April 1, 1974
DEPARTMENT MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 08-74
TO : All Regional Directors, District Officers, Agrarian Reform Team Leaders, Field Officers
SUBJECT : Interim Policy of Status Quo Relationship between Landowners and their Tenant-Tillers
Disturbing reports are still received by the Central Office about conflicts or disputes between landowners and tenant-tillers in spite of existing Presidential issuance and implementing DAR Memorandum Circulars. It is observed that such conflicts or disputes arise mostly in tenanted rice and/or corn lands not yet covered by Operation Land Transfer or if covered, the value of the lands have not yet been determined, and instead of being attended to and immediately solved on the spot, they are invariably brought to our attention consuming much time and energy which could be utilized more fruitfully to the formulation of policies and the evaluation of plans and programs for agrarian reform implementation. AHSEaD
For the guidance of all department personnel especially those in the field offices, hereunder restated in the interim policy of status quo as regards relationship between landowners and their tenant-tillers;
Status quo means maintaining leasehold as the relationship between landowners and their tenant-tillers and for the purpose, the following shall be observed:
1. No tenant-farmer shall be ejected or removed from his farmholding until such time as the respective rights of the tenant-farmer and landowner shall have been determined in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 27;
2. Ejectment cases pending in courts between tenant-farmers and landowners shall be referred to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or his duly authorized representative in the locality for a preliminary determination of the relationship between the contending parties. If the Secretary finds that the case is a proper case for the court or judge or other hearing officer, he shall so certify and such court, judge or other hearing officer may assume jurisdiction over the dispute or controversy.
For further guidance on this matter, refer to DAR Memorandum Circular No. 27 dated December 6, 1973, implementing Presidential Decree No. 316.
3. Tenant-farmers are deemed owners of the land they till as of October 21, 1972, subject to the rules and regulations to be hereafter promulgated. On lands already covered by Operation Land Transfer, the lease hold system shall be provisionally maintained and the lease rentals paid by the tenant-farmers to the landowner to be credited as amortization payments. Payment of rentals shall be stopped when the Land
Bank shall have paid the cost of the land. On lands not yet covered by Operation Land Transfer, leasehold shall continue to govern the relationship between the landowner and his tenant-tillers.
In case of disagreement between the landowner and the tenant-farmers as to the amount of rental to be paid, the Department of Agrarian Reform, through the Regional Director concerned, shall provisionally fix the same, taking as guide the applicable provisions of Section 34 of the Code of Agrarian Reforms, Presidential Decree No. 2 declaring the whole country as land reforms area, Presidential Decree No. 27 emancipating the tenant-farmers from the bondage of tenancy, Presidential Decree No. 316 prohibiting the ejectment of tenant-tillers from their farmholdings pending the promulgation of the rules and regulations implementing Presidential Decree No. 27, Letter of Instructions Nos. 45, 46, and 53, and Memorandum No. 123-72 dated November 25, 1972 of the President directing the Secretary of Agrarian Reform and the Secretary of Finance, to adopt, among other things, certain guidelines that no tenant-farmer shall be ejected or removed from his farmholding pending the promulgation of the rules and regulations implementing Presidential Decree No. 27 and pending the result of studies being undertaken in the pilot projects.
However, should any of the parties disagree with the amount of provisional rental as fixed, the disagreeing party may take the matter of the Court of Agrarian Relations for adjudication, but in the meantime, the rental as provisionally fixed by the DAR shall be enforced.
4. No act shall be done to undermine or subvert the intent and provisions of Presidential Decrees, Letters of Instructions, Memoranda and Directives, such as the following and/or similar acts:
a) Dividing or subdividing tenanted rice and/or corn lands after October 21, 1972 except in the following cases;
(1) Where the land is owned legally by co-heirs or co-owners who acquired the same by succession prior to the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 27 in which case, such co-heirs or co-owners shall be considered as separate landowners with respect to their undivided portions thereof.
(2) Where the land is covered by Operation Land Transfer;
(3) Where the land is declared by the DAR as suitable for residential, commercial, industrial or some other urban purposes;
(4) Where the land is partly tenanted and partly untenanted and the landowner wants to survey and segregate the untenanted portion thereof, subject to prior written notice to the tenant-farmers and the DAR through its Regional Director, concerned;
(5) Where the land was sold directly by the landowner to his tenant-farmers in accordance with the terms and conditions of Presidential Decree No. 27; and
(6) Where the land is untenanted or is not planted to rice and/or corn.
b) Changing crops from palay and/or corn to other crops like sugarcane, coconut, tobacco, etc., by the landowner and the tenant-farmer, except upon the prior written authorization of the DAR;
c) Enlarging tillage or farmholding after October 21, 1972 except upon the written consent of the landowners subject to the condition that the increase in tillage shall cover only untenanted portion of the land that the total farmholding shall not exceed a family-size farm of five (5) hectares if not irrigated and three (3) if irrigated;
d) Entering untenanted rice and/or corn lands in order to establish tenancy relationship without the written consent of the landowner; ECaTAI
e) Mortgaging by the landowner of tenanted rice and/or corn lands to natural or juridical person/s after October 21, 1972;
f) Transferring ownership to tenanted rice and/or corn lands after October 21, 1972, except to the actual tenant-farmers or tillers but in strict conformity to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 27 and the requirements of the DAR.
Whenever necessary after exhausting all remedies within your authority to enforce the directive contained in this Memorandum Circular, you seek the assistance of the Philippine Constabulary Provincial Commander concerned.
For effective updating of policies, plans and programs, reports stating findings, actions taken, solutions made, recommendations, etc., to be submitted to the Secretary once every two (2) months.
DAR Memorandum Circular Nos. 2 Amended and 2-A Amended and all other circulars or memoranda contrary to or inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Quezon City, April 1, 1974.
(SGD.) CONRADO F. ESTRELLA