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September 3, 2008


SUBJECT    :     Guidelines Relative to the Supreme Court Ruling on the Sutton Case Regarding Lands which are Actually, Directly and Exclusively Used for Livestock Raising

The Supreme Court of the Philippines declared in the case entitled, "Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) versus Delia T. Sutton, et al. (G.R. No. 162070, 19 October 2005)" that the DAR has no authority to regulate livestock farms which have been exempted by the Constitution from the coverage of agrarian reform.    EcHTCD

The Supreme Court's decision in the above-cited case was based on its appreciation of the intent of the framers of the Constitution relative to livestock raising lands, etc., as shown in the following statement/quote from the text of the decision: "the deliberations of the 1987 Constitutional Commission show a clear intent to exclude, inter-alia, all lands exclusively devoted to livestock, swine and poultry raising". Clearly, the Supreme Court decision reaffirmed "exclusivity" of use as a requisite for land devoted to livestock, poultry and swine raising to be deemed excluded from the coverage of CARP.    TaDIHc

To guide the Department in the coverage of agricultural lands under CARP based on the above-cited Supreme Court decision, the following policy guidelines are hereby issued:

1.         Private agricultural lands or portions thereof actually, directly and exclusively used for livestock purposes other than agricultural like cattle raising as of 15 June 1988 and continuously and exclusively utilized or devoted for such purpose up until the time of inventory as provided under Item 3 of this Order, shall be excluded from CARP coverage.    aIETCA

2.         Conversely, landholdings or any portions thereof not actually, directly and exclusively used for livestock raising are subject to CARP coverage if one or more of the following conditions apply:

2.1       There is agricultural activity in the area, i.e., cultivation of the soil, planting of crops, growing of fruit trees, including the harvesting of such products, and other farm activities and practices, whether done by a natural or juridical person and regardless of the final use or destination of such agricultural products; and/or 

2.2       The land is suitable for agriculture and it is presently occupied and tilled by farmer/s.

3.         The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO), together with a representative of the DAR Provincial Office (DARPO), shall conduct an inventory and ocular inspection of all agricultural lands with livestock raising activities.

4.         A report on the inventoried and inspected lands with the following information shall be submitted by the MARO and the DARPO representative to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO):    ESITcH

           Name of landowner;

           Location of property, title number and area;

           Actual land use;

           Existence of agricultural activity;

           Type of animals raised and/or agricultural commodities produced; and

           Other information vital to the determination of coverage of the land or portions thereof under CARP.    aSIATD

5.         In case any of the conditions under Items 2.1 and 2.2 of these guidelines are evident, the PARO shall immediately proceed with the issuance of Notice of Coverage (NOC) on the subject landholding or portions thereof.    aEHAIS

6.         Pursuant to DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 04, Series of 2005, the landowner has thirty (30) days from receipt of the Notice of Coverage within which to file protest on the coverage. He shall be given another thirty (30) days from date of the filing thereof within which to present evidence or documents with probative value to support his protest.

7.         The processing and settlement of all protests on the coverage of the subject landholding under these guidelines shall be governed by DAR A.O. No. 03, Series of 2003 entitled, "2003 Rules for Agrarian Law Implementation Cases".    cDAEIH

8.         Any act of a landowner to change or convert his/her agricultural land for livestock raising shall not affect the coverage of his/her landholding under CARP. Any diversification or change in the agricultural use of the landholding, or shift from crop production to livestock raising shall be subject to the existing guidelines on land use conversion.    TECIHD

9.         In line with the principle on regularity in the performance of mandated and official functions, all processes undertaken by DAR pursuant to A.O. No. 09, Series of 1993 and A.O. No. 1, Series of 2004 are valid. Accordingly, the EPs or CLOAs issued to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) for such lands likewise remain valid.

10.       Any petition to nullify the coverage of said lands under CARP and the EPs/CLOAs issued therefor shall not be given due course. Further, in consonance with the doctrine on indefeasibility of EPs/CLOAs being titles of ownership under the Torrens System of registration, and pursuant to DAR Memorandum Circular No. 19, Series of 2004 entitled, "Reaffirming the Indefeasibility EPs and CLOAs as Titles under the Torrens System", no order or decision for CARP exclusion which carries with it the cancellation or recall of EPs/CLOAs shall be issued.    DIEACH

All issuances of the DAR which are inconsistent herewith are hereby revoked, amended, or modified accordingly. This Administrative Order shall take effect ten (10) days after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.    DaAISH

Diliman, Quezon City. September 3, 2008.



Published in the Malaya on September 9, 2008.


Department of Agrarian Reform
Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. No.: (632) 928-7031 to 39

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