May a corporation own lands?

It depends.

1. Corporation sole can acquire by purchase a parcel of private agricultural land without violating the constitutional prohibition since it has no nationality.

2. Corporation

     a. Private Lands

          i. At least 60% Filipino (Sec. 7, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution)

          ii. Restricted as to extent reasonably necessary to enable it to carry out purpose for which it was created

          iii. If engaged in agriculture, it is restricted to 1,024 hectares.

     b. Patrimonial property of the State (Sec. 3, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution)

          i. Lease (cannot own land of the public domain) for 25 years renewable for another 25 years

          ii. Limited to 1,000 hectares iii. Applies to both Filipinos and foreign corporations.


May a corporation apply for registration of a parcel of land

Yes, through lease not exceeding 1,000 hectares. Such lease shall not exceed twenty five (25) years and renewable for not more than twenty five (25) years. (Sec. 3, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution)

Note: Determinative of this issue is the character of the parcels of land – whether they were still public or already private – when the registration proceedings were commenced. If they are already private lands, the constitutional prohibition against acquisitions by a private corporation would not apply.