HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF MAJOR AGRARIAN REFORM LAWS/ISSUANCES/PROGRAMS UNDER THE DIFFERENT PHILIPPINE LEADERSHIP
Legislative Research and Statistics Division
Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance
Department of Agrarian Reform
A. MANUEL L. QUEZON (1935-1944)
• "The promotion of social justice to ensure the well-being and economic security of all people should be the concern of the State."
Act No. 4054 (Rice Share Tenancy Act)
• This is the first law on crop-sharing which legalized the 50-50 share between landlord and tenant
B. MANUEL A. ROXAS (1946-1948)
Republic Act No. 34 — An Act Amending Certain Sections of Act Numbered Four Thousand Fifty-Four, As Amended, Otherwise Known as "The Philippine Rice Share Tenancy Act"
• It established a 70-30 sharing arrangement between tenant and landlord
• It provided that whoever shouldered the expenses of planting and harvesting and provided the work animals would be entitled to 70 percent of the harvest
• It also reduced the interest on landowner loans to tenant at no more than 6 percent instead of 10 percent
C. ELPIDIO R. QUIRINO (1948-1953)
Executive Order No. 355 – Creating the Land Settlement and Development Corporation and Dissolving the National Land Settlement Administration, the Rice and Corn Production Administration and the Machinery and Equipment Department of the National Development Company
• Replaced the National Land Settlement Administration (NLSA) with the Land Settlement Development Corporation (LASEDECO) which took over the responsibilities of the Agricultural Machinery Equipment Corporation and the Rice and Corn Production Administration
• Created the Land Settlement Development Corporation (LASEDECO) on October 23, 1950 to accelerate the resettlement program which was launched shortly before World War II
D. RAMON DF. MAGSAYSAY (1953-1957)
Republic Act No. 1160 (NARRA Law) — An Act to Further Implement the Free Distribution of Agricultural Lands of the Public Domain as Provided for In Commonwealth Act Numbered Six Hundred and Ninety-One, As Amended, to Abolish the Land Settlement and Development Corporation Created Under Executive Order Numbered Three Hundred and Fifty-Five, Dated October Twenty-Three, Nineteen Hundred and Fifty, and to Create in Its Place the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration, and for Other Purposes
• Abolished the Land Settlement Development Corporation (LASEDECO) and created in its place the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA)
• The NARRA was established in order to hasten free distribution of agricultural lands of the public domain to landless tenants and farmworkers
• It was particularly aimed at the peasant base of the HUK movement (Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon – HUKBALAHAP)
• It was successful in attracting farmers-turned-rebels to a peaceful life by giving them homelots and farms in NARRA settlements in Palawan and in some parts of Mindanao
Republic Act No. 1199 (Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954) — An Act to Govern the Relations Between Landholders and Tenants of Agricultural Lands (Leasehold and Share Tenancy)
• The first land reform law which regulated all forms and aspects of tenure relations, except civil lease
• It gave share tenants the right to shift to leasehold where they pay landowners a fixed rental instead of a variable share
• This law also provided security of tenure to tenants by prohibiting the ejectment of tenants unless the Court of Agrarian Relations found just cause
• The law also allowed the purchase or expropriation of private lands to be subdivided and resold to tenants at cost
• This law created the Court of Agrarian Relations (CAR)
Republic Act No. 1400 (Land Reform Act of 1955) — An Act Defining a Land Tenure Policy, Providing for An Instrumentality to Carry Out the Policy, and Appropriating Funds for Its Implementation
• Provided for the acquisition of large tenanted rice and corn lands over 300 hectares if owned by individuals and 600 hectares, if owned by corporations (i.e., it provided for retention limits of 300 hectares and 600 hectares, respectively)
• Also known as "Land to the Landless Program", it sought to:
1. reduce large landholdings and consolidate smaller, uneconomic holdings into plots of adequate sizes;
2. resettle tenants in areas where land was abundant;
3. provide adequate credit facilities for small landholders;
4. reduce rental and interest rates in order to provide security for those who would remain tenants;
5. secure land titles for small holders; and
6. reform the property tax structure.
E. DIOSDADO P. MACAPAGAL (1961-1965)
Republic Act No. 3844 (Agricultural Land Reform Code/Code of Agrarian Reforms) — An Act to Ordain the Agricultural Land Reform Code and to Institute Land Reforms in the Philippines, Including the Abolition of Tenancy and the Channeling of Capital Into Industry, Provide for the Necessary Implementing Agencies, Appropriate Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes
• Aimed to make the farmers owners of the land they tilled
• It lowered the retention limit from 300 to 75 hectares
• This Code abolished share tenancy and instituted the leasehold system
• Invested rights of preemption and redemption for tenant farmers
• Institutionalized a judicial system of agrarian cases
• Incorporated extension, marketing and supervised credit system of services to farmer beneficiaries
• One of the law's basic objectives was to establish owner-cultivatorship and the economic family-sized farm as the basis of Philippine agriculture and as a consequence, divert landlord capital in agriculture to industrial development
• This law created the Land Authority headed by a Governor (under the control and supervision of the President) for its implementation and to carry out the aforementioned basic objective
• It incorporated some of the features of previous land reform laws
• The Code exempted coverage of plantation crops which were deemed too important as export earners that time
F. FERDINAND E. MARCOS (1965-1986)
Republic Act No. 6389 — An Act Amending Republic Act Numbered Thirty-Eight Hundred and Forty-Four, As Amended, Otherwise Known as the Agricultural Land Reform Code, and for Other Purposes)
• Significantly amended several provisions of Republic Act No. 3844
• Created the Department of Agrarian Reform, a separate administrative agency for agrarian reform, replacing the Land Authority
• Instituted the Code of Agrarian Reforms
Presidential Decree No. 2 (Proclaiming the Entire Country as a Land Reform Area)
• Placed the whole country under land reform program
Presidential Decree No. 27 (Decreeing the Emancipation of Tenants from the Bondage of the Soil, Transferring to Them the Ownership of the Land They Till and Providing the Instruments and Mechanism Therefor)
• Restricted land reform scope to tenanted rice and corn lands
• It provided for tenanted lands devoted to rice and corn to pass in ownership to the tenants who worked the properties
• It lowered the ceiling for landholdings to 7 hectares
• Share tenants who worked from a landholding of over 7 hectares could purchase the land they tilled, while share tenants on land less than 7 hectares would become leaseholders
• At the time of land transfer, Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) were issued to the new owners and when payments were completed, Emancipation Patents (EPs) were granted
• Before being given a CLT, a beneficiary must join an agrarian reform cooperative or the Samahang Nayon (SN)
G. CORAZON C. AQUINO (1986-1992)
1987 Constitution (Article II, Section 21) — "The State shall promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform"
Proclamation 131 (Instituting a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program)
• Instituted the CARP as a major program of the government
• It provided for a special fund known as the Agrarian Reform Fund (ARF) in the amount of 50 Billion Pesos to cover the estimated cost of the program for the period 1987-1992
• It covers all agricultural lands regardless of tenurial arrangement and commodity produced, all public and private agricultural lands, including other lands of the public domain suitable to agriculture
Executive Order No. 229 (Providing the Mechanism for the Implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program)
• Provided the mechanisms for CARP's implementation such as administrative procedures and mechanics for land registration, private land acquisition, and compensation procedures to landowners
• It also specified the composition and functions of the governing entities that will coordinate and supervise the implementation of the program
Executive Order No. 129-A (Modifying Executive Order No. 129, Reorganizing and Strengthening the Department of Agrarian Reform Program and for Other Purposes)
• Provided for the strengthening of the DAR as the lead agency responsible for the implementation of CARP
• Reorganized, streamlined and expanded power and operation of DAR
Executive Order No. 228 (Declaring Full Land Ownership to Qualified Farmer Beneficiaries Covered by Presidential Decree No. 27; Determining the Value of Remaining Unvalued Rice and Corn Lands Subject to P.D. No. 27; and Providing for the Manner of Payment by the Farmer Beneficiary and Mode of Compensation to the Landowner)
• Declared full landownership to qualified farmer-beneficiaries covered by P.D. No. 27
• Determined the value of remaining unvalued rice and corn land subject to P.D. No. 27
• Provided for the manner of payment by the FB and mode of compensation to the landowner
Republic Act No. 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law) — An Act Instituting A Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program to Promote Social Justice and Industrialization, Providing the Mechanism for Its Implementation, and for Other Purposes)
• Pursuant to Section 4, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution, it undertakes an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof
• It covers, regardless of tenurial arrangement and commodity produced, all public and private agricultural lands as provided in Proclamation No. 131 and Executive Order No. 229, including other lands of the public domain suitable for agriculture
• More specifically, the following lands are covered by CARP:
a) All alienable and disposable lands of the public domain devoted to or suitable for agriculture;
b) All lands of the public domain in excess of the specific limits as determined by Congress in Section 4 (a) of R.A. No. 6657;
c) All other lands owned by the government devoted to or suitable for agriculture; and
d) All private lands devoted or suitable for agriculture regardless of the agricultural products raised or that can be raised thereon
Executive Order No. 405 (Vesting in the Land Bank of the Philippines the Primary Responsibility to Determine the Land Valuation and Compensation for All Lands Covered Under Republic Act No. 6657, Known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988)
• Vested in the Land Bank of the Philippines the primary responsibility for land valuation
Executive Order No. 406 (Mandating Certain Departments and Agencies to Align Their Respective Programs and Projects with the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, Directing the Department of Agrarian Reform to Accelerate the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Through the Provision of Economic and Social Infrastructure Support, and Providing the Necessary Implementing Mechanisms for the Purpose)
• Emphasized that CARP is central to the government's efforts to hasten countryside agro-industrial development
• Directed the implementing agencies to align their respective programs and projects with the CARP
• This created CARP Implementing Teams from the national to the municipal levels
• It also identified and gave priority to 24 Strategic Operating Provinces (SOP) where the bulk of CARP workload lies, without prejudice to program implementation in other provinces of the country
Executive Order No. 407 (Accelerating the Acquisition and Distribution of Agricultural Lands, Pasture Lands, Fishponds, Agro-Forestry Lands and Other Lands of the Public Domain Suitable for Agriculture)
• Directed all government instrumentalities, including financial institutions and corporations, to turn over to DAR all lands suitable for agriculture for coverage under CARP
Executive Order No. 448 (Amending Executive Order No. 407, Series of 1990, Entitled, "Accelerating the Acquisition and Distribution of Agricultural Lands, Pasture Lands, Fishponds, Agro-Forestry Lands and Other Lands of Public Domain Suitable for Agriculture")
• Amended Executive Order No. 407, series of 1990, providing that:
"All lands or portions thereof reserved by virtue of Presidential proclamations for specific public uses by the government, its agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations suitable for agriculture and no longer actually, directly and exclusively used or necessary for the purposes for which they have been reserved, as determined by the Department of Agrarian Reform in coordination with the government agency or instrumentality concerned in whose favor the reservation was established, shall be segregated from the reservation and transferred to the Department of Agrarian Reform for distribution to qualified beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program."
Executive Order No. 506 (Further Amending Executive Order No. 407, Series of 1990, as Amended By Executive Order No. 448, Series of 1991, Accelerating the Acquisition and Distribution of Agricultural Lands, Pasture Lands, Fishponds, Agro-Forestry Lands and Other Lands of Public Domain Suitable for Agriculture)
• It declared that except national parks and other protected areas, all lands or portions of the public domain reserved by virtue of proclamation or law for specific purposes or uses by departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the Government, which are suitable for agriculture and no longer actually, directly and exclusively used or necessary for the purpose for which they have been reserved as determined by the Department of Agrarian Reform in coordination with the government agency or instrumentality concerned in whose favor the reservation was established, shall be segregated from the reservation and transferred to the Department of Agrarian Reform for distribution to qualified beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
• It also provided that all existing and proposed National Parks, Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuaries, Wildlife Reserves, Wilderness Areas and Other Protected Areas, including old growth or virgin forests, and all forests above 1,000 meters elevation or above 50 percent slope, are hereby excluded from the present segregation, acquisition and distribution procedures being conducted by the Department of Agrarian Reform until such time as these area shall have been identified, studied and determined to be either retained and reclassified under the National Integrated Protected Areas System of DENR or to be segregated for agricultural purposes.
H. FIDEL V. RAMOS (1992-1998)
Republic Act No. 7881 (An Act Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 6657, Entitled "An Act Instituting a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program to Promote Social Justice and Industrialization, Providing the Mechanism for Its Implementation, and for Other Purposes")
• Amended certain provisions of Republic Act No. 6657, more significantly Section 10 thereof on exemptions and exclusions from CARP, to wit:
a) Lands actually, directly or exclusively used for parks and wildlife, forest reserves, reforestation, fish sanctuaries and breeding grounds, watersheds and mangroves;
b) Private lands actually, directly or exclusively used for prawn farms and fishponds: Provided, That said prawn farms and fishponds have not been distributed and Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) issued to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) under CARP; and
c) Lands actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for sites and institutions, and all lands with 18% slope and over, except those already developed.
Republic Act No. 7905 (An Act to Strengthen the Implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, and for Other Purposes)
• It aimed to strengthen the implementation of the CARP by amending certain provisions of Republic Act No. 6657, particularly the provisions on the creation of support services office (Section 35), funding for support services (Section 36), Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee (Section 44) and province-by-province implementation of CARP (Section 45).
Republic Act No. 8532 (An Act Strengthening Further the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), By Providing Augmentation Fund Therefor, Amending for the Purpose Section 63 of Republic Act No. 6657, Otherwise Known as "The CARP Law of 1988")
• It authorized the appropriation of an additional amount of not more than P50 billion needed to implement the CARP until year 2008
• It provided for yearly appropriations of not less than P3 billion from the General Appropriations Act
ARCs (Agrarian Reform Communities)
• The DAR, under the leadership of President Fidel V. Ramos and Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao, pursued the "development of agrarian reform communities (ARCs) as its key program for national development."
• An ARC is a barangay at the minimum or a cluster of contiguous barangays where there is a critical mass of farmers and farmworkers awaiting the full implementation of agrarian reform. These farmers and farmworkers will anchor the integrated development of the area.
• In order to optimize the allocation and use of limited resources and create an impact, the DAR has adopted a geographical focus and realigned its priorities towards the development of viable ARCs. In these areas, DAR shall intensify its interventions to increase farm production, improve household income, and promote sustainable development.
• ARCs shall serve as growth points in the countryside.
I. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA (1998-2001)
Executive Order No. 26 (Providing Opportunities for the Development of Beneficiaries Under the Comprehensive Land Reform Program to Become Productive Entrepreneurs, Providing the Mechanism Therefor and for Other Purposes)
• It provided that lands covered by Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) shall now be accepted as collateral to secure loans by their registered owners, with the consent of the farmers cooperative to which they are members, with the government financial institutions, as well as, with the private financial institutions: Provided, That the loan proceeds shall be used exclusively in the furtherance of the agricultural productivity of the land and related activities.
MAGKASAKA (Magkabalikat sa Kaunlarang Agraryo)
• To ensure adequate support services, there is a need for greater private sector participation, both civil society and business, in the development of agrarian reform areas.
• MAGKASAKA, pursued under the framework of Joint Economic Enterprises, aimed to bring investments into the countryside. Investors will be encouraged to become partners of the farmers in establishing rural business enterprises, particularly in agrarian reform communities (ARCs). They will contribute capital, technology and management support, while the farmers will contribute the use of their land but not the land itself. The land cannot be used to settle obligations of the enterprise. This ensures that ownership of the land remains in the hand of the farmers.
J. GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO (2001-2010)
Bayan-Anihan (Bayan-Anihan Program for Rural Development — BPRD)
• It is DAR's banner program under the Arroyo Administration to hasten the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
• The six main thrusts of Bayan-Anihan are the following:
(a) fast tracking of land acquisition and distribution;
(b) integrating, rationalizing and institutionalizing the delivery of support services;
(c) swift delivery of agrarian justice;
(d) promoting peace;
(e) intensifying and institutionalizing social marketing; and
(f) modernizing the DAR bureaucracy.
K. BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III (2010-PRESENT)