November 13, 2002
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9176
AN ACT EXTENDING THE PERIOD UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2020 FOR THE FILING OF APPLICATIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE LEGALIZATION (FREE PATENT) AND JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT AND INCOMPLETE TITLES TO ALIENABLE AND DISPOSABLE LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE COMMONWEALTH ACT NUMBERED 141, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE PUBLIC LAND ACT
SECTION 1. Section 45, Chapter VII of Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:
"Section 45. The President of the Philippines, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, shall from time to time fix by proclamation the period within which applications for free patents may be filed in the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office or region specified in such proclamation, and upon the expiration of the period so designated, unless the same be extended by the President, all the lands comprised within such district, chartered city, province, municipality or region subject thereto under the provisions of this chapter may be disposed of as agricultural public land without prejudice to the prior right of the occupant and cultivator to acquire such land under this Act by means other than free patent. The time to be fixed in the entire Archipelago for the filing of applications under this Chapter shall not extend beyond 31 December 2020: Provided, That the period shall apply only when the area applied for does not exceed twelve (12) hectares. The period fixed for any district, chartered city, province or municipality shall take effect thirty (30) days after the publication of the proclamation in one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the city, province or municipality concerned. A certified copy of said proclamation shall be furnished by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources within thirty (30) days counted from the date of the presidential proclamation to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office and to the provincial board and municipal board or city council and barangay council affected, and copies thereof shall be posted on the bulletin board of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office and at such conspicuous places in the provincial capitol, city or municipal hall, and in barangay hall or meeting place. It shall moreover be announced and aired over the government station in the concerned local area."
SECTION 2. Section 47, Chapter VIII of the same Act, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:
"Section 47. The persons specified in the next following section are hereby granted time, not to extend beyond December 31, 2020 within which to avail of the benefits of this Chapter: Provided, That this period shall apply only where the area applied for does not exceed twelve (12) hectares: Provided, further, That the several periods of time designated by the President in accordance with Section Forty-five of this Act shall apply also to the lands comprised in the provisions of this Chapter, but this Section shall not be construed as prohibiting any of said persons from acting under this Chapter at any time prior to the period fixed by the President.
SECTION 3. All pending applications filed before the effectivity of this amendatory Act shall be treated as having been filed in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
SECTION 4. Repealing Clause. — All laws, decrees, executive orders, executive issuances or letters of instruction, rules and regulations, or any part thereof, inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this Act, are hereby deemed repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
SECTION 5. Separability Clause. — If, for any reason or reasons, any part or parts of this Act shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid by any competent court, other parts or provisions thereof not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.
SECTION 6. Effectivity Clause. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.
Approved: November 13, 2002
Published in the Manila Times and Today on November 19, 2002. Published in the Official Gazette, Vol. 99 No. 4 page 495 on January 27, 2003.