December 7, 1992
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 20
INTERIM GUIDELINES ON AGRICULTURAL LAND USE CONVERSION
WHEREAS, R.A. No. 6657, otherwise known as the "Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law" (CARL), implements the policy of the State to promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform;
WHEREAS, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the agency tasked to implement the CARL, is authorized by law (Title XI, Book IV E.O. No. 292, Series of 1987) to approve or disapprove conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses such as residential and industrial conversions in accordance with law;
WHEREAS, Section 20 (a) R.A. No. 7160. otherwise known as the "Local Government Code of 1992", empowers local government units (LGUs) to reclassify agricultural lands in cases (1) where the land ceases to be economically feasible and sound for agricultural purposes as determined by the Department of Agriculture or (2) where the land shall have substantially greater economic value for residential, commercial, or industrial uses as determined by the sanggunian concerned;
WHEREAS, Section 20(c) of the Code also provides that the requirements for food production human settlements, and industrial expansion shall be taken into consideration is preparing plans for future use of land resource;
WHEREAS, pending adoption of comprehensive guidelines on land conversion to implement Section 20 of the Code, it is deemed necessary to promulgate interim guidelines on agricultural land conversion based on existing guidelines adopted in accordance with law;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law do hereby direct the observance by all agencies and LGUs concerned of the following interim guidelines on agricultural land use conversion:
1. All agricultural lands classified hereunder shall not be subject to and non-negotiable for conversion:
(a) All irrigated lands where water is available to support rice and other crop production, and all irrigated lands where water is not available for rice and other crop production but are within areas programmed irrigation facility rehabilitation by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and
(b) All irrigable lands already covered by irrigation projects with firm funding commitments at the time of the application for land use conversion.
2. All agricultural lands other than those referred hereunder as non-negotiable for conversion may be converted only upon strict compliance with existing laws, rules and regulations.
This Administrative Order shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
Done in the City of Manila, this 7th day of December, in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and ninety-two.