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2010

A GUIDE TO REPUBLIC ACT No. 9700



AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM
(CARP), EXTENDING THE ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF ALL AGRICULTURAL
LANDS, INSTITUTING NECESSARY REFORMS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE CERTAIN
PROVISIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6657, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE
COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM LAW OF 1988, AS AMENDED, AND
APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR (Effective 1 July 2009)



Land Rights-ARRD Unit
Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through
Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Inc.





2


ADVANCED CARP
A GUIDE TO REPUBLIC ACT No. 9700
by the Land Rights-Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Unit*
IDEALS, Inc.

Copyright@2010 by the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment
through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Inc. All rights reserved

IDEALS encourages the use of this book with appropriate credit given to the author and the
publisher. The content of this book may be reproduced by civil society groups for non-
commercial purposes only. Any use of this book for commercial purposes by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by information storage or
retrieval system requires permission from IDEALS.

*Land Rights ARRD Unit
Atty. Maribel I. Arias Principal Writer
Atty. Carl Marx Carumba Assisting Writer
Anna Michelle Divina, J.D. Assisting Writer


Book cover concept and design: Antonio Carlos N. Tuao
Printed by Art Angel Printshop, Jose Antonio Q. Pavia (proprietor)


Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment
through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Inc.
4F MB Bldg., No. 6, Kalayaan Ave.
Brgy. Malaya, Quezon City, Philippines 1101
Telfax: (+632)4365470
Email : ideals05@yahoo.com
Website www.ideals.org.ph

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The publication of this book is made possible with the assistance of the
Inter Church Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO)
and the Agrarian Justice Foundation, Inc. (AJFI)

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MESSAGE


Greetings of Peace and Justice!


The Agrarian Justice Foundation, Inc. is an organization committed to ensuring that
genuine agrarian justice is served to the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and
implementers of the Philippines agrarian reform program so that the farmer-beneficiaries
receive the full benefits of this program without delay, and the implementers are able to
carry the program effectively without fear of harassment or retaliation from landowners
who oppose the program.


We envision a country where the agrarian reform program has succeeded in bringing
about genuine social justice as evidenced by ARBs in the peaceful and productive
possession of the lands awarded to them under the agrarian reform program.


To this end, the Foundation provides financial support for the legal expenses of
deserving ARBs who are facing legal battles due to cases filed against them (part of
harassment techniques being used by landowner against the farmers), or because of the
ignorance of the provisions of the agrarian laws, by either or both of the parties involved
in the case and/or by the administrators of justice themselves.


In recognition of the effectiveness of information and education in achieving the
maximum utilization of the law, in order to serve our intended beneficiaries and achieve
agrarian justice and genuine agrarian reform, the AJFI pursues its advocacy work. A large
part of the advocacy efforts of the Foundation is geared towards providing venues for
further education and dialogue of the different stakeholders of agrarian reform and the
people involved in the dispensation of agrarian justice system. This is done through
various Multi-Sectoral Workshops on Agrarian Justice, seminars in handling agrarian
cases for prosecutors, roundtable discussions, to name a few.


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A better facilitation of our interventions and advocacies requires the full understanding
and interpretation of the agrarian reform program of the country: that being Republic
Act No. 6657, as most recently amended by Republic Act No. 9700, signed into law last
August 2009. R.A. No. 9700 features reforms that explicitly discuss the creation of the
Congressional Oversight Committee on Agrarian Reform (COCAR), land-use conversion
tactics of landowners, referral of cases to the DAR, among others, and takes lessons from
the case of the Sumilao Farmers. This legislation hints at a wider legal playing field for
beneficiaries and advocates alike, one that we must use to its full potential.


Hence, we would like to commend the Land Rights Agrarian Reform and Rural
Development Unit of IDEALS, Inc. in their effort to contribute to a better
comprehension of R.A. 9700 through this primer. It is the first of its kind, thus far, that
is able to methodically discuss the salient features of the new law, referring as well to the
previous agrarian reform programs of the government. It is with great honor that the
AJFI supports this endeavor which we believe will lead to a more effective
implementation of the agrarian reform program and accelerate rural development and
poverty alleviation in our country.



WIGBERTO E. TAADA
President
Agrarian Justice Foundation, Inc.








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FOREWORD



At the heart of the Filipino historical struggle for social justice is the peasant clamor for
equitable distribution of farm lands that tillages should first and foremost be for men-
and women-tillers! After centuries of this peasant fight for agrarian reform, victory
remains to be very far from sight. Thus, the push for the passage of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPer) or Republic Act No. 9700
in 2009, which extends to five more years the implementation of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) of 1988 with added key provisions that address the
weaknesses of the former law.


Being the current primary legal venue for the pursuance of agrarian reform after CARL,
R.A. 9700 needs to be reviewed and its potentials and limitations understood. This is
what ADVANCED CARP seeks to do. This primer purports to facilitate a greater
understanding of the new law.


In producing ADVANCED CARP, we in IDEALS manifest our continued solidarity
with the peasants and the whole agrarian reform movement in this advocacy for social
justice. As a legal organization, which has built its niche and expertise in land rights-
agrarian reform and rural development issues, IDEALS offers this primer as a
contribution to the agrarian reform advocacy. We do hope that this will be of use to our
fellow advocates and partners in the civil society and government sectors.


Mabuhay ang mga samahang magsasaka! Mabuhay ang patuloy na pagkilos ng
sambayanan para sa tunay na repormang agraryo!


Ma. Brenda A. Batistiana (sgd.)
President, Board of Trustees
Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment
through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Inc.

6

A Guide to Republic Act No. 9700

CONTENTS

Introduction


Part I --- THE PRINCIPAL FEATURES OF RA 9700


1 THE PRINCIPAL FEATURES OF RA 9700


2 CHARACTER OF THE EXTENSION OF THE
ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF ALL
AGRICULTURAL LANDS, AS INDICATED IN THE TITLE
OF RA 9700


3 THE CARP AS A CONTINUING PROGRAM


4 THE SALIENT CHANGES INTRODUCED BY RA NO. 9700
INTO THE CARP LAW OF 1988


A On the Declaration of Principles and Policies
B On the Definition of Farmers and Rural Women
C The Institution of the Comprehensive Inventory
System

D Provisions Relating to Land Use Conversion
E Provisions of the New Law Affecting the Land
Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) Program
Component of Agrarian Reform

F Affirmation of CLOAs, EPs and Other Titles Issued
Under Any Agrarian Reform Program As Torrens Titles
with the same features of indefeasibility and
imprescriptibility as all other land titles brought under
the Torrens system of registration


7

G Provisions Introduced by RA 9700 Relating to Support
Services

H Provisions of the New Law Relating to Agrarian
Justice


5 MEANS AND/OR MECHANISMS EXTRANEOUS TO THE
CARP PROCESSES TO HELP ENSURE ITS PROPER AND
EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATATION


Part II --- LAND ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION


A Land Implementation Schedule and Modes of
Acquisition


B Exemption of LGUs from the Prescribed Retention
Limit and Expropriation vis--vis the CARP Acquisition
and Distribution Process


C Land Valuation and Just Compensation for
Landowners


D Identification and Selection of Beneficiaries


E Land Distribution


Part III --- AGRARIAN JUSTICE


A RA 9700 provisions on Agrarian Justice, in general


B The Case Referral Mechanism


C The Penal Provisions of RA 6657, as amended by RA
9700


8

A GUIDE TO REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9700


INTRODUCTION

On August 7, 2009, Republic Act (RA) No.
9700, more commonly known as the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
Extension with Reforms (CARPER)
1
Act, was
signed into law. Introducing substantial
amendments to RA No. 6657, the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law of 1988
2
(as amended), RA
No. 9700 was passed not to create a new program
but to build on and /or enhance the former. As
the title of the new enactment indicates, RA 9700
authorized further appropriations for the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
(CARP) and, at least for the most part, instituted
reforms to facilitate program implementation. The
law also set up mechanisms that will help ensure
that it is properly and effectively implemented.

This material is an effort to present the salient
features of the RA 9700. The provisions of the
law amending sections of RA 6657 will be
specifically pointed out even as the author
ventures to describe the essence of the
amendments, particularly the ones that are more
critical, contentious, or both.


1
The law does not itself provide for the short name CARPER but was given such nickname by
agrarian reform advocates.

2
RA 6657 is also referred to as the CARP Law of 1988.
Republic Act No. 9700
AN ACT STRENGTHENING
THE COMPREHENSIVE
AGRARIAN REFORM
PROGRAM (CARP),
EXTENDING THE
ACQUISITION AND
DISTRIBUTION OF ALL
AGRICULTURAL LANDS,
INSTITUTING NECESSARY
REFORMS, AMENDING
FOR THE PURPOSE
CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6657,
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS
THE COMPREHENSIVE
AGRARIAN REFORM LAW
OF 1988, AS AMENDED,
AND APPROPRIATING
FUNDS THEREFOR
---
Approved by President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo on August
7, 2009, this Act, a
consolidation of Senate Bill
No. 2666 and House Bill
No.4077 was finally passed by
the Senate and the House of
Representatives on August 3,
2009 and July 29, 2009,
respectively.

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There are three parts to this book. Part I presents an overview of RA No. 9700.
Parts II and III respectively tackle matters concerning Land Acquisition and
Distribution (LAD) and concerns relating to Agrarian Justice (AJD) in detail, and
insofar as these are affected by the provisions of RA No. 9700.

To clarify certain subjects or issues, references will be made to provisions in
applicable administrative regulations and other issuances.


PART I.
PRINCIPAL FEATURES OF RA 9700



1. WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPAL FEATURES OF RA 9700

A major amendatory law to RA No. 6657, RA No. 9700 is the legislative
act to come after more than twenty (20) years of the implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to sustain the programs
implementation at least up to the year 2014 and to institute certain reforms
into the CARP law of 1988 in order that the same may be better implemented.
In particular, RA 9700, commonly known as the CARPER Law:

(a) Authorized further appropriations for CARP implementation until
2014 (technically until end-June 2014). The amount of PhP 150
Billion was authorized to be appropriated to further implement the
agrarian reform law until 2014.

(b) Introduced provisions that are, on the whole, improvements on the
affected provisions of RA 6657, as amended. In general, these are
regarded as the reforms instituted by RA 9700 to the amended CARP
Law of 1988.



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RA 9700 is an important piece of legislation and is considered by
agrarian reform advocates as a necessary measure to re-invigorate a program
that has been weakened by implementation shortfalls. The proper
implementation of RA 9700 is therefore critical and it is reassuring that the
law has itself provided for measures to facilitate this. These include provisions
of the new law that introduced improvements in certain CARP processes. In
addition, RA 9700 provided for means and institutionalized mechanisms
external to these processes that are clearly designed to help ensure the laws
proper implementation. The establishment of the Congressional Oversight
Committee for Agrarian Reform (COCAR) and a provision touching on access
to information are a part of such means and mechanisms.


2. WHAT IS THE CHARACTER OF THE EXTENSION OF THE ACQUISITION
AND DISTRIBUTION OF ALL AGRICULTURAL LANDS, WHICH IS
INDICATED IN THE TITLE OF RA 9700 AS ONE OF THE LAWS
PURPOSES?

The extension indicated in the title necessarily pertains only to the
effective or practical continuation of the acquisition and distribution of CARP-
covered lands by providing the funding support for the program. The
extension does not or could not have referred to the mandate to undertake
such acquisition and distribution itself or, for that matter, to carry out all other
components of the CARP because the program is fundamentally continuing in
nature and needs no fresh mandate so that its goals may be pursued. This point
is further discussed under item 3 below.

At any rate, the laws provision for the additional PhP 150 billion for
CARP is considered a major boost to the program. Without it, securing the
required funding to implement CARP would have been something that has to
be struggled out during the annual general appropriations process, rendering
the programs implementation difficult and uncertain, to say the least.




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3. ASSUMING RA 9700 HAS NOT BEEN ENACTED, MAY THE CARP STILL BE
IMPLEMENTED BEYOND THE TIME-FRAME PROVIDED BY RA 6657 AND
LATER BY RA NO. 8532
3
(commonly known as the CARP Augmentation
Act)?

The program should be implemented and government is duty-bound to
provide for all the means to make CARPs implementation possible
including the necessary funding support.

It is settled that the agrarian reform program, as fleshed out in RA No.
6657, as amended, is a continuing program and the schedule of
implementation stated in Section (Sec.) 5 of the law (initially covering a ten-
year period) is merely directory, and not mandatory. As early as 1997, the
Department of Justice (DOJ) through DOJ Opinion No. 9, S. 1997, has already
held the view to the effect that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the
lead CARP implementing agency, should be given the flexibility to continue
the implementation of the program beyond the period expressed in RA No.
6657 so that it may be able to complete the programs original scope and
mandate, without further need of legislation.

It must be stressed that the said DOJ Opinion also indicated that the
authors of RA 6657 intended a no-time frame formula with respect to the
implementation of the agrarian reform program, particularly as regards its land
distribution component. The pertinent portion of the DOJ Opinion states:

It bears emphasis that the ten-year period of the
implementation is only a time frame given to the DAR for the
acquisition and distribution of public and private agricultural
lands covered by R.A. No. 6657. It is a schedule to guide the
DAR in setting its priorities, but is not by any means a limitation

3
RA No. 8532: An Act Strengthening Further the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
(CARP), By Providing Augmentation Fund Therefor, Amending for the Purpose Section 63 of
Republic Act No. 6657, Otherwise Known as "The CARP Law Of 1988" (enacted February 1998)


12

of authority in the absence of a more categorical language
providing to that effect. This is made clear in the Bicameral
Conference Committee Report for R.A. No. 6657, viz:

Rep. Zamora apprised the body of the panels
position on priorities after its consultation with the
House, which is a proposition for a no-date formula
but providing a benchmark figure of ten (10) years
where a categorization or phrasing may be established
and giving PARC the authority to move these phases
in the course of its implementation.


In this regard, prior to the enactment of RA 9700, the DAR clearly
expressed its position that the CARP is a continuing program and that the gap
in terms of legislation is a law that will authorize the allocation of sufficient
funds for its continued implementation, particularly in view of the huge
balances under the programs land transfer component.

Our basic and overreaching Position is that agrarian
reform is a continuing Program mandated by the law and the
Constitution which must be funded and fully implemented. More
than a social justice provision, it is embodied as a State Policy in
the highest law of the land. Section 21, Article 2 provides that
The State shall promote comprehensive rural development and
agrarian reform. Accordingly, unless Sections 1 and 4, Article
XIII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution is amended/ abrogated,
agrarian reform remains a constitutionally mandated continuing
Program of the State. (Position Paper dated 12 November 2008,
signed by DAR Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman)





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4. WHAT ARE THE SALIENT CHANGES INTRODUCED BY REPUBLIC ACT
NO. 9700 TO THE CARP LAW (OF 1988)?

Aside from amending Section 63 (Funding Source) of RA No. 6657, as
amended by RA No. 8532, by authorizing the additional appropriation for the
CARP of PhP 150 Billion, RA 9700 introduced quite a number of changes
into the CARP Law of 1988. The more salient changes, modifying or
supplementing the pertinent original provisions in RA 6657 are, as follows:


(a) ENHANCEMENT OF THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND
POLICIES TO INCLUDE SOME VERY IMPORTANT CORE
VALUES FOR CARP IMPLEMENTATION (Sec. 2, RA 6657, as amended).

The policies and principles that circumscribe the implementation of the
comprehensive agrarian program are enhanced by Section 1 of RA 9700
to include provisions

a.1. Affirming the State policy to promote industrialization and full
employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian
reform through industries that make full and efficient use of human and
natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and
foreign markets.

Fittingly correlating industrialization to land use, RA 9700 incorporates
the rule that the conversion of agricultural lands into industrial,
commercial or residential lands shall take into account, tillers' rights and
national food security;

a.2. Providing that a meaningful agrarian reform program that will
uplift the lives and economic status of the farmer and his /her children
can only be achieved through simultaneous industrialization aimed at
developing a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively
controlled by Filipinos;


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a.3. Affirming the need to give due regard to the retention rights of
the landowner in the program for the equitable distribution and
ownership of land (in addition to the previously specified considerations
of due regard to landowners compensation and the ecological needs of
the nation);

a.4. Providing that program implementation shall, as far as practicable,
be community-based to ensure, among others, that the farmers shall have
greater control of farmgate prices, and easier access to credit;

a.5. Affirming the rights of rural women to own and control land or to
receive a just share in the fruits thereof, to qualify as beneficiaries of
agrarian reform, and to be represented in advisory or appropriate
decision-making bodies.


(b) ADOPTION OF AN EXPANDED DEFINITION FOR THE TERM
FARMERS AND INTRODUCTION OF A DEFINITION OF
RURAL WOMEN.

RA 9700 generally retained the original Definition of Terms under
Section 3 of RA 6657, as amended, limiting its modification of the
section to the following:

b.1. Expansion of the definition of Farmer. Natural persons
whose primary livelihood is the production of livestock and or fisheries
are included in the list of persons regarded as farmers. Prior to the
amendment, the term farmer pertains only to those whose primary
livelihood is the cultivation of land or production of agricultural crops.
Farmer is now defined as:

a natural person whose primary livelihood is
cultivation of land or the production of agricultural
crops, livestock and/ or fisheries either by himself/herself,
or primarily with the assistance of his/her immediate

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farm household, whether the land is owned by him/her,
or by another person under a leasehold or share tenancy
agreement or arrangement with the owner thereof.
(Sec. 3(f), RA 6657, as amended)

b.2. Rural Women defined. RA 9700 makes several references
to rural women and it is just proper that the phrase is explicitly
defined under the new law. Thus, rural women

refers to women who are engaged directly or indirectly in
farming and/or fishing as their source of livelihood,
whether paid or unpaid, regular or seasonal, or in food
preparation, managing the household, caring for the
children, and other similar activities. (Sec. 3(l), RA
6657, as amended)


(c) ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE INVENTORY SYSTEM
(CIS). Supplementing the original section on CARP scope (Sec. 4,
RA 6657, as amended), the new law directs that a comprehensive
inventory system (CIS) be instituted by the DAR for the purpose of
properly identifying and classifying farmlands

RA 9700 provides that the CIS must be in consonance with the national
land use plan and instituted in accordance with the Local Government
Code, within one (1) year from the new laws effectivity. However, the
same shall be without prejudice to the implementation of the land
acquisition and distribution program component of agrarian reform.


(d) PROVISIONS RELATING TO LAND USE CONVERSION

d.1. Provision enunciating the principle that conversion of
agricultural lands to other uses shall take into consideration tillers
rights and national food security. As mentioned under item 4(a) a.1.

16

above, RA 9700 correlates industrialization to land use, and explicitly
states the policy that conversion of agricultural lands into industrial,
commercial or residential lands shall take into account, tillers' rights and national
food security. (Sec. 2, RA 9700)

d.2. Prohibition against conversion of irrigated and irrigable lands.
One of the more progressive provisions introduced by RA 9700, Section
22 of the law (amending Section 65 of RA 6657) provides that irrigated
and irrigable lands, shall not be subject to conversion.
4
It continues to state
that the National Irrigation Administration shall submit a consolidated data on
the location nationwide of all irrigable lands within one (1) year from the
effectivity of RA 9700 (or one year from July 1, 2009)

The prohibition against conversion of irrigated and irrigable lands is a
most welcome improvement in the law, at least from the standpoint of
national food security and even environmental preservation.

4
Neither RA 9700 nor RA 6657, as amended, provides for definition of the phrases irrigated
lands and irrigable lands. The same is true as regards DAR AO No. 2, S. 2009 (Rules and
Procedures Governing the Acquisition and Distribution of Agricultural Lands under Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 6657, as amended by R.A. No. 9700). Even so, the DAR has an existing administrative
order on Land Use Conversion AO No. 1, S. 2002 which does provide respective definitions
for the said concepts. We opine that these definitions should be applied or at least serve as a
standard in ascertaining whether lands are irrigated or irrigable. Thus:

(a) "Irrigated Land" refers to lands serviced by natural irrigation or irrigation facilities. This
includes lands where water is not readily available because existing irrigation facilities need
rehabilitation or upgrading or where irrigation water is not available year-round.;

(b) "Irrigable Land" refers to land displaying marked characteristics justifying the operation of
an irrigation system.

It should be noted that RA No. 8435 (1997) otherwise known as the "Agriculture and
Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997" or AFMA defined the phrases irrigated lands and
irrigable lands and that the definition given to the said phrases are the same as that found in the
DAR guidelines on conversion.

17

The legislative prohibition against the conversion of irrigated and
irrigable lands strengthens certain prescriptions against land use
conversion under RA No. 8435 (1997) otherwise known as the
"Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997" or AFMA. It also
affirms, as well as lends stability, to the prohibition against conversion of
irrigated and irrigable lands found in presidential and department
regulations.
5
As to the laws prohibition against conversion of irrigable
lands, it should be noted that the same, being without any qualification,
is more restrictive than the prohibition under certain administrative
regulations, which prohibit the conversion of irrigable lands provided
these are covered by irrigation projects with firm funding commitments.
6


d.3. Prescription for the automatic coverage of the land approved for
conversion upon failure to implement the conversion plan or for any
violation of the conversion order (or the provision on automatic
reversion to agricultural status). Another progressive innovation of
RA 9700, the rule is explicit that the land approved for conversion shall
be automatically covered by CARP when:

(a) there is failure to implement the conversion plan within five (5)
years from the approval of such conversion plan; or

(b) there is committed a violation of the conditions of the conversion
order due to the fault of the applicant.

(Sec. 22, RA 9700 amending Sec. 65 of RA 6657)



5
Including Presidential Administrative Order No. 20, Series of 1992 or the Interim Guidelines
on Agricultural Land Use Conversion, DAR AO 1, Series of 2002 and precursor department
administrative orders on Land Conversion

6
Ibid.


18

d.4. Landowners application / coverage of application for
conversion, qualified. Section 22 of RA 9700 retained the provision
in Section 65 of RA 6657 that the DAR may authorize the
reclassification or conversion of the land and its disposition upon the
application of farmer-beneficiaries or landowners. However, Section
22 inserts the qualification that the landowners application is with
respect only to his/her retained area which is tenanted.

As opposed to the other amendments introduced by RA 9700 relating to
land use conversion, this amendment eases up instead of restricts the
conversion process. This is so because the qualification added by the
amendatory provision necessarily implies that the landowner need not
go through the conversion application and approval process if his/her
retained area is not tenanted before actually using the land for purposes
other than agricultural.

Nevertheless, the land may only be allowed for conversion for
non-agricultural purposes if the same has ceased to be economically
feasible and sound for agricultural purposes, or the locality has become
urbanized and the land will have a greater economic value for
residential, commercial or industrial purposes. This is a requirement
under Section 65 that is left untouched by Section 22 of RA 9700.

d.5. Applicant-beneficiary required to re-invest proceeds in
government securities. Section 22 of RA 9700 also imposed a
requirement/ condition not present in the original provisions under
Section 65 of RA 6657: that if the applicant is a beneficiary under agrarian
laws and the land sought to be converted is the land awarded to him/her or any
portion thereof, the applicant, after the conversion is granted, shall invest at least
ten percent (10%) of the proceeds coming from the conversion in government
securities.




19

d.6. Applicant-beneficiary required to make full payment of the price
of the land upon conversion. Section 22 further provides that the
applicant shall, upon conversion, fully pay the price of the land. Full
payment may thus be made after the DAR approves/ authorizes the
conversion or upon conversion. This is a departure from the
provision in Section 65 of RA 6657 which requires that the beneficiary
shall have fully paid his obligation as a (pre)condition for the approval
of the application. As it is, the more relaxed requirement on the full
payment of the price of the land under Section 22 is the prevailing rule,
Section 65 of RA 6657 having been accordingly amended by Section 22
of RA 9700.

At any rate, similar to the conversion of the landowners tenanted
retained area, the conversion of lands awarded to beneficiaries may only
be allowed if the same has ceased to be economically feasible and sound
for agricultural purposes, or the locality has become urbanized and the
land will have a greater economic value for residential, commercial or
industrial purposes. This requirement under Section 65, RA 6657 still
exists.


(e) PROVISIONS OF THE NEW LAW AFFECTING THE LAND
ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION (LAD) PROGRAM
COMPONENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM

RA 9700 introduced a substantial number of provisions relating to land
acquisition and distribution, amending and/or supplementing the LAD
provisions of the CARP Law of 1988. The changes introduced by the new law
are briefly described below and the same will be presented in greater detail under
Part II of this Primer.




20

e.1. Provision that landholdings of landowners with a total of five (5)
hectares and below shall not be covered for acquisition and
distribution to qualified beneficiaries (Sec. 4, RA 6657, as amended by
RA 9700.)


e.2. Adoption of an Implementation/ Phasing Plan in the
Acquisition and Distribution of agricultural lands from the date of
the laws effectivity until 2014 (Sec. 7, RA 6657, as amended by RA
9700). Remaining public and private agricultural lands are to be
acquired from the landowners and distributed to farmer
beneficiaries following an implementation schedule (See Table I
re: LAD Implementation Schedule/Phases under Part II hereof).


e.3. Removal of the Voluntary Land Transfer Scheme as a mode of
acquisition effective 1 July 2009. Voluntary land transfer shall be
allowed only for landholdings with VLT applications submitted to the
DAR as of June 30, 2009 (Sec. 7, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700).


e.4. On Landowners Retention Limits:


e.4.1. Exemption from the rule on prescribed Retention/
Ownership Limits (generally, 5 hectares per landowner) in favor
of provincial, city and municipal government units acquiring
private agricultural lands by expropriation or other modes of
acquisition (Sec. 6-A, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)






21

e.4.2. Mandate for the submission of a comprehensive study on
appropriate land sizes per crop. While maintaining the
original provisions on retention and ownership limits, the DAR is
nevertheless directed to submit a comprehensive study on the land
size appropriate for each type of crop to Congress. The study shall
be for purposes of a possible review of the limits of land sizes for
retention/ ownership provided in the CARP law. (Sec. 6-B, RA
6657, as amended by RA 9700)


e.5. Affirmation of the ministerial nature of the duty of the Register
of Deeds to: (a) register the title of the land in the name of the
Republic of the Philippines, after the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP)
has certified that the necessary deposit in the name of the landowner of the full
payment (in cash or in bond) of the just compensation for the land; and (b)
register the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) issued to
the farmer beneficiaries; and (c) cancel previous titles pertaining to the
RP Title and the CLOA (Sec. 24, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)


e.6. Imposition of the requirement for a land owners attestation
with respect to the status of farmers (tenants and lessees) and regular
farmworkers in his/her landholding in order for them to qualify as
beneficiaries. This is based on a portion of Section 5 of RA 9700
(amending Section 7 of the RA 6657), which states to the effect, that
only farmers (tenants and lessees) and regular farmworkers actually tilling
the lands, as certified under oath by the Barangay Agrarian Reform
Council (BARC) and attested under oath by the landowners, are
qualified beneficiaries.







22

e.7. Provision directing the distribution of parcels of a landholding
first to qualified tenants/lessees and regular farmworkers up to a
maximum of three (3) hectares each and prescribing that only when
these beneficiaries have received the maximum area shall the
remaining portion of the landholding, if any, be distributed to other
beneficiaries under Section 22 of RA 6657, as amended.
7
(Sec. 22-A,
RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700


e.8. On the just compensation to be paid to landowners, the
inclusion of the factors of: (a) value of standing crops; and (b)
seventy percent (70%) of the zonal valuation of the Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR) for its determination. (Sec. 17 of RA 6657, as amended
by RA 9700)


e.9. Adjustment of the time-frame for the completion of the award
to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) (after the payment of just
compensation to the landowner). Award to ARBs now required to be
completed 180 days from the registration of the RP title (Sec. 24,
RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)

It used to be that the award to beneficiaries is required to be completed
within one hundred eighty days (180) from the time the DAR takes
actual possession of the land. RA 9700 changed the rule by requiring

7
Section 22 of RA 6657 lists the different types of tillers who may qualify as beneficiaries, as
follows:
(a) agricultural lessees and share tenants ;
(b) regular farm workers ;
(c) seasonal farm workers ;
(d) other farm workers ;
(e) actual tillers or occupants of public lands;
(f) collective or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries ; and
(g) others directly working on the land.

23

the award to be completed within 180 days from the date of registration
of the title in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.

The change lends more certainty as to the reckoning point from where
the 180 days should be counted. The date of registration is indicated on
the RP title itself. On the other hand, experience has shown that the
taking of possession
8
by the DAR of the land subject to LAD (the
previous reckoning point) rarely happens. Moreover, with the RA 9700
provision on the ministerial function of the ROD to issue/ register RP
titles (and CLOAs, etc.), there is now greater assurance that the RP titles
registration will be completed within a reasonable time.


e.10. Provision reinforcing the preference for distribution of lands to
ARBs through individual titles as opposed to collective titles, imposing
additional conditions for collective awards to the end that the issuance
of collective titles are restricted, and directing the immediate
parcelization of collective CLOAs
(Sec. 25, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)

8
VI. Operating Procedures.

1. Within five (5) days from the receipt of the Certification of Deposit issued by the Land Bank of the
Philippines (LBP), the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) shall simultaneously: (1.1) request
the Register of Deeds (ROD) to issue Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) in the name of the Republic of
the Philippines (RP) for titled properties xxx; (1.2) instruct the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer
(MARO), of the place where the property is located, to take possession of the property for titled and
untitled properties; and (1.3) advise the LO that the property has, for all intents and purposes, been
acquired by the state pursuant to the law and that the DAR shall accordingly take possession thereof
and inform him/her of his/her rights to harvest standing crops, if any, within a reasonable time (CARP-
LA Form No. 7) xxx; 2. The DARMO shall: 2.1. Within five (5) days from receipt of the PAROs
instruction, conduct an ocular inspection of the property or any other acts to take possession of the
same and determine the existence of standing crops, or harvestable crops, if any. The taking of
possession shall be evidenced by, among others, pictures taken showing the identifiable landmarks of
the property and standing crops or unharvestable crops, if any, which shall be integral to the ocular
inspection report, specifying the findings, to be submitted to the PARO xxx. (AO 8, S. 2006 Item
IV.1.2)

24

Section 25 of the CARP law, as amended by RA 9700 (section captioned
Award Ceiling to Beneficiaries) states, among others, that in general,
the land awarded to a farmer beneficiary should be in the form of an individual
title covering the parcel or parcels of land awarded to him/her up to the
maximum limit of three hectares. This denotes a preference for the
individual award of land as opposed to a collective award, or the
conferment of title to a group of beneficiaries under co-ownership titles
and titles in favor of their cooperative or organization. Such preference
is not in the original formulation of Section 25.

Prior to RA 9700, nevertheless, a preference for land award through
individual titles is found in Section 29
9
of the CARP law, which section
treats of the distribution of farms owned or operated by corporations or
other business organizations. This section is retained and/or kept intact
by RA 9700. Thus, by virtue of the amendment in Section 25, the
preference for award through individual titles is no longer limited to the
distribution of farms owned or operated by corporations or other
business organizations.




9
Sec. 29. Farms Owned or Operated by Corporations or Other Business Associations. In the
case of farms owned or operated by corporations or other business associations, the following
rules shall be observed by the PARC.

In general, lands shall be distributed directly to the individual worker-beneficiaries.

In case it is not economically feasible and sound to divide the land, then it shall be owned
collectively by the worker-beneficiaries who shall form a workers' cooperative or association
which will deal with the corporation or business association. Until a new agreement is
entered into by and between the workers' cooperative or association and the corporation or
business association, any agreement existing at the time this Act takes effect between the
former and the previous landowner shall be respected by both the workers cooperative or
association and the corporation or business association.

25

The reinforced preference for individual awards over collective awards
relative to lands subject of acquisition and distribution is further
strengthened by the proviso inserted into Section 7 of RA 6657 by RA
9700. The proviso imposes rather strict conditions before a landholding
may be awarded through collective titles. (See Item 44*, Part II hereof for
the conditions for collective awards). In addition, Section 25 directs the
parcelization of existing CLOAs, particularly those that do not exhibit
the conditions for collective ownership. The process must commence
immediately upon approval of RA 9700 and shall not exceed a period of
three (3) years. Only those existing certificates of land ownership award
that are collectively farmed or are operated in an integrated manner shall
remain as collective.


e.11. Affirmation of the usufructuary
10
rights of identified and
qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries to the land acquired under
CARP as soon as the DAR takes possession of the same and even
pending the issuance of the Certificate of Land Ownership Award
(CLOA) or Emancipation Patent (EP) (Sec. 24, RA 6657, as amended by
RA 9700)


e.12. Imposition of a new requirement for the commencement of
the rights and responsibilities of CARP beneficiaries their taking
possession of the land awarded them (in addition to the grant of title
as evidenced by the CLOA/ EP) (Sec. 24, RA 6657, as amended by RA
9700)


10
From the word usufruct which is defined under AO 2, S. 2009 (Rules and Procedures
Governing the Acquisition and Distribution of Agricultural Lands Under Republic Act (R.A.) No.
6657, as amended by R.A. No. 9700) as referring to a real right conferred on the
beneficiary/usufructuary to enjoy the fruits of the property of another with the obligation of
preserving its form, substance, and productivity. (Item III.11, AO 2, S. 2009)


26

Before RA 9700, the rule is that the rights and responsibilities of a
CARP beneficiary shall commence at the time the DAR makes an
award to him, meaning at the time of conferment of title as evidenced
by a registered CLOA or EP.

The rule now is that the rights and responsibilities of a beneficiary
commence at the time of his/her receipt of a duly registered EP or
CLOA and their actual physical possession of the awarded land.
Accordingly, beneficiaries become entitled to enjoy their rights and
bound to fulfill their obligations as such upon the happening of two
conditions, namely: (1) their receipt of the duly registered CLOA or EP;
and (2) their actual physical possession of the awarded land.


e.13. On the payment of land amortization by agrarian reform
beneficiaries Incorporation of an explicit rule for the said payment
to start one (1) year from the registration of the certificate of land
ownership award if the beneficiary is in occupancy of the awarded land
or, otherwise, 1 year from the date when the beneficiary started
occupying the property (Sec. 26, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)

That the amortization payments should start some time after the
registration of the beneficiarys title is necessarily implied/ built into the
provisions in the original provisions on amortization under RA 6657, as
amended. However, the said provisions direct the payment of
amortization regardless of the state of occupation/ possession by the
beneficiaries of the awarded land.









27

(f) AFFIRMATION OF THE NATURE OF CLOAS, EPS, AND OTHER
TITLES ISSUED UNDER ANY AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM AS
TORRENS TITLES WITH THE SAME FEATURES OF
INDEFEASIBILITY AND IMPRESCRIPTIBILITY as all other land titles
brought under the Torrens system of registration (Sec. 24, RA 6657, as
amended by RA 9700).

Previously acknowledged in case law, the imperative that Certificates of
Landownership Award (CLOAs), Emancipation Patents (EPs), and other
titles issued under any agrarian reform program are indefeasible and
imprescriptible after one year from registration, found its way into
statute.

The rule is based on the affirmation of the fact that CLOAs, EPs, and
such other titles are necessarily brought under the operation of the
Torrens system of registration and, as such, must be conferred with the
same indefeasibility and security afforded to all other titles under the
said system. Nevertheless, the rule is subject to the conditions,
limitations and qualifications of RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700, the
property registration decree, and other pertinent laws.


(g) PROVISIONS INTRODUCED BY RA 9700 RELATING TO
SUPPORT SERVICES

g.1. RE: FUNDING FOR SUPPORT SERVICES, IN GENERAL

g.1.1. Increase in the share of Support Services in the total
appropriations for agrarian reform from 25% to 40% (Sec. 36 of
RA 6657, as amended by Sec. 13 of RA 9700)

g.1.2. Specific apportionment of the Support Service funds to
different support service items / programs (Sec. 37, RA 6657, as
amended by Sec. 14 of RA 9700). Prior to RA 9700, there is no
specific distribution of the support services funds for the different
support service programs or items under the CARP.

28


Apportionment of Support Service Funds
under RA 9700

(1) Thirty percent (30%) of the appropriations for support services (40%
of total appropriations for agrarian reform) shall be immediately set
aside and made available for agricultural credit facilities. The
agricultural credit fund is further apportioned for the following uses:

one-third (1/3): for subsidies to support the
initial capitalization for agricultural production to
new agrarian reform beneficiaries upon the
awarding of the emancipation patent or the
certificate of land ownership award;

two-thirds (2/3): for socialized credit for existing
agrarian reform beneficiaries, including
leaseholders;

(2) The remaining seventy percent (70%) of the appropriations for the
support services shall be utilized, as follows:

fifteen percent (15%) for farm inputs as
requested by the duly accredited agrarian reform
beneficiaries' organizations , such as, but not limited
to: (1) seeds, seedlings and/or planting materials;
(2) organic fertilizers; (3) pesticides ; (4) herbicides;
and (5) farm animals, implements/machineries; and

five percent (5%) for seminars, trainings and the
like to help empower agrarian reform beneficiaries.

eighty percent unspecified use





29

g.2. MATTERS RELATING TO THE STRATEGY FOR
SUPPORT SERVICE DELIVERY AND/OR PROGRAM
BENEFICIARY DEVELOPMENT. These are matters
introduced as amendments to Section 36 of RA 6657, as
amended, by Section 13 of RA 9700.

g.2.1. Adoption of an INTEGRATED LAND ACQUISITION
AND DISTRIBUTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
STRATEGY that requires a support service delivery plan to be
developed parallel to the land acquisition and distribution
process. A prescription to undertake a complementary or
hand-in-hand planning and implementation of the land
acquisition and distribution program, on the one hand, and the
support service delivery program, on the other, is explicitly
provided as a necessary feature of the integrated strategy.

g.2.2. Increase in the minimum number of Agrarian Reform
Communities (ARCs) to be established per year, per legislative
district with predominant agricultural population from one (1)
ARC to two (2) ARCs

g.2.3. In the establishment of such ARCs, inclusion of
community-based cooperatives in the list of stakeholders with
whom the DAR is required to coordinate. Thus, the DAR
must now relate to such cooperatives along with concerned local
government units, non-governmental organizations, and people's
organizations in the establishment of ARCs.

g.2.4. Prescription for a complementary support services
delivery strategy for existing agrarian reform beneficiaries that
are not in barangays within the ARCs. This provision
recognizes the pressing need to address the shortfall in support
service delivery in non-ARC barangays, which were not even
mentioned in the CARP law.


30

g.2.5. In securing/ mobilizing funds for support services,
imposition of the requirement that the DAR must closely
coordinate with the Congressional Oversight Committee
(COCAR), with due notice to the concerned representative of
the legislative district prior to the implementation in the
packaging of proposals and receipt of grants, aids and other
forms of financial assistance from any source. Prior to RA
9700, there is no provision in the CARP law that specifically
requires the DAR to coordinate with any entity relative to its
authority to package proposals and receive grants or any other
form of financial assistance for its programs. This provision is a
significant accountability measure. (See discussion on the COCAR
under Item 5 below).


g.3. PROVISIONS OF THE NEW LAW RELATING TO
SUPPORT SERVICES DELIVERY FOR AGRARIAN
REFORM BENEFICIARIES.

Section 14 of RA 9700 introduced major amendments to Section
37 of RA 6657 (captioned Support Services to Beneficiaries). In
general, these amendments enhanced the original section by: (a)
directing the institution of reforms to liberalize access to credit by
agrarian reform beneficiaries; (b) supplementing the list of types
of support services that the state must afford farmer-beneficiaries;
(c) specifying how particular support service items for
beneficiaries are to be funded; and (d) designating entities that
shall be in charge of financial assistance to ARBs.

Section 15 of RA 9700 incorporates a new section into the CARP
law Section 37-A that treats of Equal Support Services for
Rural Women.



31

g.3.1. Mandate for the institution of reforms to liberalize access
to credit by agrarian reform beneficiaries. The mandate to
institute such reforms is directed at the DAR, the Department of
Finance, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

g.3.2. Provision for direct and active DAR assistance in the
education and organization of actual and potential agrarian
reform beneficiaries, at the barangay, municipal, city, provincial,
and national levels, towards helping them understand their
rights and responsibilities as owner-cultivators developing farm-
related trust relationships among themselves and their
neighbors, and increasing farm production and profitability
with the ultimate end of empowering them to chart their own
destiny. This is an additional item in the list of support
services for beneficiaries.

g.3.3. Adoption of socialized terms on credit facilities as a
form of support service to beneficiaries. This replaced the
previously listed liberalized terms of credits and production loans for
beneficiaries (under Sec. 37 of RA 6657, as amended).

g.3.4. Specific apportionment of the Support Service funds to
different support service items / programs (See item g.1.2* above)

g.3.5. Designation of entities that will provide the delivery
system for disbursement of financial assistance to agrarian
reform beneficiaries with a provision on COLLATERAL FOR
LOANS. Section 37, as amended, names the following entities
for the purpose described above:

Land Bank of the Philippines
Other concerned government financial institutions
Accredited savings and credit cooperatives
Financial service cooperatives
Accredited cooperative banks

32

The section continues to state that all financing institutions may
accept as collateral for loans purchase orders, marketing
agreements or expected harvests with the proviso that the loans
obtained shall be used in the improvement or development of the
farmholding of the agrarian reform beneficiary or the establishment of
facilities which shall enhance production or marketing of agricultural
products or increase farm income therefrom.

g.3.6. Provisions ensuring that support services shall be
extended equally to men and women agrarian reform
beneficiaries. This is introduced into the CARP Law by RA
9700 by inserting Section 37-A into RA 6657. This section mainly
provides for that:

(1) Support services shall be extended equally to women and
men agrarian reform beneficiaries.

(2) The PARC shall ensure: (a) that these support services must
integrate the specific needs and well-being of women farmer
beneficiaries taking into account the specific requirements
of female family members of farmer-beneficiaries; (b) that
rural women will be able to participate in all community
activities.

(3) Women are entitled to self-organization in order to obtain
equal access to economic opportunities and to have access
to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities and
technology, and other support services, and equal treatment
in land reform and resettlement schemes.






33

g.3.7. Provision for the establishment of a womens desk at the
DAR. Section 37- A also directs the DAR to establish and
maintain a womens desk. The desk shall be primarily responsible
for:

(1) formulating and implementing programs and activities
related to the protection and promotion of women's rights;
and

(2) providing a venue where women can register their
complaints and grievances that are principally related to
their rural activities.


g.4. PROVISION OF THE NEW LAW RELATING TO SUPPORT
SERVICES FOR LANDOWNERS. Section 16 of RA 9700
introduced amendments into Section 38 of the CARP law, which
treats of support services for landowners. The more notable
amendments are, as follows:

g.4.1. Adjustments in the conditions for the redemption by
the LBP of the landowners LBP bonds. Prior to RA 9700,
the rule is that the LBP shall redeem a landowner's LBP bonds at
face value, provided that the proceeds thereof shall be invested in
a BOI-registered company or in any agribusiness or agro-industrial
enterprise in the region where the landowner has previously made
investments, to the extent of thirty percent (30%) of the face value
of said LBP bonds. RA 9700 increased the required investments
to fifty percent (50%) of the proceeds of the LBP bonds. It also
provides that such investments must be in the region where the
CARP-covered landholding is located instead of the in the region
where the landowner has previously made investments.



34

g.4.2. Additional 2% cash incentive. The new law provides
for an additional incentive of two percent (2%) in cash in favor of a
landowner who maintains his/her enterprise as a going concern for five
(5) years or keeps his/her investments in a BOI registered firm for the
same period.

g.4.3. Mandate for program development for landowners
support services. RA 9700 directs the DAR, the LBP and the
Department of Trade and Industry to jointly formulate a program
to carry out the provision on support services for landowners
under the supervision of the PARC: Provided, That in no case shall
the landowners sex, economic, religious, social, cultural and political
attributes exclude them from accessing these support services."

Note: The non-discrimination clause of Section 38, RA 6657, as
amended by RA 9700, does not appear in the previous section treating of
support services for agrarian reform beneficiaries.


(h) PROVISIONS OF THE NEW LAW RELATING TO AGRARIAN
JUSTICE

The immediately following items describe the innovations of RA 9700 related to
the agrarian justice provisions of the CARP law. Part III of this Primer presents
the more critical of these provisions in greater detail.

h.1. Institution of the Referral System relative to agrarian disputes.
Inserted into the CARP law through Section 19 of RA 9700, Section 50-
A treats of the referral of cases filed with the prosecutorial services or the
courts to the Department of Agrarian Reform. In particular, Section
50-A provides, that If there is an allegation from any of the parties that the
case is agrarian in nature and one of the parties is a farmer, farmworker, or
tenant, the case shall be automatically referred by the judge or the prosecutor to
the DAR which shall determine and certify within fifteen (15) days from
referral whether an agrarian dispute exists.

35

The provision necessarily implies that a positive finding as to the
existence of an agrarian dispute
11
means that the case or matter is
properly cognizable by the DAR and, as such cannot proceed before the
prosecutor or the court.

The referral system is a procedural mechanism designed to help ensure
observance of the provisions of RA 6657, as amended, relative to the
jurisdiction of the DAR. These provisions are: (a) in general, primary
jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters (Sec.
50, RA 6657); and (b) exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters
involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling
under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA)
and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR
(Sec. 50 and Sec. 50-A).

The DAR has, on 15 October 2009, issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 4
12
,
the implementing guidelines on the referral of agrarian disputes. A portion of
Part III of this tackles the referral mechanism under the RA 9700 (Sec. 19) as
implemented by the said AO.



11
Under Sec. 3 (Definitions) of RA 6657, Agrarian Dispute refers to any controversy relating to
tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted
to agriculture, including disputes concerning farm workers associations or representation of
persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms of conditions of
such tenurial arrangements.

It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under this Act and other
terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farm workers, tenants and
other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of
farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee.

12
AO No. 4, Series of 2009: Rules and Regulations Implementing Section 19 of R.A. No. 9700
(Jurisdiction on and Referral of Agrarian Disputes).

36

h.2. Recognition of the Legal Standing of potential farmer-
beneficiaries and their organizations. Section 19 of RA 9700 also
recognizes the legal standing and interest to intervene of agrarian
reform beneficiaries or identified beneficiaries and/or their associations
in cases filed before courts or quasi-judicial bodies, where these cases
involve their individual or collective rights and/or interests under the
CARP.

With respect to these beneficiaries associations, the fact that the same
are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the
Cooperative Development Authority, or any concerned government
agency shall not be used against them to deny the existence of their legal
standing and interest in the said case/s filed before the courts and quasi-
judicial bodies.


h.3. Modifications in the Provision Prohibiting the Issuance of
Restraining Orders in any case, dispute or controversy arising from,
necessary to, or in connection with the application, implementation,
enforcement, or interpretation of this Act and other pertinent laws on
agrarian reform. Section 20 of RA 97OO amends Section 55 of RA
6657 (captioned No Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction) in the
following manner:

The Supreme Court is excepted from the general rule that
no court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue
any restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction
against the PARC, the DAR, or any of its duly authorized or
designated agencies in any case, dispute or controversy
arising from, necessary to, or in connection with the
application, implementation, enforcement, or
interpretation of this Act and other pertinent laws on
agrarian reform.


37

The DAR is explicitly mentioned as one of the entities
protected against said restraining orders and preliminary
injunction.

h.4. Modification of the Provision on the Immunity of Government
Agencies from Undue Interference. It used to be that, in the
implementation of the program (CARP), LOWER COURTS are
prohibited from issuing any injunction, restraining order, prohibition or
mandamus against the DAR, the DA, the DENR, and the Department of
Justice. (Sec. 68, RA 6657
13
).

Section 23 of RA 9700 amends Section 68 of the CARP law, and replaced
lower courts with regional trial courts, municipal trial courts, municipal
circuit trial courts, and metropolitan trial courts.

It is our opinion, that before this amendment, Section 68 admits of the
interpretation that the restriction against courts applies even to the Court of
Appeals based on Section 16, Chapter 4 Book II of the EO 292 (the Revised
Administrative Code or RAC). This provision includes the Court of
Appeals in the phrase lower courts, as follows:

Section 16. Judicial Power. - The judicial power shall be vested
in one (1) Supreme Court, and in such lower courts as may be
established by law. Such lower courts include the Court of
Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, Regional Trial
Courts, Shari's District Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts,
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts,
and Shari'a Circuit Courts and they shall continue to exercise
their respective jurisdiction until otherwise provided by law.


13 Section 25. Immunity of Government Agencies from Undue Influence. No injunction,
restraining order, prohibition or mandamus shall be issued by the lower courts against the DAR,
the DA, the DENR and the Department of Justice in their implementation of the CARP.


38

Accordingly, the amendment caused by RA 9700 to Section 68
effectively removes the Court of Appeals from the courts prohibited
from issuing the different orders / writs against the DAR, DA, DENR,
and the DOJ relative to their particular tasks or functions in the
implementation of the agrarian reform program.


h.5. Transfer of Jurisdiction over cases involving the cancellation of
CLOAs / EPs from the DAR Adjudication Board to the Secretary of
Agrarian Reform. The last paragraph of Section 24 of RA 9700
states that "[A]ll cases involving the cancellation of registered emancipation
patents, certificates of land ownership award, and other titles issued under any
agrarian reform program are within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the
Secretary of the DAR."

This changes the long standing rule, as expressed in the DARAB rules of
procedure and the DAR administrative guidelines on Agrarian Law
Implementation (ALI) cases, that jurisdiction over cancellation of EPs,
CLOAs, and other titles issued under any agrarian reform program lies
with the DARAB.


h.6. Strengthening and Enhancement of the Penal Provisions of the
CARP law. Section 24 of RA 9700 enhanced Section 73 of RA
6657, as amended, by: (a) adding to the list of prohibited acts and
omissions penalized under Section 74 of the law; (b) making
qualifications/ adjustments to certain prohibited acts and omissions as
originally defined under RA 6657.

As to the penalties corresponding to the prohibited acts and omissions,
Section 25 of RA 9700, amending Section 74 of RA 6657, introduced
penalties that are generally stiffer than those previously defined (under
RA 6657), thus strengthening the penal provisions of the law.

See Table II Re: Agrarian Offenses and their Corresponding Penalties under RA
6657, as amended, below

39

5. WHAT MEANS AND/OR MECHANISMS EXTRANEOUS TO THE CARP
PROCESSES ARE PROVIDED FOR OR ESTABLISHED UNDER RA 9700 TO
HELP ENSURE ITS PROPER AND EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATATION?

To help ensure its proper and effective implementation, RA 9700 provided for
the following:


5.1. Creation of a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Agrarian
Reform (COCAR) that has the overall function of overseeing and
monitoring the implementation of the law

Composition: The COCAR shall be composed of the Chairpersons of
the Committee on Agrarian Reform of both Houses of Congress, three
(3) Members of the House of Representatives, and three (3) Members of
the Senate of the Philippines, to be designated respectively by the
Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate
of the Philippines.

Funding Support: The Committee is provided with the necessary
appropriations for its operation. An initial amount of twenty-five
million pesos (P25,000,000.00) is appropriated for the first year of its
operation, with the same amount authorized to be appropriated every
year thereafter.

The term of the COCAR shall end six (6) months after the expiration of
the extended period of five (5) years.

Specific Powers and Functions: The COCAR shall have the following
powers and functions:






40

COCAR POWERS AND FUNCTIONS

(a) Prescribe and adopt guidelines which shall govern its work;

(b) Hold hearings and consultations, receive testimonies and reports pertinent to its
specified concerns;

(c) Secure from any department, bureau, office or instrumentality of the government
such assistance as may be needed, including technical information, preparation
and production of reports and submission of recommendations or plans as it may
require, particularly a yearly report of the record or performance of each agrarian
reform beneficiary as provided under Section 22 of Republic Act No. 6657, as
amended;

(d) Secure from the DAR or the LBP information on the amount of just compensation
determined to be paid or which has been paid to any landowner;

(e) Secure from the DAR or the LBP quarterly reports on the disbursement of funds
for the agrarian reform program;

(f) Oversee and monitor, in such a manner as it may deem necessary, the actual
implementation of the program and projects by the DAR;

(g) Summon by subpoena any public or private citizen to testify before it, or require
by subpoena duces tecum to produce before it such records, reports, or other
documents as may be necessary in the performance of its functions;

(h) Engage the services of resource persons from the public and private sectors as
well as civil society including the various agrarian reform groups or organizations
in the different regions of the country as may be needed;

(i) Approve the budget for the work of the Committee and all disbursements
therefrom, including compensation of all personnel;

(j) Organize its staff and hire and appoint such employees and personnel whether
temporary, contractual or on consultancy, subject to applicable rules; and

(k) Exercise all the powers necessary and incidental to attain the purposes for which
it is created.


41

5.2. Periodic Reports by the COCAR to the leaders of the Houses of
Congress and to the PARC. Section 28 of RA 9700 provides that the
COCAR shall submit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
and to the President of the Senate of the Philippines periodic reports on
its findings and recommendations on actions to be undertaken by both
houses of Congress, the DAR, and the PARC.

Thus, the law itself is explicit that the output of the COCAR must reach
the States top policymakers. It is of course expected that proper action
on the findings and recommendations of the committee are taken by the
said authorities.

The reporting requirement also charges the COCAR itself, to properly
perform its functions.


5.3. Access to Information on the amount of Just Compensation paid to
any landowner. Under Section 29 of RA 9700, information on the
amount of just compensation paid to any landowner under Republic Act
No. 6657, as amended, and other agrarian reform laws shall be deemed
public information, notwithstanding the provisions of Republic Act No.
1405 and other pertinent laws.

RA No. 1405 is the law prohibiting disclosure of or inquiry into,
deposits with any banking institution and providing penalty for the acts
prohibited. Section 29 thus creates an exemption from the coverage of
RA No. 1405 relative to landowners just compensation which, as a rule,
is deposited in an accessible bank in the name of the landowner.
(See Sec. 16(e), RA 6657, as amended)

The provision will clearly facilitate disclosure of information that is
critical in policy-making. Moreover, the provision is expected to inspire
a higher level of accountability on the part of offices or officials involved
in the processing and computation of just compensation because
information on the same is rendered open to public access and scrutiny.


42

PART II.
LAND ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION


This part threshes out matters and issues relating to the Land Acquisition and Distribution
(LAD) component of the agrarian reform program to the extent that they are affected by RA
9700. Nonetheless, certain LAD matters based on provisions of RA 6657 not in any way
disturbed by RA 9700 are presented to lend to a thorough and continuous flow of discussion/
presentation on particular areas of concern relative to LAD.

The more critical provisions of applicable administrative regulations, primarily those under
DAR AO No. 2, Series of 2009
14
are incorporated into the discussion of the LAD issues and
concerns.

Unless otherwise stated, where the discussion of an issue item merely cites an administrative
regulation as basis, the same shall mean that there is nothing directly or explicitly stated in the
statute relative to the issue being discussed.



A. LAD Implementation Schedule and Modes
of Acquisition


(1) WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE OF ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF
LANDS COVERED BY CARP?

Section 5 of RA No. 9700, amending Section 7 (Priorities) of RA 6657 directs
the acquisition and distribution of agricultural lands to be completed by June
30, 2014, and in accordance with a phasing plan or schedule as provided in the
following matrix:

14
Rules and Procedures Governing the Acquisition and Distribution of Agricultural Lands
Under Republic Act No. 6657, As Amended by R.A. No. 9700 (October 15, 2009).

43

Table I. LAD IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE / PHASES

Phase & Period of
Implementation
Agricultural Lands Covered
PHASE 1

Immediately upon
the effectivity of RA
9700 or July 1, 2009
to June 30, 2012
> Private agricultural lands of landowners with aggregate
landholdings in excess of fifty (50) hectares which have
already been subjected to a notice of coverage
issued on or before December 10, 2008;

> Rice and corn lands under Presidential Decree No. 27;

> Idle or abandoned lands;

> Lands voluntarily offered by the owners for agrarian
reform this includes lands offered under the
Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) scheme and under the
Voluntary Land Transfer (VLT) scheme, but only with
respect to lands covered VLT applications submitted as
of June 30, 2009
15
;

> Lands foreclosed by government financial institutions;

> Lands acquired by the Presidential Commission on Good
Government (PCGG);

> Other lands owned by the government devoted to or
suitable for agriculture.

PHASE 2A
July 1, 2009 to
June 30, 2012
> Private agricultural lands of landowners with aggregate
landholdings above twenty-four (24) hectares up to fifty
(50) hectares which have already been subjected to a
notice of coverage issued on or before December
10, 2008;

> Alienable and disposable public agricultural lands;



15
As clarified under AO 2, Series of 2009.

44

Phase & Period of
Implementation
Agricultural Lands Covered
> Arable public agricultural lands under agro-forest,
pasture and agricultural leases already cultivated and
planted to crops in accordance with Section 6, Article
XIII of the Constitution;

> Public agricultural lands which are to be opened for new
development and resettlement;

PHASE 2B
July 1, 2012 to
June 30, 2013

> All remaining private agricultural lands of landowners
with aggregate landholdings in excess of twenty-four
(24) hectares, regardless as to whether these have been
subjected to notices of coverage or not;

PHASE 3A
July 1, 2012 to
June 30, 2013

> Lands of landowners with aggregate landholdings above
ten (10) hectares up to twenty four (24) hectares ,
insofar as the excess hectarage above ten (10) hectares
is concerned;

PHASE 3B
July 1, 2013 to
June 30 , 2014
> Lands of landowners with aggregate landholdings from
the retention limit up to ten (10) hectares;

This phase shall not be implemented in a particular province
until at least ninety percent (90%) of the provincial balance
xxx as of January 1, 2009 under Phase One, Phase Two (a)
, Phase Two (b), and Phase Three (a), excluding lands
under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR), have been successfully
completed.








45

(2) ARE THERE ANY SITUATIONS WHERE THE CARP IMPLEMENTING
AGENCIES MAY DEVIATE FROM THE PRESCRIBED
IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE?

Yes. Land acquisition and distribution shall be completed by June 30, 2014
on a province-by-province basis following, in general, the above
implementation schedule or order of priority. The exceptions and/or
qualifications to the general rule are:


(a) Implementation ahead of schedule. In provinces declared as priority
land reform areas, the acquisition and distribution of private agricultural
lands under advanced phases may be implemented ahead of the above
schedules on the condition that prior phases in these provinces have
been completed.

Provinces may be declared priority land reform areas by the Presidential
Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) or the PARC Executive Committee
(PARC EXCOM) upon the recommendation of the Provincial Agrarian
Reform Coordinating Committee (PARCCOM).
(Sec. 7, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)


(b) Implementation that cannot be pursued despite the set schedule.
Notwithstanding the implementation schedules, Phase 3(b) shall not be
implemented in a particular province until at least ninety percent (90%)
of the provincial balance as of January 1, 2009 under Phase 1, Phase
2(a), Phase 2(b), and Phase 3(a), excluding lands under the jurisdiction
of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),
have been successfully completed.
(Sec. 7, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)




46

(3) MAY THE DAR AND/OR OTHER CARP IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES
UNDERTAKE THE ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF LANDS
COVERED BY PREVIOUS PHASES?

There is nothing directly stated in RA 9700 and in AO No. 2, S. 2009 for the
pursuit of the LAD process in the situation presented. Neither is there a
provision prohibiting the same. In view of the extensive coverage of the CARP
and the critical mandate for its completion, we submit that the coverage,
acquisition, and distribution of landholdings covered under previous phases
may be pursued even beyond that phase. The interpretation should be in favor
of the full implementation of the program.

Moreover, the acquisition and implementation periods under the phasing
scheme should be regarded as merely directory, instead of mandatory. To
borrow from the declarations in DOJ Opinion No. 09, S. 1997 (on the issue of
whether or not the ten-year schedule of implementation specified in Section 5
of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (R A No 6657) is mandatory or
directory): It has been held that the difference between a mandatory and a directory
provision is often determined on grounds of expediency. And where a provision embodies
a rule of procedure rather than one of substance, the provision as to time will be regarded
as directory only notwithstanding the mandatory nature of the language used. (See
Marcelino vs. Cruz, Jr., 121 SCRA 51, citing authorities).

The overriding rule is for the acquisition and distribution of all agricultural
lands to, among others, advance the policy of the State to promote social
justice fleshing out in the process the legal rights and entitlements of farmers
and farmworkers to the land. The policy of the State and the promotion of the
rights of farmers and farmworkers are a matter of substance. The phasing
scheme in the acquisition and distribution of lands, on the other hand, is
essentially a rule of procedure and, thus, merely directory. Otherwise, the
policy for the distribution of all agricultural lands to qualified beneficiaries will
be defeated by governments failure to complete land distribution within the
applicable phase.



47

(4) WHAT BECOMES OF CARP-COVERED LANDHOLDINGS THAT ARE
NOT YET AWARDED TO BENEFICIARIES BY JUNE 30, 2014?

Under Item IV.A.1. of AO No. 2, S. 2009, the process of acquisition and
distribution for landholdings which were issued with Notices of Coverage (NOCs) on or
before June 30, 2014 shall continue even after June 30, 2014 until the said lands have
been awarded to qualified beneficiaries.

In this regard, attention is called to Section 30 (Resolution of Cases) of RA
9700 which states that [A]ny case and/or proceeding involving the implementation of
the provisions of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended, which may remain pending on
June 30, 2014 shall be allowed to proceed to its finality and be executed even beyond
such date. The rule in the administrative guidelines, as discussed, finds some
basis in this section.

Thus, if the CARP-covered landholdings have been issued NOCs before June
30, 2014, the ARBs therein can expect the LAD process to continue until
lands are awarded to them. Otherwise, even if the landholding has been
identified as subject to CARP, the absence of an NOC over the land as of June
30, 2014, will bar further acquisition and distribution proceedings including
the award of the lands to beneficiaries who may have already qualified as such.


(5) WHAT ARE THE MODES OF ACQUISITION ALLOWED UNDER RA NO. 9700?

RA No. 9700
16
has limited the modes of acquisition to: (a) Voluntary Offer to
Sell (VOS); and (b) Compulsory Acquisition (CA) effective 1 July 2009 (the
date of the laws effectivity).

The voluntary land transfer (VLT) scheme shall be allowed for lands covered by
VLT applications submitted as of June 30, 2009.
17


16
Through Sec. 5 of RA 9700 amending Sec. 7 of RA 6657, as amended.

17
Under AO 2, S. 2009, the provision that only voluntary land transfers submitted by June 30,
2009 is construed to pertain to VLT applications submitted as of June 30, 2009.

48

(6) WHAT ARE THE RULES ON THE ACQUISITION AND
DISTRIBUTION OF LANDHOLDINGS COVERED BY VLT
APPLICATIONS?

All VLT applications submitted to DAR after June 30, 2009 shall no
longer be processed. (Item IV.C.2, AO 2, S. 2009)

Landholdings above five hectares which were offered under VLT but not
approved by the DAR shall be covered under compulsory acquisition
(Item IV.C.2, AO 2, S. 2009).

By necessary implication, VLT offers/applications pertaining to
landholdings five hectares and below which were not approved by the
DAR will not be covered even under compulsory acquisition. The rule
must be pursuant to the provision in RA 9700
18
particularly that
landholdings of landowners with a total area of five (5) hectares and
below shall not be covered for acquisition and distribution to qualified
beneficiaries.

The acquisition and distribution of these lands subject of submitted
VLT applications must be undertaken within Phase 1 of the LAD
implementation schedule (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012).


(7) WHAT ARE THE RULES RELATING TO THE VOLUNTARY OFFER
TO SELL (VOS) SCHEME INSOFAR AS THE SAME RELATE TO
MATTERS INTRODUCED INTO THE CARP LAW BY RA 9700?

Under the LAD implementation schedule, lands voluntarily offered by
the owners for agrarian reform under the Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS)
scheme are covered under Phase 1 ( July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012);
(Sec. 7, RA 6657, as amended)

18
Sec. 3, RA 9700 amending Sec. 4 (Scope) of RA 6657, as amended.

49

The land offered to the DAR shall be acquired and distributed within
the said phase regardless of the size of thereof. Appropriately, Item
IV.C.3 of AO 2, S. 2009 provides that in any case, the DAR can
immediately subject such landholding to coverage under compulsory acquisition
and distribution under CARP notwithstanding the schedule of prioritized phasing
under R.A. No. 9700. In addition, the rule directs that the DAR
acceptance letter for the VOS must stipulate that upon offer under VOS,
the schedule of coverage under R.A. No. 9700 is deemed waived.

Upon its acceptance by the DAR, the Letter-Offer for coverage under
Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) can no longer be withdrawn.
(Item IV.C.3 of AO 2, S. 2009)


(8) GIVEN THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF IMPLEMENTATION, WHEN ARE
THE NOTICES OF COVERAGE (NOC) RELATIVE TO CARP-COVERED
LANDHOLDINGS TO BE ISSUED?

This procedural matter is provided for under Item IV.A. 4 of DAR AO 2, S.
2009, as follows:


(a) For landowners owning more than ten (10) hectares. The NOC shall
be issued to landowners not later than 90 days prior to the scheduled
date of acquisition and distribution of their landholding.


(b) For landowners owning more than five (5) up to ten (10) hectares.
The NOCs shall be issued on or after July 1, 2013.
19





19
The rules relating to NOCs are applicable only to landholdings programmed for acquisition and
distribution under the compulsory acquisition scheme.

50

(9) ARE NOTICES OF COVERAGE TO BE ISSUED ANEW TO
LANDOWNERS OF LANDHOLDINGS WITH NOCs ALREADY ISSUED
AT THE TIME OF THE EFFECTIVITY OF RA 9700?

No. In the case of lands for which NOCs have already been issued, the DAR
Provincial Office (DARPO) shall send a memorandum to the Municipal
Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO), copy furnished the landowner, directing
him/her to proceed with the process of land acquisition and distribution of
the landholdings under the CARP, either immediately or on the specific
schedule for the acquisition and distribution of the landholding under the
acquisition and distribution schedule / phasing plan provided under
RA 9700 / Item IV(A)(2) of AO 2, S. 2009. (Item IV.A.5, AO 2, S. 2009)


(10) MAY LANDOWNERS WHO RECEIVED NOCs FOR THEIR
LANDHOLDINGS UNDER COMPULSORY ACQUISITION BE ALLOWED
TO SHIFT TO VOS?

Yes, but only if the claim folder (CF) for the subject landholding has not yet
been received by the Claims Processing, Valuation and Payment Division
(CPVPD) of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for valuation.
(Item IV.C.3, AO 2, S. 2009)


(11) EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN THE LAD PROCESS TO HAVE BEEN
HAMPERED BY THE FILING BY LANDOWNERS OF PROTESTS TO
COVERAGE, APPLICATIONS FOR EXEMPTION/ EXCLUSION AND
SIMILAR CASES. ARE THERE RULES THAT GUARD AGAINST DELAYS
ON ACCOUNT OF THE SAME?

Yes. The rule is explicit under Item IV.A.14 of AO 2, S. 2009 that

[N]otwithstanding a protest of coverage or an application for
exemption or exclusion by a landowner, the processing of the
claim folder, including valuation and the issuance of
Certification of Deposit (COD) by the Land Bank of the
Philippines (LBP) and the transfer of title to the Republic of

51

the Philippines, shall continue unless the Regional Director or
the DAR Secretary, as the case may be, suspends the processing
based on preliminary findings on grounds for exemption or
exclusion or the Supreme Court issues a Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO) on the processing of the claim
folder.


Moreover, the implementation of the program is actually intended to be
carried out swiftly and, as much as possible, unhindered by legal processes
including those coming from the courts. Thus, the provision of the law against
the issuance of restraining orders or preliminary injunction (Sec. 55
20
, RA
6657, as amended) and that relating to the immunity of government agencies from
undue interference (Sec. 68
21
, RA 6657, as amended). See discussion on related RA
9700 amendments under Part I.4 (h.3 and h.4)* hereof








20
"Sec. 55. No Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction. Except for the Supreme Court,
no court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or writ of
preliminary injunction against the PARC, the DAR, or any of its duly authorized or designated
agencies in any case, dispute or controversy arising from, necessary to, or in connection with the
application, implementation, enforcement, or interpretation of this Act and other pertinent laws
on agrarian reform."

21
"Sec. 68. Immunity of Government Agencies from Undue Interference. In cases falling
within their jurisdiction, no injunction, restraining order, prohibition or mandamus shall be
issued by the regional trial courts , municipal trial courts, municipal circuit trial courts, and
metropolitan trial courts against the DAR, the DA, the DENR, and the Department of Justice in
their implementation of the program."


52

B. Exemption of LGUs from the Prescribed
Retention Limit and Expropriation vis--
vis the CARP Acquisition and Distribution
Process


(12) RA 9700 EXEMPTS PROVINCIAL, CITY, AND MUNICIPAL
GOVERNMENTS FROM THE RULE ON PRESCRIBED FIVE (5)-HECTARE
RETENTION LIMIT.
22
WHAT ARE THE PARAMETERS OF THIS
EXEMPTION?

By whom and when the exemption may be claimed:

The exemption is in favor of provincial, city and municipal government units
acquiring private agricultural lands through expropriation or other modes of
acquisition for actual, direct, and exclusive public purposes.

These public purposes include the use of the land for roads, bridges, public
markets, school sites, resettlement sites, local government facilities, public
parks and barangay plazas or squares;

The intended public purpose must be consistent with the approved local
comprehensive land use plan.

22
"Section 6-A. Exception to Retention Limits. Provincial, city and municipal government
units acquiring private agricultural lands by expropriation or other modes of acquisition to be
used for actual, direct and exclusive public purposes, such as roads and bridges , public markets,
school sites, resettlement sites, local government facilities, public park s and barangay plazas or
squares, consistent with the approved local comprehensive land use plan, shall not be subject to
the five (5)-hectare retention limit under this Section and Sections 70 and 73(a) of Republic Act
No. 6657, as amended: Provided, That lands subject to CARP shall first undergo the land
acquisition and distribution process of the program: Provided, further, That when these lands
have been subjected to expropriation, the agrarian reform beneficiaries therein shall be paid just
compensation."


53


Effects of Exemption:

Under Section 6-A of RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700, the exemption of the
concerned LGU:

(1) Releases it from the prohibition against owning more than five (5) hectares
of agricultural land inclusive of the land to be acquired by virtue of the
expropriation / acquisition. (See Sec. 70 in relation to Sec. 6 of RA 6657); and

(2) Accordingly, makes it not culpable under Section 73(a) of RA 6657, which
prohibits the ownership or possession, for the purpose of circumventing the
provisions of RA 6657, as amended, of agricultural lands in excess of the total
retention limits or award ceilings by any person, natural or juridical.


(13) WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE COVERAGE OR THE ACQUISITION
AND DISTRIBUTION OF PRIVATE AGRICULTURAL LANDS SUBJECT
TO CARP IF THE SAME LANDHOLDINGS ARE ALSO TARGETED FOR
EXPROPRIATION BY A LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT?

As provided under Section 6-A of RA 9700, lands subject to CARP which are
to be expropriated or acquired by provincial, city, or municipal government for
public purpose/s (as described above) shall first undergo the land acquisition
and distribution process of the program.

When these lands have been subjected to expropriation, the agrarian reform
beneficiaries (ARBs) therein shall be paid just compensation.








54

(14) WHAT ARE THE LANDS SUBJECT TO CARP WHICH MUST FIRST
UNDERGO THE LAD PROCESS OF THE AGRARIAN REFORM
PROGRAM?

Item IV.A.7 of AO 2, S. 2009 defines such lands to be those landholdings
subject of expropriation or acquisition by the Local Government Units (LGUs) or any
portions thereof not actually, directly and exclusively used for non-agricultural
purposes where one or more of the following conditions apply: (a) There is
agricultural activity; (b) The land is suitable for agriculture; or (c) The land is presently
occupied and tilled by farmer/s.


(15) ARE ARBs WHOSE LANDS HAVE BEEN EXPROPRIATED BY LGUs
DISQUALIFIED FROM BECOMING BENEFICIARIES OF OTHER
LANDHOLDINGS?

No. The expropriation of the ARBs lands and the payment of just
compensation to them are without prejudice to the said ARBs qualifying as
beneficiaries in other landholdings under the CARP. (Item IV.B.15, AO 2,
S. 2009)


(16) MAY IRRIGATED AND IRRIGABLE LANDS BE SUBJECT OF
EXPROPRIATION BY LGUs?

It would depend on the status of or prevailing conditions in the irrigated/irrigable
land. While in general, LGUs may expropriate agricultural lands, Item IV.B.18 of
AO 2, S. 2009 provides that irrigable and irrigated lands where (1) there is agricultural
activity, (2) land is suitable for agriculture, or (3) the land is presently occupied and tilled by
farmers shall not be subject of expropriation by the LGUs.

Moreover, the rule provides that [T]he expropriation/conversion of agricultural lands
shall be subject to the existing guidelines of DAR on land conversion. It should be noted
that the conversion of irrigated and irrigable lands per se is disallowed by explicit
provision of RA 9700.
23
(See also Part I, Item 4.d.2* above)

23
Sec. 65, RA 6657,as amended by RA 9700.

55

C. Land Valuation and Just Compensation
for Landowners


(17) WHAT AMOUNT SHALL BE PAID TO THE LANDOWNERS AS JUST
COMPENSATION FOR THEIR LANDS COVERED BY THE CARP?

The compensation for lands covered under RA 6657, as amended shall be:

(a) the amount determined in accordance with the criteria provided for in
Section 17 of the said law and existing guidelines on land valuation; or

(b) the value based on the order of the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB)
or the regular court, which has become final and executory. [Item IV.D. 1 of
DAR AO 2, S. 2009]


(18) WHAT ARE THE FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE VALUATION
OF THE LAND (OR THE DETERMINATION OF THE JUST
COMPENSATION) UNDER RA 6657, AS AMENDED BY RA 9700?

Under Section 17 of the amended CARP law, the factors to be considered are:

a. the cost of acquisition of the land;
b. the current value of like properties;
c. the lands nature, actual used and income;
d. the sworn valuation by the owner;
e. tax declarations;
f. assessment made by government assessors;
g. value of standing crops in the property;
h. seventy percent (70%) of the zonal valuation of the Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR)
i. the social and economic benefits contributed by the farmers and the farm
workers and by government to the property as well as the non-payment of
taxes or loans secured from any government financing institution on the
land shall be considered additional factors to determine the lands value.

56

The factors of: (1) value of standing crops; and (2) 70% of the BIR zonal
valuation [items g and h] were introduced into the law by RA 9700. The new
law also explicitly requires that the factors in the determination of the value of
the land be translated into a basic formula by the DAR.


(19) HAS THE DAR ADOPTED A FORMULA FOR THE VALUATION OF
LAND SUBJECT OF THE LAND TRANSFER PROGRAM OF AGRARIAN
REFORM?

Yes The formula is found in Item IV.D. 1 of DAR AO 2, S. 2009, as follows:

LV = (CNI x 0.60) + (CS x 0.30) + (MV x 0.10)

Where: LV = Land Value
CNI = Capitalized Net Income (based on
land use and productivity)
CS = Comparable Sales (based on fair
market value equivalent to 70% of
BIR Zonal Value)
MV = Market Value per Tax Declaration
(based on Government assessment)

1.1 If three factors are present

When the CNI, CS and MV are present, the formula shall be:

LV = (CNI x 0.60) + (CS x 0.30) + (MV x 0.10)

1.2 If two factors are present

1.2.1 When the CS factor is not present and CNI and MV are
applicable, the formula shall be:

LV = (CNI x 0.90) + (MV x 0.10)

57

1.2.2 When the CNI factor is not present, and CS and MV are
applicable, the formula shall be:

LV = (CS x 0.90) + (MV x 0.10)

1.3 If only one factor is present When both the CS and CNI are not
present and only MV is applicable, the formula shall be:

LV = MV x 2

In no case shall the value of idle land using the formula (MV x 2) exceed the
lowest value of land within the same estate under consideration or within the
same barangay, municipality or province (in that order) approved by LBP
within one (1) year from receipt of Claim Folder (CF). (Item IV.D. 1 of DAR
AO 2, S. 2009)


(20) WHO HAS THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IN THE VALUATION
AND/OR DETERMINATION OF THE JUST COMPENSATION FOR THE
LAND SUBJECT OF ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION?

Pursuant to Executive No. 405, S. 1990, the Land Bank of the Philippines
(LBP) is primarily responsible for the determination of land valuation and
compensation for all private lands suitable for agriculture under Voluntary
Offer to Sell (VOS) and Compulsory Acquisition (CA). The DAR shall make
use of the determination of the land valuation and compensation by the LBP,
in the performance of its functions. (Sec. 1, EO No. 405)

Through notice sent to the landowner pursuant to Section 16(a) of R.A. No.
6657, the DAR makes an offer to pay the corresponding value of the land.
Under AO 2, S. 2009, such notice pertains to the Notice of Land Valuation
and Acquisition (NLVA). The landowner has a period of thirty (30) days from
receipt thereof within which to give his/her reply to the DAR.



58

(21) WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE LANDOWNER REJECTS THE OFFER TO
PAY BASED ON THE INITIAL VALUATION BY THE LAND BANK OR
ALTOGETHER FAILS TO REPLY TO THE OFFER?

Section 16 (d) of RA 6657 provides that in case of rejection or failure to reply, the
DAR shall conduct summary administrative proceedings to determine the compensation
of the land by requiring the landowner, the LBP and other interested parties to submit
evidence as to the just compensation for the land xxx.

Implementing the statutory provision, AO 2, S. 2009 states, that in case the
landowner rejects the land valuation/ amount offered as just compensation or
in case he or she fails to reply to the notice within thirty (30) days from receipt,
the DAR Provincial Officer shall advise the Regional Agrarian Reform
Adjudicator (RARAD)/ Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) to
conduct summary administrative proceedings for the preliminary
determination of just compensation. (Item V.F.2.2., AO 2, Series of 2009)
24



(22) WHAT ARE THE JURISDICTIONAL AMOUNTS RELATIVE TO THE
CONDUCT OF SUMMARY ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS FOR THE
PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION BY THE
DIFFERENT LEVELS OF THE DARAB?

The jurisdictional amounts in the conduct of such summary administrative
proceedings by the different levels of the DAR adjudicatory offices are
provided under Section 2, Rule XIX, 2009 DARAB Rules, as follows:





24
The advise on either the PARAD or the RARAD will depend on the initial land valuation of
the Land Bank. The rule seems to have missed out notification of the DARAB as the Board has
the authority to conduct the summary administrative proceedings in case the initial Land Bank
valuation is Fifty Million Pesos (PhP50,000,000.00) and above (See Sec. 2, Rule XIX, 2009 DARAB
Rules).

59

SECTION 2. By whom Conducted. The preliminary
proceedings of land valuation for the purpose of the
determination of just compensation for its acquisition shall be
conducted:
a. by the PARAD when the initial land valuation of the
Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) is less than Ten
Million Pesos (PhP10,000,000.00);

b. by the RARAD when the said valuation is Ten
Million Pesos and above but not exceeding Fifty
Million Pesos (PhP50,000,000.00); and

c. by the Board when the said valuation is Fifty Million
Pesos (PhP50,000,000.00) and above.

In the event of non-availability, inhibition or disqualification of
a designated PARAD in the locality, the RARAD concerned
may conduct preliminary proceedings of land valuation
notwithstanding that the jurisdictional amount is less than Ten
(10) Million Pesos.

On account of non-availability, inhibition or disqualification of
the RARAD concerned, the Board may conduct the preliminary
proceedings of land valuation or designate the same to an
Adjudicator from among the PARADs in the region.


(23) WHAT IS THE AVAILABLE LEGAL RECOURSE OF A PARTY WHO IS
NOT SATISFIED WITH THE PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF JUST
COMPENSATION BY THE PARAD, RARAD, OR DARAB?

Any party who disagrees with the decision may bring the matter to the court of
proper jurisdiction for final determination of just compensation. (Sec. 16.f,
RA 6657)


60

Under Section 6, Rule XIX of the 2009 DARAB Rules, the party who
disagrees with the decision of the Board/ Adjudicator may contest the same by
filing an original action with the Special Agrarian Court (SAC) having
jurisdiction over the subject property within fifteen (15) days from his receipt
of the Board/ Adjudicators decision.

The section also requires that upon filing with the SAC, the party shall file
with the Board/Adjudicator a Notice of Filing of Original Action together
with a certified true copy of the petition filed with the SAC. It further
provides that the failure to file such notice or to submit a certified true copy of
the petition shall render the decision of the Board/Adjudicator final and
executory.


(24) ARE THE PROVISIONS GIVING AUTHORITY TO THE LAND BANK TO
UNDERTAKE THE INITIAL VALUATION OF THE LAND AND THOSE
AUTHORIZING THE DAR (through the different DARAB OFFICES) TO
CONDUCT SUMMARY ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS FOR THE
PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION
VIOLATIVE OF THE PRINCIPLE THAT THE DERTERMINATION OF
JUST COMPENSATION IS THE FUNCTION OF THE COURTS?

No. Having been in place long before the enactment of RA 9700, the
authority of the LBP, the DAR and the DARAB offices relative to the
determination of just compensation had invariably seen contest before the
courts, with cases reaching up to the Supreme Court level. And in a long line
of cases, starting with the Association of Small Landowners v. Secretary of Agrarian
Reform, 175 SCRA 342 (1989), the Supreme Court ruled that the role of the
administrative offices in the fixing of just compensation for CARP-covered
lands being initial or preliminary does not violate the principle that the
determination of just compensation is essentially a judicial function. In these
cases, the Court emphasized that the determination by the administrative
offices may be challenged before the courts, which has the ultimate authority to
fix the just compensation for the lands being expropriated.


61

Objection is raised, however, to the manner of fixing the just
compensation, which it is claimed is entrusted to the administrative
authorities in violation of judicial prerogatives. Specific reference is
made to Section 16(d), which provides that in case of the rejection or
disregard by the owner of the offer of the government to buy his land -

. . . the DAR shall conduct summary
administrative proceedings to determine the
compensation for the land by requiring the
landowner, the LBP and other interested parties to
submit evidence as to the just compensation for the
land, within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of
the notice. After the expiration of the above period,
the matter is deemed submitted for decision. The
DAR shall decide the case within thirty (30) days
after it is submitted for decision.

xxx xxx

A reading of the aforecited Section 16(d) will readily show that it
does not suffer from the arbitrariness that rendered the challenged
decrees constitutionally objectionable. Although the proceedings are
described as summary, the landowner and other interested parties are
nevertheless allowed an opportunity to submit evidence on the real
value of the property. But more importantly, the determination of the
just compensation by the DAR is not by any means final and
conclusive upon the landowner or any other interested party, for
Section 16(f) clearly provides:

Any party who disagrees with the decision may
bring the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction
for final determination of just compensation.



62

The determination made by the DAR is only preliminary unless
accepted by all parties concerned. Otherwise, the courts of justice
will still have the right to review with finality the said determination
in the exercise of what is admittedly a judicial function.
[ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS v.
SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM, 175 SCRA 342
(1989)]

--- o ---

Thus, under the law, the Land Bank of the Philippines is
charged with the initial responsibility of determining the value of
lands placed under land reform and the compensation to be paid for
their taking [Sec. 1, E.O. No. 405 (June 14, 1990)]. Through
notice sent to the landowner pursuant to 16(a) of R.A. No. 6657,
the DAR makes an offer. In case the landowner rejects the offer, a
summary administrative proceeding is held [Sec. 15(d), R.A. No.
6657] and afterward the provincial (PARAD), the regional
(RARAD) or the central (DARAB) adjudicator as the case may be,
depending on the value of the land, fixes the price to be paid for the
land. If the landowner does not agree to the price fixed, he may
bring the matter to the RTC acting as Special Agrarian Court
[Vinzons-Magana v. Estrella, 201 SCRA 536 (1991); Association
of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian
Reform, 175 SCRA 366 (1989)]. This in essence is the procedure
for the determination of compensation cases under R.A. No. 6657.
In accordance with it, the private respondents case was properly
brought by it in the RTC, and it was error for the latter court to
have dismissed the case.


xxx xxx



63

What adjudicators are empowered to do is only to determine in a
preliminary manner the reasonable compensation to be paid to
landowners, leaving to the courts the ultimate power to decide this
question. (REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. COURT OF
APPEALS and ACIL CORPORATION, respondents, G.R. No.
12225, October 30, 1996)


--- o ---


At any rate, in Philippine Veterans Bank v. CA, we held that
there is nothing contradictory between the DARs primary
jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and
exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the
implementation of agrarian reform, which includes the determination
of questions of just compensation, and the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of regional trial courts over all petitions for the
determination of just compensation. The first refers to
administrative proceedings, while the second refers to judicial
proceedings.

In accordance with settled principles of administrative law,
primary jurisdiction is vested in the DAR to determine in a
preliminary manner the just compensation for the lands taken under
the agrarian reform program, but such determination is subject to
challenge before the courts. The resolution of just compensation cases
for the taking of lands under agrarian reform is, after all, essentially
a judicial function. (LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES V.
NATIVIDAD, G.R. No. 127198, May 16, 2005, 458 SCRA
441)






64

(25) WHAT BECOMES OF THE LAND ACQUSITION AND DISTRIBUTION
PROCESS IN CASE THE LANDOWNER REJECTS THE JUST
COMPENSATION INITIALLY DETERMINED BY THE LAND BANK?

The process continues. If the landowner rejects the DARs offer to pay the
corresponding land valuation (just compensation) or fails to give any response
to such offer
25
, the compensation, which shall be in cash or LBP bonds, shall
be deposited with an accessible bank designated by the DAR. Thereafter, the
DAR shall take immediate possession of the land and shall request the proper
Register of Deeds to issue a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) in the name of
the Republic of the Philippines. The DAR shall thereafter proceed with the
redistribution of the land to the qualified beneficiaries.

The acquisition and distribution process is therefore not stalled and proceeds
in like manner as where the landowner actually received payment. (Based on
Section 16(e) of RA 6657)

As it is, payment of the compensation is deemed achieved upon the deposit of
the compensation in the name of the landowner who rejected the notice of
land valuation or failed to give any response to the notice.


(26) IS THE TAKING AND REDISTRIBUTION OF LANDS EVEN BEFORE
ACTUAL PAYMENT AS WHEN THERE IS MERELY A DEPOSIT OF THE
COMPENSATION IN THE NAME OF THE LANDOWNER A
CONTRAVENTION OF THE PRINCIPLE IN EMINENT DOMAIN THAT
REQUIRES ACTUAL PAYMENT BEFORE A PERSON IS DIVESTED OF
HIS/HER PROPERTY?

No. Confronted with a similar issue, the Supreme Court in the case of
Association of Small Landowners v. Secretary Of Agrarian Reform, 175 SCRA 342
(1989) regarded the deposit as a fulfillment of the requirement for payment in
the exercise of eminent domain. The Court ruled:

25
AO 2, S. 2009 provides that the landowner has 30 days within which to give a response to
the DAR regarding the offer.

65

The last major challenge to CARP is that the landowner is
divested of his property even before actual payment to him in full of
just compensation, in contravention of a well-accepted principle of
eminent domain.

The recognized rule, indeed, is that title to the property
expropriated shall pass from the owner to the expropriator only upon
full payment of the just compensation. Jurisprudence on this settled
principle is consistent both here and in other democratic
jurisdictions.

xxx xxx xxx

The CARP Law, for its part, conditions the transfer of
possession and ownership of the land to the government on receipt
by the landowner of the corresponding payment or the deposit by the
DAR of the compensation in cash or LBP bonds with an accessible
bank. Until then, title also remains with the landowner [Sec.16(d)].
No outright change of ownership is contemplated either.

Hence, the argument that the assailed measures violate due
process by arbitrarily transferring title before the land is fully paid
for must also be rejected.


(27) WHAT LAD PROCESSES ARE SET INTO MOTION AFTER THE RECEIPT
OF PAYMENT BY THE LANDOWNER OF THE DEPOSIT OF THE
COMPENSATION IN HIS/HER NAME?

(a) DAR TO TAKE POSSESSION OF THE LAND AND SECURE THE
ISSUANCE OF THE RP TITLE. The DAR shall: (a) take immediate
possession of the land; and (b) request the proper Register of Deeds to issue
a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) in the name of the Republic of the
Philippine. The DAR shall thereafter proceed with the redistribution of the
land to the qualified beneficiaries. (Section 16(e) of RA 6657, as amended)


66

The taking of possession of the land by the DAR is not conditioned on
the issuance/ existence of the title in the name of the Republic (RP title).
The rule is that such taking of possession, on the one hand, and the
request for the issuance of said title, on the other, are to be done
simultaneously.


(b) FULFILLMENT OF THE USUFRUCTUARY RIGHTS OF ARBs.
As soon as the DAR takes possession of the land, the usufructuary rights
over the same accrue in favor of "Identified and qualified agrarian
reform beneficiaries and it is, of course, incumbent upon the agency to
flesh out this right. This right shall not be diminished even pending the
awarding of the emancipation patent or the certificate of land ownership
award. (Sec. 24, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)


(c) AWARD OF LAND / CONFERMENT OF TITLE TO THE ARBs.
Within one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of registration of
the title in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, the award to the
beneficiaries shall have been completed. (Sec. 24 of RA 6657, as amended
by RA 9700)

Note: For tenanted lands or lands under leasehold, the Agrarian
Reform Beneficiary/ies (ARB/s) shall continue to pay their lease rentals
as tenants/lessees based on their leasehold contracts until such time
that the LBP issues a Certification of Deposit (COD). (Item IV.C.5,
AO 2, S. 2009)









67

D. Identification and Selection
of Beneficiaries


(28) WHO ARE QUALIFIED TO BECOME BENEFICIARIES OF THE
AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM?

Applying the land to the tiller precept, the CARP law provides that different
types of farmers and farmworkers are entitled to become agrarian reform
beneficiaries so long as they meet all other requirements (e.g. status of being
landless) to qualify as such.

Section 22 of RA 6657 (Qualified Beneficiaries), which was retained by RA
9700, lists these tiller categories according to the order of their priority in
distribution, with the categories higher on the list being higher in priority.

a. agricultural lessees and share tenants ;
b. regular farm workers ;
c. seasonal farm workers ;
d. other farm workers ;
e. actual tillers or occupants of public lands;
f. collective or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries ; and
g. others directly working on the land.


(29) HOW IS THE ORDER OF PRIORITY FOR QUALIFIED
BENEFICIARIES ACTUALLY APPLIED IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF
AGRICULTURAL LANDS?

RA 9700, through a provision supplementing Section 22 of the CARP law,
explicitly provides for the manner by which the order of priority relative to
qualified ARBs shall be applied in land redistribution.



68

More particularly, Section 22-A, the supplementary provision, directs the
landholding of the landowner to be distributed first to qualified beneficiaries
under Section 22, subparagraphs (a) and (b) or to the agricultural lessees and
share tenants and to regular farmworkers up to a maximum of three (3)
hectares each. Section 22-A continues to state that only when these beneficiaries
have all received three (3) hectares each shall the remaining portion of the landholding,
if any, be distributed to other beneficiaries under Section 22, subparagraphs (c), (d), (e),
(f), and (g)."


(30) ASIDE FROM BEING A FARMER/TILLER OR FARMWORKER, WHAT
ARE THE OTHER REQUIREMENTS/ QUALIFICATIONS FOR ONE TO
BE ELIGIBLE AS A BENEFICIARY UNDER THE CARP?

General Qualifications. Farmers/Tillers and farmworkers who meet the
following qualifications shall be eligible as beneficiaries under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program:
26


a) He /she must be landless, which RA 6657 defines as
owning less than three (3) hectares of agricultural land;
b) He/she must be a Filipino citizen;
27

c) He/she must be a permanent resident of the barangay or
the municipality where the land is located;
28

d) He/ she must be at least fifteen (15) years of age at the
time of identification, screening and selection of farmer
beneficiaries;
29


26
The enumeration is essentially based on Sec. 22 of RA 6657, as amended, and all of the listed items are
mentioned in AO 2, S. 2009. At any rate, items not explicitly stated in Sec. 22 of the CARP law but are
nevertheless required in the said AO are accordingly annotated;

27
While not specifically mentioned in the CARP law, as amended, this item clearly proceeds from the
citizenship requirement for owning lands under the Constitution;

28
AO 2, S. 2009 [Item IV.E.1 (1.1.3)] qualified the residence requirement in Sec. 22 of RA 6657, as
amended, to be one of permanent residence;


69

e) He/ she must have the willingness, aptitude and ability
to cultivate and make land as productive as possible.

Specific Qualifications for farmworkers in commercial farms/ plantations.
In addition to the above requirements, the farmworker must have been
employed as of June 15, 1988 in the landholding covered under CARP.
Moreover, all farmworkers who are holding managerial or supervisory positions
as of June 15, 1988 shall not qualify as ARBs. However, farmworkers who were
promoted to managerial or supervisory positions after they were identified,
screened and selected shall remain as qualified ARBs.
30


It should be noted, however, that farmworkers who were hired after the
effectivity of R.A. No. 6657 shall be accommodated based on their length of
service, reckoned from 15 June 1988, and subject to the conditions provided
for under Item IV (F)(1.2) of AO 2, S. 2009.


(31) WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR DISQUALIFICATION IN THE
IDENTIFICATION OF BENEFICIARIES?

Item IV.E.3 of AO 2, S. 2009 enumerates the grounds for disqualification in
the identification of ARBs of the CARP, as follows:

a. Failure to meet the qualifications as provided for under Section 22 of
R.A. No. 6657, as amended; (See General Qualifications in the immediately
preceding item)

b. Execution of a waiver of right to become an ARB in exchange for due
compensation and such waiver has not been questioned in the proper
government entity as of the approval of this Order;

29
Supplied by AO 2, S. 2009 [Item IV.E.1 (1.1.4)]

30
Supplied by AO 2, S. 2009 [Item IV.E.1 (1.2)]


70

c. Non-payment of an aggregate of three (3) annual amortizations
31
and
failure to exercise the right of redemption/ repurchase within two (2)
years
32
resulting in the foreclosure of mortgage by the LBP of a
previously awarded land;

d. Deliberate non-payment of three (3) annual amortizations to the
landowner (LO) resulting in the repossession by the landowner (in the
case of voluntary land transfer/direct payment scheme or VLT/DPS) of
the awarded land;

e. Dismissal from the service for cause upon a judgment that is final and
executory (and there is no case filed questioning said dismissal) as of the
approval of this Order and if there is any such case, the same has been
affirmed with finality by the proper entity of government;

f. Obtaining a substantially equivalent and regular employment;
33


g. Retirement from the service, whether optional or mandatory, or
voluntary resignation, provided this was not attended by coercion
and/or deception, and there is no case questioning said retirement or
voluntary resignation by the applicant as of the date of approval of this
Order;

31
Based on a provision in Sec. 26 of RA 6657,as amended on the permanent disqualification of a
beneficiary whose land has been foreclosed by the LBP for non-payment of an aggregate of three (3) annual
amortizations.

32
The ground of "failure to exercise the right of redemption/ repurchase within two (2) years needs to
be clarified in the rules. At any rate, in RA 6657, as amended, the matter of redemption/repurchase is
mentioned in Sec. 27, as follows: "SEC. 27. Transferability of Awarded Lands. Lands acquired by
beneficiaries under this Act or other agrarian reform laws shall not be sold, transferred or conveyed except
through hereditary succession, or to the government, or to the LBP, or to other qualified beneficiaries
through the DAR for a period of ten (10) years: Provided, however, That the children or the spouse of the
transferor shall have a right to repurchase the land from the government or LBP within a period of two (2)
years.

33
Substantially Equivalent and Regular Employment means any employment or profession from which the
applicant farmer derives income equivalent to the income of a regular farmworker at the time of ARB
identification, screening and selection. (AO 2, S, 2009: Item II.9)

71

h. Misuse or diversion of financial support services extended by
government (Sec. 37 of R.A. No. 6657, as amended);

i. Negligence or misuse of the land or any support extended by
government (Sec. 22 of R.A. No. 6657, as amended);

j. Material misrepresentation of the ARB's basic qualifications as provided
for under Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657, as amended, P.D. No. 27, and
other agrarian laws;

k. Sale, disposition, or abandonment of the lands awarded by government
under CARP or P.D. No. 27 which is violative of the agrarian laws;

l. Conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural use without prior
approval from the DAR;

m. Final judgment for forcible entry into the property or for unlawful
detainer; and

n. Commission of any violation of the agrarian reform laws and
regulations, or related issuances, as determined with finality after proper
proceedings by the appropriate tribunal or agency.


(32) MAY THE CHILDREN OF THE LANDOWNER STILL QUALIFY AS
BENEFICIARIES?

Yes. The entitlement of the child/ children of the landowner to qualify as
beneficiaries and to enjoy preference in the distribution of his/her/their
parents land remains. RA 9700 retained the provision in Section 22 of the
CARP law relative to the right of the children of the landowner to the latters
landholdings as preferred beneficiaries,
34
provided they fulfill pertinent

34
RA 6657, Sec. 6: xxx. Provided, however, that the children of landowners who are qualified under Sec.
6 of this Act shall be given preference in the distribution of the land of their parents; And provided, further,
that actual tenant -tillers in the landholding shall not be ejected or removed therefrom. xxx.

72

qualifications of beneficiaries under Section 6 of RA 6657, as amended. More
specifically, the following criteria must be met by the child/ children of the
landowner: (a) Filipino citizenship; (b) at least fifteen (15) years of age; and
(c) actual tiller or directly managing the farm as of the time of the conduct of field
investigation of the landholding under CARP.
35
(Sec. 6 in relation to Sec. 22, RA
6657; Item IV.E.5, AO 2, S. 2009).

It should be stressed that, essentially, the landowners children are recognized
as beneficiaries and not as descendants or heirs. The relationship with the
landowner merely gives them a priority in the distribution of the land. Thus,
as prospective beneficiaries, the landowners child/ children must have the
basic qualifications of farmer-beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program,
including the willingness, aptitude and ability to cultivate and make land as
productive as possible (Sec. 22, RA 6657, as amended).


(33) IN VIEW OF THE PRIORITY (IN THE AWARD) GIVEN TO THE
CHILDREN OF THE LANDOWNER, MAY THEY BE AWARDED THE
PARENTS LANDHOLDING OR PORTION THEREOF ACTUALLY
CULTIVATED BY TENANT-TILLERS?

No. Under Item IV.E.5 of AO 2, S. 2009, only untenanted portions of the
landholding may be subject to award to qualified children of the LO and actual tenant-
tillers in the landholding shall not be ejected or removed therefrom. An LOs child
cannot claim that he/she is directly managing the farm or a specific area of tillage, if
the same has tenants or lessees, considering that the tenants on the land have the right to
directly manage the land or area of tillage with the obligation to pay the LO lease rental
therefor.

Indeed, when the landholding or a portion thereof is tenanted, the direct
management of the land could only be ascribed to the tenant, cultivation being
an activity or function to which the tenant is legally entitled, if obligated to
perform.

35
The reckoning point of time of the conduct of field investigation of the landholding under
CARP is supplied by AO 2, S. 2009.

73

Thus, the child of the landowner, or any person, for that matter, could not be
deemed as the one managing the farm. And in this situation, the child would
be wanting in one requirement for becoming a preferred beneficiary that
he/she is either an actual tiller of or the one directly managing the farm (See
Item 32* above). Thus, the rule disallowing the award of tenanted lands to the
child of the landowner proceeds from his/her failure to qualify as a beneficiary
at least with respect to the tenanted landholding or portion thereof.

The above provision in AO 2, S. 2009 finds basis in the following: (a) the
principles of tenancy as embodied in the law governing tenancy relationships
(RA 3844, as amended); and (b) RA 6657, as amended, which gives the
children of the landowner priority in the distribution of their parents lands
subject to the proviso that actual tenant -tillers in the landholding shall not be
ejected or removed therefrom. (Sec. 22, RA 6657, as amended)
36



(34) MAY A LANDOWNER QUALIFY AS A BENEFICIARY?

Yes, subject to the following qualifications/ conditions:

(a) He/she may be a beneficiary of the land he/she does not own but is
actually cultivating to the extent of the difference between the area of the
land he/she owns and the award ceiling of three (3) hectares;
37
(Sec. 7,
RA 6657)

(b) Landowners who have voluntarily offered their landholdings for
coverage under CARP and those who have previously waived their rights
to retain are disqualified from becoming ARBs of other landholding/s
being covered or to be covered under CARP. The LOs voluntary offer
or his previous waiver is construed to be his inability and/or
unwillingness to cultivate the land and make it productive. (Item IV.C.4,
AO 2, S. 2009)

36
The provision is in the original formulation of Sec. 22 of RA 6657 and retained by RA 9700.
37
The provision is in the original formulation of RA 6657 and retained by RA 9700.

74

(c) A landowner-mortgagor of a foreclosed agricultural land where the two-
year right of redemption period has already expired and is subsequently
to be covered under CARP, cannot qualify as an ARB on the foreclosed
land notwithstanding his/her being in actual possession and cultivation
thereof. The DAR shall be responsible for taking possession of the land
by negotiating or filing of the appropriate case, if necessary, and to
successfully install the qualified ARB/s. (Item IV.C.16, AO 2, S. 2009)


(35) WHAT IS THE LANDOWNER ATTESTATION REQUIREMENT
RELATIVE TO HIS/HER FARMERS (TENANTS OR LESSEES AND
REGULAR FARMWORKERS)

AND WHAT IMPLICATIONS, IF ANY,
DOES IT HAVE ON THE ENTITLEMENT OF OTHER TYPES OF TILLERS
UNDER THE CARP?

The attestation requirement pertains to the confirmation by the landowner of
the status of farmers
38
and/or regular farmworkers in his/ her landholding as
previously determined and certified under oath by the Barangay Agrarian
Reform Council (BARC). This is based on a portion of Section 5 of RA 9700
(amending Section 7 of the RA 6657), which states to the effect, that only
farmers (tenants and lessees) and regular farmworkers actually tilling the lands,
as certified under oath by the BARC and attested under oath by the
landowners, are qualified beneficiaries.

Despite the said provision, it is quite clear in the law, that tillers other than
farmers and regular farmworkers are still entitled to become agrarian reform
beneficiaries. First, RA 9700 introduced the provision on attestation but it has
kept intact Section 22 of the original CARP law. As mentioned above, Sec. 22
lists the different categories of tillers that may qualify as ARBs to include not
only the tenants or lessees and regular farmworkers, but also the following:

38
Sec. 3, RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700 defines the term farmer as referring to a natural person
whose primary livelihood is cultivation of land or the production of agricultural crops, livestock and/
or fisheries either by himself/herself, or primarily with the assistance of his/her immediate farm
household, whether the land is owned by him/her, or by another person under a leasehold or share
tenancy agreement or arrangement with the owner thereof.

75

Seasonal farmworkers;
Other farmworkers;
Actual tillers or occupants of public lands;
Collectives or cooperatives of tenants/lessees and of the above types
of tillers; and
Others directly working on the land.

Second, RA 9700 did not introduce any modification in Section 22, as
originally worded in RA 6657 even as the Act introduced Section 22-A into
the CARP law. As shown above, Section 22-A merely affirms the priority of
tenants/lessees and regular farmworkers over the other types of beneficiaries in
the distribution of agricultural lands.


(36) AT WHAT POINT IN THE LAD PROCESS SHALL THE LANDOWNER
EXECUTE THE REQUIRED ATTESTATION?

Implementing the provision of RA 9700 on landowner attestation, AO No. 2,
S. 2009 provides that said attestation by the landowner insofar as his/her
tenants, lessees, and regular farmworkers are concerned shall be done after
the BARC has certified under oath the master list
39
of ARBs selected by the
Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) or the Beneficiaries Screening
Committee (BSC), in the case of commercial farms or plantations. (See IV.E.9,
AO 2, S. 2009)

The landowner has to make the attestation as to the tenants, lessees and
regular farmworkers in his/her landholdings upon the BARC-certified master
list of ARBs within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof.





39
The master list is a roll of agrarian reform beneficiaries who passed the DAR screening
process.

76

(37) WHAT ARE THE RESPECTIVE CONSEQUENCES TO THE LAD
PROCESS OF THE LANDOWNERS:

A. FAILURE TO ACT UPON THE MASTER LIST WITHIN THE
PRESCRIBED PERIOD
B. PARTIAL ATTESTATION RELATIVE TO THE TENANTS/ LESSEES
/ REGULAR FARMWORKERS IN THE MASTER LIST
C. FULL NON-ATTESTATION OR REPUDIATION OF THE SAID
ARBS IN THE MASTER LIST

The answers to the above queries are detailed in AO 2, S. 2009 as follows:

As to the scenario under Item A: If the landowner FAILS TO ACT upon
the master list within fifteen (15) days from his/her receipt thereof, his
right to make the attestation is deemed waived. Thereafter, the master
list of ARBs shall become final and executory. (AO 2, S. 2009: Item
IV.E.10)

As to the scenarios under Items B and C: In case of PARTIAL OR FULL
NON-ATTESTATION OR REPUDIATION by the LO of the ARBs in
the master list, the following steps shall be followed:

(1) The landowner shall be required to submit evidence to sustain his
partial or full non-attestation, repudiation of ARBs, and/or
substitution or addition to the master list of ARBs. [Step is
undertaken at the DAR Municipal Office (DARMO) level]
(AO 2, S. 2009: Item IV.E.10)

(2) The MARO / DARMO shall submit a report to the Provincial
Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) / DAR Provincial Office
(DARPO). (AO 2, S. 2009: Item IV.E.10)




77

(3) The DARPO shall, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the
DARMOs report, conduct a REVALIDATION of the
qualifications of the ARBs being tenants or lessees or regular
farmworkers in cases where the landowner refuses to attest to:

Specific ARBs in the master list of ARBs (partial
attestation);
Specific ARBs in the master list of ARBs (partial attestation)
and identifies other ARBs either by substitution or addition
whom the LO claims are his tenants, lessees or regular
farmworkers; or
All ARBs in the master list of ARBs (full non-attestation)
and identifies other ARBs either by substitution or addition
whom the LO claims are his tenants, lessees or regular
farmworkers. (AO 2, S. 2009: Item IV.E.11)

(4) Should the PARO find that there is possible merit to the LOs
partial or full non-attestation of the master list of ARBs, he shall
order the BARC to conduct COMPULSORY ARBITRATION
within thirty (30) days to pass upon the issue. (AO 2, S. 2009: Item
IV.E.11)

(5) The BARC shall submit a report of its findings within five (5) days
after arbitration to the PARO who shall then evaluate and finally
determine the qualifications of the ARBs in the master list. The
PAROs decision shall be final in so far as the master list is
concerned. (AO 2, S. 2009: Item IV.E.11)

Note: Step No. 4 above necessarily implies, that if the PARO does not
find merit to the LOs partial or full non-attestation, he or she shall render
a decision, which is necessarily one for upholding the master list prepared
and certified by the BARC.




78

(38) ARE THERE PROVISIONS IN THE LAW THAT GUARD AGAINST ANY
UNDUE DELAY IN MAKING THE REQUIRED ATTESTATION OR
FALSIFICATION OF THE SAME ON THE PART OF THE LANDOWNER?

Yes. The undue delay in the compliance with the obligation to certify or
attest and/or falsification of the certification or attestation as required under
Section 7 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended is a prohibited act as defined
under paragraph (i) of Section 73 of RA 6657, as amended. This is introduced
into the section by RA 9700.

Under Section 74 of the law, the commission of the subject prohibited act is
punishable by imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12)
years or a fine of not less than two hundred thousand pesos (PhP 200,000.00)
and not more than one million pesos (PhP 1,000,000.00), or both, at the
discretion of the court.


(39) MAY THE MASTER LIST STILL BE CONTESTED BY ANY PARTICULAR
PARTY?

Yes. An interested party may contest the master list of qualified ARBs through
a PROTEST FOR INCLUSION/EXCLUSION, which may be filed in writing
at the DARPO not later than fifteen (15) days from the last day of posting of
the said master list. The PARO shall resolve the protest within thirty (30) days
from receipt thereof.

The master list of qualified ARBs becomes final after the lapse of fifteen (15)
days from issuance of the PARO's decision on the protest and receipt of the
same by the parties. (Based on AO 2, S. 2009: Item IV.E.12-13)







79

(40) WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE FILING OF PROTESTS FOR
INCLUSION INTO AND/OR EXCLUSION FROM THE MASTER LIST OF
ARBS ON THE LAD PROCESS?

Matters that keep the master list from becoming final, including protests for
inclusion/ exclusion filed by an interested party necessarily delay the LAD
process.

However, the delay should not be interminable because AO 2, S. 2009
provides for specific and limited periods within which the PARO must resolve
protests for inclusion/ exclusion. (See immediately preceding item)

It is our view that after the PARO resolves protest for inclusion/exclusion
relative to the master list, and regardless of any further recourse that may be
taken by an objecting party from the PARO resolution, the same must be
deemed final, at least for purposes of the continuation of the LAD processes.
This view is supported by the provision in the guidelines that master list of
qualified ARBs becomes final after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from issuance of the
PARO's decision on the protest and receipt of the same by the parties. (Item IV.E.13,
AO 2, S. 2009)

As to the resolution by the PARO of the matter of partial or full non-
attestation, the rule is explicit that the PAROs decision shall be final in so far as
the master list is concerned. Item IV.E.11.3, AO 2, S. 2009)

Specific Instance of Delay

Item IV.C.14 of AO No. 2, S. 2009 illustrates how the pendency of a petition for
inclusion or inclusion delays the LAD process. The item provides that as a rule,
the conduct of survey to determine land use, segregation of coverable and not
coverable area, and subdivision survey shall be undertaken prior to field
investigation (FI). However, in the event that the finalization of the master list of ARBs
will necessitate resolution of petitions for inclusion and exclusion of ARBs in the master list,
the PARO shall inform the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) regarding the matter, in
which case, the conduct of subdivision survey will come after the field investigation (FI) or
upon the finalization of the master list of ARBs so as not to delay the land acquisition
process.

80

(41) WHAT IS THE APPLICATION TO PURCHASE AND FARMERS
UNDERTAKING (APFU)?

Section 7 of RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700 requires the intended
beneficiary to state under oath before the judge of the city or municipal court
that he/she is willing to work on the land to make it productive and to assume
the obligation of paying the amortization for the compensation of the land and
the land taxes thereon. The rule implementing the statutory provision is Item
IV.E.16, AO No. 2, S. 2009. It reiterates the need on the part of the
prospective beneficiary to take an oath before the judge; it also requires that
the statements to be made under oath should be stated in the APFU.

The APFU is therefore a document containing the undertaking of an ARB
(who has qualified under or passed the DAR screening process) that he/she is
willing: (a) to work on the land to make it productive; and (b) to assume the
obligation of paying the amortization for the land as well as taxes thereon,
which statements the ARB would have to declare under oath before the proper
judge.


(42) WHAT ARE THE RULES GOVERNING THE EXECUTION/ SIGNING OF
THE APFU?

a. ARBs in the master list are the ones entitled to execute/ sign the APFU;
b. They shall be given thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of the APFU
to sign it.
c. Failure to sign the APFU within the reglementary period of thirty (30)
days shall be considered as a waiver of right to become an ARB.
d. Due notice shall be given to the concerned parties stating the
consequence of such failure to sign and execute the APFU within the
prescribed period. (Based on Item IV.E.16, AO 2, S. 2009)
e. The signing / execution mentioned under par. a-c shall be done under
oath before the judge of the city or municipal court.



81

(43) WHAT ARE THE RULES ON THE ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION
OF LANDHOLDINGS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBJECTED TO
THE CARP LAD PROCESSES (or landholdings in the so-called pipeline) AT
THE TIME OF THE EFFECTIVITY OF RA 9700?

Related Question:

Given the above premise, must the LAD process be repeated from the start
or may it merely be continued until the completion of the award to the
ARBs and applying what law and administrative guidelines, in any event?


If the process has reached the point where the Master List of ARBs has
already been finalized on or before on or before July 1, 2009 pursuant to
AO No. 7, S. 2003, the acquisition and distribution of landholdings
shall continue to be processed under the provisions of R.A. No. 6657
prior to its amendment by R.A. No. 9700. (Transitory Provision of AO 2,
S. 2009)

Necessarily implied from the above provision is the rule that, in other
cases (or where no Master List of ARBs has been finalized on or before
July 1, 2009), RA 9700 and its implementing guidelines, primarily AO
No. 2, S. 2009, shall be followed. This means that the critical changes
introduced by RA 9700 into the CARP law affecting program
implementation shall be applied. For instance, in the identification,
screening, and selection of ARBs, the attestation requirement will have
to be complied with.


With respect to land valuation process, all Claim Folders received by
LBP prior to July 1, 2009 shall be valued in accordance with Section 17
of R.A. No. 6657 prior to its amendment by R.A. No. 9700. (Transitory
Provision of AO 2, S. 2009)



82

E. Land Distribution


(44) IN GENERAL, HOW SHALL LANDS SUBJECT TO THE CARP GOING
TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO THE BENEFICIARIES?


AS TO THE MANNER OF DISTRIBUTION IN RELATION TO THE
ORDER OF PRIORITY OF QUALIFIED ARBS

(a) the landholding of the landowner to be distributed first to
qualified beneficiaries under Section 22, subparagraphs (a) and (b) or
to the agricultural lessees and share tenants and to regular farmworkers
up to a maximum of three (3) hectares each; and

(b) Only when these beneficiaries have all received three (3) hectares
each shall the remaining portion of the landholding, if any, be
distributed to other beneficiaries under Section 22, subparagraphs (c),
(d), (e), (f), and (g).
40
(Sec. 22-A of RA 6657, as amended
41
; See also
discussion under Items 29 and 35* above)


AS TO THE TYPE OF AWARD / TITLE (I.E. INDIVIDUAL OR
COLLECTIVE)

General Rule: Award through individual titles. In general, the land
awarded to a farmer beneficiary should be in the form of an individual
title, covering one (1) contiguous tract or several parcels of land
cumulated up to a maximum of three (3) hectares. (Sec. 25 of RA 6657,
as amended by RA 9700)

40
Seasonal farmworkers; Other farmworkers; Actual tillers or occupants of public lands; Collectives or
cooperatives of tenants/lessees and of the above types of tillers; and Others directly working on the
land.

41
Sec. 22-A is inserted into the CARP law by RA 9700

83

The preference for award through individual title (as opposed to
collective titles) is inserted into Section 25 of the CARP law by RA 9700.
It supplements /reinforces the provision in Section 29 of RA 6657
(which was not amended by RA 9700) providing to the effect that farms
owned or operated by corporations or other business associations shall
be distributed directly to the individual worker-beneficiaries.

Award through collective titles at the option of the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries may opt for collective ownership, such as co-workers or
farmers cooperative or some other form of collective organization and
for the issuance of collective ownership titles. This option is afforded the
beneficiaries even prior to the advent of RA 9700 (See Sec. 25, RA 6657).

However, the above option on the part of the beneficiaries is qualified by
the rule inserted by RA 9700 into section 25 of RA 6657 imposing
conditions for the issuance of collective titles
42
, as follows:

(a) The current farm management system of the land covered by
CARP will not be appropriate for individual farming of farm
parcels;

(b) The farm labor system is specialized, where the farmworkers are
organized by functions and not by specific parcels such as spraying,
weeding, packing and other similar functions;

(c) The potential beneficiaries a recurrently not farming individual
parcels but collectively work on large contiguous areas; and

42
AO 2, S. 2009 more clearly lays down the requirement for the existence of the conditions for the
issuance of collective titles. Item IV.F.3 of said guidelines provides that Qualified beneficiaries may
opt for collective ownership, through a co-workers or farmers cooperative/association or some other
form of collective organization and for the issuance of collective ownership titles: Provided, That the
total area to be awarded shall not exceed the total number of co-owners or members of the cooperative
or collective organization multiplied by the award limit of three (3) hectares, xxx and that the
conditions for the grant of collective CLOAs under Item IV(F)(4.1 to 4.4) of this Order are met.


84

(d) The farm consists of multiple crops being farmed in an integrated
manner or includes non-crop production areas that are necessary
for the viability of farm operations, such as packing plants, storage
areas, dikes, and other similar facilities that cannot be subdivided
or assigned to individual farmers.

Under collective ownership, a collective CLOA to the property shall be
issued in the name of the co-owners or the farmers
cooperative/association or collective organization, as the case may be. If
the CLOAs are issued to co-owners or to a farmers
cooperatives/association, the names of the beneficiaries must be listed in
the CLOA. (Sec. 25, RA 6657 as amended)


(45) WHAT IS THE TIME FRAME IMPOSED BY LAW FOR THE
COMPLETION OF THE AWARD (OF THE TITLE TO THE LAND) TO
AGRARIAN REFORM BENEFICIARIES

Section 24 of RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700, provides that the award
(conferment of title) to the ARBs shall be completed within one hundred
eighty (180) days from the date of registration of the title in the name of the
Republic of the Philippines. Before the RA 9700 amendment, the rule is for
the award to be completed within 180 days from the time the DAR takes
actual possession of the land.

In general, the CARP land transfer process contemplates two transfers of the
land subject of acquisition and distribution. The first transfer is between the
landowner and the government. More specifically, it is where the landowners
title to the land is transferred to the government upon the payment of just
compensation to the landowner. The transfer is evidenced by the registration
of the title in the name of the Republic of the Philippines (RP). The second
transfer pertains to the passing of the title to the land from the RP to the
farmer-beneficiaries. Under the amended provision, once the RP title is
obtained, the government through the DAR has only 180 days to
consummate the conferment of title or to complete the award to the
beneficiaries.

85

(46) AT WHAT POINT ARE THE BENEFICIARIES ENTITLED TO ENJOY
THEIR RIGHTS AND OBLIGED TO DISCHARGE THEIR
RESPONSIBILITIES AS SUCH?

Section 9 of RA 9700, amending Section 24 (Award to Beneficiaries) of RA
6657, as amended, provides that the rights and responsibilities of the
beneficiaries shall commence from their receipt of a duly registered emancipation
patent or certificate of land ownership award and their actual physical possession of the
awarded land.

This provision replaced the previous rule where the starting point for the
enjoyment of rights and fulfillment of obligations as beneficiaries is at the
time the DAR makes an award of the land to him. The present rule an
improvement from the old one because indeed, the rights and obligations of
beneficiaries could only be fully enjoyed or fulfilled, respectively, when the
beneficiaries are in the actual possession of the land awarded to them.


Some Obligations of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries

To make the land productive
43
; to exercise diligence in the use,
cultivation and maintenance of the land including the improvements
thereon. Negligence, misuse, or unauthorized sale of the land or misuse
of any support extended to an ARB shall be a ground for the forfeiture
of ones right as an ARB.
44

To pay the LBP in thirty (30) annual amortizations with interest at six
percent (6%) per annum unless the ARB opts to accelerate payment.
45

To pay land taxes on the awarded property
46


43
Sec. 22, RA 6657, as amended

44
Sec. 36, RA 6657, as amended; Item IV.F.10, AO 2, S. 2009

45
Sec. 7 and 26, RA 6657, as amended; Item IV.F.10 in relation to Item IV.E.16, AO 2, S. 2009

46
Sec. 7, RA 6657, as amended

86

(47) WHEN ARE ARBs REQUIRED TO COMMENCE PAYMENT OF THE
AMORTIZATION FOR THE LAND AWARDED TO THEM?

The annual amortization shall start one (1) year from the date of the
registration of the Certificate of Land Ownership Award. However, if the
occupancy took place after the certificate of land ownership award registration,
the amortization shall start one (1) year from actual occupancy. (Sec. 26, RA
6657, as amended by RA 9700)


(48) WHAT ARE THE POLICIES AND OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES ON THE
INSTALLATION OF ARBs INTO THE LANDS AWARDED TO THEM?

Distribution cannot be fully accomplished by the mere handing out of paper
titles that serve as mere evidence of ownership. For the farmer-beneficiaries to
finally exercise the rights and responsibilities granted to them by RA 6657, as
amended, they have to be in the peaceful possession of the land.

Under AO 2, S. 2009 (Item IV.G), the policies and operational guidelines on
ARB installation are, as follows:

(a) As owners of awarded lands under CARP, the ARB/s shall take
possession of the land covered by his/her/their titles from the time the
same is awarded to them through a registered CLOA.

In case taking possession of the awarded land by the ARBs would imperil
or endanger their lives, the DAR shall assume responsibility for the
installation of the ARB/s on the subject land with the assistance of the
police or military until they are settled and in constructive and physical
control of the property.

(b) As a general rule, there shall only be a one- time installation of ARBs on
their specific area of tillage as indicated in their CLOAs, rendering them
in constructive and physical possession of the same.

87

The DAR shall assist the ARBs in reporting cases of threat/harassment
or ejection attempts by the former landowner or other parties to the
police or military, and the filing of appropriate legal action against those
responsible, if warranted.

(c) In case the installation activities would necessitate the provision of police
and/or military forces to assist the DARMO personnel, the Provincial
Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) shall coordinate the said activities with
the Department of National Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines
(DND-AFP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government-
Philippine National Police (DILG-PNP), pursuant to the existing
guidelines per Memorandum of Agreement executed by the DAR,
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department
of National Defense (DND).

(d) In the event that the former landowner harasses or threatens the ARB/s
installed by the DAR, the affected ARB/s shall immediately report the
matter to the concerned PNP and the DAR. The ARBs should be
assisted by the DAR Regional/Provincial Legal Division, Public
Attorneys Office (PAO) and the Office of the City/Provincial
Prosecutors.

(e) If the former landowner deliberately acts to delay, stall or obstruct the
installation of the ARBs, a criminal case shall be filed against him/her
for violation of Sec. 73 (d) of R.A. No. 6657, as amended. Moreover, the
DAR shall ask that the landowner be held liable by the Court for actual,
compensatory and moral damages suffered by the ARB/s.







88

(49) IN CASES WHERE ARBs ARE FORCED OUT OR ARE OTHERWISE
DEPRIVED OF THE LAND AWARDED TO THEM AFTER THEY HAVE
BEEN INSTALLED, IS THE DAR DUTY-BOUND TO RE-INSTALL THE
ARBs OR, IN GENERAL, ASSIST THEM TO REGAIN POSSESSION OF
THE LAND?


The DAR is the lead agency tasked with the implementation of the agrarian
reform program. And the goals of the program cannot be achieved if the ones
who have been awarded lands under the concept of equitable land re-
distribution are not in the possession of the same. It is our position thus, that
the DAR has the duty to assist the farmers to regain possession of the land.
This of course assumes that no legal impediment to the ARBs taking
possession of their land has set in, in the meantime. Thus, if persons other
than the beneficiaries are in possession or have taken over the possession of
the property, they would have to be proceeded against in the proper forums
(e.g. the courts through the proper ejectment cases or even criminal charges for
CARP obstruction) and in a manner where they are afforded the due process
of law. In this instance too, the DAR could not be expected to forcibly remove
those third persons who may not be entitled to the possession of the land in
order to reinstate the ARBs therein.

In this regard, we note that AO No. 2, S. 2009 does not foreclose upon DAR
assistance to the ARBs for purposes of a subsequent installation even as Item
IV.G (2) speaks of one-time installation, as a general rule.











89

PART III.
AGRARIAN JUSTICE

The phrase agrarian justice relative to the countrys agrarian reform program has
not been formally defined even as, in general, it is used to refer to the protection,
promotion, or enforcement of the rights recognized or conferred by agrarian reform
and related laws to the stakeholders of the program, primarily the
farmer/farmworkers and the landowners.
This section expounds on matters relating to the agrarian justice delivery component
of the agrarian reform program insofar as the same are affected by the provisions of
RA 9700. More particularly, this section deals with the rules, practices and
mechanisms and institutions for the enforcement of agrarian reform laws to the end
that the rights recognized or conferred by these laws are protected, promoted, or
enforced in the context of issue/ dispute resolution or adjudication, as affected by RA
9700.


A. RA 9700 provisions on Agrarian Justice,
in general


(1) WHAT PROVISIONS RELATING TO AGRARIAN JUSTICE DELIVERY
WERE INTRODUCED BY RA 9700 INTO THE CARP LAW OF 1988?

(a) Provision directing the referral to the DAR by the prosecutors or the
courts of cases filed before them that are possibly agrarian in nature or
are, in fact, agrarian disputes (introduced into the CARP law by Sec. 19 of
RA 9700 amending Sec. 50 of RA 6657, as amended; see further discussion
under Items B.2-6 below)



90

(b) Recognition of the legal standing and interest to intervene of agrarian
reform beneficiaries or identified beneficiaries and/or their associations in
cases filed before courts or quasi-judicial bodies, where these cases involve
their individual or collective rights and/or interests under the CARP. ( Sec.
19 of RA 9700 amending Sec. 50 of RA 6657, as amended)

(c) Explicit provision removing the Supreme Court from the application of the
general rule that no court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue
any restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the PARC,
the DAR, or any of its duly authorized or designated agencies in any case,
dispute or controversy arising from, necessary to, or in connection with the
application, implementation, enforcement, or interpretation of RA 6657,
as amended and other pertinent laws on agrarian reform. ( Sec. 20, RA 9700
amending Sec. 55 of RA 6657, as amended)

(d) Explicit mention of the DAR as one of the entities protected against said
restraining orders and preliminary injunction. ( Sec. 20, RA 9700 amending
Sec. 55 of RA 6657, as amended)

(e) Explicit mention of regional trial courts, municipal trial courts, municipal
circuit trial courts, and metropolitan trial courts as the bodies prohibited
from issuing any injunction, restraining order, prohibition or mandamus
against the DAR, the DA, the DENR, and the Department of Justice
relative to their roles in the implementation of the program (CARP). The
specific reference to these courts replaced the more general term lower
courts in Section 68 of RA 6657, as amended (titled Immunity of
Government Agencies from Undue Interference)

Before the amendment, Section 68 admits of the interpretation that the
restriction applies even to the Court of Appeals based on Section 16,
Chapter 4 Book II of the EO 292 (the Revised Administrative Code or
RAC)
47
, which includes the Court of Appeals in the phrase lower
courts.

47
Section 16. Judicial Power. - The judicial power shall be vested in one (1) Supreme Court, and in
such lower courts as may be established by law. Such lower courts include the Court of Appeals,

91

Thus, the amendment effectively removes the Court of Appeals from the
courts prohibited from issuing the different orders / writs against the
DAR, DA, DENR, and the DOJ relative to their particular tasks or
functions in the implementation of the agrarian reform program.

(f) Provision declaring that all cases involving the cancellation of registered
emancipation patents, certificates of land ownership award, and other
titles issued under any agrarian reform program to be under the
exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Secretary of the DAR effectively
transferring such jurisdiction to the Secretary from the DAR
Adjudication Board. (Sec. 24 of RA 6657, as amended by RA 9700)

The provision authorized a deviation from the long standing rule, as
expressed in the DARAB rules of procedure and the DAR
administrative guidelines on Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) cases,
that the jurisdiction over cancellation of registered EPs, CLOAs, and
other titles issued under any agrarian reform program lies with the
DARAB.

(g) Provisions strengthening and enhancing the penal provisions of the
CARP law.

g.1. Section 24 of RA 9700 enhanced Sec. 73 of RA 6657, as
amended, by: (a) adding to the list of prohibited acts and
omissions as defined under Section 73 and penalized under
Section 74 of the law; and (b) making qualifications/ adjustments
to certain prohibited acts and omissions as originally defined
under Section 73 of RA 6657.

Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, Regional Trial Courts, Shari's District Courts, Metropolitan
Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, and Shari'a Circuit Courts
and they shall continue to exercise their respective jurisdiction until otherwise provided by law.
(RAC)


92

g.2. Section 25 of RA 9700, amending Sec. 74 of RA 6657,
introduced penalties that are generally stiffer than those previously
defined (under RA 6657), thus strengthening the penal provisions of
the law. The prohibited acts and omissions and the corresponding penalties are
presented under Item 56 below.


B. The Case Referral Mechanism

One of the more prominent agrarian justice provisions introduced into the CARP
Law by RA 9700 is the institution of the referral system / mechanism relative to
cases that are possibly agrarian in nature or agrarian disputes. The mechanism is
very critical in addressing the problem of conflict of jurisdiction over these cases
between the regular courts, on the one hand, and the Department of Agrarian
Reform, on the other. It is also seen as a necessary measure to minimize, if not to
put an end, to the filing of cases or continuation of proceedings including criminal
charges and proceedings before regular courts against farmers / farmworkers
where the circumstances upon which the cases against them are built present issues
that are intrinsically agrarian in nature, which are therefore within the jurisdiction
of the DAR. As stated in the Supreme Court ruling in DAR vs. Roberto Cuenca,
et. al. (G.R. No. 154112, September 23, 2004):


"All controversies on the implementation of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) fall under the jurisdiction
of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), even though
they raise questions that are also legal or constitutional in
nature. All doubts should be resolved in favor of the DAR,
since the law has granted it special and original authority to
hear and adjudicate agrarian matters."


93

The subject referral mechanism is provided for under Section 19 of RA 9700
amending Section 50
48
of RA 6657, as amended, to wit:

SEC. 19. Section 50 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended, is
hereby further amended by adding Section 50-A to read as follows:

"SEC. 50-A. Exclusive Jurisdiction on Agrarian Dispute.
No court or prosecutor's office shall take cognizance of
cases pertaining to the implementation of the CARP
except those provided under Section 57 of Republic Act
No. 6657, as amended. If there is an allegation from any
of the parties that the case is agrarian in nature and one
of the parties is a farmer, farmworker, or tenant, the case
shall be automatically referred by the judge or the
prosecutor to the DAR which shall determine and certify
within fifteen (15) days from referral whether an agrarian
dispute exists.

Provided, that from the determination of the DAR, an
aggrieved party shall have judicial recourse. In cases
referred by the municipal trial court and the prosecutor's
office, the appeal shall be with the proper regional trial
court, and in cases referred by the regional trial court, the
appeal shall be to the Court of Appeals. xxx


48
(RA 6657) SEC. 50. Quasi-judicial Powers of the DAR. The DAR is hereby vested within
primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive
original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except
those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agricultural (DA) and the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
xxx
xxx

Notwithstanding an appeal to the court of Appeals, the decision of the DAR shall be immediately
executory.

94

A case referral system was set in place by Presidential Decree (PD) No. 316
49

(1973), the last two paragraphs of Section 12 of PD No. 946
50
(1976) and PD No.
1038
51
(1976). However, the cases covered by these issuances are limited to
ejectment cases or any other case designed to harass or remove a tenant of an
agricultural land primarily devoted to rice and corn. Also, these PDs were repealed in
1988 by RA 6657. Section 50-A of RA 6657 thus reinstitutes a case referral
system even as it is more comprehensive in scope and employs the more progressive
scheme of automatic referral.

The DAR promulgated DAR Administrative Order No. 4, Series of 2009
52

providing for the implementing rules and regulations governing the case referral
provision in the law.

For its part, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued DOJ Department Circular
No. 40 dated 7 June 2010 Re: Guidelines on the Investigation and Referral of
Cases to the Department of Agrarian Reform Pursuant to Section 19 of Republic
Act No. 9700. This circular followed a Memorandum issued by the DOJ Secretary
(dated March 16, 2010)
53
, which lays down a general directive for the compliance
by the prosecutorial services with the said case referral provision.


49
Presidential Decree No. 316 (October 22, 1973): Prohibiting the Ejectment of Tenant-Tillers
From Their Farmholdings Pending the Promulgation of the Rules and Regulations Implementing
Presidential Decree No. 27

50
Presidential Decree No. 946 (June 17, 1976): Reorganizing the Courts of Agrarian Relations,
Streamlining Their Procedures, and for Other Purposes

51
Presidential Decree No. 1038 (October 21, 1976): Strengthening the Security of Tenure of
Tenant-Tillers in Non-Rice/Corn Producing Private Agricultural Lands

52
Rules and Regulations Implementing Sec. 19 of RA No. 9700 [Jurisdiction on Referral of
Agrarian Dispute] (October 15, 2009)

53
Subject: Jurisdiction on and Referral of Agrarian Disputes


95

As for the Supreme Court, it has released OCA Circular No. 62-2010
54
(issued by the
Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court on 28 April 2010), which is
more of a set of general guidelines relating to the referral of cases under RA 9700.
Advocates are awaiting the issuance by the High Court of more detailed implementing
rules of procedure on the matter . In the meantime, compliance by the courts with the
referral provision of RA 9700 should be guided by the said OCA Circular as well as by
DAR AO 4, S. 2009.


(2) WHAT ARE THE GENERAL FEATURES OF THE CASE REFERRAL MECHANISM
UNDER SECTION 50-A OF RA 6657, AS AMENDED?

Process
Cases filed or pending before the prosecutorial services or the
courts are referred by the prosecutor or the judge to the DAR,
which shall determine whether an agrarian dispute exists (the sole
issue to be resolved by the DAR on referral)

Cases Covered

Criminal and civil cases


As detailed under AO 4, S. 2009, the referral provision covers
cases filed before the Prosecutor's Office, the Municipal
Circuit Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial
Court and the Regional Trial Court (MCTC,MTC, MeTC and
RTC), whether it be criminal or civil in nature, by
landowners/lessors or their representatives against a
tenant/lessee/farmer beneficiary

With respect to criminal cases brought to the prosecutorial
services for preliminary investigation / inquest, DOJ Circular
No. 40 particularizes as to the offenses covered, as follows:

54
Subject: Implementation of Sections 7 and 50-A of RA No. 6657, also known as The
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law Of 1988, as respectively amended by Sections 5 and 19 of
RA No. 9700 (An Act Strengthening the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP),
Extending the Acquisition and Distribution of All Agricultural Lands, Instituting Necessary
Reforms, Amending for the Purpose Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise
known as The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, as amended, and Appropriating
Funds Therefor)


96


(1) Offenses committed under Title 9, Chapter 2 (Crimes
Against Security) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as
applicable;
(2) Offenses committed under Title 10 (Crimes Against
Property) of the RPC, as applicable; and
(3) Offenses committed under such other provisions of the
RPC and other laws, as applicable.

Grounds for
Referral
By the explicit provision of Section 19, RA 9700:
Referral to DAR shall be made if there is an allegation from any of
the parties that the case is agrarian in nature and one of the
parties is a farmer, farmworker, or tenant.

Under DAR AO 4, S. 2009: Referral to DAR shall be made when:
(a) There is an allegation in the pleadings from any of the parties
that the case is agrarian in nature or involves an agrarian dispute
and one of the parties is a tenant, lessee, farmer-beneficiary,
farmer, or farmworker; or (b) the case arises out of or is in
connection with an agrarian dispute.

Under DOJ Circular No. 40: Referral shall be made when: (a)
there is an allegation by any of the parties (e.g. allegation in the
complaint, affidavit or counter-affidavit, etc.) that the case is
agrarian in nature or an agrarian dispute and one of the parties is
a tenant, lessee, farmer-beneficiary, farmer, or farmworker; or (b)
the case pertains to the implementation of the CARP except those
provided under Section 57 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended.

Note: We believe the rules on when referral should be made as
respectively provided by the cited DAR and DOJ guidelines find
basis in the law being implemented despite the variance between
the language of the statute and the terms used in the
administrative guidelines.

Review/Appeal
process from the
determination by
the DAR
Aggrieved party entitled to judicial recourse. -- In cases referred
by the municipal trial court and the prosecutor's office, the appeal
shall be with the proper regional trial court, and in cases referred
by the regional trial court, the appeal shall be to the Court of
Appeals. (Section 19, RA 9700)




97

(3) WHAT IS THE PROCESS THAT SHOULD BE FOLLOWED BY FISCALS
IN REFERRING PERTINENT CASES TO THE DAR PURSUANT TO
SECTION 19 OF RA 9700?

DOJ Circular No. 40 provides for the process of referral that should be
followed for cases filed for preliminary investigation and those under inquest.


(a) Cases subject of Preliminary Investigation

a.1 The investigating prosecutor shall, within three (3) days from
receipt of the complaint or pleading (where there is an allegation by any of
the parties that the case is agrarian in nature or an agrarian dispute and one
of the parties is a tenant, lessee, farmer-beneficiary, farmer, or farmworker or
that the case pertains to the implementation of the CARP except those
provided under Section 57 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended) shall
recommend to the chief of office the referral of the case, stating therein
the basis for his/her recommendation.

a.2. Within two (2) days from receipt of the recommendation, the
chief of office shall endorse the same to the PARO together with the
records of the case, copy furnished the parties concerned.

a.3. While the case is on referral with the PARO, the investigating
prosecutor shall defer further proceedings and shall await the
certification from the PARO as to whether the case is PROPER FOR
TRIAL OR NOT PROPER FOR TRIAL.


a.4. If the Certification states that the case is not proper for trial, the
investigating prosecutor shall dismiss the case within five (5) days from
receipt of the certification.

a.5. If the Certification states that the case is proper for trial, the
investigating prosecutor shall proceed with the preliminary investigation
and resolve the case, accordingly.

98

a.6. After the lapse of fifteen (15) days required by law for the DAR to
issue a Certification and none was issued, the investigating prosecutor
may dispose of the case pending before him in accordance with his
appreciation of law and evidence attendant to the case.

(b) Cases subject of Inquest

When the case is subject of inquest and there is an allegation by any of
the parties that the case is agrarian in nature or an agrarian dispute and
one of them is a farmer, farmworker or tenant, or involves the
implementation of the CARP, the inquest prosecutor shall immediately
refer the case to the PARO and release the respondent for further
preliminary investigation. The above allegations must be written, made
under oath, and the party making such allegations signs the Minutes of
the Inquest.

(4) UPON REFERRAL, WHAT STEPS/ PROCESSES SHOULD BE
FOLLOWED BY THE DAR IN THE RESOLUTION OF THE ISSUE ON
REFERAL (WHETHER OR NOT AN AGRARIAN DISPUTE EXISTS)?

These matters are detailed in AO 4, S. 2009, as follows:

(a) Upon the receipt of the case records, the PARO shall immediately assign
the referred case to the Chief, Legal Division for the conduct of
Summary Proceedings or Preliminary Fact-Finding Investigation.
55






55
Sec. 5, AO No. 4, Series of 2009.


99

(b) The Chief of Legal Division shall thereafter assign the case to an
authorized hearing officer, who is necessarily a DAR lawyer (DAR
lawyers are authorized under AO No. 4, S. 2009 to conduct summary
proceedings or preliminary/fact-finding investigation. For this purpose,
the hearing officer is authorized to issue subpoena and administer oath
to facilitate the performance of the function of ascertaining the existence
of an agrarian dispute in the referred case.)
56


(c) Within three (3) days from the receipt by the authorized hearing officer
of the referral, he/she shall serve notice of the conduct of summary
proceedings/ fact-finding investigation to the parties. The notice shall
be served personally or through registered mail, stating therein the hour,
date and place of the proceedings. The venue of the proceeding shall be
in the province where the agricultural property involved is located. In
the same notice, he/she shall require the parties and their witnesses to
submit during the proceeding their sworn statements together with their
documentary evidences, if any, to support their respective claims;
57


(d) The summary proceedings / fact-finding investigation shall be conducted
and concluded.

(e) The authorized hearing officer shall, as far as practicable, submit to the
PARO his/her findings and recommendations together with the records
of the case within ten (10) days from receipt of the referred case.
58


(f) The PARO will then have 48 hours from receipt of the findings and
recommendations of the hearing officer to issue a certification as to
whether or not the case involves an agrarian dispute
59
.

56
Sec. 9, AO No. 4, Series of 2009.

57
Ibid.

58
Ibid.

59
Sec. 9, AO No. 4, S. 2009.

100

(5) WHAT ARE THE ISSUES TO BE DETERMINED BY THE HEARING
OFFICER?

Section 8 of AO No. 4, S. 2009 provides, as follows:

[T]he hearing officer shall determine whether one of the following exists:

1) tenancy/actual tiller
2) agricultural land
3) involves ejectment, harassment/removal of tiller
4) the crime complained of arose out of or is connected with an
agrarian dispute

Positive findings (of the above-enumerated issues) the legal officer shall
recommend that the referred case is not proper for trial.

We note that the first paragraph of the cited section implies that the hearing
officer need only to establish the existence of any one of the enumerated items
for a recommendation that the case is not proper for trial. This reading is
somewhat made uncertain by the statement in the 2
nd
paragraph to the effect
that the legal officer shall recommend that the referred case is not proper for
trial upon positive findings relative to the above-enumerated issues, which
seem to require that such positive findings pertain to all the enumerated items.
This needs to be clarified by the DAR.


(6) WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF REFERRAL OF THE CASE TO THE DAR?

Section 6 of AO No. 4, S. 2009 provides that the court or the prosecutors
office shall not take cognizance of the case until such time that the DAR makes
a certification that an agrarian dispute does not exist. It also states that
pending the issuance of the required certification, parties to the case shall
observe the status quo ante.


101

For its part, DOJ Circular No. 40 (governing referral of criminal cases by the fiscals
to the DAR) provides that while the case is on referral with the PARO, the
investigating prosecutor shall defer further proceedings and shall await the
certification from the PARO as to whether the case is PROPER FOR TRIAL
OR NOT PROPER FOR TRIAL.

In addition, with respect to cases subject of inquest, the referral of the case to the
PARO shall come along with the release of the detained respondent for further
preliminary investigation. This means that the respondent shall be freed from
detention and, depending on the resolution of the DAR on the referral, proceed
with the investigation of the case to ascertain the existence of probable cause or
dismiss the same. This point will be further discussed in the next succeeding item.

Notes:

There are still matters that need to be threshed out relative to the effects of
referral. From the time of the approval of RA 9700, advocates have invariably
raised the following concerns that, accordingly, have to be addressed in the
operational / implementing guidelines of the referral provision:
60


(a) Retroactive application of the referral provision. Raised particularly with
respect to criminal cases, a position has been advanced that the referral
provision should apply to existing cases or those already filed before the
courts at the time of the effectivity of RA 9700 because laws should have a
retroactive effect if it favors the accused.

(b) There may be cases where the accused is already in detention (by virtue of a
warrant of arrest), would the referral provision be a basis for their release
pending the determination by the DAR that the criminal case for which
he/she had been arrested and detained is actually proper for trial by the
courts?

60
This may be done through the issuance of amended guidelines on the part of the DAR and
the DOJ and, insofar as the Supreme Court is concerned, through an administrative issuance
providing for detailed guidelines to properly implement Sec. 19 of RA 9700 relative to the case
referral mechanism.

102

(c) What happens to warrants of arrest / search and seizure already issued?

(d) As to the provision in DAR AO 4, S. 2009 relative to the observance of
the status quo ante, which phrase literally means the situation as it
existed before
61
, is the situation to which things must revert the
situation before the filing of the case or merely that before the referral of
the case to the DAR?

(e) Other related concerns.


(7) WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THE CERTIFICATION ISSUED BY THE
PARO AS TO WHETHER OR NOT AN AGRARIAN DISPUTE EXISTS?

On the finding that an agrarian dispute exists, the PARO shall certify that the
case is not proper for trial. Otherwise, the PARO shall issue a certification
stating that the case is proper for trial before the regular court.

Under Section 10 of AO No. 4, S. 2009, the PAROs certification has the
following effects:

(a) If the PARO certifies that the case is not proper for trial, the prosecutor
or judge shall, upon receipt of the certification, motu propio. or upon
proper application of the party concerned, dismiss the case;

(b) If, on the other hand, the PARO certifies that the case is proper for trial,
the judge or prosecutor shall assume jurisdiction over the controversy or
dispute.



61
Websters New World Law Dictionary, Copyright 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc.,
Hoboken, New Jersey. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

103

DOJ Circular No. 40 provides, as follows:

(a) If the Certification states that the case is not proper for trial, the
investigating prosecutor shall dismiss the case within five (5) days from
receipt of the certification.

(b) If the Certification states that the case is proper for trial, the
investigating prosecutor shall proceed with the preliminary investigation
and resolve the case, accordingly.

However, after the lapse of fifteen (15) days required by law for the DAR to
issue a Certification and none was issued, the investigating prosecutor may
dispose of the case pending before him in accordance with his appreciation of
law and evidence attendant to the case.


(8) WHAT REMEDY IS AVAILABLE TO THE CONCERNED PARTIES IF
THEY DO NOT AGREE WITH THE FINDINGS OF THE DAR IN REGARD
TO THE REFERRED CASE?

Under Section 50-A of R.A. 6657, as amended by RA 9700, an aggrieved party
shall have recourse from the determination of the DAR in the proper judicial
court. For cases referred by the municipal court and the prosecutors office,
appeal shall be made with the proper Regional Trial Court (RTC). For cases
referred by the RTC, appeal shall be made to the Court of Appeals.

Note: The details as to the procedure for review by the courts are not specified
in the law. Neither are these provided for in the administrative issuance on
referral (DAR AO 4, S. 2009 and DOJ Circular No. 40, S. 2009). As it is,
advocates are looking to the Supreme Court in cooperation with the DOJ
and the DAR to provide for these matters through an administrative issuance
on the case referral mechanism.




104

C. The Penal Provisions of RA 6657,
as amended by RA 9700


(9) WHAT CHANGES WERE INTRODUCED BY RA 9700 INTO THE PENAL
PROVISIONS (PARTICULARLY SECTIONS 73 AND 74) OF RA 6657?

Generally retaining the enumeration of agrarian offenses provided under
Section 73 of RA 6657, Section 24 of RA 9700 nevertheless defined additional
prohibited acts and omissions and introduced qualifications or adjustments to
certain prohibited acts and omissions as originally defined under Section 73.

Before the passage of RA 9700, the imposable penalty for the offenses, as
provided under Sec. 74, was imprisonment for a period of not less than one (1)
month to not more than three (3) years OR a fine of not less than one
thousand pesos (P1,000.00) and not more than fifteen thousand pesos
(P15,000.00) or both, at the discretion of the court.

Under RA 9700, the penalties are on the whole, stiffer as Section 74 of RA
6657 is amended to provide for longer imprisonment periods and/or higher
monetary penalty rates (fine).


(10) WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC PROHIBITED ACTS AND OMISSIONS AND
THE PENALTIES CORRESPONDING TO THE SAME AS DEFINED AND
PENALIZED UNDER RA 6657, AS AMENDED, AND HOW ARE THESE
AFFECTED BY THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF RA 9700?

Such prohibited acts and omissions (or agrarian offenses) and the penalties
corresponding to the same as originally provided under RA 6657 and as they
are now defined by virtue of the amendments introduced into Sections 73 and
74 of RA 9700 are presented in the table below.

It should be noted that the chargeable offense would depend on the date of
the commission or omission.

105

TABLE II.
Agrarian Offenses and their Corresponding Penalties
under RA 6657 and under RA 6657 as amended by RA 9700

Prohibited Acts and Omissions
Under RA 6657, as amended Under RA 6657,
as amended by RA 9700
Remarks

(a) The ownership or possession
for the purpose of circumventing
the provisions of this Act (RA
6657), of agricultural lands in
excess of the total retention limits
or award ceilings by any person,
natural or juridical except those
under collective ownership by
farmer-beneficiaries;

Penalty
Imprisonment of not less than one
(1) month to not more than three
(3) years or a fine of not less than
(P 1,000.00) and not more than
fifteen thousand pesos (P
15,000.00), or both, at the
discretion of the court.

(a) The ownership or possession,
for the purpose of circumventing
the provisions of this Act, of
agricultural lands in excess of the
total retention limits or award
ceilings by any person, natural or
juridical, except those under
collective ownership by farmer-
beneficiaries;

Penalty
Imprisonment of three (3) years
and one (1) day to six (6) years or
a fine of not less than Fifty
thousand pesos (P50,000.00) and
not more than One hundred fifty
thousand pesos (P150,000.00), or
both, at the discretion of the
court

Definition of
offense:
Unchanged

Note: Under Sec.
6-A, provincial, city
and municipal
government units
acquiring private
agricultural lands
by expropriation or
other modes of
acquisition xxx,
shall not be subject
to the five (5)-
hectare retention
limit xxx and
Sections 70 and 73
(a).


(b) The forcible entry or illegal
detainer by persons who are not
qualified beneficiaries under this
Act (RA 6657) to avail themselves
of the rights and benefits of the
Agrarian Reform Program;



(b) The forcible entry or illegal
detainer by persons who are not
qualified beneficiaries under this
Act to avail themselves or the
rights and benefits of the Agrarian
Reform Program;



Definition of
offense:
Unchanged




106

Prohibited Acts and Omissions
Under RA 6657, as amended Under RA 6657,
as amended by RA 9700
Remarks
Penalty
Imprisonment: 1 month to 3
years and /or Fine of P1,000 to
P15,000
Penalty
Imprisonment: 3 years and 1 day
to 6 years and/or Fine of
P50,000.00 to P150,000.00


(c) The conversion by any
landowner of his agricultural land
into non-agricultural use with
intent to avoid the application of
this Act (RA 6657) to his
landholdings and to dispossess his
tenant farmers of the land tilled
by them;

Penalty
Imprisonment: 1 month to 3
years and /or Fine of P1,000 to
P15,000


(c) Any conversion by any
landowner of his/her agricultural
land into any non-agricultural use
with intent to avoid the
application of this Act to his/her
landholdings and to dispossess
his/her bona fide tenant farmers;

Penalty
Imprisonment of six (6) years and
one (1) day to twelve (12) years or
a fine of not less than Two
hundred thousand pesos
(P200,000.00) and not more than
One million pesos (P
1,000,000.00), or both, at the
discretion of the court


Definition of
offense:

Under RA 9700,
the term tenant
farmers is
qualified by the
term bonafide





(d) The willful prevention or
obstruction by any person,
association or entity of the
implementation of the CARP;

Penalty
Imprisonment: 1 month to 3
years and /or Fine of P1,000 to
P15,000

(d) The malicious and willful
prevention or obstruction by any
person, association or entity of
the implementation of the CARP;

Penalty
Imprisonment: 6 years and 1 day
to 12 years and/or Fine of
P200,000.00 to P1,000,000.00
Definition of
offense:
Under RA 9700,the
prevention or
obstruction must
not only be willful;
the same must also
be malicious.


107

Prohibited Acts and Omissions
Under RA 6657, as amended Under RA 6657,
as amended by RA 9700
Remarks
(e) The sale, transfer ,
conveyance or change of the
nature of lands outside of urban
centers and city limits either in
whole or in part after the
effectivity of this Act (RA 6657).




The date of the registration of the
deed of conveyance in the
Register of Deeds with respect to
titled lands and the date of the
issuance of the tax declaration to
the transferee of the property
with respect to unregistered
lands, as the case may be, shall be
conclusive for the purpose of this
Act;

Penalty
Imprisonment: 1 month to 3
years and /or Fine of P1,000 to
P15,000
(e) The sale, transfer, conveyance
or change of the nature of lands
outside of urban centers and city
limits either in whole or in part
after the effectivity of this Act,
except after final completion of
the appropriate conversion under
Section 65 of Republic Act No.
6657, as amended.

The date of the registration of the
deed of conveyance in the
Register of Deeds with respect to
titled lands and the date of the
issuance of the tax declaration to
the transferee of the property
with respect to unregistered
lands, as the case may be, shall be
conclusive for the purpose of this
Act ;

Penalty
Imprisonment: 6 years and 1 day
to 12 years and/or Fine of
P200,000 to P1,000,000.00
Definition of
offense:
RA 9700 inserted
the qualification as
underscored in the
previous column.

Note: The sale and
/ or transfer of
agricultural land in
cases where such
sale, transfer or
conveyance is made
necessary as a result
of a bank's
foreclosure of the
mortgaged land is
not a violation of
this sub-section( of
Section 73 (e) .
62


62
Pursuant to RA 7881 [An Act Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 6657, Entitled "An Act
Instituting a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program to Promote Social Justice and Industrialization,
Providing the Mechanism For Its Implementation, and For Other Purposes (1995)] ,

Section 73-A is inserted
into the CARP law and the same section is left untouched by RA 9700. Sec. 73-A provides an exception to
Sec. 73 (par. e) of RA 6657, as amended, to wit:

Exception. The provisions of Section 73, paragraph (E ), to the contrary notwithstanding,
the sale and / or transfer of agricultural land in cases where such sale, transfer or conveyance
is made necessary as a result of a bank's foreclosure of the mortgaged land is hereby
permitted.

108

Prohibited Acts and Omissions
Under RA 6657, as amended Under RA 6657,
as amended by RA 9700
Remarks

(f) The sale, transfer or
conveyance by a beneficiary of
the right to use or any other
usufructuary right over the land
he acquired by virtue of being a
beneficiary, in order to
circumvent the provisions of this
Act (RA 6657);

Penalty
Imprisonment: 1 month to 3
years and /or Fine of P1,000 to
P15,000


(f) The sale, transfer or
conveyance by a beneficiary of
the right to use or any other
usufructuary right over the land
he/she acquired by virtue of being
a beneficiary, in order to
circumvent the provisions of this
Act;

Penalty
Imprisonment: 3 years and 1 day
to 6 years and/or Fine of
P50,000.00 to P150,000.00


Definition of
offense:
Unchanged







(g) The unjustified, willful, and
malicious act by a responsible
officer or officers of the
government through the
following:
(1 ) The denial of notice and/or
reply to landowners;
(2) The deprivation of retention
rights;
(3) The undue or inordinate
delay in the preparation of
claim folders; or
(4) Any undue delay, refusal or
failure in the payment of just
compensation;




New agrarian
offense defined by
RA 9700

109

Prohibited Acts and Omissions
Under RA 6657, as amended Under RA 6657,
as amended by RA 9700
Remarks
Penalty
Imprisonment: 3 years and 1 day
to 6 years and/or Fine of
P50,000.00 to P150,000.00


(h) The undue delay or
unjustified failure of the DAR,
the LBP, the PARC, the
PARCCOM, and any concerned
government agency or any
government official or employee
to submit the required report,
data and/or other official
document involving the
implementation of the
provisions of this Act , as
required by the parties or the
government, including the
House of Representatives and
the Senate of the Philippines as
well as their respective
committees, and the
congressional oversight
committee created herein;

Penalty
Imprisonment: 3 years and 1 day
to 6 years and/or Fine of
P50,000.00 to P150,000.00




New agrarian
offense defined by
RA 9700

110

Prohibited Acts and Omissions
Under RA 6657, as amended Under RA 6657,
as amended by RA 9700
Remarks

(i) The undue delay in the
compliance with the obligation to
certify or attest and/or falsification
of the certification or attestation as
required under Section 7 RA 6657,
as amended;

Penalty
Imprisonment: 6 years and 1 day to
12 years and/or Fine of
P200,000.00 to P1,000,000.00

New agrarian
offense defined by
RA 9700


(j) Any other culpable neglect or
willful violations of the provisions
of this Act.

Penalty
Imprisonment of not less than one
(1) month to not more than three
(3) years or a fine of not less than (P
1,000.00) and not more than fifteen
thousand pesos (P 15,000.00), or
both, at the discretion of the court.

Under RA 6657,
there is a provision
to the effect that
the knowing or
willful violation of
the law is
punishable.
However, the same
is not part of Sec.
73, which defines
the offenses; rather,
the provision is
incorporated into
section 74, which is
essentially a
provision on the
imposable penalties
for the different
agrarian offenses.
63


63
Sec. 74 . Penalties. Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the provisions of this Act
shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month to not more than three (3) years or a
fine of not less than (P 1,000.00) and not more than fifteen thousand pesos (P 15,000.00), or both, at
the discretion of the court. (RA 6657 before the RA 9700 amendments).

111


PENALTIES (prior to RA 9700) PENALTIES (under RA 9700)

As seen above, there is a uniform
penalty for the different offenses
which is

Imprisonment of not less than one
(1) month to not more than three (3)
years or a fine of not less than (P
1,000.00) and not more than fifteen
thousand pesos (P 15,000.00), or
both, at the discretion of the court.
If the offender is a corporation or
association, the officer responsible
therefor shall be criminally liable.












(Sections 73-74, RA 6657)

The imposable penalties vary and
are higher than those prescribed
under RA 6657 prior to the RA 9700
amendments. The provision on the
culpability of the responsible officer
when the offender is a corporation
or association is retained.

New provisions on penalties introduced
by RA 9700.

in the case of government officials
and employees, a conviction under
RA 6657, as amended is without
prejudice to any civil case and/or
appropriate administrative
proceedings under civil service law,
rules and regulations.

any person convicted under RA
6657, as amended, shall be
disqualified from enjoying any
benefit provided for in any agrarian
reform law or program.

(Sections 24-25, RA 9700 amending Sec.
73-74 of RA 6657, as amended)





112

APPENDICES

A. Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
Administrative Order No. 3, Series of 2009 (October 15, 2009)

Rules and Procedures Governing the Cancellation of Registered Certificates of Land Ownership
Awards (CLOAs), Emancipation Patents, and Other Titles Issued Under Any Agrarian Reform
Program

B. DAR Administrative Order No. 4, Series of 2009 (October 15, 2009)

Rules and Regulations Implementing Sec. 19 of RA No. 9700 [Jurisdiction on Referral of Agrarian
Dispute]

C. Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) Circular No. 62-2010 (April 28, 2010)

Implementation of Sections 7 and 50-A of RA No. 6657, also known as The Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law Of 1988, as respectively amended by Sections 5 and 19 of RA No. 9700
(An Act Strengthening the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), Extending the
Acquisition and Distribution of All Agricultural Lands, Instituting Necessary Reforms, Amending
for the Purpose Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise known as The
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, as amended, and Appropriating Funds Therefor)

D. Department of Justice (DOJ) Memorandum (March 16, 2010)

Subject: Jurisdiction on and Referral of Agrarian Disputes

E. DOJ Department Circular No. 40 (June 7, 2010)

Guidelines on the Investigation and Referral of Cases to the Department of Agrarian Reform
Pursuant to Section 19 of Republic Act. No. 9700
F. Republic Act No. 9700 (Signed August 7, 2009; effective July 1, 2009)

An Act Strengthening the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), Extending the
Acquisition and Distribution of All Agricultural Lands, Instituting Necessary Reforms, Amending
for the Purpose Certain Provisions of republic Act No. 6657, Otherwise Known as the
Comprehensive Agrarian reform Law of 1988, As Amended, and Appropriating Funds Therefor