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Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV


Memorize Art I, 1987 Constitution
The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other
territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial
domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters
around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of
the internal waters of the Philippines.
The national territory of the Philippines comprises:
1) the Philippine archipelago;
2) all other territories over which the Philippines has
sovereignty or jurisdiction
studded with islands which is delineated in the Treaty of
Paris (1898), as amended by the Treaty of Washington
(1900) and the Treaty with Great Britain (1930).
consists of its
a) Terrestrial
b) Fluvial
c) Aerial domains
including its
a) Territorial sea
b) The seabed
c) The subsoil
d) The insular shelves; and
e) The other submarine areas
INTERNAL WATERS the waters around, between and
connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of
their breadth and dimensions
JURISDICTIONincludes any territory that presently
belongs or might in the future belong to the Philippines
through any of the accepted international modes of
acquiring territory.

- Territorial Sea 12 nautical miles (nm)

- Contiguous Zone 12 nm from the edge of the territorial sea
- EEZ 200 nm from the baseline [includes T.S. and C.Z.]
NOTE: There can be a Continental Shelf without an EEZ,
but not an EEZ without a Continental Shelf.
The belt of the sea located between the coast and internal
waters of the coastal state on the one hand, and the high
seas on the other, extending up to 12 nautical miles from
the low water mark.
Extends up to 12 nautical miles from the territorial sea.
Although not part of the territory, the coastal State may
exercise jurisdiction to prevent infringement of customs,
fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws.
Body of water extending up to 200 nautical miles, within
which the state may exercise sovereign rights to explore,
exploit, conserve and manage the natural resources
The state in the EEZ exercises jurisdiction with regard to:
1. the establishment and use of artificial islands,
installations, and structures;
2. marine scientific research;
3. the protection and preservation of marine environment
Read the definition of archipelago by UNCLOS Comm Sor

For the purposes of this Convention:

Two elements:
1. The definition of internal waters (supra);
2. The straight baseline method of delineating the territorial
sea consists of drawing straight lines connecting the
outermost points on the coast without departing to any
appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast.
Important distances with respect to the waters around the

(a) "archipelagic State" means a State constituted wholly

by one or more archipelagos and may include other islands;
(b) "archipelago" means a group of islands, including parts
of islands, interconnecting waters and other natural features
which are so closely interrelated that such islands, waters
and other natural features form an intrinsic geographical,
economic and political entity, or which historically have
been regarded as such.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Read Art II, Sec 16, 1987 Constitution
SECTION 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.

SECTION 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord
with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
224 SCRA 792
Political Law Harmony in Nature Inter-Generational Responsibility Inter-Generational Justice
FACTS: A taxpayers class suit was initiated by the Philippine Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI) together with
the minors Juan Antonio Oposa et al and their parents. All were duly represented. They claimed that as
taxpayers they have the right to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resources of the countrys
rainforests. They prayed that a judgment be rendered ordering Secretary Fulgencio Factoran, Jr, his agents,
representatives, and other persons acting in his behalf to cancel all existing timber license agreements in the
country and cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new timber license
agreements, Factoran being the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners have a cause of action?
HELD: Yes, petitioners have a cause of action. The case at bar is of common interest to all Filipinos. The right
to a balanced and healthy ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the
environment. The said right implies the judicious management of the countrys forests. This right is also the
mandate of the government through DENR. A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the
correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect the same gives rise to a cause of action. All licenses may
thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action.

Distinguish sovereignty from dominion

Sovereignty is the right to exercise the functions of a State to the exclusion of any other State. It is often referred to as the
power of imperium, which is defined as the government authority possessed by the State. On the other hand, dominion, or
dominium, is the capacity of the State to own or acquire property such as lands and natural resources. (Separate Opinion,
Kapunan, J., in Isagani Cruz v. Secretary of DENR, G.R. No. 135385, Dec. 6, 2000, En Banc, See Footnote 86)
How did Spain acquire the Philippines?
The Philippines passed to Spain by virtue of discovery and conquest. Consequently, all lands became the exclusive
patrimony and dominion of the Spanish Crown. The Spanish Government took charge of distributing the lands by issuing royal
grants and concessions to Spaniards, both military and civilian (Antonio H. Noblejas, Land Titles and Deeds, p. 5 [1986]; These
grants were better known as repartimientos and encomiendas. Repartimientos were handouts to the military as fitting reward
for their services to the Spanish crown. The encomiendas were given to Spaniards to administer and develop with the right to
receive and enjoy for themselves the tributes of the natives assigned to them. Ponce, supra, p. 12, citing Benitez, History of
the Philippines, pp. 125-126).Privateland titles could only be acquired from the government either by purchase or by the various
modes of land grant from the Crown (Narciso Pena, Registration of Land Titles and Deeds, p. 2 [1994]). (Separate Opinion,
Puno, J., in Cruz v. Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, 347 SCRA 128, 166, En Banc [Per Curiam])

When Spain acquired sovereignty over the Philippines by virtue of its discovery and occupation thereof in the 16th
century and the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494 which it entered into with Portugal (Under the Treaty of Tordesillas, the
world was divided between Spain and Portugal, with the former having exclusive power to claim all lands and territories
west of the Atlantic Ocean demarcation line [Lynch, The Legal Bases of Philippine Colonial Sovereignty, 62 Phil. L J

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
279, 283 [1987]) the continents of Asia, the Americas and Africa were considered as terra nullius although already
populated by other peoples (See Akehurst, a Modern Introduction to International Law, 5th ed., 142-143). The discovery
and occupation by the European States, who were then considered as the only members of the international community of
civilized nations, of lands in the said continents were deemed sufficient to create title under international law (See Cruz,
International Law, 1996 ed., pp. 106-107) (Separate Opinion, Kapunan, J., in Isagani Cruz v. Secretary of DENR, G.R.
No. 135385, Dec. 6, 2000, 347 SCRA 128, 271, En Banc [Per Curiam])
Discuss the concept of "jura regalia" and how it evolved in the Philippines. Does it negate native title to lands held
in private ownership since time immemorial?
Generally, under the concept of jura regalia, private title to land must be traced to some grant, express or implied, from the
Spanish Crown or its successors, the American Colonial government, and thereafter, the Philippine Republic. The belief that
the Spanish Crown is the origin of all land titles in the Philippines has persisted because title to land must emanate from some
source for it cannot issue forth from nowhere (Pena, Registration of Land Titles and Deeds, 1994 rev. ed., p. 15).
In its broad sense, the term "jura regalia" refers to royal grants (1 Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 3rd revision, p. 1759), or those
rights which the King has by virtue of his prerogatives (Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed., p. 1282). In Spanish law, it refers to a
right which the sovereign has over anything in which a subject has a right of property or propriedad (76 Corpus Juris
Secundum, citing Hart v. Burnett, 15 Cal. 530, 566). These were rights enjoyed during feudal times by the king as the
The theory of the feudal system was that title to all lands was originally held by the King, and while the use of lands was
granted out to others who were permitted to hold them under certain conditions, the King theoretically retained the title
(Washburn, p. 44; see also Williams, Principles Of The Law On Real Property, 6th ed. [1886], p. 2; Bigelow, p. 2). By fiction
of law, the King was regarded as the original proprietor of all lands, and the true and only source of title, and from him all lands
were held (Warvelle, Abstracts and Examination of Title to Real Property [1907], p. 18). The theory of jura regalia was
therefore nothing more than a natural fruit of conquest (1 Dictionary of English Law [Jowitt, ed.] p. 797).
The Regalian theory, however, does not negate native title to lands held in private ownership since time immemorial. In the
landmark case of Carino v. Insular Government (41 Phil. 935, 212 U.S. 449, 53 L. Ed. 594 [1909]), the United States Supreme
Court, reversing the decision of the pre-war Philippine Supreme Court, made the following pronouncement:
x x x Every presumption is and ought to be taken against the Government in a case like the present. It might, perhaps, be
proper and sufficient to say that when, as far back as testimony or memory goes, the land has been held by individuals under a
claim of private ownership, it will be presumed to have been held in the same way from before the Spanish conquest, and never
to have been public land. x x x (Carino v. Insular Government, supra note 75, at 941)
The above ruling institutionalized the recognition of the existence of native title to land, or ownership of land by Filipinos by
virtue of possession under a claim of ownership since time immemorial and independent of any grant from the Spanish Crown,
as an exception to the theory of jura regalia.
Carino was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1909, at a time when decisions of the U.S. Court were binding as precedent
in our jurisdiction (Section 10, Philippine Bill of 1902). We applied the Carino doctrine in the 1946 case of Oh Cho v. Director
of Lands (75 Phil. 890 [1946]), where we stated that [a]ll lands that were not acquired from the Government either by purchase
or by grant, belong to the public domain, but [a]n exception to the rule would be any land that should have been in the
possession of an occupant and of his predecessors in interest since time immemorial, for such possession would justify the
presumption that the land had never been part of the public domain or that it had been private property even before the Spanish
conquest. (Id., at 892). (Separate Opinion, Kapunan, J., in Isagani Cruz v. Secretary of DENR, G.R. No. 135385, Dec. 6,
2000, 347 SCRA 128, 268-270, En Banc [Per Curiam]

What was the basis for the early Spanish decrees embracing the theory of jura regalia? Is this also the basis of the
declaration in Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution that all lands of the public domain are owned by the
State? Consequently, did Spain acquire title over all lands in the Philippines in the 16th century?

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Dominium was the basis for the early Spanish decrees embracing the theory of jura regalia. The declaration in Section 2,
Article XII of the 1987 Constitution that all lands of the public domain are owned by the State is likewise founded on
dominium. If dominium, not imperium, is the basis of the theory of jura regalia, then the lands which Spain acquired in
the 16th century were limited to non-private lands, because it could only acquire lands which were not yet privatelyowned or occupied by the Filipinos. Hence, Spain acquired title only over lands which were unoccupied and unclaimed,
i.e., public lands. (Separate Opinion, Kapunan, J., in Isagani Cruz v. Secretary of DENR, G.R. No. 135385, Dec. 6, 2000,
En Banc, See Footnote 86)
What is the Doctrine of Constitutional Supremacy?
Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the Constitution, that law or
contract, whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for private
purposes, is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount
and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract. (Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, 267
SCRA 408 [1997] [Bellosillo])
What are self-executing and non-self executing provisions of the Constitution?
A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Article II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not
self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or
enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or
protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred
and the liability imposed are fixed by the Constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and
construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action.
(Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, 267 SCRA 408 [1997] [Bellosillo])
Are provisions of the Constitution self-executing or non-self executing? Why?
Unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption now
is that all provisions are self-executing. If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of selfexecuting, the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law.
This can be cataclysmic. (Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, 267 SCRA 408 [1997] [Bellosillo])
Is the Filipino First Policy expressed in Section 10, Article XII of the Constitution a self-executing provision?
Yes. It is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or
implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put
it in operation. It is per se judicially enforceable. When our Constitution mandates that [i]n the grant of rights, privileges,
and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos, it
means just that qualified Filipinos must be preferred. (Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997, 267
SCRA 408 [Bellosillo])
Give examples of non-self executing provisions of the Constitution.
By its very nature, Article II of the Constitution is a declaration of principles and state policies. These principles in
Article II are not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They are used by the
judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its enactment of laws.
As held in the leading case of Kilosbayan, Incorporated v. Morato (246 SCRA 540, 564, July 17, 1995), the principles and
state policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not self-executing provisions, the disregard of
which can give rise to a cause of action in courts. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but
guidelines for legislation. (Tanada v. Angara, 272 SCRA 18 [1997], En Banc [Panganiban])

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
When are acts of persons considered State action covered by the Constitution?
In constitutional jurisprudence, the act of persons distinct from the government are considered state action covered by
the Constitution (1) when the activity it engages in is a public function; (2) when the government is so significantly
involved with the private actor as to make the government responsible for his action; and (3) when the government has
approved or authorized the action. (Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, 267 SCRA 408 [1997] [Bellosillo])
Manila Prince Hotel v. Government Service Insurance System
267 SCRA 408
Political Law Constitutional Law Supremacy of the Constitution Filipino First Policy
Self-Executing Provisions of the Constitution Par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. XII
FACTS: Pursuant to the privatization program of the government, the Government Service Insurance System
(GSIS) decided to sell 30-51% of the Manila Hotel Corporation. Two bidders participated, Manila Prince
Hotel (MPH) and the Malaysian Firm Renong Berhad (RB). MPHs bid was at P41.58/per share while RBs
bid was at P44.00/share. RB was the highest bidder hence it was logically considered as the winning bidder but
is yet to be declared so. Pending declaration, MPH matches RBs bid and invoked the Filipino First Policy
enshrined under par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution. But GSIS refused to accept said offer. In
turn MPH filed a petition for TRO against GSIS to avoid the perfection of the sale to RB. TRO was granted.
RB then assailed the TRO issued in favor of MPH arguing among others that: Par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. XII of the
1987 Constitution needs an implementing law because it is merely a statement of principle and policy (not
self-executing); Even if said passage is self-executing, Manila Hotel does not fall under national patrimony.
ISSUE: W/N RB should be admitted as the highest bidder and be proclaimed as the legit buyer of shares.
HELD: No. MPH should be awarded the sale pursuant to Art 12 of the 1987 Const. This is in light of the
Filipino First Policy. Par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. 12 of the 1987 Constitution is self executing. The Constitution is the
fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract.
Manila Hotel falls under national patrimony. Patrimony in its plain and ordinary meaning pertains to heritage.
When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of the
Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources, but also to the cultural
heritage of the Filipinos. It also refers to our intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. Therefore, we should
develop not only our lands, forests, mines and other natural resources but also the mental ability or faculty of
our people. Note that, for more than 8 decades (9 now) Manila Hotel has bore mute witness to the triumphs
and failures, loves and frustrations of the Filipinos; its existence is impressed with public interest; its own
historicity associated with our struggle for sovereignty, independence and nationhood.
Herein resolved as well is the term Qualified Filipinos which not only pertains to individuals but to
corporations as well and other juridical entities/personalities. The term qualified Filipinos simply means that
preference shall be given to those citizens who can make a viable contribution to the common good, because of
credible competence and efficiency. It certainly does NOT mandate the pampering and preferential treatment
to Filipino citizens or organizations that are incompetent or inefficient, since such an indiscriminate preference
would be counter productive and inimical to the common good. In the granting of economic rights, privileges,
and concessions, when a choice has to be made between a qualified foreigner and a qualified Filipino, the
latter shall be chosen over the former.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
MORE CASES mentioned by Comm Sor which he said will be included in the midterm exam:
Mateo Cario v. The Insular Government (December 1906)
7 Phil 132
Civil Law Land Titles and Deeds Ancestral Domain Ancestral Land Claim
Political Law Regalian Doctrine
FACTS: On June 23, 1903, Mateo Cario went to the Court of Land Registration (CLR) to petition his
inscription as the owner of a 146 hectare land hes been possessing in the then municipality of Baguio. Mateo
only presented possessory information and no other documentation. The State opposed the petition averring
that the land is part of the US military reservation. The CLR ruled in favor of Mateo. The State appealed.
Mateo lost. Mateo averred that a grant should be given to him by reason of immemorial use and occupation as
in the previous cases Cansino vs Valdez and Tiglao vs Government; and that the right of the State over said
land has prescribed.
ISSUE: W/N Mateo is the rightful owner of the land by virtue of his possession of it for some time.
HELD: No. The statute of limitations did not run against the government. The government is still the absolute
owner of the land (regalian doctrine). Further, Mateos possession of the land has not been of such a character
as to require the presumption of a grant. No one has lived upon it for many years. It was never used for
anything but pasturage of animals, except insignificant portions thereof, and since the insurrection against
Spain it has apparently not been used by Cario for any purpose. While the State has always recognized the
right of the occupant to a deed if he proves a possession for a sufficient length of time, yet it has always
insisted that he must make that proof before the proper administrative officers, and obtain from them his deed,
and until he did the State remained the absolute owner.
Lao Ichong v. Jaime Hernandez
Constitutional Law Treaties May Be Superseded by Municipal Laws in the Exercise of Police Power
FACTS: Lao Ichong is a Chinese businessman who entered the country to take advantage of business
opportunities herein abound (then) particularly in the retail business. For some time he and his fellow
Chinese businessmen enjoyed a monopoly in the local market in Pasay. Until in June 1954 when Congress
passed the RA 1180 or the Retail Trade Nationalization Act the purpose of which is to reserve to Filipinos the
right to engage in the retail business. Ichong then petitioned for the nullification of the said Act on the ground
that it contravened several treaties concluded by the RP which, according to him, violates the equal protection
clause (pacta sund servanda). He said that as a Chinese businessman engaged in the business here in the
country who helps in the income generation of the country he should be given equal opportunity.
ISSUE: Whether or not a law may invalidate or supersede treaties or generally accepted principles.
HELD: Yes, a law may supersede a treaty or a generally accepted principle. In this case, there is no conflict at
all between the raised generally accepted principle and with RA 1180. The equal protection of the law clause
does not demand absolute equality amongst residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike,
under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced; and, that the
equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a
specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a
distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not. For the sake of argument, even if
it would be assumed that a treaty would be in conflict with a statute then the statute must be upheld because it
represented an exercise of the police power which, being inherent could not be bargained away or surrendered
through the medium of a treaty. Hence, Ichong can no longer assert his right to operate his market stalls in the
Pasay city market.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Read Art XII, Sec 2, 1987 Constitution
SECTION 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential
energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the
exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization
of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities,
or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or
associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not
exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be
provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of
water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.
The State shall protect the nations marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and
reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.
The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish
farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.
The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for
large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general
terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country.
In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.
The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in accordance with this provision, within thirty days from
its execution.
From the book of Bernas:
What is the regalian doctrine?
In public law a distinction is made between imperium and dominium. Imperium is the government authority possessed by the
State expressed in the concept of sovereignty. Dominium is the capacity of the State to own or acquire property. Dominium,
which was the foundation for the early Spanish decrees embracing the feudal theory of jura regalia that all lands were held
from the Crown, is also the foundation of the first sentence of Section 2. As adopted in a republican system, however, the
medieval concept of jura regalia has been stripped of regalia overtones: ownership is vested in the State, not in the head of the
State be he President or Prime Minister. Lee Hong Kok v. David, 48 SCRA 372, 377 (1972).
What is the consequence of the regalian doctrine of Section 2?
Any person claiming ownership of a portion of the public domain must be able to show title from the state according to any of
the recognized modes of acquisition of title.
When the regalian doctrine was introduced into the Philippines by colonizers, did the colonizers strip the natives of their
ownership of lands?
No. Carino v. Insular Governement, 41 Phil 935 (1909) said that when, as far back as testimony or memory goes, the land has
been held by individuals under a claim of private ownership, it will be presumed that to have been held in the same way from
before the Spanish conquest, and never to have been public land.
When does land of the public domain become private land?
When it is acquired from the government either by purchase or by grant. As held in Oh Cho v. Director of Lands, 75 Phil 890,
all lands that were not acquired from the Government either by purchase or by grant, belong to the public domain. An
exception to the rule would be any land that should have been in the possession of an occupant and of his predecessors-ininterest since time immemorial, for such possession would justify the presumption that the land had never been part of the
public domain or that it had been private property even before the Spanish conquest.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Can prescription transform public land into private land?
Yes, if it is alienable land. Open, exclusive and undisputed possession of alienable public land for the period prescribed by law
creates the legal fiction whereby the land, upon completion of the requisite period ipso jure and without need of judicial or other
sanction, ceases to be public land and becomes private property. Such open, continuous, exclusive and notorious occupation of
the disputed properties for more than 30 years must, however, be conclusively established. This quantum of proof is necessary
to avoid the erroneous validation of actually fictitious claims of possession over the property in dispute. San Miguel
Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 57667, May 28, 1990.
In computing the thirty year period for acquisitive prescription under Section 49(9) of the Public Land Law, can the
period before the land, e.g., forest land, is converted into alienable public land be included?
No. The thirty year period begins to toll only from the time the land is converted into alienable public land. Almeda v. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 85322, April 30, 1991.
What are the limits imposed by Section 2 on the jura regalia of the state?
(1) Only agricultural lands of the public domain may be alienated.
(2) The exploration, development, and utilization of all natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the
State either by directly undertaking such exploration, development, and utilization or through co-production, joint venture, or
production-sharing agreements with qualified persons or corporations.
(3) All agreements with the qualified private sector may be for only a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for
another twenty-five years. (The twenty-five year limit is not applicable to water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or
industrial uses other than the development of water power, for which beneficial use may be the measure and the limit of the
(4) The use and enjoyment of the marine wealth of the archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone shall be
reserved for Filipino citizens. (It would seem, therefore, that corporations are excluded or at least must be fully owned by
(5) Utilization of natural resources in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons may be allowed on a small scale to Filipino citizens or
cooperatives with priority for subsistence fishermen and fish workers. (The bias here is for the protection of the little people.)
What is the nature of reclaimed foreshore and submerged lands?
They are lands of the public domain and, unless classified as alienable, may not be disposed of.
For reclaimed land to be registered as private property what is required?
Two things are required. First, since reclaimed land is part of the inalienable public domain, there must be proof that the land
had been classified as alienable. Second, the person seeking registration must show proof of having acquired the property, e.g.,
by prescription. Inalienable land, however, cannot be acquired by prescription. Republic v. Enciso, G.R. No. 160145, November
11, 2005.
Section 2 speaks of co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements as modes of exploration,
development, and utilization of inalienable lands. Does this effectively exclude the lease system?
Yes, with respect to mineral and forest lands. Agricultural lands may be the subject of lease. See Section 3.
Who are qualified to take part in the exploration, development, and utilization of the natural resources?
Filipino citizens, and corporations or associations at least sixty per cent of whose capital is owned by Filipino citizens. (Note,
however, that as to marine wealth, only Filipino citizens are qualified. This is also true of natural resources in rivers, bays,
lakes, and lagoons, but with allowance for cooperatives.)

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
May the State enter into service contracts with foreign owned corporations?
Yes, but subject to the strict limitations in the last two paragraphs of Section 2. Financial and technical agreements are a form of
service contract. Such service contracts may be entered into only with respect to minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils. The
grant of such service contracts is subject to several safeguards, among them: (1) that the service contract be crafted in
accordance with a general law setting standard or uniform terms, conditions and requirements; (2) the President be the signatory
for the government; and (3) the President report the executed agreement to Congress within thirty days. La Bugal BLaan Tribal
Assoc v. DENR, G.R. No. 127882, December 1, 2004 (On Reconsideration) and February 1, 2005.
May aliens lease land of the public domain?
No, because that would involve enjoyment of the natural resources of the public domain. See Section 2.
May a foreign corporation buy shares in excess of 40% of the shares of the corporation?
Yes. There is no law against that. But the effect would be that the corporation would lose its capacity to hold land.
May an alien lease private land?
To be sure, a lease to an alien for a reasonable period is valid. So is an option giving an alien the right to buy real property on
condition that he is granted Philippine citizenship.
Are aliens disqualified from owning every kind of real property?
No. The prohibition in the Constitution applies only to ownership of land. It does not extend to all immovable or real property
as defined under Article 415 of the Civil Code, that is, those which are considered immovable for being attached to the soil. J.G.
Summit v. CA, G.R. No. 124293, January 31, 2005.
Read Art XII, Sec 3, 1987 Constitution
SECTION 3. Lands of the public domain are classified into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands, and national parks.
Agricultural lands of the public domain may be further classified by law according to the uses which they may be devoted.
Alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands. Private corporations or associations may not hold
such alienable lands of the public domain except by lease, for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more
than twenty-five years, and not to exceed one thousand hectares in area. Citizens of the Philippines may lease not more than five
hundred hectares, or acquire not more than twelve hectares thereof by purchase, homestead, or grant.
Taking into account the requirements of conservation, ecology, and development, and subject to the requirements of agrarian
reform, the Congress shall determine, by law, the size of lands of the public domain which may be acquired, developed, held, or
leased and the conditions therefor.
Who classifies public lands?
In Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals, 129 SCRA 689 (June 22, 1984), the Court said: the Classification of public lands is
an exclusive prerogative of the Executive Department of the Government and not of the Courts. In the absence of such
classification, the land remains as unclassified land until it is released therefrom and rendered open to disposition. This should
be so under time honored Constitutional precepts. This is also in consonance with the Regalian doctrine that all lands of the
public belong to the State, and that the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership in the land and charged with the
conservation of such patrimony.
It should be noted, however, that the power of the executive is delegated power by virtue of C.A. 141.
Who may change the classification of public lands, e.g., from inalienable to alienable, and how is the classification done?
The classification of public lands is the exclusive prerogative of the President upon recommendation of the pertinent department
head (C.A. No. 141).

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Can land have a mixed classification, e.g., partly mineral, partly agricultural?
No. The Court feels that the rights over the land are indivisible and that the land itself cannot be half agricultural and half
mineral. The classification must be categorical: the land must be either completely mineral or completely agricultural. In the
instant case, as already observed, the land which was originally classified as forest land ceased to be so and became mineral and
completely mineral once the mining claims were perfected. As long as mining operations were being undertaken thereon, or
underneath, it did not cease to be so and become agricultural, even if only partly so, because it was enclosed with a fence and
was cultivated by those who were unlawfully occupying the surface. Republic v. Court of Appeals, 160 SCRA 228 (1988).
If a person is the owner of agricultural land in which minerals are discovered, does his ownership of such land give him
the right to extract or utilize the said minerals without the permission of the State to which such minerals belong?
No. this is an application of the Regalian Doctrine. Thus, once minerals are discovered in the land, whatever the use to which it
is being devoted at the time, such use may be discontinued by the State to enable it to extract the minerals therein in the exercise
of its sovereign prerogative. The land is thus converted to mineral land. For the loss sustained, the owner is entitled to
compensation under the Mining Law or in appropriate expropriation proceedings. Republic v. CA, 160 SCRA 228 (1988).
NOTE: The President has been given the power to withdraw forest reserves found to be more valuable for their mineral contents
than for the purpose for which the reservation was made and convert the same into non-forest reserves. Unlike under earlier
laws which required concurrence by the legislative body, all that is required now is the recommendation of the DENR
Secretary. Apex Mining v. Southeast Mindanao Gold, G.R. No. 152613 & No. 152628, June 23, 2006.
What are the rules on the disposition and exploitation of agricultural lands of the public domain?
(1) Private corporations or associations may not acquire alienable lands of the public domain.
(2) Qualified individuals may acquire a maximum of 12 hectares (down from 24 of the 1973 Constitution) of alienable lands of
the public domain.
(3) Private corporations may hold alienable lands of the public domain by lease up to a maximum of 1,000 hectares and for a
period of twenty-five years renewable for another twenty-five years.
(4) Qualified individuals may lease land of the public domain up to a maximum of 500 hectares.
Where public land was acquired within the maximum limit of the Constitution in effect at the time of acquisition, may
such land be registered even if the area is beyond the new land limit in a later Constitution?
Yes. The validity of acquisition is determined as of the time land was acquired. Director of Lands v. IAC, 146 SCRA 509.
May qualified corporations acquire land?
Yes, but only private land.
When does public land become private land: upon issuance of the certificate of registration or upon completion of all
steps necessary to entitle one to registration?
Alienable public land held by a possessor, personally or through his predecessors in interest, openly, continuously and
exclusively for the prescribed statutory period of thirty years is converted to private property by the mere lapse of completion of
said period, ipso jure. Director of Lands v. IAC, supra.
What is the purpose of the constitutional prohibition against the purchase of public agricultural lands by private
[O]ne purpose of the constitutional prohibition against purchases of public agricultural lands by private corporations is to
equitably diffuse land ownership or to encourage owner-cultivatorship and the economic family-size farm and to prevent a
recurrence of [huge landholdings]. Huge landholdings by corporations or private persons had spawned social unrest. Lausan
Ayog, et al v. Judge Cuison, G.R. No. 46729, November 19, 1982.

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Is the prohibition which prevents private corporations from acquiring land of the public domain retroactive?
No. The constitutional prohibition has no retroactive application to the corporation which had already acquired a vested right
to the land applied for at the time the 1973 Constitution took effect. Lausan Ayog, et al v. Judge Cuison, G.R. No. 46729,
November 19, 1982.
NOTE: Under the 1935 Constitution, the limit on the area of public land which may be acquired by private individuals was 144
hectares. The 1973 Constitution, however, set the limit at 24 hectares. The 1987 Constitution has further reduced this to 12
How much of the lands of the public domain is open to acquisition, exploration, development and utilization?
The last paragraph of Section 3 as well as Section 4 authorizes Congress to fix the available area taking into consideration the
requirements of conservation, ecology and development and subject to the principles of agrarian reform. Section 4 also adds a
note of urgency to the need to fix the specific limits of forest lands and national parks.
Read Art XII, Sec 4 / 5, 1987 Constitution
SECTION 4. The Congress shall, as soon as possible, determine by law the specific limits of forest lands and national parks,
marking clearly their boundaries on the ground. Thereafter, such forest lands and national parks shall be conserved and may not
be increased nor diminished, except by law. The Congress shall provide, for such period as it may determine, measures to
prohibit logging in endangered forests and watershed areas.
SECTION 5. The State, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national development policies and programs, shall
protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social, and cultural wellbeing.
The Congress may provide for the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the
ownership and extent of ancestral domain.
What is the difference between ancestral domain and ancestral lands?
Ancestral domain is an all-embracing concept which refers to lands, inland waters, coastal areas, and natural resources therein
and includes ancestral lands, forests, pasture, residential, agricultural, and other lands individually owned whether alienable or
not, hunting grounds, burial grounds, worship areas, bodies of water and other natural resources. They include lands which may
no longer be exclusively occupied by indigenous cultural communities but to which they had traditionally had access for their
subsistence and traditional activities.
Ancestral land is a narrower concept. It refers to those held under the same conditions but ancestral but limited to lands that are
not merely occupied and possessed but are also utilized by cultural communities under the claim of individual or traditional
group ownership. These include but are not limited to residential lots, rice terraces or paddies, private forests, farms and tree
lots. [Section 3 (a) abd (b), R.A 8371]

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Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources v. Mayor Jose Yap
568 SCRA 164
Civil Law Land Titles and Deeds Land Classifications Boracay Cases Positive Act by the Government
in Reclassifying Lands
These are two consolidated cases.
G.R. No. 167707
Boracay Mayor Jose Yap et al filed for declaratory relief to have a judicial confirmation of imperfect title or
survey of land for titling purposes for the land theyve been occupying in Boracay. Yap et al alleged that
Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA Circular No. 3-82 raised doubts on their right to secure titles over their
occupied lands. They declared that they themselves, or through their predecessors-in-interest, had been in
open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation in Boracay since June 12, 1945, or
earlier since time immemorial. They declared their lands for tax purposes and paid realty taxes on them.
The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), opposed the petition for declaratory relief.
The OSG countered that Boracay Island was an unclassified land of the public domain. It formed part of the
mass of lands classified as public forest, which was not available for disposition pursuant to Section 3(a) of
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code. Since Boracay Island had not been classified
as alienable and disposable, whatever possession they had cannot ripen into ownership. RTC Ruled in favor of
Yap et al. The OSG appealed.
G.R. No. 173775
During the pendency of G.R. No. 167707, in May 2006, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued
Proclamation No. 1064 classifying Boracay Island into four hundred (400) hectares of reserved forest land
(protection purposes) and six hundred twenty-eight and 96/100 (628.96) hectares of agricultural land (alienable
and disposable). The Proclamation likewise provided for a fifteen-meter buffer zone on each side of the
centerline of roads and trails, reserved for right-of-way and which shall form part of the area reserved for forest
land protection purposes.
Subsequently, Dr. Orlando Sacay, and other Boracay landowners in Boracay filed with the Supreme Court
(SC) an original petition for prohibition, mandamus, and nullification of Proclamation No. 1064. They alleged
that the Proclamation infringed on their prior vested rights over portions of Boracay. They have been in
continued possession of their respective lots in Boracay since time immemorial. They have also invested
billions of pesos in developing their lands and building internationally renowned first class resorts on their lots.
The OSG again opposed Sacays petition. The OSG argued that Sacay et al do not have a vested right over
their occupied portions in the island. Boracay is an unclassified public forest land pursuant to Section 3(a) of
PD No. 705. Being public forest, the claimed portions of the island are inalienable and cannot be the subject of
judicial confirmation of imperfect title. It is only the executive department, not the courts, which has authority
to reclassify lands of the public domain into alienable and disposable lands. There is a need for a positive
government act in order to release the lots for disposition.
ISSUES: Whether Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA Circular No. 3-82 pose any legal obstacle for Yap et al and
Sacay et al, and all those similarly situated, to acquire title to their occupied lands in Boracay Island.
HELD: Yes. The SC ruled against Yap et al and Sacay et al. The Regalian Doctrine dictates that all lands of
the public domain belong to the State, that the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land and
charged with the conservation of such patrimony. All lands that have not been acquired from the government,
either by purchase or by grant, belong to the State as part of the inalienable public domain.

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A positive act declaring land as alienable and disposable is required. In keeping with the presumption of
State ownership, there must be a positive act of the government, such as an official proclamation,
declassifying inalienable public land into disposable land for agricultural or other purposes. In the case at bar,
no such proclamation, executive order, administrative action, report, statute, or certification was presented. The
records are bereft of evidence showing that, prior to 2006, the portions of Boracay occupied by private
claimants were subject of a government proclamation that the land is alienable and disposable. Absent such
well-nigh incontrovertible evidence, the Court cannot accept the submission that lands occupied by private
claimants were already open to disposition before 2006. Matters of land classification or reclassification cannot
be assumed.
Also, private claimants also contend that their continued possession of portions of Boracay Island for the
requisite period of ten (10) years under Act No. 926 ipso facto converted the island into private ownership.
Private claimants continued possession under Act No. 926 does not create a presumption that the land is
alienable. It is plain error for petitioners to argue that under the Philippine Bill of 1902 and Public Land
Act No. 926, mere possession by private individuals of lands creates the legal presumption that the lands
are alienable and disposable.
Private claimants are not entitled to apply for judicial confirmation of imperfect title under CA No. 141.
Neither do they have vested rights over the occupied lands under the said law. There are two requisites for
judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title under CA No. 141, namely:
(1) open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the subject land
by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest under a bona fide claim of ownership since
time immemorial or from June 12, 1945; and
(2) the classification of the land as alienable and disposable land of the public domain.
The tax declarations in the name of private claimants are insufficient to prove the first element of possession.
The SC noted that the earliest of the tax declarations in the name of private claimants were issued in 1993.
Being of recent dates, the tax declarations are not sufficient to convince this Court that the period of possession
and occupation commenced on June 12, 1945.
Yap et al and Sacay et al insist that they have a vested right in Boracay, having been in possession of the island
for a long time. They have invested millions of pesos in developing the island into a tourist spot. They say their
continued possession and investments give them a vested right which cannot be unilaterally rescinded by
Proclamation No. 1064.
The continued possession and considerable investment of private claimants do not automatically give them a
vested right in Boracay. Nor do these give them a right to apply for a title to the land they are presently
occupying. The SC is constitutionally bound to decide cases based on the evidence presented and the laws
applicable. As the law and jurisprudence stand, private claimants are ineligible to apply for a judicial
confirmation of title over their occupied portions in Boracay even with their continued possession and
considerable investment in the island.

THINGS TO REMEMBER from the above case as mentioned by Comm Sor:

(1) If this question appears in the midterm: When will a public land become private? The answer is found in this case.
(2) Prescription (30 years) does not operate against the State.
(3) Executive dept reserves the right to classify lands as alienable or not.
(4) Classification of lands cannot be assumed; there must be a positive act of the government.
Okay, good luck. JLV 2015

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Read Art XII, Sec 7 / 8, 1987 Constitution
SECTION 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals,
corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain.
SECTION 8. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Article, a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost
his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private lands, subject to limitations provided by law.
What are private lands?
Private land means any land of private ownership. This includes both lands owned by private individuals and lands which are
patrimonial property of the State or of municipal corporations.
Who may acquire private lands?
On the basis of their capacity to acquire or hold lands of the public domain, the following may acquire private lands: (1)
Filipino citizens; (2) Filipino corporations and associations as defined Section 2; and, by exception, (3) aliens, but only by
hereditary succession, and (4) a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost Philippine citizenship (but only under the
terms of Section 8).
Filipino citizens can both acquire or otherwise hold lands of the public domain; Filipino coporations cannot acquire lands
of the public domain but they can hold such lands by modes other than acquisition, such as lease.
The purpose and spirit of the 1935 Constitution demands that in the absence of a capital stock, the controlling membership
should be composed of Filipino citizens. Bermudo v. Court of Appeals (1987)
NOTE: The time to determine whether the person acquiring land is qualified is the time the right to own it is acquired and not
the time to register ownership. Thus, a foreign national who, while still Filipino citizen, acquired land from a vendor who had
complied with the requirements for registration under the Public Land Act (C.A. 141) prior to the purchase, can validly register
his title to the land. Republic v. Court of Appeals, 235 SCRA 567 (1994).
Moss, an American citizen, acquired coconut land on 20 January 1945. Can he be registered as owner?
Yes. The Ordinance appended to the 1935 Constitution on 10 November 1939 said that until final withdrawal of United States
sovereignty, Americans and American corporations could enjoy the same civil rights as Philippine citizens. Moreover, after the
withdrawal of sovereignty (4 July 1946) Moss did not lose his right which was protected under Article XVII, 1(1) of the 1935
Constitution. Moss v. Director of Lands, L-27170, 22 December 1977 (80 SCRA 269).
Did the Parity Amendment of 1946 authorize Americans to acquire private land?
No. Republic v. Quasha, 46 SCRA 160 (1972).
Gregorio Reyes Uy Un, an alien, acquired private lands in 1934. Upon his death in 1946, his properties were taken over
by Chua Kim, an adopted son, whose title to the land was confirmed in a compromise agreement approved by judgment
in 1970 which recognized him as heir of Gregorio Reyes Uy Un. In 1977 Chua Kim took his oath as a naturalized
Filipino citizen. Is Chua Kim entitled to acquire the property under the Constitution?
Yes, for two reasons. (1) His predecessor, Gregorio Reyes, acquired the property in 1934 when there was as yet no prohibition
against aliens acquiring private land. (2) Even if Chua Kim acquired the land when he was not qualified to do so, now that he is
a Filipino citizen public policy will not be served by dispossessing him. Republic v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No.
74170, July 18, 1989.
What is the rationale of the principle that the invalid transfer of land to an alien is cured when the alien subsequently
becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen?
The ban on aliens is intended to preserve the nations land for future generations of Filipinos. That aim is achieved by making
lawful the acquisition of real estate by aliens who became Filipino citizens by naturalization. Halili v. CA, G.R. No. 113539.

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The alien petitioner claims that the sales of real property in question were entered into by him as the real vendee. He
claims that therefore he is entitled to compensation for the properties.
The said transactions are in violation of the Constitution; hence, are null and void ab initio. A contract that violates the
Constitution and the law, is null and void and vests no rights and creates no obligations. It produces no legal effect at all. The
petitioner, being a party to an illegal contract, cannot come into a court of law and ask to have his illegal objective carried out.
One who loses his money or property by knowingly engaging in a contract or transaction which involves his own moral
turpitude may not maintain an action for his losses. Frenzel v. Catito, G.R. No. 143958; Muller v. Muller, G.R. No. 149615,
August 29, 2006.
NOTE: An alien, since he has no right to acquire private land, has no right to challenge the validity of the lease of a piece of
land which his wife had acquired. Matthews v. Taylor Spouses, G.R. no. 164584, June 22, 2009.
NOTE: A foreigner may own a unit in a condominium because the prohibition on aliens is only from acquiring land. The land
on which the condominium stands is owned by the condominium corporation. Hulst v. PR Builders, G.R. no. 156364,
September 25, 2008.
Under the law, only citizens of the Philippines, Filipino corporations or associations of at least sixty percent of which is owned
by Filipinos may hold lands in the Philippines. Nevertheless, under the instant article, aliens may have a chance to possess
private lands in the country should they acquire hereditary succession from persons who are qualified Filipinos to own such
lands and to transfer or convey them by interstate succession, but not by testate succession. Interstate succession is meant the
transfer of property of law from a deceased person to his lawful heirs. In contrast, testate succession similarly involves the
transfer of property but through a testament or will. In the former case, the law determines who are entitled to inherit and
receive the property, while in the latter case, the testator decides who shall inherit them.
Shouldnt it be intestate instead of interstate? Kinopya ko lang talaga yung nakasulat sa book. JLV
In the case of private lands, foreigners can acquire land by hereditary succession but this right does not extend to testamentary
succession. Unsufructuary rights (just copied whats written on the book) may be acquired but not title to land, which is
prescribed by the Constitution. There has been some liberalization since 1935 Constitution. A natural born Philippine citizen
who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private land subject to legal limitations. However, the general rule
remains under Section 8 of Article XIII that no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporation
or association qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain. This means that the 40 percent limitation for foreign
ownership of corporations and associations is applicable to private land ownership. Thus, it is clear like the 1935 Constitution,
refers to both lands of the public domain and private lands. (Read at your own risk. JLV)

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Review Art II, Sec 16, 1987 Constitution
SECTION 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.

SECTION 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord
with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
Laguna Lake Development Authority v. CA
GR No. 120865-71, Dec. 7 1995

FACTS: The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) was created through Republic Act No. 4850. It
was granted, inter alia, exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the use of all surface water for any project or
activity in or affecting the said region including navigation, construction, and operation of fishpens, fish
enclosures, fish corrals and the like. Then came RA 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991. The
municipalities in the Laguna Lake region interpreted its provisions to mean that the newly passed law gave
municipal governments the exclusive jurisdiction to issue fishing privileges within their municipal waters.
ISSUE: Who should exercise jurisdiction over the Laguna Lake and its environs insofar as the issuance of
permits for fishing privileges is concerned, the LLDA or the towns and municipalities comprising the region?
HELD: LLDA has jurisdiction over such matters because the charter of the LLDA prevails over the Local
Government Code of 1991. The said charter constitutes a special law, while the latter is a general law. It is
basic in statutory construction that the enactment of a later legislation which is a general law, cannot be
construed to have repealed a special law. The special law is to be taken as an exception to the general law in
the absence of special circumstances forcing a contrary conclusion. In addition, the charter of the LLDA
embodies a valid exercise of police power for the purpose of protecting and developing the Laguna Lake
region, as opposed to the Local Government Code, which grants powers to municipalities to issue fishing
permits for revenue purposes. Thus it has to be concluded that the charter of the LLDA should prevail over the
Local Government Code of 1991 on matters affecting Laguna de Bay.

Relevant to this provision are three (3) cases Comm Sor himself discussed.
I cant remember the two other cases but heres the digest of the one I can remember:

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay

574 SCRA 661
Political Law Ministerial vs Discretionary Functions Mandamus
Constitutional Law Right to a Healthful Ecology
FACTS: In 1999, the Concerned Residents of Manila Bay (CROMB) filed an action for mandamus to compel
the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and other government agencies to clean up the
Manila Bay. CROMB argued that the environmental state of the Manila Bay is already dangerous to their
health and the inaction of MMDA and the other concerned government agencies violates their rights to life,
health, and a balanced ecology guaranteed by the Constitution. CROMB also averred under the Environmental
Code, it is MMDAs duty to clean up the Manila Bay. The trial court agreed with CROMB and ordered
MMDA et al to clean up the Manila Bay. MMDA assailed the decision on the ground that MMDAs duty
under the Environmental Code is merely a discretionary duty hence it cannot be compelled by mandamus.
Further, MMDA argued that the RTCs order was for a general clean up of the Manila Bay yet under the
Environmental Code, MMDA was only tasked to attend to specific incidents of pollution and not to undertake
a massive clean up such as that ordered by the court.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
ISSUE: Whether or not MMDA may be compelled by mandamus to clean up Manila Bay.
HELD: Yes. It is true that in order for MMDA to implement laws like the Environmental Code, the process of
implementing usually involves the exercise of discretion i.e., where to set up landfills. But this does not mean
that their function or mandate under the law is already discretionary. Looking closer, MMDAs function to
alleviate the problem on solid and liquid waste disposal problems is a ministerial function. In short, MMDA
does not have the discretion to whether or not alleviate the garbage disposal problem in Metro Manila,
particularly in the Manila Bay area. While the implementation of the MMDAs mandated tasks may entail a
decision-making process, the enforcement of the law or the very act of doing what the law exacts to be done is
ministerial in nature and may be compelled by mandamus.
Anent the issue on whether or not MMDAs task under the Environmental Code involves a general clean up,
the Supreme Court ruled that MMDAs mandate under the Environmental Code is to perform cleaning in
general and not just to attend to specific incidents of pollution. Hence, MMDA, together with the other
government agencies, must act to clean up the Manila Bay as ordered by the RTC.

Next topic: MINING

From Marya Salamat of Bulatlat.com:
MANILA When it comes to mineral resources, the Philippines is considered the fifth richest country in the world. It has the
largest nickel reserves which explains perhaps why most of the 35 operating metallic mines in the country as of Oct. 2012
based on data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau are into nickel mining. The Philippines is also rich in gold deposits. It is
third in the world for gold; fifth in copper. On top of these, the Philippines is reportedly rich also in non-metallic and industrial
minerals such as marble, limestone, clays, feldspar, rock aggregates, dolomite, guano and other quarry resources.
The Philippines has an estimated $840 billion worth of untapped mineral resources according to the Mines and Geosciences
Bureau (MGB). That is said to be 15 times the amount of the countrys foreign debt.
Of the 30 million hectares total land area of the country, about a third or nine million hectares have been identified as having
high mineral potential, and nearly four percent of these lands (1.14 million hectares as of Jan. 2012) are covered with mining
tenements. These areas are still subject to mandatory relinquishment provided under the law, the MGB said. It simply means
there are still furious and bloody struggles over these lands that the government has approved for mining. Over half of these
lands are ancestral domains of indigenous tribes in the Philippines, the Katribu Partylist said. Militarization is happening over
these lands such that cases of human rights violations ranging from forced evacuation, harassments and massacres of locals
opposing mining operations are being reported.
Didnt copy the whole article, just those few paragraphs for a little background. JLV
Below key points are from Atty. Ronald S. Recidoros slideshow posted on SlideShare.net. Hes the VP of Legal &
Policy, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.
Key Points in Mining History
1974 President Marcos signs PD 463, The Mineral Resources Development Act
1984 President Marcos signs PD 1899 defining small-scale mining
1191 President Aquino signs RA 7076 Peoples Small-scale Mining Act
1995 President Ramos signs RA 7942 The Philippine Mining Act
1995 The Marcopper Tailings Disaster
1997 President Ramos signs RA 8371 Indigenous Peoples Rights Act
2004 President Arroyo signs EO 270
2004 The Supreme Court declares the Mining Act constitutional
2012 President Aquino signs EO 79 Institutionalizing Reforms in the Mining Industry
2012 The Philex Tailings Spill

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV


May 17, 1974

Chapter I
Section 1. Short Title. This Decree shall be known and may be cited as the "Mineral Resources Development
Decree of 1974".
Section 2. Definition of Terms. As used in and for the purpose of this Decree, the following terms, whether in
the singular or plural, unless the context indicates otherwise, shall have the following meanings:
(d) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Natural Resources.
(e) "Director means the Director of Mines.
(f) "Minerals" means all naturally occurring inorganic substances in solid, liquid or any intermediate state
including coal. Soil which supports organic life, sand and gravel, guano, petroleum, geothermal energy and
natural gas are included in this term but are governed by special laws.
(g) "Mineral Deposit" means a natural deposit or accumulation of minerals.
(h) "Mineral Lands" are those lands in which minerals exist in sufficient quantity and grade to justify the
necessary expenditures in extracting and utilizing such minerals.
(i) "Quarry Resources" means any common stone or other common mineral substances as the Director may
declare to be quarry resources such as, but not restricted to, marl, marble, granite, volcanic cinders, basalt, tuff
and rock phosphate, Provided they contain no metal or metals or other valuable minerals in economically
workable quantities.
(j) "Exploration" is the examination and investigation of lands supposed to contain valuable minerals, by
drilling, trenching, shaft sinking, tunneling, test pitting and other means, for the purpose of probing the
presence of mineral deposits and the extent thereof.
(k) "Development" refers to steps necessarily taken to reach an orebody or mineral deposit so that it can be
(l) "Exploitation" means the extraction and utilization of mineral deposits.
(m) "Mining" or "to mine" means to extract, remove, utilize minerals, and include operations necessary for that
(n) "Qualified person" a Filipino citizen, of legal age with capacity to contract, or a corporation or partnership
registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission at least 60% of the capital of which is owned by
Filipino citizens.
(o) "Lessee" may include a leaseholder, claim owner or operator as the context of the provisions of this Decree
may indicate.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
(p) "Regulations" means the rules and administrative orders promulgated by the Secretary to implement the
provisions of this Decree, or issued by the Director as to such matters as may be delegated to him by the

What is the Clean Air Act?

Republic Act No. 8749, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Air Act, is a comprehensive air quality management policy
and program which aims to achieve and maintain healthy air for all Filipinos.

Republic Act No. 8749

June 23, 1999

Chapter 1
General Provisions
Article One
Basic Air Quality Policies
Section 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999."
Section 2. Declaration of Principles. - The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced
and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
The State shall promote and protect the global environment to attain sustainable development while
recognizing the primary responsibility of local government units to deal with environmental problems.
The State recognizes that the responsibility of cleaning the habitat and environment is primarily area-based.
The State also recognizes the principle that "polluters must pay".
Finally, the State recognizes that a clean and healthy environment is for the good of all and should, therefore,
be the concern of all.
Article Two
Definition of Terms
Section 5. Definitions. - As used in this Act:
a) "Air pollutant" means any matter found in the atmosphere other than oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor, carbon
dioxide, and the inert gases in their natural or normal concentrations, that is detrimental to health or the
environment, which includes but not limited to smoke, dust, soot, cinders, fly ash, solid particles of any kind,
gases, fumes, chemical mists, steam and radio-active substances;
b) "Air pollution" means any alteration of the physical, chemical and biological properties of the atmospheric
air, or any discharge thereto of any liquid, gaseous or solid substances that will or is likely to create or to
render the air resources of the country harmful, detrimental, or injurious to public health, safety or welfare or
which will adversely affect their utilization for domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, or
other legitimate purposes;
c) "Ambient air quality guideline values" mean the concentration of air over specified periods classified as
short-term and long-term which are intended to serve as goals or objectives for the protection of health and/or

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
public welfare. These values shall be used for air quality management purposes such as determining time
trends, evaluating stages of deterioration or enhancement of the air quality, and in general, used as basis for
taking positive action in preventing, controlling, or abating air pollution;
d) "Ambient air quality" means the general amount of pollution present in a broad area; and refers to the
atmosphere's average purity as distinguished from discharge measurements taken at the source of pollution;
e) "Certificate of Conformity" means a certificate issued by the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources to a vehicle manufacturer/assembler or importer certifying that a particular new vehicle or vehicle
type meets the requirements provided under this Act and its rules and regulations;
f) "Department" means the Department of Environment and Natural Resources;
g) "Eco-profile" means the geographic-based instrument for planners and decision-makers which present an
evaluation of the environmental quality and carrying capacity of an area. It is the result of the integration of
primary and secondary data and information on natural resources and anthropogenic activities on the land
which are evaluated by various environmental risk assessment and forecasting methodologies that enable the
Department to anticipate the type of development control necessary in the planning area;
h) "Emission" means any air contaminant, pollutant, gas stream or unwanted sound from a known source
which is passed into the atmosphere;
i) "Greenhouse gases" mean those gases that can potentially or can reasonably be expected to induce global
warming, which include carbon dioxide, methane, oxides of nitrogen, chlorofluorocarbons, and the like;
j) "Hazardous substances" mean those substances which present either: (1) short-term acute hazards such as
acute toxicity by ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption, corrosivity or other skin or eye contact hazard or the
risk of fire explosion; or (2) longterm toxicity upon repeated exposure, carcinogenicity (which in some cases
result in acute exposure but with a long latent period), resistance to detoxification process such as
biodegradation, the potential to pollute underground or surface waters;
k) "Infectious waste" means that portion of medical waste that could transmit an infectious disease;
l) "Medical waste" means the materials generated as a result of patient diagnosis, treatment, or immunization
of human beings or animals;
m) "Mobile source" means any vehicle propelled by or through combustion of carbon-based or other fuel,
constructed and operated principally for the conveyance of persons or the transportation of property goods;
n) "Motor vehicle" means any vehicle propelled by a gasoline or diesel engine or by any means other than
human or animal power, constructed and operated principally for the conveyance of persons or the
transportation of property or goods in a public highway or street open to public use;
o) "Municipal waste" means the waste materials generated from communities within a specific locality;
p) "New vehicle" means a vehicle constructed entirely from new parts that has never been sold or registered
with the DOTC or with the appropriate agency or authority, and operated on the highways of the Philippines,
any foreign state or country;
q) "Octane Rating or the Anti-Knock Index(AKI)" means the rating of the anti-knock characteristics of a grade
or type of automotive gasoline as determined by dividing by two (2) the sum of the Research Octane Number
(RON), plus the Motor Octane Number (MON); the octane requirement, with respect to automotive gasoline
for use in a motor vehicle or a class thereof, whether imported, manufactured, or assembled by a manufacturer,
shall refer to the minimum octane rating of such automotive gasoline which such manufacturer recommends
for the efficient operation of such motor vehicle, or a substantial portion of such class, without knocking;

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
r) "Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)" means those substances that significantly deplete or otherwise modify
the ozone layer in a manner that is likely to result in adverse effects of human health and the environment such
as, but not limited to, chloroflourocarbons, halons and the like;
s) "Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)" means the organic compounds that persist in the environment,
bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the
environment. These compounds resist photolytic, chemical and biological degradation, which shall include but
not be limited to dioxin, furan, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, such as aldrin,
dieldrin, DDT, hexachlorobenzene, lindane, toxaphere and chlordane;
t) "Poisonous and toxic fumes" means any emissions and fumes which are beyond internationally - accepted
standards, including but not limited to the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values;
u) "Pollution control device" means any device or apparatus used to prevent, control or abate the pollution of
air caused by emissions from identified pollution sources at levels within the air pollution control standards
established by the Department;
v) "Pollution control technology" means the pollution control devices, production process, fuel combustion
processes or other means that effectively prevent or reduce emissions or effluent;
w) "Standard of performance" means a standard for emissions of air pollutant which reflects the degree of
emission limitation achievable through the application of the best system of emission reduction, taking into
account the cost of achieving such reduction and any non-air quality health and environmental impact and
energy requirement which the Department determines, and adequately demonstrates; and
x) "Stationary source" means any building or immobile structure, facility or installation which emits or may
emit any air pollutant.

For RA 7942, see the highlights in the separate printed material. It is AN ACT INSTITUTING A NEW SYSTEM OF
I guess that RA, along with RA 7076 and PD 1899, was really not assigned by Comm Sor. Check with the beadle.

Environmental Justice Case Study (by University of Michigan students):

Marcopper in the Philippines
For over 30 years, the Marcopper Mining Corporation has been operating on Marinduque Island in the Philippines. The mine
operations there have caused innumerable troubles; serious health and environmental problems have placed the community at
risk. The island of Marinduque is a very poor area and relies heavily on agriculture and fishing. Mining in the area has polluted
waterways, killed fish, and flooded agricultural fields. One resident observed, "over the years, our lifeline--this brook used for
everything from drinking to washing down buffalo--had been shrinking." Not only was the supply of water shrinking, but it was
contaminated. People were being poisoned indirectly through the fish and water, but also, workers were dying from direct
contact with the mining operations. One man, who worked 10 years as a driver for Marcopper, died at the young age of 39 due
to lung cancer. Doctors reported it was caused by the "red dust" he encountered at work everyday. His terminal illness was
compensated by a month's wages (Hamilton-Paterson 1997).
Despite these negatives, Marcopper employs about 1,000 people, mostly from the island. The corporation also provides $30
million a year for local goods and services, as well as the electricity for the province (Tauli-Corpuz). Still, this island remains
one of the poorest parts of the country. The government of the Philippines supports multinational corporations and actively
seeks to bring their investments, like mining, into the country. Things like The Mining Act of 1985, which allows a mining
company to own 100% equity, and the lax environmental regulations, are in existence to attract companies. Marinduque has

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
tried to get their voices heard, but their claims against Marcopper are largely ignored. The struggle between development and
the environment is apparent here, and is a problem being faced more and more frequently in developing nations.
Mining is the process of removing ore from beneath the earth's surface. There are two types of mining that are traditionally
used, appropriate to the nature of the deposit. Open pit mining is used when a shallow layer of material covers the ore. Heavy
machinery is used to lift off earth and uncover the minerals. When the ore is far enough down where open pit mining is not
practical, the more traditional underground method is used. Shafts are driven into the ground to remove the material and bring it
to the surface. Once removed, the ore-bearing rock is ground up into powder and mixed with water and chemicals into slurry.
Compressed air is pumped through the mixture causing the copper to hold to the bubbles. These bubbles are then skimmed off
the surface and the minerals can be used. The rest of the mixture, or tailings, is waste (Hamilton-Paterson 1997).
In 1969, the Marcopper Mining Corporation began mining operations on Marinduque Island. Placer Dome, a Canadian
company, co-owned (40%) and managed the corporation. The Mt. Tapian site was the first mining location on the island. Here,
open pit mining was used to produce copper concentrate. Until 1972, Marcopper disposed of its waste on land. This changed in
1975 when a blanket permit was given to Marcopper, which allowed them to dump mine tailings into the Calancan Bay at the
rate of 2.5 tons per second. The amount of tailings produced from mines in Marinduque is high because the ore is low grade,
containing only 0.44 percent copper. This means a large amount of rock has to be removed and ends up as waste (HamiltonPaterson 1997).
From 1975 to mid-1991, Dome dumped some 200 million tons of mine tailings via surface disposal into Calancan Bay. The
shallow bottom is covered by approximately 80 sq km of tailings including a five km long causeway of exposed tailings.
Throughout this period, Placer Dome denied the dumping hurt the fishermen, who relied on the bay as a livelihood (KASAMA
1998). Not only was waste entering Calancan Bay, but in order to drain rainwater from the mining pit, a tunnel was built from
the mine to the Boac River.

The Mt. Tapian reserve was depleted in 1990 and Marcopper opened the San Antonio copper ore body, three kilometers north
of the Mt. Tapian area (The Marinduque Island Mine Disaster). A tunnel, which led from the Tapian pit to the Boac River, was
sealed, and the pit became a storage space for mine tailings from San Antonio. This occurred due to protests from the
community concerning dumping into Calancan Bay. The Department on Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) gave
Marcopper an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) on April 16, 1990, allowing them to operate for 10 years, using the
Tapian pit as a tailings dam (Tauli-Corpuz).
Fears Tapian would not hold all of San Antonio's waste led to Marcopper investigating the possibility of a dam in Mogpog
River. Plans for the Maguila-guila dam began in 1990. The people of Mogpog sent out numerous petitions and resolution to
stop the dam because of the effects it would have-mine waste pollution along with increased flooding. Despite the protest,
Marcopper went ahead and began construction in 1991. After the completion of the dam in 1992, villagers started noticing
waste flowing into the river as well as the appearance of large quantities of dead fish. Siltation from the waste dump started
building up in the Mogpog River increasing the severity of flooding in the rainy season. The seasonal rains in 1993 caused
intense flooding and the dam collapsed altogether. Toxic silt and water flowed down the river and into the town, destroying
homes and rice fields, and killing animals. Two people lots their lives because of this accident (Marinduques Other Toxic
Three years later, on March 24, 1996, 2-3 million tons of mine waste leaked into the 26- kilometer long Boac River. The plug
that sealed the Tapian pit tunnel to the Boac had fractured, releasing mine waste at a rate of 5-10 cubic meters per second. The
pit contained around 23 million metric tons of mine waste (Tauli-Corpuz).
The immediate effects were disastrous. Flash floods isolated villages and one was buried under six feet of floodwater. The
channels, as well as the valley floor, were buried under mine tailings. Agricultural fields were inundated, and the drinking water
residents relied on was contaminated. Fish, shrimp and other food sources, which are the main livelihood for those who do not
work for Marcopper, were immediately killed. The government declared the Boac River dead. Twenty villages out of the 60 had
to evacuate their area following the accident. A report released on April 17, 1996 by the Department of Health found nine
residents in the area to have zinc levels in their blood more than 200% above safe limits. Water samples found levels of
contamination 1,300% above the human tolerable level of .5 microgram per 1/1000 liters of water. Despite these findings,

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Marcopper held on to the claim that the tailings were non-toxic. Residents also complained of skin irritations and respiratory
problems, which could have been caused by the poisonous vapors emitted from tailings (Tauli-Corpuz).
After the disaster, Marcopper and Placer Dome closed down all mines. The government attempted to cover up the fact they did
enforce environmental laws throughout the years. The DENR Undersecretary for the Environment and Research, who signed
the ECC, said that he did not know of the Tapian drainage tunnel. The corporation and the experts hired on the environmental
impact study had made no mention of it to him. The residents in Marinduque claimed they knew about the tunnel for almost 20
years. Evidence came to light that Marcopper knew of the leak in the drainage tunnel well in advance of the accident, as there
had been a long history of problems (Tauli-Corpuz). In August of 1995, the corporation, with the help of a geotechnical
consultant, plugged leaks. Another hole was plugged after a minor leak in October of 1995. The Bureau of Mines, who
monitored Marcoppers compliance with the ECC, made no report of this. Placer Dome claims it met every environmental
standard set the government of Ferdinand Marcos, who had been in power 10 years previous to the accident.
The 1996 accident became known as the "Marcopper Mining Disaster". It brought national and international attention to
Marinduque. Experts and scientists poured into the island province to study the disaster, and eventually learned of the problems
that had been occurring for years. Because of the support coming in from outside the community, the people had more power to
mobilize. They then came to face a new struggle- how do they recover from the years of damage, and should they stop
Marcopper from mining in Marinduque in the future?
Key Actors
Marcopper Mining Corporation
Marcopper is the largest employer on the island of Marinduque and created most of the infrastructure on island. The company
also makes up most of Marinduque's revenue. The mines produce 20% of the country's copper supply. A guided tour around the
mine site can be taken. The site has facilities like swimming pools, bowling lanes, basketball, tennis courts and an 18-hole golf
course (Travel, description, information & facts of the Philippines). After the spill, Marcopper took no responsibility and did
not participate in clean-up efforts. The corporation is currently entering bankruptcy.
Placer Dome
Placer Dome was formed in Vancouver, Canada, in 1987 by the merger of Placer Development Limited of Vancouver, and
Dome Mines Limited and Campbell Red Lake Mines Limited of Toronto. Today they are the 5th largest mining company in the
world and have 15 mines in 6 countries, employing 12,000 people. Their main interests lie in gold and hold reserves of
approximately 60 million. A quote from their website states, "we aim to provide improved standards for the people living in the
regions of the world where our mining operations take place" (Placer Dome Homepage). Placer Dome owned 40% of
Marcopper's two mine sites in Marinduque and filled the top management positions of President and Resident Manager for the
entire 30 years (Placer Dome in the Philippines).
A year after the accident in 1997, they sold all shares. In fairness, Placer Dome did pledge to clean up the Boac River of the
tailings, even as it denied responsibility for the spill. They pointed instead to a minor earthquake that took place a week before
the tragedy as the executor. After 4 years, they still have a large cleanup project on their hands- about $60-million dollars and
counting. Two of its Marcopper executives still face criminal charges (Coumans 1999).
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) & Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)
The bureau, which is under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is the government agency
responsible for implementing the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, which governs the Philippine mining industry. This law lays
down the procedures and guidelines on how the mineral resources of the country can be exploited. The DENR is in charge of
managing the states mineral resources and is the liaison between the government and mining companies. The DENR issued the
Environmental Compliance Certificate to Marcopper in 1990, which allowed them to use the Tapian pit for mine waste storage
(Chan Robles).
Calancan Bay Villagers Support Coalition (CBVSC)
Founded in November of 1996 by Catherine Coumans, the group works to address the concerns and problems of the Calancan
Bay community. The CBVSC is engaged in a wide variety of activities to support the goals of Calancan Bay villagers and their

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
local supporters, local government units, NGOs and the Catholic Church on the island. They have mounted letter writing
campaigns and signature gathering campaigns and helped other NGOs to mount similar actions (Placer Dome in the
Probe International
"Probe International exposes the environmental, social, and economic effects of Canada's aid and trade abroad, revealing the
devastating effects of our international projects." They work with mining communities to make sure their interests are voiced to
the governments and corporations. Started in 1980, it has become a leader among the worlds environmental groups, working
closely with environmentalists from Western and Third World countries. They have done a significant amount of investigative
work in the Marcopper case (Probe International Homepage).
The Philippines has a total population of 76.8 million people of which 91.5% are Christian Malay. The dominant religion is
Roman Catholic (83%). Poverty is a significant problem in the Philippines, with 37% of the population living under the poverty
line. Thirty percent of children under 5 years face malnutrition and the illiteracy rate for those over 15 years is 5% (The World
Marinduque is an island province between the Bondoc Peninsula and Mindoro Island, and is classified under Region IV
(Southern Tagalog Provinces) in Luzon. (Refer to Map #1). The population is 208,000. Boac is the capital and there are 5 other
towns on the island- Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog, Santa Cruz (the largest), and Torrijos. The island covers around 960 square
kilometers. The language primarily spoken is Tagalog. Marinduque is agricultural, with rice and coconut as the major crops. It
also has vast fishing grounds. Mining is the principal industry with the Marcopper mine in Santa Cruz being one of the largest
mines in the country. Marinduque has one of the highest incidences of poverty in the country- 71.9%. Up until 1996, Marcopper
produced about $1.7 billion in foreign exchange earnings for the Philippine economy (Tauli-Corpuz).
Since the 1996 spill, Marinduque has received much support nationally and internationally. The attention given to them and the
negative press Marcopper received gave the people power. Their voices were finally being heard and they had support to bring
their forth their case against the government and Marcopper. On April 11, 1996, immediately following the spill, a criminal
complaint was filed against five officials of the Marcopper Mining Company. The charges included damage to property,
falsification of public documents, and violations of the Water Code, Pollution Law of 1976, and Philippine Mining Law of 1995
(Tauli-Corpuz). Suits were also filed against officials in the DENR. Unfortunately, these cases have been sitting in limbo and
nothing has come out of them.
Marcopper Mining Corporation took no action immediately after the spill, due to lack of finances. Instead, Placer Dome
accepted responsibility for the costs of clean up. A new plug was installed in the drainage tunnel, which was completed in
November of 1996. To prevent the tailings in the Boac River from spreading, levees were built along the Boac riverbank. A
channel was dredged at the mouth of the river to capture tailings from being released into the ocean. Placer Dome reported this
trapped 80% of the tailings. Another source estimates that only a quarter of the tailings remain in this underwater catchment
area. These tailings remain there and a large debate surrounds the issue of properly disposing of this waste. Placer Dome has
applied to the DENR for a permit to rid of the waste through something known as Submarine Tailings Disposal (STD). This
method pumps tailings into the sea through a submerged pipe. It cuts down on costs by letting the ocean take care of the
problem. This procedure had been deemed unacceptable under the environmental regulations of Canada, Placer Domes home
country. The people of Marinduque have voiced their disapproval of this means and the DENR has rejected Placer Domes
request for a permit twice (Marinduquenos Intensify).
Placer Dome has spent an estimated $71-million on the Boac river clean up, including funds to build new homes, construct
roads, and airlift food and supplies. More than $1-million has been paid in lost wages to local fisherman and washer women
because of the widening of the river following the disaster. An independent Environmental Guarantee Fund (EGF) was created
to compensate fishermen and villagers whose livelihood has been affected by the disaster. Although this fund exists, many
villagers have received no compensation and their needs and demands have not been met. In 1998, Mogpog's town council put
forth a resolution to the provincial board demanding the complete removal of the dam, the clean up of the waste dump at the top
of the river and the complete rehabilitation of the river and watershed. This resolution was never acted on.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Beside the Boac clean up, Placer says it has separated itself from many of the other environmental problems on the island
including Calancan Bay. Peter Neilans, general manager of Placer Dome Asia Pacific and the man overseeing Marinduque
operations has stated, "What should Placer do about it? Placer isn't a shareholder anymore. The commitment we made was that
we would mitigate the effects of the 1996 spill. Any other perceived problems on the island are Marcopper issues. And we have
no interest in Marcopper anymore" (Marinduques Other Toxic River).
In the spring of 2000, Marcopper, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the provincial
government of Marinduque, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to finalize a clean-up, rehabilitation and restoration
plan. The DENR and Marinduque government "agreed to seek a final independent technical review of all the options available
for the clean-up, rehabilitation and restoration of directly affected areas by qualified technical experts and consultants." It is yet
to be seen if this MOA can guarantee the community action on their behalf. This is positive hope that the Boac spill can be
cleaned up. The villages still wonder, though, who will help them solve the numerous other problems Marcopper has caused
(DENR Press Release).
There is no solution that can erase the damage that has occurred in Marinduque. The people simply want their environment
cleaned up, compensation for their suffering, and assurance that this will not happen again. They request that Placer Dome pay
for Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, dating back to 1975, and compensate villagers according to the results. They
feel Placer Dome should pay money to the Calancan Bay Rehabilitation Program to assure their mess is cleaned up in the bay.
They firmly believe Placer Dome should not be granted permits to start new mines in the Philippines until the environments of
Boac, Mogpog and Calancan Bay have been completely rehabilitated and the residents compensated.
Specifically, the people are looking for the following:
Maintain the closure order against Marcopper so they cannot operate again.
Require Marcopper/Placer Dome to compensate them for the time since 1996.
For Marcopper/Placer Dome to set up a Health Trust Fund.
Immediately proceed with Marcopper/Placer Domes best option to rehabilitate Boac River.
Ensure the Tapian Pit will not leak again.
Collect unpaid taxes from Marcopper/Placer Dome.
Conclude the criminal cases against Marcopper/Placer Dome.
Investigate means of intervention for the affected community people.
There is no way the problems Marcopper has caused can be completely solved but the community is working to secure what
they can to make up for the pain and suffering they have endured (An Open Letter).

From Wikipedia:
Marcopper mining disaster
The Marcopper Mining Disaster occurred on March 24, 1996 on the Philippine island of Marinduque, a province of the
Philippines located in the Mimaropa region in Luzon. It remains one of the largest mining disasters in Philippine history. A
fracture in the drainage tunnel of a large pit containing leftover mine tailings led to a discharge of toxic mine waste into the
Makulapnit-Boac river system and caused flash floods in areas along the river. One village, Barangay Hinapulan, was buried in
six feet of muddy floodwater, causing the displacement of 400 families. Twenty other villages had to be evacuated. Drinking
water was contaminated killing fish and freshwater shrimp. Large animals such as cows, pigs and sheep were overcome and
killed. The flooding caused the destruction of crops and irrigation channels. Following the disaster, the Boac River was declared
Marcopper Mining was a Canadian corporation that officially started its copper mining operations in 1969 at the Mt. Tapian Ore
Deposit on Marinduque Island in the Philippines. When the Mt. Tapian reserve was depleted in 1990, Marcopper moved its
operations to the San Antonio copper mine, three kilometers north of the Mt. Tapian site. Mine tailings from the Mt. Tapian site
were discharged into Calancan Bay. It is estimated that 84 million metric tons of mine tailings were discharged into the shallow

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
bay between 1975 and 1988. Complaints from local residents led to the Mt. Tapian open-cut mine site being converted to
receive mine tailings from the San Antonio mine on a temporary basis. Marcopper plugged up the Mt. Tapian pit with a
concrete fixture to allow it to act as a disposal lake for the mining waste. The use of the Tapian Pit as a waste containment
system was unconventional. Environmental risk assessment and management had not been carried out by Marcopper.
The Marinduque Mines operated by Marcopper dumped waste into the shallow bay of Calancan for 16 years, totaling 200
million tons of toxic tailings. When exposed to ocean breezes, the tailings, which partially floated, become airborne and landed
on the rice fields, in open water wells, and on village homes. The local residents apparently called this their "Snow from
Canada". This "Snow from Canada", consisting of mine tailings, forced 59 children to undergo lead detoxification in the
Philippine capital of Manila. At least three children have died from heavy metal poisoning.
Mining disaster
This disaster at the Marcopper Mines on Marinduque made headlines around the world. In August 1996, a significant leak was
discovered in the pit's drainage tunnel. The leak caused a fracture which discharged tailings into the Makulapnit-Boac (Boac)
river system. This released over 1.6 million cubic meters of tailings along 27 km of the river and coastal areas. The impact on
the river and people who depend on it for their livelihoods were severe. The rush of tailings displaced river water which
inundated low-lying areas, destroying crops and vegetable gardens and clogged irrigation channels supplying water to rice
fields. The release left the Boac River virtually unusable. The effects of the incident were so devastating that a United Nations
assessment mission declared the accident to be a major environmental disaster. The Tapian pit contained around 23 million
metric tons of mine waste. Officials of the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) claimed they did not
know of the presence of the drainage tunnel that measured 2.6 kilometres long and 1 metre wide which was located underneath
the pit, which led to the Makulapnit and Boac river system.
The toxic spill caused flash floods which isolated five villages, with populations of 4,400 people each, along the far side of the
Boac river. One village, Barangay Hinapulan, was buried under six feet of muddy floodwater, causing 400 families to flee to
higher grounds. Sources of drinking water were contaminated with toxins. Fish, freshwater shrimp and pigs were killed outright.
Helicopters had to fly in food, water and medical supplies to the isolated villages. The inhabitants of 20 of the 60 villages in the
province were told to evacuate.
The government estimates this toxic tailings waste killed P1.8 million worth of freshwater and marine life and P5 million milk
fish fry. The 27-kilometre Boac river, which was the main source of livelihood for those who did not work for Marcopper, was
declared unusable by government officials.
On 17 April 1996, a Department of Health (DOH) report said that residents may already be harboring quantities of zinc and
copper beyond tolerable limits. Nine residents were found to have zinc in their blood which was more than 200% above safe
levels. Water samples also revealed dangerous levels of contamination i.e. 1,300% above the human tolerable level of 0.5
micro-gram per 1/1000 litres of water. Residents complained of skin irritations and respiratory problems which could have been
caused by poisonous vapors such as hydrogen sulfide and nitrous oxide from mine wastes. Despite the findings, Marcopper
claimed the tailings were non-toxic.
After the disaster, Marcopper and Placer Dome closed all their mines. The government attempted to cover up the fact they had
not enforced environmental laws throughout the years. The local residents in Marinduque have claimed they knew about the
tunnel for almost 20 years. Evidence came to light that Marcopper knew of the leak in the drainage tunnel in advance of the
accident, as there had been a long history of problems regarding the tunnel and pit.
On October 4, 2005, the provincial government of Marinduque sued Marcopper's parent company, Placer Dome, for $100
million in damages. Placer Dome was purchased in 2006 by Barrick Gold, who has joined the lawsuit.
Oxfam, an international development and humanitarian aid agency with projects in the Philippines was approached by
Marinduque community members for help. Oxfam Australias Mining Ombudsman took their case and released a report. The
report calls on Placer Dome to complete an environmental clean-up, adequately compensate affected communities, and take
steps to prevent future disasters. The report updates similar findings made by the United States Geological Survey in July 2004.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
As of 2005 Placer Dome (which ran the mine at the time of the disaster) was the sixth largest gold mining company in the world
and was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but it has since been acquired and is no longer an independent company. At the
time of the incident Marinduque was identified as among the 44 poorest of the 80 provinces in the Philippines.

For the Philex Mining Disaster 2012, read other reports. But heres a little overview from Bulatlat.com:

Untold story of Philexs mine waste spill

MANILA Despite the 20.6 million metric tons of mine spill reported so far, the destructiveness and the lingering threats of
another mine spill have yet to make headlines in the Philippines. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) has not released yet a more detailed report on its extent and impact. But from the sharing with Bulatlat.com by some
locals, and from the report of the independent Fact-Finding Mission last Sept 16-17, a big swathe of Northern and Central
Luzon seem threatened by further disasters in the near future, no thanks to the mine spill.
In a protest action at the Philexs main office in Ortigas last week, Kalikasan-Peoples Network for the Environment (Kalikasan
PNE) and various groups demanded accountability from the mining company over what they call as the worst mining disaster
in the past two decades.
Aside from families immediately affected by the surge of mine tailings previously held in Philexs tailings dam at Itogon,
Benguet, the downriver communities would also have to deal with toxic substances in their waters, fish-kill, loss of livelihood
and increased potential for flooding.
How Philexs latest mine spill happened
Based on the FFM report and locals sharing with Bulatlat.com, here is how the leak happened:
Philexs TP3 has two penstocks (A & B), two hollow elongated structures located at the south end of its main dike. These
penstocks have diversion tunnels heading downward east toward the Balog River. The penstocks have sidewalls or stop-boards,
but open at the top where overflow water of the tailings pond enters and drains to the drainage tunnel below it. These form a
channel for controlling the volume of the water flow, releasing water gradually when the water level in the penstocks reaches
some 623 meters high, theoretically leaving the silt behind in the dam.
On the early hours of August 1 during the rage of typhoons Ferdie and Gener, a report of a leak from TP3 coming out from one
of the penstocks diversion tunnel portal prompted the company to initiate shut down, locals told Bulatlat.com.
The initial investigation of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR showed that portions of the stop-boards
might have been displaced by hydrostatic pressure brought about by the unusually heavy rains in the area for the last two weeks,
according to Director Leo Jasareno. This coincided with the force majeure excuse cited by Philex.
Fixing the displaced stop-boards could have remedied the problem, if this was the real reason for the leaks. But sources said the
search for the leaks and the plugging operations have been trial and error, on and off, as one leak after another occurred.
Worse, the leak comes from the dam crest, or bottom/ground of the dam itself.
Eddie Amuasen and Lope J. Milo, Jr., chairman of Ampucao, one of the biggest villages of Itogon, Benguet, and chairman of
village environment committee, respectively, told the FFM that due to overcapacity, the foundation gave way at the base of the
dam under great pressure.
The great pressure came not just from the storm and the rainwater but also from the years of accumulated tailings in the dam. It
has reached its maximum lifespan, after all.
As the leak or hole is at the dams ground, Instead of surface release (with the penstocks), the tailings both water and silt
spilled in huge volumes through the ground spill, Ampucao village leaders told members of the FFM. The water pressure was
very strong, with the strong rush of murky water came explosions, big trees uprooted and the murky water as high as a
Trial-and-error plugging of the tailings dams sinkhole

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After the MGB issued a cease operations order to Philex on Aug 2 until TP3s integrity is assured, the mining company took in
foreign consultants to solve the problem. On August 9, Philex announced the successful plugging of the leak using big boulders
of rock.
Initial reports on the first leak mentions a rough estimate that 12 operational months volume (around 9.9 million metric tons) of
sediments were already released covering 2.5 km long, 15 feet wide and 2 to 8 feet thick of Itogons Balog River, leaving a deep
crater on the dams surface.
On August 11, 2012, another leak occurred. Two functional load-haul-dump equipment (LHD), one functional bulldozer, and
several large industrial container boxes were reportedly blown out of the tunnel and into the river.
Sources told Bulatlat.com that attempts to stanch the leak were more of a trial and error than a well-engineered undertaking.
But these efforts were put to waste the leak was on and off. As a last resort, they said, some gigantic concrete spheres nine
meters in diameter were thrown down at the crater in an attempt to seal the seepage.
Due to the magnitude of the sinkhole, these gigantic spheres being rolled out from its crater appear like mere marble toys.
On September 13, 2012, a fifth leak was reported.
By end-September, Philexs head, Manuel V. Pangilinan, told the media that the company hopes these spheres and gabions
could plug and filter the mine tailings, so they could resume operations on or before yearend.
At the time, all talk from government about the mine spill revolves on multi-million peso fines and penalties, which Philex said
they would contest. Philex complained of trial-by-publicity, and said they have been responsible about the incident. But how
much detail of the mine spill had been reported so far, if concerned groups including the affected communities are still asking
up to now for independent investigations and impact assessment?
Dangers to Philex workers, cleanup crews
Sources said Philexs top management, gripped by panic, are often hot tempered, irrational and disorganized. This was
reportedly vented on workers in the field. Pressured by the management, workers are reportedly compelled to do strenuous jobs
regardless of age, medical, and physical conditions.
As there are no roads in the wilderness of Balog River, workers tasked to create access paths in the wilderness of Balog River
have little choice but sleep in tents. It is next to impossible to return home in time, considering the steep and rugged distance,
they said.
Locals further said that the river clean-up workers are in constant danger for there is no effective alarm system to warn them in
case there is another tailings surge from the dam.
The hauling crews, they said, are often physically exhausted carrying supplies back and forth to and from both the cleanup and
access crews, in an unpredictable climate.
For workers designated to plug the leak, the lethal combination of moving equipment, haste and stress creates an accident-prone
environment. An employee reportedly lost four fingers in a slasher-cable accident. A truck driver along with his helper
reportedly died in a vehicle accident during work hours.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources said specific circumstances of these accidents are not officially disclosed, but all
of these happened at work.
Lack of transport was a common complaint especially in going home. Workers are squeezed standing in dump trucks being
used as conveyance. After 45 minutes of craggy rough road, they reportedly reach their homes 2 to 3 hours after time out, beat
and hungry. Some come home from a 24 or 48 work hours work due to lack of reliever.
A number of employees also complained of unpaid overtime and night differentials. But it appears that the management is
focused more on the immediate remediation of the tailings pond and the leak, so it could resume mining operations sooner than

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Initial report of devastation to downstream environment and lives
The turbulence of rampaging million-tons of tailings has reportedly devastated the downstream communities near Philexs
minesite. The Balog River used to have clean water, as locals and Engineer Alex Luis, Chief of Pollution Control Division of
the DENR-CAR Environment Management Bureau (EMB), affirmed. In the past, Balog creek is categorized as a Class A river
because it was clean. At present, it is very polluted due to the Philex mine tailings discharge, Luis said.
The village captain of Ampucao, one of the largest villages of Itogon where Philexs tailings pond 3 is located, told an
independent fact-finding mission last month that toxic wastes can be seen in the dried and poisoned plants, trees and branches
where effluents flowed. Mining wastes include sand and minerals. Mutant tilapia (popular fish in Philippine market) found in
the pond looked different, with big head and small body, which the workers eat.
Livelihoods and community improvements along parts of the Balog River were reported as washed out, too.
The Ampucao village captain, Eddie Amuasen, told the FFM that the mining spill has negatively affected the peoples
livelihood. They mainly depend on fishing and gold panning in the river, he said. But fishermen stopped fishing since August 2,
2012 due to the heavy contamination of the Balog river. They also cannot fish in farther areas because it is already beyond
their fishing boundary.
Nestor D. Domenden, regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) based in San Fernando, La
Union, told the FFM that in the event of a long term effect of the tailings in the San Roque dam, the fisherfolk who depend on
fishing here should organize themselves, indicate how much they are earning from there as basis to file a suit/ case against
The FFM found that there are around 45 families living near the mouth of the juncture of Balog and Agno River. An Indigenous
Peoples (IP) community live here, in Sitio Pangbasan, part of Barangay Dalupirip in the town of Itogon, Benguet.
Because the people were typically shy, the interview with them during the FFM was reportedly conducted through their
leader, Alipio Lictag, who also heads the Pangbasan Goldpanners and Fisherfolk Livelihood Association. Speaking as
community representative, the members of the community were reportedly at his side to validate the information he provided
during the FFM.
The people described their livelihood to be dependent on fishing and gold panning. During the months of June to December,
when the water level is high, they engage in fishing. While during the months of January to May, when water level is low, they
engage in small scale gold panning. Both of these are now reportedly disrupted.
Even if the community does not know the status of the tailings, its volume or its impact, the water level is still very high and the
smell of the water is uncommon at the time. They used to gain from gold panning, an average, 1/gram/day per team or family.
Their average fish catch used to be 25 kilos every 2 days for tilapia and 75 kilos per week for eel. Since the spill, fish catch
decreased significantly, the FFM found out. Tilapia catch is now down to 6 kilos every two days, while in areas near the mouth
of Balog river, they cannot catch any fish anymore. As such, the FFM concluded that for this community near the mouth of
creek where the tailing spill was concentrated, livelihood opportunities were lost to mine spill.
The FFM noted too that people in this community could not freely speak their mind, all the more when the representatives of
the mining company were around. There is also a police perimeter fence from the entrance to the TP3. The community is
reportedly under tight guard by Philex personnel who watch the area using telescopes.
Downstream communities include irrigated agricultural lands. But so far, the investigating groups from the FFM said there is no
data presented or reported yet as to the effect of the breaching to these agricultural communities, except for the National
Irrigation Authoritys order of a shutdown of its irrigation systems in the area as a mitigating measure.
During the tailings spill, Virgilio Garcia, principal hydrologist of the National Power corporation, told investigating groups that
water for the irrigation was not affected because they were able to close the irrigation waterways. However, since the water
level was increasing, they needed to open the water drainage to the Agno River.
Asked about the possibility of the tailings flowing to the Lingayen Gulf, since the Agno River flows to several municipalities of
Pangasinan going to the gulf, National Power Corporation and San Roque Power corp. officials interviewed by the FFM replied

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
that it will take some time before actual damage can be determined. But another perceived major impact of the mining spill is
the build-up of sediments in San Roque Dam.
The DENR has not yet released the 20.6-Million metric ton estimated mine spill at the time, but these power plant officials
noted that a long time ago, Agno River was considerably deep. But now, it is silted due to mining and soil erosion. This has a
long-term adverse effect on fishing harvests.
The FFM reported that Philex workers are also affected. Though regular workers continue to receive wages, casual workers are
no longer paid, the FFM gathered.
Massive mine spill comes with massive threats
Various peoples groups have pointed to the DENR estimate of 20.6-MT mine spill as massive, being 13 times worse than the
mine spill that killed Boac River in Marinduque. After 10 years of the Marinduque accident, the Boac river is still dead. Studies
revealed that up to now coastal sediments near Boac outflow contains high amount of copper, manganese, lead and zinc.
Philexs claim that its mine spill is harmless and biodegradable is also being questioned by various groups. Though the
company claims that the tailings discharge is non-toxic, their milling plant uses the flotation technology, which uses xanthates
and frothers. Critics pointed out that the United States regulations categorize frothers as a cause of both immediate and delayed
health hazards. Canadian regulations classified it as an eye or skin irritant and may cause corneal injury. Prolonged or repeated
exposure to large amounts can cause narcosis (drowsiness).
Also, this chemical is classified under Hazardous Chemical as defined by the Occupational Hazard and Safety Administration
(OSHA). Ingestion in large amounts may cause tremors and convulsions and inhalation in excessive amounts may cause
irritation to eyes, respiratory tract and lungs.
Xanthate, meanwhile, is a severe corrosive and causes corrosion in the mouth, throat and stomach aside from burning the skin.
It may have adverse effects on the kidney and might prove fatal.
Unfortunately, these are the potential dangers to both the environment and the downstream communities. But as critics said,
there is no obvious mechanism today within the mines or the government to arrest these problems. They lamented that the
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), after more than a month of monitoring the dam incident, still has not come up with
assessment and measures to address these problems. All they have accomplished so far is the computation of millions in penalty
fee to be imposed on Philex Mines. But the company may still get away with reducing it.
Some recommendations
The FFM recommended the holding of more independent investigations and impact assessments, even as it reported the various
recommendations of all groups it interviewed at the site from the village leaders to regional government offices that wished
for better technical support. They also reported that there is a need to provide immediate relief, livelihood assistance and
compensation to affected families for damage to properties, crops, livestock, animals and foregone incomes.
The FFM said there is a need to ensure easy access, safety and coordination of affected communities to the government and
non-government organizations. They recommend that fishers and affected communities organize themselves and participate in
assessment and planning for relief and rehabilitation work.
As Philex announced plans to contest the fines and adverse findings due to the mine spill, as well as plans to resume mining
operations soon, the groups that comprise the independent FFM, as well as green groups such as the Kalikasan Partylist urged
for stiffer sanctions, deeper and more transparent probes, immediate assistance to the affected communities, vigilant testing of
water samples, among others.
As urgent measure, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) reiterated its demand for the immediate decommissioning of TP3,
saying that failure to do so is dangerous for the San Roque Dam downstream of the Agno River and the population whose
livelihoods depend on its waters. The San Roque Dam virtually becomes a TP4 for Philex Mining Corporation, the FFM
reported. It warned that the heavy siltation will have its toll on the lifespan of the dam and to its major functions.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Members of the FFM and green groups demanded that Philex should take the lead in undertaking the clean up and rehabilitation
of the entire affected area, including watersheds, and at the same time, allow for massive information dissemination and safety
measures for persons and volunteers who will engage in the clean-up, reforestation and rehabilitation of the areas.
Theres no skirting the fact that Philex is entirely responsible, and must not only pay for the full ecological restoration of the
affected environment, but also the indemnification of the affected communities, Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of
green group Kalikasan-PNE, said at a protest in front of Philex head office in Manila last week. He said Philex must pay for
the daily cost of living of every affected peasant, fisherfolk and miners family for every day that they are unable to work due to
the immediate and possible long-term effects of the mine wastes on their livelihood.
The Katribu partylist reiterated its calls on the Aquino government to pass the Peoples Mining Bill, a bill that seeks to reorient the current destructive, lopsided and export-oriented character of the present mining industry.

In the PD below, I only copied the provisions that may be helpful. Comm Sor particularly discussed Secs 16 and 43.
He mentioned in his lecture the following, too:
1 Importance or significance of the mangroves
2 That Sec 43 talks about the inalienability of mangroves
3 The role of BFAR

SECTION 1. Title of this Code - This decree shall be known as the "Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines"
SECTION 2. Policies - The state hereby adopts the following policies:
a) The multiple uses of forest lands shall be oriented to the development and progress requirements of the
country, the advancement of science and technology and the public welfare;
b) Land classification and survey shall be systematized and hastened;
c) The establishment of wood-processing plants shall be encouraged and rationalized; and
d) The protection development and rehabilitation of forest lands shall be emphasized so as to ensure their
continuity in productive condition.
SECTION 3. Definitions
a) Public forest is the mass of lands of the public domain which has not been the subject to the person system
of classification for the determination of which lands are needed for forest purposes and which are not.
b) Permanent forest or forest reserves refers to those lands of the public domain which have been the subject of
the present system of classification and declared as needed for forest purposes.
c) Alienable and disposable lands refers to those lands of the public domain which have been the subject of the
present system of classification and declared as not needed for forest purposes.
d) Forest lands include the public forest, the permanent forest or forest reserves, and forest reservations.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
e) Grazing land refers to that portion of the public domain which has been set aside, in view of the suitability
of its topography and vegetation, for the raising of livestock.
f) Mineral lands refer to those lands of the public domain which have been classified as such by the Secretary
of Environment and Natural Resources in accordance with prescribed and approved criteria, guidelines, and
g) Forest reservations refer to forest lands which have been reserved by the President of the Philippines for any
specific purpose or purposes.
h) National park refers to a forest land reservation essentially of primitive or wilderness character which has
been withdrawn from settlement or occupancy and set aside as such exclusively to preserve the scenery, the
natural and historic objects and the wild animals or plants therein, and to provide enjoyment of those features
in such a manner as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.
i) Game refuge or bird sanctuary refers to a forest land designated for the protection of game animals, birds
and fish and closed to hunting and fishing in order that the excess population may flow and restock
surroundings areas.
j) Marine park refers to any public offshore area delimited as habitat of rare and unique species of marine flora
and fauna. k) Seashore park refers to any public shore area delimited for outdoor recreation, sports fishing,
water skiing, and related healthful activities.
l) Watershed reservation is a forest land reservation established to protect or improve the conditions of the
water yield thereof or reduce sedimentation.
m) Watershed is a land area drained by a stream or fixed body of water and its tributaries having common
outlet for surface run-off.
n) Critical watershed is a drainage area of a river system supporting existing and proposed hydro-electric
power, irrigation works, or domestic water facilities needing immediate protection or rehabilitation.
o) Mangrove is a term applied to the type of forest occurring on tidal flat along the sea coast, extending along
stream where the water is brackish.
p) Kaingin refers to a portion of the forest land, whether occupied or not, which is subjected to shifting and/or
permanent slash-and- burn cultivation.
q) Forest product means timber, pulpwood, firewood, bark, tree top, resin, gum, wood, oil, honey, beeswax,
nipa, rattan, or other forest growth such as grass, shrub, and flowering plant, the associated water, fish, game,
scenic, historical, recreational, and geological resources in forest lands.
r) Dipterocarp forest is a forest dominated by trees of the dipterocarp species, such as red lauan, tanguile,
tiaong, white lauan, almon, bagtikan and mayapis of the Philippine mahogany group, apitong and the yakals.
s) Pine forest is a forest type predominantly of pine trees.
t) Industrial tree plantation refers to any forest land extensively planted to treecrops primarily to supply the raw
materials requirements of existing or proposed wood processing plants and related industries.
u) Tree farm refers to any small forest land or tract of land purposely planted to tree crops.
v) Agroforestry is a suitable management farm and which increases overall production combines agricultural
crops, tree crops and forest plants and/or animals simultaneously or sequentially and applies management
practices which are compatible with the cultural patterns of the local populations.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
w) Multiple-use is the harmonized utilization of the land, soil, water, wildlife, recreation value, grass and
timber of forest lands.
x) Selective logging is the systematic removal of the mature, over mature and defective trees in such manner as
to leave adequate number and volume of healthy residual trees of the desired species necessary to assure a
future crop of timber, and forest cover for the protection and conservation of soil, water and wildlife.
y) Seed tree system is a silvicultural system characterized by partial clearcutting leaving seed-trees to
regenerate the area.
z) Healthy residual refers to a sound or slightly injured tree of the commercial species left after logging.
aa) Sustained-yield management implies continuous or periodic production of forest products in working unit
for the purpose of achieving at the earliest practicable time an approximate balance between growth and
harvest or use. This is generally applied to the commercial timber resources and is also applicable to the water,
grass, wildlife, and other renewable resources of the forest.
bb) Processing plant is any mechanical setup, device, machine or combination of machines used for the
conversion of logs, and other forest raw materials into lumber, veneer, plywood, fiberboard, blackboard,
paperboard, pulp, paper, or other finished wood products.
cc) Lease is a privilege granted by the State to a person to occupy and possess, in consideration of specified
rental, any forest land of the public domain in order to undertake any authorized activity therein.
dd) License is a privilege granted by the State to a person to utilize forest resources within any forest land,
without any right of occupation and possession over the same, to the exclusion of others, or establish and
operate a wood-processing plant, or conduct any activity involving the utilization of any forest resources.
ee) License agreement is a privilege granted by the State to a person to utilize forest resources within any
forest land with the right of possession and occupation thereof to the exclusion of others, except the
government, but with the corresponding obligation to develop, protect and rehabilitate the same in accordance
with the terms and conditions set forth in said agreement.
ff) Permit is short-term privilege or authority granted by the State to a person to utilize any limited forest
resources or undertake limited activity within any forest land without any right of occupation and possession
gg) Annual allowable cut is the volume of materials, whether of wood or other forest product, that is
authorized to be cut yearly from a forest.
hh) Cutting cycle is the number of years between two major harvests in the same working unit and/or region.
ii) Forest ecosystem refers to the living and non-living components of a forest and their interaction.
jj) Silviculture is the establishment, development, reproduction and care of forest trees.
kk) Rationalization is the organization of a business or industry using management principles, systems and
procedures to attain stability, efficiency and profitability of operation.
ll) Forest officer means any official or employee of the Bureau who has been appointed or delegated by law or
by competent authority to execute, implement of enforce the provisions of this Code, other related laws, as
well as their implementing regulations.
mm) Private right means or refers to titled rights of ownership under existing laws and in the case of national
minority, to rights of possession existing at the time a license is granted under this Code which possession may
include places of abode and worship, burial grounds, and old clearings, but excludes productive forest

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
inclusive of logged-over areas, commercial forest and established plantation of forest trees and trees of
economic value.
nn) Person includes natural as well as juridical person.
SEC. 16. Areas Needed for Forest Purposes - The following lands, even if they are below eighteen percent
(18%) in slope are needed for forest purposes, and may not, therefore, be classified as alienable and disposable
land, to wit:
1) Areas less than 250 hectares which are far from, or are not contiguous with, any certified alienable and
disposable land;
2) Isolated patches of forest of at least five (5) hectares with rocky terrain, or which protect a spring for
communal use;
3) Areas which have already been forested;
4) Areas within forest concessions which are timbered or have good residual stocking to support an existing or
approved to be established, wood processing plant;
5) Ridge tops and plateaus regardless of size found within, or surrounded wholly or partly by, forest lands
where headwaters emanate;
6) Appropriately located road-rights-or-way;
7) Twenty-meters strips of land along the edge of the normal high waterline of rivers and streams with
channels of at least five (5) meters wide;
8) Strips of mangrove or swampland at least twenty (20) meters wide, along shorelines facing oceans, lakes,
and other bodies of water and strips of land at least twenty (20) meters wide facing lakes;
9) Areas needed for other purposes, such as national parks, national historical sites, game refuges and and
wildlife sanctuaries, forest station sites, and others of public interest; and
10) Areas previously proclaimed by the President as forest reserves, national parks, game refuge, bird
sanctuaries, national shrines, national historic site:
Provided, That in case an area falling under of the foregoing categories shall have been titled in favor of any
person, steps shall be taken, if public interest so requires, to have said title canceled or amended, or the titled
area expropriated.
SEC. 22. Silvicultural and Harvesting Systems - In any logging operations in production forests within forest
lands, the proper silvicultural and harvesting system that will promote optimum sustained yield shall be
practiced, to wit:
a) For dipterocarp forest, selective logging with enrichment or supplemental planting when necessary shall be
b) For pine or mangrove forest, the seed tree system with planting when necessary, Provided, That subject to
the approval of the Department Head, upon recommendation of the Director, any silvicultural and harvesting
system that may be found suitable as a result of research, adopted: Provided, further, That no authorized person
shall cut, harvest or gather any timber, pulpwood or any other products of logging unless he plants three times
of the same variety for every tree cut or destroyed by such logging or removal of logs. Any violation of this
provision shall be sufficient ground for immediate cancellation of license, agreement, lease or permit.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
SEC. 23. Timber Inventory - The Bureau shall conduct a program of progressive inventories of the harvestable
timber and young trees in all forest lands, whether covered by any license agreement, license, lease or permit,
or not, until a one hundred percent (100%) timber inventory thereon has been achieved.
SEC. 24. Required Inventory Prior to Timber Utilization in Forest Lands - No harvest of timber in any forest
land shall be allowed unless it has been the subject of at least a five percent (5%) timber inventory, or any
statistically sound timber estimate, made not earlier than five (5) years prior to the issuance of a license
agreement or license allowing such utilization.
SEC. 25. Cutting cycle - The Bureau shall apply a scientific cutting cycle and rotation in all forest lands,
giving particular consideration to the age, volume and kind of healthy residual trees which may be left
undisturbed and undamaged for future harvest and forest cover in dipterocarp area, and seed trees and
reproduction in pine area.
SEC. 26. Annual Allowable Cut - The annual allowable cut or harvest of any particular forest land under a
license agreement, license, lease or permit shall be determined on the basis of the size of the area, the volume
and kind of harvestable timber or forest products and healthy residuals, seed trees and reproduction found
therein, and the established cutting cycle and rotation thereof.
No person shall cut, harvest and gather any particular timber, pulpwood, firewood and other forest products
unless he has been authorized under Section 20 hereof to do so and the particular annual allowable cut thereof
has been granted.
In the public interest and in accordance with Section 21 hereof, the Department Head shall review all existing
annual allowable cut and thereupon shall prescribe the level of annual allowable cut for the common
dipterocarp timber, softwood, and hardwood timber cutting of which is not prohibited, pulpwood, firewood
and other forest products using as bases the factors as well as the updated aerial photographs and field
inventories of such forest land: Provided, That pending the completion of such review and appropriate
amendment of the annual allowable cut in existing license, lease or permit, existing annual allowable cut that
not sufficiently supports wood or forest products processing plant or that will support duly approved
processing expansion program or new processing projects may be allowed to continue without change:
Provided Further, That no additional or adjustment in annual allowable cut shall be made until after such a
review has been made".
SEC. 27. Duration of License Agreement or License to Harvest Timber in Forest Lands - The duration of the
privilege to harvest timber in any particular forest land under a license agreement or license shall be fixed and
determined in accordance with the annual allowable cut therein, the established cutting cycle thereof, the yield
capacity of harvestable timber, and the capacity of healthy residuals for a second growth.
The privilege shall automatically terminate, even before the expiration of the license agreement of license, the
moment the harvestable timber have been utilized without leaving any logged-over area capable of commercial
The maximum period of any privilege to harvest timber is twenty-five (25) years, renewable for a period, not
exceeding twenty-five (25) years, necessary to utilize all the remaining commercial quantity or harvestable
timber either from the unclogged or logged-over area.
It shall be a condition for the continued privilege to harvest timber under any license or license agreement that
the license shall reforest all the areas which shall be determined by the Bureau.
SEC. 28. Size of Forest Concessions - Forest lands shall not be held in perpetuity.
The size of forest lands which may be the subject of timber utilization shall be limited to that which a person
may effectively utilize and develop for a period of fifty (50) years, considering the cutting cycle, the past
performance of the applicant and his capacity not only to utilize but, more importantly, to protect and manage
the whole area, and the requirements of processing plants existing or to be installed in the region.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV
Forest concession which had been the subject of consolidations shall reviewed and reevaluated for the effective
implementation of protection, reforestation and management thereof under the multiple use and sustained yield
concepts, and for the processing locally of the timber resources therefrom.
SEC. 33. Lands to Be Reforested and/or Afforested - Lands to be reforested and/or afforested are as follows:
1. Public forest lands
a). Bare or grass-covered tracts of forest lands;
b) Brushlands or tracts of forest lands generally covered with brush, which need to be develop to increase their
c) Open tracts of forest lands interspersed with patches of forest;
d) Denude or inadequately timbered areas proclaimed by the President as forest reserves and reservations as
critical watersheds, national parks, game refuge, bird sanctuaries, national shrines, national historic sites;
e) Inadequately-stocked forest lands within forest concessions;
f) Portions of areas covered by pasture leases or permits needing immediate reforestations;
g) River bank, easements, roads right-of-ways, deltas, swamps, former river beds, and beaches.
2. Private Lands
a) Portions of private lands required to be reforested or planted to trees pursuant to Presidential Decree Nos.
953 and 1153 and other existing laws.
SEC. 34. Industrial Tree Plantations, Tree Farms and Agroforestry Farms - A lease for a period of fifty (50)
years for the establishment of an industry tree plantation, tree farm or agroforestry farm, may be granted by the
Department Head upon recommendation of the Director, to any person qualified to develop and exploit natural
resources, over timber or forest lands of the public domain categories in Section 33 (1) hereof except those
under paragraphs (d) and (g) with a minimum area of hundred (100) hectares for industrial tree plantations and
agroforestry farm and ten (10) hectares for tree farms: Provided, That the size of the area that may be granted
under each category shall, in each case, depend upon the capability of the lessee to develop or convert the area
into productive condition within the term of the lease.
The lease may be granted under such terms and conditions as the Department Head may prescribe, taking into
account among others the raw materials needs of forest-based industries and the maintenance of a wholesome
ecological balance.
Trees and other products raised within the industrial tree plantation, tree farm or agroforestry farm belong to
the lessee who shall have the right to sell, contract, convey or dispose of said planted trees and other products
in any manner he sees fit, in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.
Reforestation projects of the government, or portions thereof, which upon field evaluation are found to be
more suitable for, or can be better developed as industrial tree plantations, tree farms or agroforestry in terms
of benefits to the Government and the general surrounding area, may be the subject of a lease under this
SEC. 37. Protection of All Resources - All measures shall be taken to protect the forest resources from
destruction, impairments and depletion.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV

SEC. 38. Control of Concession Area - In order to achieve the effective protection of the forest lands and the
resources thereof from illegal entry, unlawful occupation, kaingin, fire insect infestation, theft, and other forms
of forest destruction, the utilization of timber therein shall not be allowed except through license agreements
under which the holders thereof shall have the exclusive privilege to cut all the allowable harvestable timber in
their respective concessions and the additional right of occupation, possession and control over the same, to the
exclusion of all others, except the government but with the corresponding obligation to adopt all the protection
and conservation measures to ensure the continuity of the productive condition of said areas, conformably with
multiple use and sustained yield management.
If the holder of the license agreement to over a forest area expressly or implied waives the privilege to utilize
any soft wood, hardwood or mangrove species therein, a license may be issued to another person for the
harvest thereof without any right of possession or occupation over the areas where they found but he shall,
likewise, adopt protection and conservation measures consistent with those adopted by the license agreement
holder in the said areas.
SEC. 39. Regulations of Timber Utilization in All Other Classes of Lands and of Wood-processing Plants The utilization of timber in alienable and disposable lands, private lands, civil reservations and all lands
containing standing or felled timber, including those under the jurisdiction of other government agencies, and
the establishment and operation of sawmills and other wood processing plants, shall be regulated in order to
prevent them being used as shelters for excessive and unauthorized harvests in forest lands, and shall not
therefore be allowed except through a license agreement, license, lease or permit.
SEC. 40. Timber Inventory in Other Lands Containing Standing or Felled Timber - The Bureau shall conduct a
one hundred percent (100%) timber inventory in alienable and disposable lands and civil reservations
immediately upon classifications or reservation thereof.
No harvest of standing or felled timber in alienable and disposable lands, private lands, civil reservations, and
all other lands, including those under the jurisdiction of other government agencies, shall be allowed unless a
one hundred percent (100%) timber inventory has been conducted thereon.
SEC. 41. Sworn Timber Inventory Reports - All reports on timber inventories of forest lands, alienable and
disposable lands, private land, civil reservations, and all lands containing standing or felled timber must be
subscribed and sworn to by all the forest officers who conducted the same.
SEC. 42. Participation in the Development of Alienable and Disposable Lands and Civil Reservations - The
privilege to harvest in alienable and disposable lands and civil reservations shall be given to those who can
best help in the delineation and development of such areas in accordance with the management plan of the
appropriate government agency exercising jurisdiction over the same.
The extent of participation shall be based on the amount of timber which may be harvested therefrom.
SEC. 43. Swamplands and Mangrove Forests - Strips of mangrove forest bordering numerous islands which
protect the shoreline, the shoreline roads, and even coastal communities from the destructive force of the sea
during high winds and typhoons shall be maintained and shall not be alienated. Such strips must be kept from
artificial obstruction so that flood water will flow unimpeded to the sea to avoid flooding or inundation of
cultivated areas in the upstream.
All mangrove swamps set aside for coast-protection purposes shall not subject to clear-cutting operation.
Mangrove and other swamps released to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for fishpond purposes
which are not utilized, or which have been abandoned for five (5) years from the date of such release shall
revert to the category of forest land.
SEC. 51. Management of Occupancy in Forest Lands - Forest occupancy shall henceforth be managed. The
bureau shall study determine and definite which lands may be the subject of occupancy and prescribed therein,
an agroforestry development program.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law with LTD | Commissioner Soriano | 2015-2016 | JLV

Occupants shall undertake measures to prevent and protect forest resources.

Any occupancy in forest land which will result in sedimentation, erosion, reduction in water yield and
impairment of other resources to the detriment of community and public interest shall not be allowed.
In areas above 50% in slope, occupation shall be conditioned upon the planting of desirable trees thereon
and/or adoption of other conservation measures.

Read House Bill 5845 din daw in relation to the above-cited PD. What is it?
Maybe we can get a little info from this short article published in ManilaTimes.net:

House okays conversion of abandoned fishponds

August 23, 2015 9:34 pm by LLANESCA T. PANTI
Fishponds abandoned for at least three years will be soon converted to forest lands under recently approved
House Bill (HB) 5845.
HB 5845 shortens the process of reverting unutilized fishponds to forestlands to three years from five years to
spur socio-economic development in the countryside.
The measure authored by Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica of Bulacan amends Section 43 of Presidential Decree
705 or the Revised Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines.
Environmental laws must be attuned to the demands of climate change as well as the socio-economic needs of
the increasing number of people living in our communities. The [abandoned] fishponds could be utilized for
mangrove propagation or promotion of eco-tourism activities to jumpstart the economy of communities,
Villarica said.
Under the bill, all mangrove swamps set aside for coast-protection purposes will not be subject to clear-cutting
Villarica noted that strips of mangrove forest bordering numerous islands that protect the shoreline, the
shoreline roads, and even coastal communities from the destructive force of the sea during strong winds and
typhoons, must be kept free from artificial obstruction so that floodwater will flow unimpeded to the sea to
avoid flooding or inundation of cultivated areas in the upstream.
The proposed law designates the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources to prepare a set of joint guidelines to determine abandoned, undeveloped or under-utilized fishponds
covered by Fishpond Lease Agreements (FLAs).
House Bill 5845 was approved on second reading last June 28 before being approved this week.
Good luck, 2J.