Bars the re-occurrence of any similar faults in the holding of titles over estates.
The main purpose of the Torrens system is to avoid possible conflicts of title to real estate and to facilitate transactions relative thereto by giving the public the right to rely upon the face of a Torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the need of inquiring further, except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that should impel a reasonably cautious man to make such further inquiry. Where innocent third persons, relying on the correctness of the certificate of title thus issued, acquire rights over the property, the court cannot disregard such rights and order the total cancellation of the certificate. The effect of such an outright cancellation would be to impair public confidence in the certificate of title, for everyone dealing with property registered under the Torrens system would have to inquire in every instance as to whether the title has been regularly or irregularly issued. Every person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go beyond the certificate to determine the condition of the property. (G.R. No. 114299, September 24, 1999)

The Torrens system was adopted in this country because it was believed to be the most effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recognized. If a person purchases a piece of land on the assurance that the seller's title thereto is valid, he should not run the risk of being told later that his acquisition was ineffectual after all. This would not only be unfair to him. What is worse is that if this were permitted, public confidence in the system would be eroded and land transactions would have to be attended by complicated and not necessarily conclusive investigations and proof of ownership. The further consequence would be that land conflicts could be even more numerous and complex than they are now and possibly also more abrasive, if not even violent. The Government, recognizing the worthy purposes of the Torrens system, should be the first to accept the validity of titles issued thereunder once the conditions laid down by the law are satisfied. (G.R. No. 107967, March 1, 1994)

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