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The following constitute the results of the research needed for the Mindoro Project.

Discussion:
A. The farmers vested right begins from their
receipt of a duly registered CLOA (issued by
DAR only upon full payment of just
compensation) and their actual physical
possession of the awarded land. Otherwise, they
only hold usufructuary rights over the
agricultural land.

In the case of Southern Luzon Drug Corp. vs. DSWD, G.R. No. 199669 (2017),
the Court defined vested rights as "fixed, unalterable, or irrevocable." They are rights
which have so completely and definitely accrued to or settled in a person that they are
not subject to be defeated or cancelled by the act of any other private person, and
which it is right and equitable that the government should recognize and protect, as
being lawful in themselves, and settled according to the then current rules of law, and of
which the individual could not be deprived arbitrarily without injustice, or of which he
could not justly be deprived otherwise than by the established methods of procedure
and for the public welfare.
Under paragraph 1, Section 24 of CARP, the rights and responsibilities of the
beneficiaries shall commence from their receipt of a duly registered emancipation patent
or certificate of land ownership award and their actual physical possession of the land.
As held in the case of Pagtalunan vs. Tamayo, 183 SCRA 252 (1990), to wit-
It is the emancipation patent which constitutes conclusive
authority for the issuance of an Original Certificate of Transfer, or
a Transfer Certificate of Title, in the name of the grantee. Clearly, it
is only after compliance with the above conditions which entitle a
farmer/grantee to an emancipation patent that he acquires the
vested right of absolute ownership in the landholding a right
which has become fixed and established, and is no longer open to
doubt or controversy. At best, the farmer/grantee, prior to compliance
with these conditions, merely possesses a contingent or expectant right
of ownership over the landholding. (Emphasis supplied)
Clearly, the farmers vested right begins from their receipt of a duly registered CLOA
(issued by DAR only upon full payment of just compensation) and the actual possession
of the awarded land. Moreover, pending the issuance of CLOA, the identified and
qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries only have usufructuary rights over the awarded
land which DAR has taken possession. (Pasco vs. Pison-Arceo Agricultural and
Development Corporation, 485 SCRA 514, 2006)
B. The rules on vested rights before and/or after
the passage of CARP and IPRA.

Anent the question of vested rights before and after the passage of the CARP and
IPRA, we must note relevant provisions from both Acts, to wit-
xxx
SECTION 9. Ancestral Lands. For purposes of this Act,
ancestral lands of each indigenous cultural community shall
include, but not be limited to, lands in the actual, continuous
and open possession and occupation of the community and
its members: Provided, That the Torrens Systems shall be
respected. The right of these communities to their ancestral lands
shall be protected to ensure their economic, social and cultural
well-being. In line with the principles of self-determination and
autonomy, the systems of land ownership, land use, and
the modes of settling land disputes of all these communities must
be recognized and
respected.
Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the
PARC may suspend the implementation of this Act with
respect to ancestral lands for the purpose of identifying and
delineating such lands: Provided, That in the autonomous
regions, the respective legislatures may enact their own laws on
ancestral domain subject to the provisions of the Constitution and
the principles enunciated in this Act and other national laws.
xxx

SECTION 56. Existing Property Rights Regimes.


Property rights within the ancestral domains already
existing and/or vested upon effectivity of this Act,
shall be recognized and respected. (Emphasis
supplied)|
The former provision provides that ancestral lands are exempted from the coverage
of the agrarian reform program. However, this is only true insofar as the ancestral
domains and lands have been recognized prior to the effectivity of CARP (15 June
1988). Therefore, the rule is, before the effectivity of CARP, the ancestral land must
have been recognized for it to be exempted. Otherwise, exemption will be suspended
pending identification and delineation of the same.
On the other hand, the latter provision provides that if vested rights already existed
upon the effectivity of IPRA, it shall be recognized and respected. This happens when a
private person obtains a valid title over the ancestral land before the effectivity of the
IPRA law which took effect on 2 November 1997. Therefore, vested rights inside the
ancestral lands before the effectivity of IPRA shall be valid and if made subsequently,
the same shall not be recognized.
It must be emphasized that the law recognizes and respects the systems of
landownership, land use, and the modes of settling land disputes of all indigenous
cultural communities or indigenous peoples, in line with the principle of self-
determination and autonomy. This is also the reason why legislative bodies of
autonomous regions may enact their own laws regarding their ancestral lands or
domains to further the objectives and mandates of the Constitution.

C. Eligibility, Qualifications and Order of


Priority of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries
(ARBs).

a. Eligibility

To be eligible, a person must be a landless resident (owns less than 3 ha of


land) of the same barangay, or of the municipality. It could refer to any of the
following:
(a) Agricultural lessees and share tenants;
(b) Regular farmworkers;
(c) Seasonal farmworkers;
(d) Other farmworkers;
(e) Actual tillers or occupants of public lands;
(f) Collectives or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries; and
(g) Others directly working the land.

b. Qualifications

To qualify as an agrarian reform beneficiary, the farmer (whether tenant,


lessee, or worker) must be:
(a) Filipino citizen;
(b) Resident of the barangay or municipality where the landholding is
located;
(c) At least 15 years old at the time of identification, screening and
selection; and
(d) Willing, able, and equipped with aptitude to cultivate and make
the land productive. (DAR Administrative Order No. 2, series of 2009)
Under DAR Administrative Order No. 2, series of 2009, the tenants, lessees, or farm
workers are disqualified from becoming an agrarian reform beneficiary under the
agrarian reform law if they do not meet the basic qualifications and misrepresented
material facts in their basic qualifications.

c. Order of Priority

As per Section 22 of CARL, the children of the landowner enjoy first


preference in the distribution of the landholding. Each child is entitled to three
(3) hectares if he is:
(1) Fifteen (15) years old; and
(2) Actually tilling the land or directly managing the farm.
After the children, the covered landholding will be distributed to the
following:
(1) Agricultural lessees and share tenants; and
(2) Regular farmworkers;
If the lessees, tenants and regular farm workers have already received
their three (3) hectares, the remaining portion of the land will be distributed
to:
(1) Seasonal farmworkers;
(2) Other farmworkers;
(3) Actual tillers or occupants of public lands;
(4) Collectives or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries; and
(5) Others directly working on the land.
Based on the foregoing, there is order of priority for the redistribution of lands to
farmer beneficiaries. It must first be offered to the children provided they meet the
requirements, then to the lessees, tenants and regular farmworkers. If there are still
remaining portions of the land, it shall be distributed to the seasonal, other farm workers
and so on. For as long as they meet the qualifications stated under letter (b), they are
qualified to be granted benefits under the CARP.
Anent the illegal distribution due to unqualified farmer beneficiaries, one of the
remedies is the cancellation of CLOAs. They are within the exclusive and original
jurisdiction of the Secretary of the DAR. Some of the grounds are abandonment of the
land, neglect or misuse of land, failure to pay three annual amortizations, misuse or
diversion of financial and support services and illegal conversion. It may also be
cancelled if they do not meet the basic qualifications and that they misrepresented
material facts in their basic qualifications.
Furthermore, CLOAS become indefeasible and imprescriptible after one year from its
registration with the Office of the Registry of Deeds, subject to the conditions, limitations
and qualifications under CARL, the Property Registration Decree, and other pertinent
laws.
D. The law allows ARBs to be accommodated
in other landholdings provided that it is
within the same barangay or municipality.
However, it does not also explicitly
prohibit other farm workers benefitting
from the same.

Under Section 22 of the CARP, the lands covered shall be distributed as much as
possible to landless residents of the same barangay or in the absence thereof, landless
residents of the same municipality. However, the law also provides opportunities to
actual tillers or occupants of public lands, collectives or cooperatives of the above
beneficiaries and others directly working the land that are not necessarily within the
same place. They may be from other places who are hired by landowners due to lack of
farm workers but still possess the requisite qualification of an agrarian reform
beneficiary. In fact, even regular, seasonal and other farm workers may not necessarily
be residents of the barangay and municipality. As such, it must be noted that this is
where order of priority takes essential part.
Furthermore, the maximum agricultural land area that can be owned by or awarded
to an agrarian reform beneficiary is three (3) hectares. If the landholding is more than
enough to accommodate the 3-hectare limit for each agricultural lessee or tenant,
the excess will be distributed to agrarian reform beneficiaries in the following
order of priority:
(a) Seasonal farm workers;
(b) Other farm workers;
(c) Actual tillers or occupants of public lands; and
(d) Collectives or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries; and
(e) Others directly working in the land.
Under DAR Administrative Order No. 2, series of 2009, other farm workers who
cannot be accommodated will be put in a wait list of potential beneficiaries in
other landholdings. This means that there is a chance for them to become
beneficiaries in another landholding. For as long as they meet the requirements of an
ARB, they are qualified to become beneficiaries as delegated by DAR. As regards the
issue of farmers not even known by indigents, if they dont qualify and have not been
actually tilling the lands, they shall not be included and may even be a ground for their
disqualification which essentially bars them from becoming a beneficiary under CARP.