The right to own real estate in the Philippines is governed by:
A. Constitution and
B. Other pertinent laws, as follows:
As exceptions to the general rule, alien acquisition of real estate in the Philippines is allowed in the following cases:
a) Acquisition before the 1935 Constitution;
b) Acquisition by hereditary succession;
c) Purchase by aliens of not more than 40% of the units in a condominium project;
d) B.P. 185 (1982) – Purchase by former natural born Filipino citizens, subject to the requirements or limitations prescribed by law.
aa) Acquisition shall not exceed 1,000 square meters for urban land or 1 hectare for rural land to be used solely for residence of the buyer.
bb) In case of married couples, one or both of them may avail of the privilege provided that the total area shall not exceed the maximum limit.
cc) When the transferee already owns urban or rural lands for residential purpose, he shall be entitled to acquire additional urban or rural land for residential purpose which, when added to those already owned by him, shall not exceed the maximum area allowed by law.
e) Foreign Investments Act of 1991( RA 7042 as amended by R.A. 8179) – Any natural born citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship and who has the legal capacity to enter into a contract under Philippine laws may be a transferee of a private land.
aa) up to a maximum area of five thousand (5,000) square meters in the case of urban land or three (3) hectares in the case of rural land to be used by him for business or other purposes.
bb) In the case of married couples, one of them may avail of the privilege herein granted: Provided, That if both shall avail of the same, the total area acquired shall not exceed the maximum herein fixed.
cc) In the case the transferee already owns urban or rural land for business or other purposes, he shall still be entitled to be a transferee of additional urban or rural land for business or other purposes which when added to those already owned by him shall not exceed the maximum areas herein authorized.
dd) A transferee under this Act may acquire not more than two (2) lots which should be situated in different municipalities or cities anywhere in the Philippines: Provided, That the total land area thereof shall not exceed five thousand (5,000) square meters in the case of urban land or three (3) hectares in the case of rural land for use by him for business or other purposes.A transferee who has already acquired urban land shall be disqualified from acquiring rural land and vice versa”. (Sec. 10, RA 7042 as amended by R.A. 8179, Approved March 28, 1996))
f. A Filipina who married an alien retains her Philippine Citizenship (unless by her act or omission she is deemed under the laws to have renounced her Philippine Citizenship) and may therefore still acquire real estate in the Philippines.
g. Dual Citizenship Law (R.A. 9225) – A former natural-born citizen of the Philippines who became a citizen of another country and reacquires Filipino citizenship.