Five Benefits of Document Imaging Systems

document_imaging_system

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and increase productivity. One of the many ways this can be achieved is by investing in advanced technologies that will eradicate timely hand-operated tasks. These allow organizations to waste less time on routine but necessary office work and more time on Important Matters.

What is a Document Imaging System?

  • A Document Imaging System is a software that allows users to store, organize and retrieve digital records. (E.g. scanned images, photos and general office documents).

What can it do to help your Business?

  • Be able to instantly access documents anytime, anywhere.
  • Implement an electronic workflow.
  • Sophisticated search and retrieval capabilities.
  • Merge a Document Imaging System with other essential business applications to manage IT costs and propel efficiency.
  • Guarantee document recovery in the case of a disaster. It allows multiple backups to be stored at offsite locations providing a means to recover data.

Document Imaging Systems are vital to an organization’s capability to process and share information quickly, helping employees make decisions faster. However, This  is only one step forward. Organizations looking to get the most out of the technology often forget two other crucial technologies that make these systems possible, which are Optical Character Recognition and Data Capture.

It’s almost always the same story every time. Businesses purchased a Document Imaging System believing  it would improve the productivity and reduce inefficiencies in the workplace but in their evaluations, they neglected to think about all the documents they presently have sitting in their filing cabinets around the office.  Whilst they can effectively take care of new, electronic documents, they do not have way of digitizing or extracting important data from existing paper documents. Optical Character Recognition and Data Capture are what make this possible. They allow organizations to get rid of cabinets full of paper documents, and make all of the information held on them accessible online throughout the whole organization. Without this capability, employees are left with half of the information,therefore only half of the productivity gains. With these in place, employees can appreciate not having to run around back and forth to the file cabinet or be asked to track down a relevant document out of the Archive.

The Best System we’ve come across, so far, has been Enadoc. Where you are able to Search efficiently, Organize, Capture and Secure your document, and  most importantly save time and money.

Has your organization invested in a Document Imaging System? If so, did they simultaneously acquire Optical Character Recognition and Data Capture solutions?

 

Contact us NOW for a presentation on how Enadoc can help your business succeed.

Starting a Business in the Philippines

Starting Business PhilippinesWhy would anyone want to start and do business in the Philippines?

The bureaucratic and legal hurdles a company or entrepreneur must overcome to incorporate and register a new firm here can be frustrating. However, with the help of a business consultant, that has extensive experience in Philippines business registration and setting up foreign owned businesses here, such as Dayanan Business Consultancy, that is not an issue.

The fact that so many foreign companies have regional headquarters, representative offices, foreign branch offices and other business setups in the Philippines, speaks volumes that it is well worth wading through the red tape to have operations here.

English Speaking and Talented Human Resources

One of the biggest advantages of doing business in the Philippines is that it has a higher level of English proficiency than any other Asian country. There is also an immense pool of talented Filipino graduates and experienced workers providing cost effective human resource solutions.

In addition, the Philippine Government offers incentives through a dozen Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) promoting “Economic Zones” in selected areas of the country. Incentives include various tax exemptions, tax holidays, special investor’s visas, and others to promote investment in businesses.

These include:

•    The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI)
•    The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)
•    The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
•    Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority
•    Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB)
•    Bases Conversation Development Authority (BCDA)
•    Clark Development Corporation
•    Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA)
•    PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority
•    Philippine Retirement Authority
•    Regional Board of Investments (ARMM)
•    Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)
•    Zamboanga Economic Zone Authority

These secure ready-to-occupy world-class, environment-friendly, and competitively priced Special Economic Zones are waiting for various types of businesses, both commercial and industrial, to take advantage of them.

Depending on which Investment Promotion Agency is being utilized; these can include manufacturing, BPO, tourism, agri-business, IT services and more.

For example, the Philippine Board of Investments is focused on BPOs, the electronics industry, shipbuilding, and renewable energy. PEZA’s priorities are focused more on manufacturing and industrial agricultural manufacturing for export and BPO’s, as well as overall economic zone development and operation. There is some overlap in the kinds of businesses to which the IPAs will grant incentives.

It’s More Fun in The Philippines!

The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority of course – “encourage local and foreign investments in our tourism industry through the establishment of Tourism Enterprise Zones (TEZs) in strategic areas of the country.”

The tourism industry opens up a tremendous amount of opportunities for businesses, especially in the small to medium range.
TIEZA is giving incentives for the development of tourism related businesses such as:

•    Travel and tour services
•    Transport services – land, sea, and air
•    Adventure sports such as mountaineering, spelunking, and scuba diving
•    Convention organizers
•    Accommodation establishments – hotels, resorts, condotels, Inns, motels and homestay operators that cater to tourist
•    Tourism estate management services
•    Restaurants, shops, and department stores
•    SPAs
•    Health and Wellness facilities
•    Museums and Galleries (Especially in cultural heritage zones)
•    Theme Parks
•    Convention Centers
•    Zoos

To learn more about the procedures, time, and cost involved in starting a business in the Philippines, business contact the DBC Team now for a free consultation.

Opening Personal & Corporate Bank Accounts in the Philippines

Corporate Bank Accounts Philippines

Corporate Bank Account Philippines

All corporations doing business in the Philippines need a local bank account. There are many local banks, foreign owned banks and branches of foreign banks to choose from. The main advantage of opening an account with a local bank is their numerous branches all over the country, mall outlets open on weekends and payroll ATM accounts for employees.

 

Requirements for Company, Corporate or Commercial Bank Accounts in the majority of Philippine Banks:

1.    Certificate of Incorporation or License to Transact Business
2.    Articles of Incorporation
3.    By-laws
4.    Board Resolution to open bank account naming the authorized signatories
5.    Board Resolution election of company officers
6.    Secretary’s Certificate certifying the Board Resolution to open bank account naming the authorized signatories
7.    General Information Sheet
8.    Two valid IDS for each signatory

Requirements for Foreign Individuals Bank Accounts in the majority Philippine Banks:

Foreign Individuals: most banks require that foreigners present an Alien Certificate of Residence (ACR) issued by the Bureau of Immigration. Tourists who stay in the Philippines for more than 59 days will be issued an ACR. All others who are issued work visas or any other kind of long stay visa will also be issued an ACR.

Two  Valid IDs:
Passport
Driver’s license
ACR
Retirement ID issued by an official authority
DOLE ID

Some banks may require proof of address.

Ways around Philippines Foreign Investment Act

Many people ask how they may circumvent the Philippines laws on foreign ownership as stated in the foreign investment negative list.

Most inquires pertain to foreign ownership of land and foreign ownership of corporations engaged in retail business or where the foreign equity is restricted to 40% or less.

No legal solutions exist for a foreigner to own land in their own name or to own more than the legal percentage of a business allowed to him by law. The use of nominees with side agreements is illegal and is a violation of the Anti-Dummy Law.

The Department of Justice Opinion No. 165, Series of 1984 indicates what may determine that the Anti-Dummy Law is being violated:

•    That the foreign investor provides practically all the funds for the joint investment undertaken by Filipino businessmen and their foreign partner.
•    That the foreign investors undertake to provide practically all the technological support for the joint venture.
•    That the foreign investors, while being minority stockholders, manage the company and prepare all economic viability studies.

Foreign investors may think they are protected by side agreements naming them the beneficial owners, however when the time comes to use the agreement in court, they will discover that the agreement has no value being a document that violates the law.  Another common occurrence is for the foreign investor to find that the nominee has taken over the business or has sold all the business’s assets.

No matter what people may tell you, the best way to do business in the Philippines is to obey the foreign investment act regulations regarding foreign ownership. Shortcuts only equal unnecessary risks.

Rules of Court of the Philippines, Rule 138

Rule 138 – Rules of Court
Attorneys and Admission to Bar

ATTORNEYS & ADMISSION TO BAR

Rule 138

Section 1. Who may practice law. –  Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law.

Sec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. –  Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and a resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines.

Sec. 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the United States of America. –  Citizens of the United States of America who, before July 4, 1946, were duly licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the courts of the Philippines and in good and regular standing as such may, upon satisfactory proof of those facts before the Supreme Court, be allowed to continue such practice after taking the following oath of office:

“I, _________________________, having been permitted to continue in the practice of law in the Philippines, do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.”

Sec. 4. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions. –  Applicants for admission who, being Filipino citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of appeals or district court therein, or in the highest court of any State or Territory of the United States, and who can show by satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at least five years in any of said courts, that such practice began before July 4, 1946, and that they have never been suspended or disbarred, may, in the discretion of the Court, be admitted without examination.

Sec. 5. Additional requirements for other applicants. –  All applicants for admission other than those referred to in the two preceding sections shall, before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that they have regularly studied law for four years, and successfully completed all prescribed courses, in a law school or university, officially approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the candidate, accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of such facts, and further evidence may be required by the court.

No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has satisfactorily completed the following courses in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private international law, political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics.

Sec. 6. Pre-Law. –  No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he presents a certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before he began the study of law, he had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto the completion of a four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor’s degree in arts or sciences with any of the following subjects as major or field of concentration: political science, logic, english, spanish, history and economics.

Sec. 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications. – All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence required by section 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the beginning of the examination. If not embraced within sections 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within the same period the affidavit and certificate required by section 5, and if embraced within sections 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a license evidencing the fact of their admission to practice, satisfactory evidence that the same has not been revoked, and certificates as to their professional standing. Applicants shall also file at the same time their own affidavits as to their age, residence, and citizenship.

Sec. 8. Notice of applications. –  Notice of applications for admission shall be published by the clerk of the Supreme Court in newspapers published in Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten (10) days before the beginning of the examination.

Sec. 9. Examination; subjects. –  Applicants, not otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this rule, shall be subjected to examinations in the following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social Legislation; Mercantile Law; Criminal Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, and Public Officers); International Law (Private and Public); Taxation; Remedial Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (in Pleading and Conveyancing).

Sec. 10. Bar examination, by questions and answers, and in writing. –  Persons taking the examination shall not bring papers, books or notes into the examination rooms. The questions shall be the same for all examinees and a copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee. Examinees shall answer the questions personally without help from anyone.

Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be difficult to read his answers without much loss of time, the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in answering the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used.

The committee of bar examiners shall take such precautions as are necessary to prevent the substitution of papers or commission of other frauds. Examinees shall not place their names on the examination papers. No oral examination shall be given.

Sec. 11. Annual examination. –  Examinations for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four days to be designated by the chairman of the committee on bar examiners. The subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and International Law (morning) and Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Third day: Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Remedial Law (morning) and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (afternoon).

Sec. 12. Committee of examiners. –  Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of bar examiners to be appointed by the Supreme Court. This committee shall be composed of a Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall act as chairman, and who shall be designated by the court to serve for one year, and eight members of the bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for a period of one year. The names of the members of this committee shall be published in each volume of the official reports.

Sec. 13. Disciplinary measures. –  No candidate shall endeavor to influence any member of the committee, and during examination the candidates shall not communicate with each other nor shall they give or receive any assistance. The candidate who violates this provision, or any other provision of this rule, shall be barred from the examination, and the same to count as a failure against him, and further disciplinary action, including permanent disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 14. Passing average. –  In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject. In determining the average, the subjects in the examination shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law; 10 per cent; Political and International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent.

Sec. 15. Report of the committee; filing of examination papers. –  Not later than February 15th after the examination, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the committee shall file its reports on the result of such examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be fixed with the clerk and may there be examined by the parties in interest, after the court has approved the report.

Sec. 16. Failing candidates to take review course. –  Candidates who have failed the bar examinations for three times shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they show to the satisfaction of the court that they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as attended a pre-bar review course in a recognized law school.

The professors of the individual review subjects attended by the candidates under this rule shall certify under oath that the candidates have regularly attended classes and passed the subjects under the same conditions as ordinary students and the ratings obtained by them in the particular subject.

Sec. 17. Admission and oath of successful applicants. –  An applicant who has passed the required examination, or has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall take and subscribe before the Supreme Court the corresponding oath of office.

Sec. 18. Certificate. –  The Supreme Court shall thereupon admit the applicant as a member of the bar for all the courts of the Philippines, and shall direct an order to be entered to that effect upon its records, and that a certificate of such record be given to him by the clerk of court, which certificate shall be his authority to practice.

Sec. 19. Attorneys’ roll. – The clerk of the Supreme Court shall keep a roll of all attorneys admitted to practice, which roll shall be signed by the person admitted when he receives his certificate.

Sec. 20. Duties of attorneys. –  It is the duty of an attorney:
(a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines;

(b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers;

(c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law;

(d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him, such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law;

(e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client’s business except from him or with his knowledge and approval;

(f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged;

(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding, or delay any man’s cause, from any corrupt motive or interest;

(h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed;

(i) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law.

Sec. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. –  An attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears, and no written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in court for his client, but the presiding judge may, on motion of either party and on reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require any attorney who assumes the right to appear in a case to produce or prove the authority under which he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue, the name of the person who employed him, and may thereupon make such order as justice requires. An attorney wilfully appearing in court for a person without being employed, unless by leave of the court, may be punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official transactions.

Sec. 22. Attorney who appears in lower court presumed to represent client on appeal. –  An attorney who appears de parte in a case before a lower court shall be presumed to continue representing his client on appeal, unless he files a formal petition withdrawing his appearance in the appellate court.

Sec. 23. Authority of attorneys to bind clients. –  Attorneys have authority to bind their clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure. But they cannot, without special authority, compromise their client’s litigation, or receive anything in discharge of a client’s claim but the full amount in cash.

Sec. 24. Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees. –  An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the professional standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound by the opinion of attorneys as expert witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on its own professional knowledge. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable.

Sec. 25. Unlawful retention of client’s funds; contempt. – When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded, he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official transactions; but proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution.

Sec. 26. Change of attorneys. –  An attorney may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding, by the written consent of his client filed in court. He may also retire at any time from an action or special proceeding, without the consent of his client, should the court, on notice to the client and attorney, and on hearing, determine that he ought to be allowed to retire. In case of substitution, the name of the attorney newly employed shall be entered on the docket of the court in place of the former one, and written notice of the change shall be given to the adverse party.

A client may at any time dismiss his attorney or substitute another in his place, but if the contract between client and attorney has been reduced to writing and the dismissal of the attorney was without justifiable cause, he shall be entitled to recover from the client the full compensation stipulated in the contract. However, the attorney may, in the discretion of the court, intervene in the case to protect his rights. For the payment of his compensation the attorney shall have a lien upon all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued in pursuance of such judgment, rendered in the case wherein his services had been retained by the client.

Sec. 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by Supreme Court on what grounds. –  A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a wilfull disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or wilfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.

Sec. 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance. –  The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last preceding section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises.

Sec. 29. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Court of First Instance, further proceedings in Supreme Court. – Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or the Court of First Instance shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order or suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Upon the receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall make full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension, or removing the attorney from his office as such, as the facts warrant.

Sec. 30. Attorney to be heard before removal or suspension. –  No attorney shall be removed or suspended from the practice of his profession, until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him, to produce witnesses in his own behalf, and to be heard by himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer the accusation, the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte.

Sec. 31. Attorneys for destitute litigants. –  A court may assign an attorney to render professional aid free of charge to any party in a case, if upon investigation it appears that the party is destitute and unable to employ an attorney, and that the services of counsel are necessary to secure the ends of justice and to protect the rights of the party. It shall be the duty of the attorney so assigned to render the required service, unless he is excused therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown.

Sec. 32. Compensation for attorneys de oficio. –  Subject to availability of funds as may be provided by law the court may, in its discretion, order an attorney employed as counsel de oficio to be compensated in such sum as the court may fix in accordance with section 24 of this rule. Whenever such compensation is allowed, it shall not be less than thirty pesos (P30.00) in any case, nor more than the following amounts: (1) Fifty pesos (P50.00) in light felonies; (2) One hundred pesos (P100.00) in less grave felonies; (3) Two hundred pesos (P200.00) in grave felonies other than capital offenses; (4) Five hundred pesos (P500.00) in capital offenses.

Sec. 33. Standing in court of persons authorized to appear for Government. – Any official or other person appointed or designated in accordance with law to appear for the Government of the Philippines shall have all the rights of a duly authorized member of the bar to appear in any case in which said government has an interest direct or indirect.

Sec. 34. By whom litigation conducted. –  In the court of a justice of the peace a party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.

Sec. 35. Certain attorneys not to practice. –  No judge or other official or employee of the superior courts or of the Office of the Solicitor General, shall engage in private practice as a member of the bar or give professional advice to clients.

Sec. 36. Amicus curiae. –  The court may, in special cases, and upon proper application, permit the appearance, as amici curiae, of those lawyers who in its opinion can help in the disposition of the matter before it; or it may, on its own initiative, invite prominent attorneys to appear as amici curiae in such special cases.
Sec. 37. Attorneys’ liens. –  An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds, documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid, and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. He shall also have a lien to the same extent upon all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued in pursuance of such judgments, which he has secured in a litigation of his client, from and after the time when he shall have caused a statement of his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records of the court rendering such judgment, or issuing such execution, and shall have caused written notice thereof to be delivered to his client and to the adverse party; and he shall have the same right and power over such judgments and executions as his client would have to enforce his lien and secure the payment of his just fees and disbursements.

Article No. VIII

THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
OF THE
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

ARTICLE VIII
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 hereof.

No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its Members.

Section 3. The Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the Judiciary may not be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year and, after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released.

Section 4. (1) The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof.

(2) All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, or law, which shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc, and all other cases which under the Rules of Court are required to be heard en banc, including those involving the constitutionality, application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations, shall be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.

(3) Cases or matters heard by a division shall be decided or resolved with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon, and in no case without the concurrence of at least three of such Members. When the required number is not obtained, the case shall be decided en banc: Provided, that no doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a decision rendered en banc or in division may be modified or reversed except by the court sitting en banc.

Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.

(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:

(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.

(b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto.

(c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue.

(d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.

(e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved.

(3) Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other stations as public interest may require. Such temporary assignment shall not exceed six months without the consent of the judge concerned.

(4) Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice.

(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

(6) Appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with the Civil Service Law.

Section 6. The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof.

Section 7. (1) No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme Court or any lower collegiate court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. A Member of the Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age, and must have been for fifteen years or more, a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.

(2) The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of lower courts, but no person may be appointed judge thereof unless he is a citizen of the Philippines and a member of the Philippine Bar.

(3) A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.

Section 8. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.

(2) The regular members of the Council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four years with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Of the Members first appointed, the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four years, the professor of law for three years, the retired Justice for two years, and the representative of the private sector for one year.

(3) The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary ex officio of the Council and shall keep a record of its proceedings.

(4) The regular Members of the Council shall receive such emoluments as may be determined by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall provide in its annual budget the appropriations for the Council.

(5) The Council shall have the principal function of recommending appointees to the Judiciary. It may exercise such other functions and duties as the Supreme Court may assign to it.

Section 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.

For the lower courts, the President shall issue the appointments within ninety days from the submission of the list.

Section 10. The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, and of judges of lower courts, shall be fixed by law. During their continuance in office, their salary shall not be decreased.

Section 11. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts, or order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.

Section 12. The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.

Section 13. The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted to it for decision en banc or in division shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to a Member for the writing of the opinion of the Court. A certification to this effect signed by the Chief Justice shall be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case and served upon the parties. Any Members who took no part, or dissented, or abstained from a decision or resolution, must state the reason therefor. The same requirements shall be observed by all lower collegiate courts.

Section 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.

No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the legal basis therefor.

Section 15. (1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be decided or resolved within twenty-four months from date of submission for the Supreme Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all other lower courts.

(2) A case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the court itself.

(3) Upon the expiration of the corresponding period, a certification to this effect signed by the Chief Justice or the presiding judge shall forthwith be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case or matter, and served upon the parties. The certification shall state why a decision or resolution has not been rendered or issued within said period.

(4) Despite the expiration of the applicable mandatory period, the court, without prejudice to such responsibility as may have been incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide or resolve the case or matter submitted thereto for determination, without further delay.

Section 16. The Supreme Court shall, within thirty days from the opening of each regular session of the Congress, submit to the President and the Congress an annual report on the operations and activities of the Judiciary.

Article No. XII 1987 Constitution

THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
OF THE
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

ARTICLE XII
NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY

Section 1. The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the under-privileged.

The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. However, the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices.

In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. Private enterprises, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall be encouraged to broaden the base of their ownership.

Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per cent-um of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.

The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fish- workers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.

The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.

The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.

Section 3. Lands of the public domain are classified into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands and national parks. Agricultural lands of the public domain may be further classified by law according to the uses to which they may be devoted. Alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands. Private corporations or associations may not hold such alienable lands of the public domain except by lease, for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and not to exceed one thousand hectares in area. Citizens of the Philippines may lease not more than five hundred hectares, or acquire not more than twelve hectares thereof, by purchase, homestead, or grant.

Taking into account the requirements of conservation, ecology, and development, and subject to the requirements of agrarian reform, the Congress shall determine, by law, the size of lands of the public domain which may be acquired, developed, held, or leased and the conditions therefor.

Section 4. The Congress shall, as soon as possible, determine, by law, the specific limits of forest lands and national parks, marking clearly their boundaries on the ground. Thereafter, such forest lands and national parks shall be conserved and may not be increased nor diminished, except by law. The Congress shall provide for such period as it may determine, measures to prohibit logging in endangered forests and watershed areas.

Section 5. The State, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national development policies and programs, shall protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being.

The Congress may provide for the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain.

Section 6. The use of property bears a social function, and all economic agents shall contribute to the common good. Individuals and private groups, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall have the right to own, establish, and operate economic enterprises, subject to the duty of the State to promote distributive justice and to intervene when the common good so demands.

Section 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain.

Section 8. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Article, a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of private lands, subject to limitations provided by law.

Section 9. The Congress may establish an independent economic and planning agency headed by the President, which shall, after consultations with the appropriate public agencies, various private sectors, and local government units, recommend to Congress, and implement continuing integrated and coordinated programs and policies for national development.

Until the Congress provides otherwise, the National Economic and Development Authority shall function as the independent planning agency of the government.

Section 10. The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency, when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per cent-um of whose capital is owned by such citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos.

In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.

The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities.

Section 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines, at least sixty per cent-um of whose capital is owned by such citizens; nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.

Section 12. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them competitive.

Section 13. The State shall pursue a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity.

Section 14. The sustained development of a reservoir of national talents consisting of Filipino scientists, entrepreneurs, professionals, managers, high-level technical manpower and skilled workers and craftsmen in all fields shall be promoted by the State. The State shall encourage appropriate technology and regulate its transfer for the national benefit.

The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases prescribed by law.

Section 15. The Congress shall create an agency to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments for social justice and economic development.

Section 16. The Congress shall not, except by general law, provide for the formation, organization, or regulation of private corporations. Government-owned or controlled corporations may be created or established by special charters in the interest of the common good and subject to the test of economic viability.

Section 17. In times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the State may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest.

Section 18. The State may, in the interest of national welfare or defense, establish and operate vital industries and, upon payment of just compensation, transfer to public ownership utilities and other private enterprises to be operated by the Government.

Section 19. The State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when the public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition shall be allowed.

Section 20. The Congress shall establish an independent central monetary authority, the members of whose governing board must be natural-born Filipino citizens, of known probity, integrity, and patriotism, the majority of whom shall come from the private sector. They shall also be subject to such other qualifications and disabilities as may be prescribed by law. The authority shall provide policy direction in the areas of money, banking, and credit. It shall have supervision over the operations of banks and exercise such regulatory powers as may be provided by law over the operations of finance companies and other institutions performing similar functions.

Until the Congress otherwise provides, the Central Bank of the Philippines operating under existing laws, shall function as the central monetary authority.

Section 21. Foreign loans may only be incurred in accordance with law and the regulation of the monetary authority. Information on foreign loans obtained or guaranteed by the Government shall be made available to the public.
Section 22. Acts which circumvent or negate any of the provisions of this Article shall be considered inimical to the national interest and subject to criminal and civil sanctions, as may be provided by law.

Article No. XVI

THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
OF THE
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

ARTICLE XVI
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. The flag of the Philippines shall be red, white, and blue, with a sun and three stars, as consecrated and honored by the people and recognized by law.

Section 2. The Congress may, by law, adopt a new name for the country, a national anthem, or a national seal, which shall all be truly reflective and symbolic of the ideals, history, and traditions of the people. Such law shall take effect only upon its ratification by the people in a national referendum.

Section 3. The State may not be sued without its consent.

Section 4. The Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be composed of a citizen armed force which shall undergo military training and serve as may be provided by law. It shall keep a regular force necessary for the security of the State.

Section 5. (1) All members of the armed forces shall take an oath or affirmation to uphold and defend this Constitution.

(2) The State shall strengthen the patriotic spirit and nationalist consciousness of the military, and respect for people’s rights in the performance of their duty.

(3) Professionalism in the armed forces and adequate remuneration and benefits of its members shall be a prime concern of the State. The armed forces shall be insulated from partisan politics.

No member of the military shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any partisan political activity, except to vote.

(4) No member of the armed forces in the active service shall, at any time, be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations or any of their subsidiaries.

(5) Laws on retirement of military officers shall not allow extension of their service.cralaw

(6) The officers and men of the regular force of the armed forces shall be recruited proportionately from all provinces and cities as far as practicable.

(7) The tour of duty of the Chief of Staff of the armed forces shall not exceed three years. However, in times of war or other national emergency declared by the Congress, the President may extend such tour of duty.

Section 6. The State shall establish and maintain one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in character, to be administered and controlled by a national police commission. The authority of local executives over the police units in their jurisdiction shall be provided by law.

Section 7. The State shall provide immediate and adequate care, benefits, and other forms of assistance to war veterans and veterans of military campaigns, their surviving spouses and orphans. Funds shall be provided therefor and due consideration shall be given them in the disposition of agricultural lands of the public domain and, in appropriate cases, in the utilization of natural resources.

Section 8. The State shall, from time to time, review to increase the pensions and other benefits due to retirees of both the government and the private sectors.

Section 9. The State shall protect consumers from trade malpractices and from substandard or hazardous products.

Section 10. The State shall provide the policy environment for the full development of Filipino capability and the emergence of communication structures suitable to the needs and aspirations of the nation and the balanced flow of information into, out of, and across the country, in accordance with a policy that respects the freedom of speech and of the press.

Section 11. (1) The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens.

The Congress shall regulate or prohibit monopolies in commercial mass media when the public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition therein shall be allowed.

(2) The advertising industry is impressed with public interest, and shall be regulated by law for the protection of consumers and the promotion of the general welfare.

Only Filipino citizens or corporations or associations at least seventy per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens shall be allowed to engage in the advertising industry.

The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of entities in such industry shall be limited to their proportionate share in the capital thereof, and all the executive and managing officers of such entities must be citizens of the Philippines.

Section 12. The Congress may create a consultative body to advise the President on policies affecting indigenous cultural communities, the majority of the members of which shall come from such communities.

Article No. XIV

THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
OF THE
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

ARTICLE XIV
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, ARTS,
CULTURE AND SPORTS
EDUCATION

Section 1. The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.

Section 2. The State shall:

(1) Establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society;

(2) Establish and maintain, a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural rights of parents to rear their children, elementary education is compulsory for all children of school age;

(3) Establish and maintain a system of scholarship grants, student loan programs, subsidies, and other incentives which shall be available to deserving students in both public and private schools, especially to the under-privileged;

(4) Encourage non-formal, informal, and indigenous learning systems, as well as self-learning, independent, and out-of-school study programs particularly those that respond to community needs; and

(5) Provide adult citizens, the disabled, and out-of-school youth with training in civics, vocational efficiency, and other skills.

Section 3. (1) All educational institutions shall include the study of the Constitution as part of the curricula.

(2) They shall inculcate patriotism and nationalism, foster love of humanity, respect for human rights, appreciation of the role of national heroes in the historical development of the country, teach the rights and duties of citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual values, develop moral character and personal discipline, encourage critical and creative thinking, broaden scientific and technological knowledge, and promote vocational efficiency.

(3) At the option expressed in writing by the parents or guardians, religion shall be allowed to be taught to their children or wards in public elementary and high schools within the regular class hours by instructors designated or approved by the religious authorities of the religion to which the children or wards belong, without additional cost to the Government.

Section 4. (1) The State recognizes the complementary roles of public and private institutions in the educational system and shall exercise reasonable supervision and regulation of all educational institutions.

(2) Educational institutions, other than those established by religious groups and mission boards, shall be owned solely by citizens of the Philippines or corporations or associations at least sixty per cent-um of the capital of which is owned by such citizens. The Congress may, however, require increased Filipino equity participation in all educational institutions.

The control and administration of educational institutions shall be vested in citizens of the Philippines.

No educational institution shall be established exclusively for aliens and no group of aliens shall comprise more than one-third of the enrollment in any school. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to schools established for foreign diplomatic personnel and their dependents and, unless otherwise provided by law, for other foreign temporary residents.

(3) All revenues and assets of non-stock, non-profit educational institutions used actually, directly, and exclusively for educational purposes shall be exempt from taxes and duties. Upon the dissolution or cessation of the corporate existence of such institutions, their assets shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law.

Proprietary educational institutions, including those cooperatively owned, may likewise be entitled to such exemptions, subject to the limitations provided by law, including restrictions on dividends and provisions for reinvestment.

(4) Subject to conditions prescribed by law, all grants, endowments, donations, or contributions used actually, directly, and exclusively for educational purposes shall be exempt from tax.

Section 5. (1) the State shall take into account regional and sectoral needs and conditions and shall encourage local planning in the development of educational policies and programs.

(2) Academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning.

(3) Every citizen has a right to select a profession or course of study, subject to fair, reasonable, and equitable admission and academic requirements.

(4) The State shall enhance the right of teachers to professional advancement. Non-teaching academic and non-academic personnel shall enjoy the protection of the State.

(5) The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Commonwealth Act No. 141

COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 141

COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 141* – AN ACT TO AMEND AND COMPILE THE LAWS RELATIVE TO LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN

TITLE I
TITLE AND APPLICATION OF THE ACT, LANDS TO WHICH IT REFERS, AND CLASSIFICATION, DELIMITATION, AND SURVEY — THEREOF FOR CONCESSION

CHAPTER I
SHORT TITLE OF THE ACT, LANDS TO WHICH IT APPLIES, AND OFFICERS CHARGED WITH ITS EXECUTION

Section 1. The short title of this Act shall be “The Public Land Act.

Section2. The provisions of this Act shall apply to the lands of the public domain; but timber and mineral lands shall be governed by special laws and nothing in this Act provided shall be understood or construed to change or modify the administration and disposition of the lands commonly called “friar lands” and those which, being privately owned, have reverted to or become the property of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, which administration and disposition shall be governed by the laws at present in force or which may hereafter be enacted.

Section3. The Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall be the executive officer charged with carrying out the provisions of this Act through the Director of Lands, who shall act under his immediate control.

Section4. Subject to said control, the Director of Lands shall have direct executive control of the survey, classification, lease, sale or any other form of concession or disposition and management of the lands of the public domain, and his decisions as to questions of fact shall be conclusive when approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce.

Section5. The Director of Lands, with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall prepare and issue such forms, instructions, rules, and regulations consistent with this Act, as may be necessary and proper to carry into effect the provisions thereof and for the conduct of proceedings arising under such provisions.

CHAPTER II
CLASSIFICATION, DELIMITATION, AND SURVEY OF LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, FOR THE CONCESSION THEREOF

Section6. The President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, shall from time to time classify the lands of the public domain into —

(a) Alienable or disposable;

(b) Timber, and

(c) Mineral lands,

and may at any time and in a like manner transfer such lands from one class to another, for the purposes of their administration and disposition.

Section7. For the purposes of the administration and disposition of alienable or disposable public lands, the President, upon recommendation by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, shall from time to time declare what lands are open to disposition or concession under this Act.

Section8. Only those lands shall be declared open to disposition or concession which have been officially delimited and classified and, when practicable, surveyed, and which have not been reserved for public or quasi-public uses, nor appropriated by the Government, nor in any manner become private property, nor those on which a private right authorized and recognized by this Act or any other valid law may be claimed, or which, having been reserved or appropriated, have ceased to be so However, the President may, for reasons of public interest, declare lands of the public domain open to disposition before the same have had their boundaries established or been surveyed, or may, for the same reason, suspend their concession or disposition until they are again declared open to concession or disposition by proclamation duly published or by Act of the National Assembly.

Section9. For the purpose of their administration and disposition, the lands of the public domain alienable or open to disposition shall be classified, according to the use or purposes to which such lands are destined, as follows:

(a) Agricultural

(b) Residential commercial industrial or for similar productive purposes

(c) Educational, charitable, or other similar purposes

(d) Reservations for town sites and for public and quasi-public uses.

The President, upon recommendation by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, shall from time to time make the classifications provided for in this section, and may, at any time and in a similar manner, transfer lands from one class to another.

Section10. The words “alienation, “‘disposition, or “concession” as used in this Act, shall mean any of the methods authorized by this Act for the acquisition, lease, use, or benefit of the lands of the public domain other than timber or mineral lands.

TITLE II
AGRICULTURAL PUBLIC LANDS

CHAPTER III
FORMS OF CONCESSION OF AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Section11.  Public lands suitable for agricultural purposes can be disposed of only as follows, and not otherwise:

(1) For homestead settlement
(2) By sale
(3) By lease
(4) By confirmation of imperfect or incomplete titles:

(a) By judicial legalization

(b) By administrative legalization (free patent).

Section12. Any citizen of the Philippines over the age of eighteen years, or the head of a family, who does not own more than twenty-four hectares of land in the Philippines or has not had the benefit of any gratuitous allotment of more than twenty-four hectares of land since the occupation of the Philippines by the United States, may enter a homestead of not exceeding twenty-four hectares of agricultural land of the public domain.

Section13. Upon the filing of an application for a homestead, the Director of Lands, if he finds that the application should be approved, shall do so and authorize the applicant to take possession of the land upon the payment of five pesos, Philippine currency, as entry fee. Within six months from and after the date of the approval of the application, the applicant shall begin to work the homestead, otherwise he shall lose his prior right to the land.

Section14. No certificate shall be given or patent issued for the land applied for until at least one-fifth of the land has been improved and cultivated. The period within which the land shall be cultivated shall not be less than one or more than five years, from and after the date of the approval of the application. The applicant shall, within the said period, notify the Director of Lands as soon as he is ready to acquire the title. If at the date of such notice, the applicant shall prove to the satisfaction of the Director of Lands, that he has resided continuously for at least one year in the municipality in which the land is located, or in a municipality adjacent to the same, and has cultivated at least one-fifth of the land continuously since the approval of the application, and shall make affidavit that no part of said land has been alienated or encumbered, and that he has complied with all the requirements of this Act, then, upon the payment of five pesos, as final fee, he shall be entitled to a patent.

Section15. At the option of the applicant, payment of the fees required in this chapter may be made to the municipal treasurer of the locality, who, in turn, shall forward them to the provincial treasurer. In case of delinquency of the applicant, the Director of Lands may, sixty days after such delinquency has occurred, either cancel the application or grant an extension of time not to exceed one hundred and twenty days for the payment of the sum due.

Section16. If at any time before the expiration of the period allowed by law for the making of final proof, it shall be proven to the satisfaction of the Director of Lands, after due notice to the homesteader, that the land entered is under the law not subject to home-stead entry, or that the homesteader has actually changed his residence, or voluntarily abandoned the land for more than six months at any one time during the years of residence and occupation herein required, or has otherwise failed to comply with the requirements of this Act, the Director of Lands may cancel the entry.

Section17. Before final proof shall be submitted by any person claiming to have complied with the provisions of this chapter, due notice, as prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall be given to the public of his intention to make such proof, stating therein the name and address of the homesteader, the description of the land, with its boundaries and area, the names of the witness by whom it is expected that the necessary facts will be established, and the time and place at which, and the name of the officer before whom, such proof will be made.

Section18. In case the homesteader shall suffer from mental alienation, or shall for any other reason be incapacitated from exercising his rights personally, the person legally representing him may offer and submit the final proof on behalf of such incapacitated person.

Section19. Not more than one homestead entry shall be allowed to any one person, and no person to whom a homestead patent has been issued by virtue of the provisions of this Act regardless of the area of his original homestead, may again acquire a homestead; Provided, however, That any previous homesteader who has been issued a patent for less than twenty-four hectares and otherwise qualified to make a homestead entry, may be allowed another homestead which, together with his previous homestead shall not exceed an area of twenty-four hectares.

Section20. If at any time after the approval of the application and before the patent is issued, the applicant shall prove to the satisfaction of the Director of Lands that he has complied with all the requirements of the law, but cannot continue with his homestead, through no fault of his own, and there is a bona fide purchaser for the rights and improvements of the applicant on the land, and that the conveyance is not made for purposes of speculation, then the applicant, with the previous approval of the Director of Lands may transfer his rights to the land and improvements to any person legally qualified to apply for a homestead, and immediately after such transfer, the purchaser shall file a homestead application for the land so acquired and shall succeed the original homesteader in his rights and obligations beginning with the date of the approval of said application of the purchaser. Any person who has so transferred his rights may not again apply for a new homestead. Every transfer made without the previous approval of the Director of Lands shall be null and void and shall result in the cancellation of the entry and the refusal of the patent.

Section21. Any non-Christian Filipino who has not applied for a home-stead, desiring to live upon or occupy land on any of the reservations set aside for the so-called “non-Christian tribes” may request a permit of occupation for any tract of land of the public domain reserved for said non-Christian tribes under this Act, the area of which shall not exceed four hectares. It shall be an essential condition that the applicant for the permit cultivate and improve the land, and if such cultivation has not been begun within six months from and after the date on which the permit was received, the permit shall be cancelled. The permit shall be for a term of one year. If at the expiration of this term or at any time prior thereto, the holder of the permit shall apply for a homestead under the provisions of this chapter, including the portion for which a permit was granted to him, he shall have the priority, otherwise the land shall be again open to disposition at the expiration of the permit.

For each permit the sum of one peso shall be paid.

CHAPTER IV
SALE

Section22. Any citizen of lawful age of the Philippines, and any such citizen not of lawful age who is a head of a family, and any corporation or association of which at least sixty per centum of the capital stock or of any interest in said capital stock belongs wholly to citizens of the Philippines, and which is organized and constituted under the laws of Philippines, and corporate bodies organized in the Philippines authorized under their charters to do so; may purchase any tract of public agricultural land disposable under this Act, not to exceed one hundred and forty-four hectares in the case of an individual and one thousand and twenty-four hectares in that of a corporation or association, by proceeding as prescribed in this chapter: Provided, That partnerships shall be entitled to purchase not to exceed one hundred and forty-four hectares for each member thereof. But the total area so purchased shall in no case exceed the one thousand and twenty-four hectares authorized in this section for associations and corporations.

Section23. No person, corporation, association, or partnership other than those mentioned in the last preceding section may acquire or own agricultural public land or land of any other denomination or classification, which is at the time or was originally, really or presumptively, of the public domain, or any permanent improvement thereon, or any real right on such land and improvement: Provided, however, That persons, corporations, associations or partnerships which, at the date upon which the Philippine Constitution took effect, held agricultural public lands or land of any other denomination, that belonged originally, really or presumptively, to the public domain, or permanent improvements on such lands, or a real right upon such lands and Constitution took improvements, having acquired the same under the laws and regulations in force at the date of such acquisition, shall be authorized to continue holding the same as if such persons, corporations, associations, or partnerships were qualified under the last preceding section; but they shall not encumber, convey, or alienate the same to persons, corporations, associations, or partnerships not included in section twenty-two of this Act, except by reason of hereditary succession, duly legalized and acknowledged by competent courts.

Section24. Lands sold under the provisions of this chapter must be appraised in accordance with section one hundred and sixteen of this Act. The Director of Lands shall announce the sale thereof by publishing the proper notice once a week for six consecutive weeks in the Official Gazette, and in two newspapers one published in Manila and the other published in the municipality or in the province where the lands are located, or in a neighboring province, and the same notice shall be posted on the bulletin board of the Bureau Of Lands in Manila, and in the most conspicuous place in the provincial building and the municipal building of the province and municipality, respectively, where the land is located, and, if practicable, on the land itself; but if the value of the land does not exceed two hundred and forty pesos, the publication in the Official Gazette and newspapers may be omitted. The notices shall be published one in English and the other in Spanish or in the local dialect, and shall fix a date not earlier than sixty days after the date of the notice upon which the land will be awarded to the highest bidder, or public bids will be called for, or other action will be taken as provided in this chapter.

Section25. Public agricultural lands which are not located within ten (10) kilometers from the boundaries of the city proper in chartered cities or within five (5) kilometers from the municipal hall or town occupants plaza of any municipality may be sold to actual occupants who do not own any parcel of land or whose total land holdings do not exceed five hectares and who comply with the minimum requirements of Commonwealth Act numbered one hundred forty-one, as amended, and who have resided on the land applied for at least two years prior to the date of the application.

All bids must be sealed and addressed to the Director of Lands and must have enclosed therewith cash or certified check, treasury warrant, or post-office money order payable to the order of the Director of Lands for ten per centum of the amount of the bid, which amount shall be retained in case the bid is accepted as part payment of the purchase price: Provided, That no bid shall be considered the amount of which is less than the appraised value of the land.

In addition to existing publication requirements in section twenty-four of Commonwealth Act Numbered one hundred forty-one, as amended, notices and of applications shall be posted for a period of not less than thirty days in at least three conspicuous places in the municipality where the parcel of land is located, one of which shall be at the municipal building, and other, in the barrio council building of the barrio where the land is located.

Section26. Upon the opening of the bids, the land shall be awarded to the highest bidder. If there are two or more equal bids which are higher than the others, and one of such equal bids is that of the applicant, his bid shall be accepted. If, however, the bid of the applicant is not one of such equal and higher bids, the Director of Lands shall at once submit the land for public bidding, and to the person making the highest bid on such public auction the land shall be awarded. In any case, the applicant shall always have the option of raising his bid to equal that of the highest bidder, and in this case the land shall be awarded to him. No bid received at such public auction shall be finally accepted until the bidder shall have deposited ten per centum of his bid, as required in Section twenty-five of this Act. In case none of the tracts of land that are offered for sale or the purchase of which has been applied for, has an area in excess of twenty-four hectares, the Director of Lands may delegate to the District Land Officer concerned the power of receiving bids, holding the auction, and proceeding in accordance with the provisions of this Act, but the District Land Officer shall submit his recommendation to the Director of Lands, for the final decision of the latter in the case.

The District Land Officer shall accept and process any application for the purchase of public lands not exceeding five hectares subject to the approval of the Director of Lands within sixty days after receipt of the recommendation of said District Land Officer.

Section27. The purchase price shall be paid as follows: The balance of the purchase price after deducting the amount paid at the time of submitting the bid, may be paid in full upon the making of the award, or in not more than ten equal annual installments from the date of the award.

Section28. The purchaser shall have not less than one-fifth of the land broken and cultivated within five years after the date of the award; and before any patent is issued, the purchaser must show of occupancy, cultivation, and improvement of at least one-fifth of the land applied for until the date on which final payment is made: Provided, however, That in case land purchased is to be devoted to pasture, it shall be sufficient compliance with this condition if the purchaser shall graze on the land as many heads of his cattle as will occupy at least one-half of the entire area at the rate of one head per hectare.

Section29. After title has been granted, the purchaser may not, within a period of ten years from such cultivation or grant, convey or encumber or dispose said lands or rights thereon to any person, corporation or association, without prejudice to any right or interest of the Government in the land: Provided, That any sale and encumbrance made in violation of the provisions of this section, shall be null and void and shall produce the effect of annulling the acquisition and reverting the property and all rights thereto to the State, and all payments on the purchase price theretofore made to the Government shall be forfeited.

Section30. If at any time after the date of the award and before the issuance of patent, it is proved to the satisfaction of the Director of Lands, after due notice to the purchaser, that the purchaser has voluntarily abandoned the land for more than one year at any one time, or has otherwise failed to comply with the requirements of the law, then the land shall revert to the State, and all prior payments made by the purchaser and all improvements existing on the land shall be forfeited.

Section31. No person, corporation, association, or partnership shall be permitted, after the approval of this Act, to acquire the title to or possess as owner any lands of the public domain if such lands, added to other lands belonging to such person, corporation, association, or partnership shall give a total area greater than area the acquisition of which by purchase is authorized under this Act. Any excess in area over this maximum and all right, title, interest, claim or action held by any person, corporation, association, or partnership resulting directly or indirectly in such excess shall revert to the State.

This section shall, however, not be construed to prohibit any person, corporation, association, or partnership authorized by this Act to require lands of the public domain from making loans upon real necessary for the recovery of such loans; but in this case, as soon as the excess above referred to occurs, such person, corporation, association, or partnership shall dispose of such lands within five years, for the purpose of removing the excess mentioned. Upon the land in excess of the limit there shall be paid, so long as the same is not disposed of, for the first year a surtax of fifty per centum additional to the ordinary tax to which such property shall be subject, and for each succeeding year fifty per centum shall be added to the last preceding annual tax rate, until the property shall have been disposed of.

The person, corporation, association, or partnership owning the land in excess of the limit established by this Act shall determine the portion of land to be segregated.

At the request of Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, the Solicitor-General or the officer acting in his stead shall institute the necessary proceedings in the proper court for the purpose of determining the excess portion to be segregated, as well as the disposal of such portion in the exclusive interest of the Government.

Section32. This chapter shall be held to authorize only one purchase of the maximum amount of land hereunder by the same person, corporation, association, or partnership; and no corporation, association, or partnership, any member of which shall have received the benefits of this chapter or of the next following chapter, either as an individual or as a member of any other corporation, association, or partnership, shall purchase any other lands of the public domain under this chapter. But any purchaser of public land, after having made the last payment upon and cultivated at least one-fifth of the land purchased, if the same shall be less than the maximum allowed by this Act, may purchase successively additional agricultural public land adjacent to or not distant from the land first purchased, until the total area of such purchases shall reach the maximum established in this chapter: Provided, That in making such additional purchase or purchases, the same conditions shall be complied with as prescribed by this Act for the first purchase.

CHAPTER V
LEASE

Section33. Any citizen of lawful age of the Philippines, and any corporation or association of which at least sixty per centum of the capital stock or of any interest in said capital stock belongs wholly to citizens of the Philippines, and which is organized and constituted under the laws of the Philippines, may lease any tract of agricultural public land available for lease under the provisions of this Act, not exceeding a total of one thousand and twenty-four hectares. If the land leased is adapted to and be devoted for grazing purposes, an area not exceeding two thousand hectares may be granted. No member, stockholder, of officer, representative, attorney, agent, employee or bondholder of any corporation or association holding or controlling agricultural public land shall apply, directly or indirectly, for agricultural public land except under the homestead and free patent provisions of this Act: Provided, That no lease shall be permitted to interfere with any prior claim by settlement or occupation, until the consent of the occupant or settler is first had, or until such claim shall be legally extinguished, and no person, corporation, or association shall be permitted to lease lands here-under which are not reasonably necessary to carry on his business in case of an individual, or the business for which it was lawfully created and which it may lawfully pursue in the Philippines, if an association or corporation.

Section34. A notice of the date and place of the auction of the right to lease the land shall be published and announced in the same manner as that prescribed for the publication and announcement of the notice of sale, in section twenty-four of this Act.
Section35. All bids must be sealed and addressed to the Director of Lands and must have enclosed therewith cash or a certified check, Treasury warrant, or post-office money order payable to the order of the Director of Lands, for a sum equivalent to the rental for at least, the first three months of the lease: Provided, That no bid shall be considered in which the proposed annual rental is less than three per centum of the value of the land according to the appraisal made in conformity with section one hundred and sixteen of this Act.

Section36.  The auction of the right to lease the land shall be conducted under the same procedure as that prescribed for the auction sale of agricultural lands as described in section twenty-six of this Act: Provided, That no bid shall be accepted until the bidder shall have deposited the rental for at least the first three months of the lease.

Section37. The annual rental of the land leased shall not be less than three per centum of the value of the land, according to the appraisal and reappraisal made in accordance with section one hundred sixteen of this Act; except for lands reclaimed by the Government, which shall not be less than four per centum of the appraised and reappraised value of the land: Provided, That one-fourth of the annual rental of these lands reclaimed prior to the approval of this Act shall accrue to the construction and improvement portion of the Portworks Funds:  And provided, further, That the annual rental of not less than four per centum of the appraised and reappraised value of the lands reclaimed using the Portworks Fund after the approval of this Act shall all accrue to the construction and improvement portion of the Portworks Fund. But if the land leased is adapted to and be devoted for granting purposes, the annual rental shall be not less than two per centum of-the appraised and reappraised value thereof- Every contract of lease under the provisions of this chapter shall contain a cause to the effect that are appraisal of the land leased shall be made every ten years from the date of the approval of the lease, if the term of the same shall be in excess of ten years. In case the lessee is not agreeable to the reappraisal and prefers to give up his contract of lease, he shall notify the Director of Lands of his desire within the six months next preceding the date on which the reappraisal takes effect, and in case his request is approved, the Director of Lands may, if the lessee should so desire, proceed in accordance with section one hundred of this Act.

Section38. Leases shall run for a period of not more than twenty-five years, but may be renewed once for another period of not to exceed twenty-five years, in case the lessee shall have made important improvements which, in the discretion of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce justify a renewal. Upon the final expiration of the lease, all buildings and other permanent improvements made by the lessee, his heirs, executors, administrators, successors, or assigns shall become the property of the Government, and the land together with the said improvements shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of chapter five of this Act.

Section39. It shall be an inherent and essential condition of the lease that the lessee shall have not less than one-third of the land broken and cultivated within five years after the date of the approval of the lease: Provided, however, That in case the land leased is to be devoted to pasture, it shall be sufficient compliance with this condition if the lessee shall graze on the land as many heads of cattle as will occupy at least one-half of the entire area at the rate of one head per hectare.

Section40. The lessee shall not assign, encumber, or sublet his rights without the consent of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, and the violation of this condition shall avoid the contract: Provided, That assignment, encumbrance, or subletting for purposes of speculation shall not be permitted in any case: Provided, further, That nothing contained in this section shall be understood or construed to permit the assignment, encumbrance, or subletting of lands leased under this Act, or under any previous Act, to persons, corporations, or associations which under this Act, are not authorized to lease public lands.

Section41. The lease of any lands under this chapter shall not confer the right to remove or dispose of any valuable timber except as provided in the regulations of the Bureau of Forestry for cutting timber upon such lands. Nor shall such lease confer the right to remove or dispose of stone, oil, coal, salts. or other minerals, or medicinal mineral waters existing upon the same. The lease as to the part of the land which shall be mineral may be canceled by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, after notice to the lessee, whenever the said part of the land is more valuable for agricultural purposes.

The commission of waste or violation of the forestry regulations by the lessee shall work a forfeiture of his last payment of rent and render him liable to immediate dispossession and suit for damage.

Section42. After having paid rent for at least the first two years of the lease, and having complied with the requirements prescribed in section thirty nine, the lessee of agricultural public land with an area than the maximum allowed by law, may lease successively additional agricultural public land adjacent to or near the land originally leased until the total- area of such leases shall reach the maximum established in this chapter: Provided, That in making such additional lease, the same conditions shall be complied with as prescribed by this Act for the first lease.

Section43. During the life of the lease, any lessee who shall have complied with all the conditions thereof and shall have the qualifications required by section twenty-two, shall have the option of purchasing the land leased subject to the restrictions of chapter five of this Act.

CHAPTER VI
FREE PATENTS

Section44. Any natural-born citizen of the Philippines who is not the owner of more than twenty-four hectares and who since July fourth, nineteen hundred and twenty-six or prior thereto, has continuously occupied and cultivated, either by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest, a tract or tracts of agricultural public lands subject to disposition, or who shall have paid the real estate tax thereon while same has not been occupied by any person shall be entitled, under the provisions of this chapter, to have a free patent issued to him for such tract or tracts of such land not to exceed twenty-four hectares.

A member of the national cultural minorities who has continuously occupied and cultivated, either by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest, a tract or tracts of land, whether disposable or not since July 4, 1955, shall be entitled to the right granted in the preceding paragraph of this section: Provided, That at the time he files his free patent application he is not the owner of any real property secured or disposable under this provision of the Public Land Law

Section45. The President of the Philippines (Prime Minister), upon recommendation of the Secretary of Natural Resources, shall from time to time fix by proclamation the period which applications for Proclamation free patents may be filed in the district, chartered city, of period province, municipality or region specified in such proclamation, and upon the expiration of the period so designated, unless the same be extended by the President (Prime Minister) all the land 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 December 31, 1987, except in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Sulu, Mt. Province, Benguet, Kalinga-Apayao, and Ifugao where the President of the Philippines, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Natural Resources, shall determine or fix the time beyond which the filing of applications under this Chapter shall not extend. The period fixed for any district, chartered city, province, or municipality shall begin to run thirty days after the publication of the proclamation in the Official Gazette and if available in one newspaper of general circulation in the city, province or municipality concerned. A certified copy of said proclamation shall be furnished by the Secretary of Natural Resources within 30 days counted from the date of the presidential proclamation to the Director of Lands and to the provincial board, the municipal board or city council and barangay council affected, and copies thereof shall be posted on the bulletin board of the Bureau of Lands at Manila and at conspicuous places in the provincial building and at the municipal building and barangay hall or meeting place. It shall moreover, be announced by government radio whenever available, in each of the barrios of the municipality.

Section46. If, after the filing of the application and the investigation, the Director of Lands shall be satisfied of the truth of the allegations contained the application and that the applicant comes within the provisions chapter, he shall cause a patent to issue to the applicant or his legal successor for the tract so occupied and cultivated, provided its area does not exceed twenty-four hectares: Provided, That no application shall be finally acted upon until notice thereof has been published in the municipality and barrio in which the land is located and adverse claimants have had an opportunity to present their claims.

CHAPTER VII
JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT OR INCOMPLETE TITLES

Section47. The persons specified in the next following section are hereby granted time, not to extend beyond December 31, 1987 within which to take advantage of the benefit of this chapter: Provided, That this extension shall apply only where the area applied for does not exceed 144 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.

Section48. The following-described citizens of the Philippines, occupying lands of the public domain or claiming to own any such lands or an interest therein, but whose titles have not been perfected or completed, may apply to the Court of First Instance of the province where the land is located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of title therefor, under the Land Registration Act , to wit:

(a) Those who prior to the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the prior United States have applied for the purchase, composition or other form of grant of lands of the public domain under the laws and royal decrees then in force and have instituted and prosecuted the proceedings in connection therewith, but have with or without default upon their part, or for any other cause, not received title therefor, if such applicants or grantees and their heirs have occupied and cultivated said lands continuously since the filing of their applications.

(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide claim of acquisition or ownership, for at least thirty years immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title except when prevented by war or force majeure. These shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter.

(c) Members of the national cultural minorities who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of lands of the public domain suitable to agriculture, whether disposable or not, under a bona fide claim of ownership for at least 30 years shall be entitled to the rights granted in sub-section (b) hereof.

Section49. No person claiming title to lands of the public domain not possession of the qualifications specified in the last preceding section may apply for the benefits of this chapter.

Section50. Any person or persons, or their legal representatives or successors in right, claiming any lands or interest in lands under the provisions of this chapter, must in every case present an application to the proper Court of First Instance, praying that the validity of the alleged title or claim be inquired into and that a certificate of title be issued to them under the provisions of the Land Registration Act.

The application shall conform as nearly as may be in its material allegations to the requirements of an application for registration under the Land Registration Act, and shall be accompanied by a plan of the land and all documents evidencing a right on the part of the applicant to the land claimed. The application shall also state the citizenship of the applicant and shall set forth fully the nature of the claim and when based upon proceeding initiated under Spanish laws, it shall specify as exactly as possible the date and form of application for purchase composition or other form of grant, the extent of the compliance with the conditions required by the Spanish laws and royal decrees for the acquisition of legal title, and if not fully complied with, the reason for such noncompliance, together with a statement of the length of time such land or any portion thereof has been actually occupied by the claimant or his predecessors in interest; the use made of the land, and the nature of the enclosure, if any. The fees provided to be paid for the registration of lands under the Land Registration Act shall be collected from applicants under this chapter.

Section51. Applications for registration under this chapter shall be heard in the Court of First Instance in the same manner and shall be subject to the same procedure as established in the Land Registration Act for other applications, except that a notice of all such applications, together with a plan of the lands claimed, shall be immediately forwarded to the Director of Lands, who may appear as a party in such cases: Provided, That prior to the publication for hearing, all of the papers in said case shall be transmitted papers by the clerk to the Solicitor General or officer acting in his stead, in order that he may, if he deems it advisable for the interests of the Government, investigate all of the facts alleged in the application or otherwise brought to his attention. The Solicitor-General shall return such papers to the clerk as soon as practicable within three months.

The final decree of the court shall in every case be the basis for the original certificate of title in favor of the person entitled to the property under the procedure prescribed in section forty-one of the Land Registration Act.

Section52.  In cadastral proceedings, instead of an application, an answer or claim may be filed with the same effect as in the procedure provided in the last preceding two sections.

Section53.  It shall be lawful for the Director of Lands, whenever in the opinion of the President the public interests shall require it, to cause to be filed in the proper Court of First Instance, through the Solicitor-General or the officer acting in his stead, a petition against the holder, claimant, possessor, or occupant of any land who shall not have voluntarily come in under the provisions of this chapter or of the Land Registration Act, stating in substance that the title of such holder, claimant, possessor, or occupant is open to discussion; or that the boundaries of any such land which has not been brought into court as aforesaid are open to question; or that it is advisable that the title to such lands be settled and adjudicated, and praying that the title to any such land or the boundaries thereof or the right to occupancy thereof be settled and adjudicated. The judicial proceedings under this section shall be in accordance with the laws on adjudication of title in cadastral proceedings.

Section54. If in the hearing of any application arising under this chapter the court shall find that more than one person or claimant has an interest in the land, such conflicting interests shall be adjudicated by the court and decree awarded in favor of the person or persons entitled to the land according to the laws, but if none of said person is entitled to the land, or if the person who might be entitled to the same lacks the qualifications required by this Act for acquiring agricultural land of the public domain, the decision shall be in favor of the Government.

Section55.  Whenever, in any proceedings under this chapter to secure registration of an incomplete or imperfect claim of title initiated prior to the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the United States, it shall appear that had such claims been prosecuted to completion under the laws prevailing when instituted, and under the conditions of the grant then contemplated, the conveyance of such land to the applicant would not have been gratuitous, but would have involved payment therefor to the Government, then and in that event the court shall, after decreeing in whom title should vest, further determine the amount to be paid as a condition for the registration of the land. Such judgment shall be certified to the Director of Lands by the clerk of the court for collection of the amount due from the person entitled to conveyance.

Upon payment to the Director of Lands of the price specified in the judgment, he shall so certify to the proper Court of First Instance and said court shall forthwith order the registration of the land in favor of the competent person entitled thereto. If said person shall fail to pay the amount of money required by the decree within a reasonable time fixed in the same, the court shall order the proceeding to stand dismissed and the title to the land shall then be in the State free from any claim of the applicant.

Section56.  Whenever any judgment of confirmation or other decree of the court under this chapter shall become final, the clerk of the court concerned shall certify that fact to the Director of Lands, with a certified copy of the decree of confirmation or judgment of the court and the plan and technical description of the land involved in the decree or judgment of the court.

Section57. No title or right to, or equity in, any lands of the public domain may hereafter be acquired by prescription or by adverse possession or occupancy, or under or by virtue of any law in effect prior to American occupation, except as expressly provided by laws enacted after said occupation of the Philippines by the United States.

TITLE III
LANDS FOR RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PURPOSES AND OTHER SIMILAR PURPOSES

CHAPTER VIII
CLASSIFICATION AND CONCESSION OF PUBLIC LANDS SUITABLE FOR RESIDENCE, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

Section58.  Any tract of land of the public domain which, being neither timber nor mineral land, is intended to be used for residential purposes or for commercial, industrial, or other productive purposes other than agricultural, and is open to disposition or concession, shall be disposed of under the provisions of this chapter and not otherwise.

Section59. The lands disposable under this title shall be classified as follows:

(a) Lands reclaimed by the Government by dredging, filing, or other means;

(b) Foreshore;

(c) Marshy lands or lands covered with water bordering upon the shores or banks of navigable lakes or rivers;

(d) Lands not included in any of the foregoing classes.

Section60. Any tract of land comprised under this title may be leased or sold, as the case may be, to any person, corporation, or association authorized to purchase or lease public lands for agricultural purposes. The area of the land so leased or sold shall be such as shall, in the judgment of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, be reasonably necessary for the purposes for which such sale or lease is requested, and shall in no case exceed one hundred and forty-four hectares: Provided, however, That this limitation shall not apply to grants, donations, transfers made to a province, municipality or branch or subdivision of the Government for the purposes deemed by said entities conducive to the public interest; but the land so granted donated, or transferred to a province, municipality, or branch or subdivision of the Government shall not be alienated, encumbered, or otherwise disposed of in a manner affecting its title, except when authorized by Congress: Provided, further, That any person, corporation, association or partnership disqualified from purchasing public land for agricultural purposes under the provisions of this Act, may lease land included under this title suitable for industrial or residential purposes, but the lease granted shall only-be valid while such land is used for the purposes referred to.

Section61.  The lands comprised in classes (a), (b), and (c) of section fifty-nine shall be disposed of to private parties by lease only and not otherwise, as soon as the President, upon recommendation by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall declare that the same are not necessary for the public service and are open to disposition under this chapter. The lands included in class (d) may be disposed of by sale or lease under the provisions of this Act.

Section62. The lands reclaimed by the Government by dredging, filling or otherwise shall be surveyed and may, with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, be divided by the Director of Lands into lots and blocks, with the necessary streets and alley-ways between them, and said Director shall give notice to the public by publication in the Official Gazette or by other means, that the lots or blocks not needed for public purposes shall be leased for commercial or industrial or other similar purposes.

Section63.  Whenever it is decided that lands covered by this chapter are not needed for public purposes, the Director of Lands shall ask the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce for authority to dispose of the same. Upon receipt of such authority, the Director of Lands shall give notice by public advertisement in the same manner as in the case of leases or sales of agricultural public land, that the Government will lease or sell, as the case may be, the lots or blocks specified in the advertisement, for the purpose stated in the notice and subject to the conditions specified in this chapter.

Section64. The leases executed under this chapter by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall, among other conditions, contain the following:

(a) The rental shall not be less than three per centum of the appraised or reappraised value of the land plus one per centum of the appraised or reappraised value of the improvements, except for lands reclaimed by the Government which shall not be less than four per centum of the appraised or reappraised value of the land plus two per centum of the appraised or reappraised value of the improvements thereon: Provided, That twenty-five per centum of the total annual rental on all lands reclaimed prior to the approval of this Act and one per centum of the appraised or reappraised value of improvements shall accrue to the construction and improvement portion of the Portworks Fund: And provided, further, That the annual rental on lands reclaimed using the Portworks Fund together with the fee due on account of the improvement thereon after the effectivity of this Act shall all accrue to the construction and improvement portion of the Portworks Fund.

(b) The land rented and the improvements thereon shall be reappraised every ten years if the term of the lease is in excess of that period.

(c) The term of the lease shall be as prescribed by section thirty-eight of this Act.

(d) The lessee shall construct permanent improvements appropriate for the purpose for which the lease is granted, shall commence the construction thereof within six months from the date of the award of the right to lease the land, and shall complete the said construction within eighteen months from said date.

(e) At the expiration of the lease or of any extension of the same, all improvements made by the lessee, his heirs, executors, administrators, successors, or assigns shall become the property of the Government.

(f) The regulation of all rates and fees charged to the public; and the annual submission to the Government for approval of all tariffs of such rates and fees.

(g) The continuance of the easements of the coast police and other easements reserved by existing law or by any laws hereafter enacted.

(h) Subjection to all easements and other rights acquired by the owners of lands bordering upon the foreshore or marshy land.

The violation of one or any of the conditions specified in the contract shall give rise to the rescission of said contract. The Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce may, however, subject to such conditions as he may prescribe, waive the rescission arising from a violation of the conditions of subsection (d), or extend the time within which the construction of the improvements shall be commenced and completed.

Section65.  The sale of the lands comprised in classes (c) and (d) of section fifty-nine shall, among others, comprise the following conditions:

(a) The purchaser shall make improvements of a permanent character appropriate for the purpose for which the land is purchased, shall commence work thereon within six months from the receipt of the order of award, and shall complete the construction of said improvements within eighteen months from the date of such award; otherwise the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources may rescind the contract.

(b) The purchase price shall be paid in cash or in equal annual installments, not to exceed ten.

The contract of sale may contain other conditions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.

Section66.  The kind of improvements to be made by the lessee or the purchaser, and the plans thereof, shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, in case they are constructions or improvements which if by the Government, would properly have to be executed under the supervision of the Bureau of Public Works.

Section67.  The lease or sale shall be made through oral bidding; and adjudication shall be made to the highest bidder. However, where an applicant has made improvements on the land by virtue of a permit issued to him by competent authority, the sale or lease shall be made by sealed bidding as prescribed in section twenty-six of this Act, the provisions of which shall be applied wherever applicable. If all or part of the lots remain unleased or unsold, the Director of Lands shall from time to time announce in the Official Gazette or in any other newspapers of general circulation, the lease or sale of those lots, if necessary

Section68.  The Secretary of Agricultural and Commerce may grant to qualified persons temporary permission, upon payment of a reasonable charge, for the use of any portion of the lands covered by this chapter for any lawful private purpose, subject to revocation at any time when, in his judgment, the public interest shall require it.

TITLE IV
LANDS FOR EDUCATIONAL, CHARITABLE, AND OTHER SIMILAR PURPOSES

CHAPTER IX
CONCESSION OF LANDS FOR EDUCATIONAL, CHARITABLE, AND OTHER SIMILAR PURPOSES

Section69. Whenever any province, municipality, or other branch or subdivision of the Government shall need any portion of the land of the public domain open to concession for educational, charitable or other similar purposes, the President, upon recommendation by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, may execute contracts in favor of the same. in the form of donation, sale, lease, exchange, or any other form, under terms and conditions to be inserted in the contract; but land so granted shall in no case be encumbered or alienated, except when the public service requires their being leased or exchanged, with the approval of the President, for other lands belonging to private parties, or if the National Assembly disposes otherwise.

Section70. Any tract of public land of the class covered by this title may be sold or leased for the purpose of founding a cemetery, church, college, school, university, or other institutions for educational, charitable or philanthropically purposes or scientific research, the area to be such as may actually and reasonably be necessary to carry out such purpose, but not to exceed ninety-six hectares in any case. The sale or lease shall be made subject to the same conditions as required for the sale and lease of agricultural public land, but the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce may waive the conditions requiring cultivation. The Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, if conveyance he sees fit, may order the sale to be made without public auction, at a price to be fixed by said Secretary, or the lease to be granted without auction, at a rental to be fixed by him. In either case it shall be a condition that the purchaser or lessee or their successors or assigns shall not sell transfer, encumber or lease the land for the purposes of speculation or use it for any purpose other than that contemplated in the application, and that the violation of this condition shall give rise to the immediate rescission of the sale or lease, as the case may be, and to the forfeiture to the Government of all existing improvements: Provided, That it shall in no case be sublet, encumbered or resold under the conditions above set forth except with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce.

TITLE V
RESERVATIONS

CHAPTER X
TOWN SITE RESERVATIONS

Section71. Whenever it shall be considered to be in the public interest to found a new town. The Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall direct the Director of Lands to have a survey made by his Bureau of the exterior boundaries of the site on which such town is to be established, and upon the completion of the survey he shall send the same to said Secretary, with his recommendations.

Section72. The Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, if he approves the recommendations of the Director of Lands, shall submit the matter to the President to the end that the latter may issue a proclamation reserving the land surveyed, or such part thereof as he may deem proper, as a town site, and a certified copy of such proclamation shall be sent to the Director of Lands and another to the register of deeds of the province in which the surveyed land lies.

Section73.  It shall then be the duty of the Director of Lands, after having recorded the proclamation of the President and the survey accompanying the same, and having completed the legal proceedings prescribed in chapter thirteen of this Act, to direct a subdivision in accordance with the instructions of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, if there shall be such instructions, and if there shall not be any, then in the manner which may to the Director of Lands seem best adapted to the convenience and interest of the public and the residents of the future town.

Section74. The plat of the subdivision shall designate certain lots for commercial and industrial uses and the remainder as residence lots, and shall also reserve and note the lots owned by private individuals as evidenced by record titles, or possessed or claimed by them as private property. Such lots, whether public or private, shall be numbered upon a general plan or system.

The plat prepared by the Director of Lands shall be submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce for consideration, modification, amendment, or approval.

Section75. Unless the necessary reservations are made in the proclamation of the President, the Director of Lands, with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, shall reserve out of the land by him to be subdivided lots of sufficient size and convenient situation for public use, as well as the necessary avenues, streets, alleyways, parks, and squares. The avenues, streets, alleys, parks, plazas, and lots shall be laid out on the plat as though the lands owned or claimed by private persons were part of the public domain and part of the reservation, with a view to the possible subsequent purchase or condemnation thereof, if deemed necessary by the proper authorities.

Section76. At any time after the subdivision has been made, the President may, in case the public interest requires it, reserve for public purposes any lot or lots of the land so reserved and not disposed of.

Section77. If, in order to carry out the provisions of this chapter, it shall be necessary to condemn private lands within the limits of the new town, the President shall direct the Solicitor-General or officer acting in his stead to at once begin proceedings for condemnation, in accordance with the provisions of existing law.

Section78. When the plat of subdivision has been finally approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, the Director of Lands shall record the same in the records of his office and shall forward a certified copy of such record to the register of deeds of the province in which the land lies, to be by such register recorded in the records of his office

Section79. All lots, except those claimed by or belonging to private parties and those reserved for parks, buildings, and other public uses, shall be sold, after due notice, at public auction to the highest bidder, after the approval and recording of the plat of subdivision as above provided, but no bid shall be accepted that does not equal at least two-thirds of the appraised value, nor shall bids be accepted from persons, corporations, associations, or partnerships not authorized to purchase public lands for commercial, residential or industrial purposes under the provisions of this Act. The provisions of sections twenty-six and sixty-five of this Act shall be observed in so far as they are applicable. Lots for which satisfactory bids have not been received shall be again offered for sale, under the same conditions as the first time, and if they then remain unsold, the Director of Lands shall be authorized to sell them at private sale for not less than two-thirds of their appraised value.

Section80. All funds derived from the sale of lots shall be covered into the Philippine Treasury as part of the general funds.

Section81. Not more than two residence lots and two lots for commercial and industrial uses in any one town site shall be sold to any one person, corporation, or association without the specific approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce.

Section82. The Assembly shall have the power at any time to modify, alter, rescind, repeal, annul, and cancel, with or without conditions, limitation, exceptions, or reservations, all and any dispositions made by the executive branch of the Philippine Government by virtue of this chapter, and the exercise of this power shall be understood as reserved in all cases, as an inherent condition thereof.

CHAPTER XI
RESERVATIONS FOR PUBLIC AND SEMI-PUBLIC PURPOSES

Section83. Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, the President may designate by proclamation any tract or tracts of land of the public domain as reservations for the use of the Commonwealth of the Philippines or of any of its branches, or of the inhabitants thereof, in accordance with regulations prescribed for this purpose, or for quasi-public uses or purposes when the public interest requires it, including reservations for highways, rights of way for railroads, hydraulic power sites, irrigation systems, communal pastures or leguas comunales, public parks, public quarries, public fishponds, workingman’s village and other improvements for the public benefit.

Section84. Upon recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, the President, may by proclamation, designate any tract or tracts of the public domain for the exclusive use of the non-Christian Filipinos, including in the reservation, in so far as practicable, the lands used or possessed by them, and granting to each member not already the owner, by title or gratuitous patent, of four or more hectares of land, the use and benefit only of a tract of land not to exceed four hectares for each male member over eighteen years of age or the head of a family. As soon as the Secretary of the Interior shall certify that the majority of the non-Christian inhabitants of any given reservation have advanced sufficiently in civilization, then the President may order that the lands of the public domain within such reservation be granted under the general provisions of this Act to the said inhabitants, and the subdivision and distribution of said lands as above provided shall be taken into consideration in the final disposition of the same. But any non-Christian inhabitant may at any time apply for the general benefits of this Act provided the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce is satisfied that such inhabitant is qualified to take advantage of the provisions of the same: Provided, That all grants, deeds, patents and other instruments of conveyance of land or purporting to convey or transfer rights of property, privileges, or easements appertaining to or growing out of lands, granted by sultans, datus, or other chiefs of the so-called non-Christian tribes, without the authority of the Spanish Government while the Philippines were under the sovereignty of Spain, or without the consent of the United States Government or of the Philippine Government since the sovereignty over the Archipelago was transferred from Spain to the United States, and all deeds and other documents executed or issued or based upon the deeds, patents, and documents mentioned, are hereby declared to be illegal, void, and of no effect.

Section85. Upon recommendation by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, the President may, by proclamation designate any tract or tracts of land of the public domain for the establishment of agricultural colonies; and although the disposition of the lands to the colonists shall be made under the provisions of this Act, yet, while the Government shall have the supervision and management of said colonies, the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce  may make the necessary rules and regulations for the organization and internal administration of the same. The Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce may also, under conditions to be established by the Assembly, turn over a colony so reserved to any person or corporation, in order that such person or corporation may clear, break, and prepare for cultivation the lands of said colony and establish the necessary irrigation system and suitable roads and fences; but final disposition shall be made of the land in accordance with the provisions of this Act, subject, however, to such conditions as the National Assembly may establish for the reimbursement of the expense incurred in putting such lands in condition for cultivation: Provided, That the National Assembly may direct that such land so prepared for cultivation may be disposed of only by sale or lease.

CHAPTER XII
PROVISIONS COMMON TO RESERVATIONS

Section86. A certified copy of every proclamation of the President issued under the provisions of this title shall be forwarded to the Director of Lands for record in his office, and a copy of this record shall be forwarded to the register of deeds of the province or city where the land lies. Upon receipt of such certified copy, the Director of Lands shall order the immediate survey of the proposed reservation if the land has not yet been surveyed, and as soon as the plat has been completed, he shall proceed in accordance with the next following section.

Section87. If all the lands included in the proclamation of the President are not registered under the Land Registration Act, the Solicitor-General, if requested to do so by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, shall proceed in accordance with the provision of section fifty-three of this Act.

Section88. The tract or tracts of land reserved under the provisions of section eighty-three  shall be non-alienable and shall not be subject to occupation, entry, sale, lease, or other disposition until again declared alienable under the provisions of this Act or by proclamation of the President.

TITLE VI
GENERAL PROVISIONS

CHAPTER XIII
APPLICATIONS: PROCEDURE, CONCESSION OF LANDS, AND LEGAL RESTRICTIONS AND ENCUMBRANCES

Section89.  All applications filed under the provisions of this Act shall be addressed to the Director of Lands.

Section90.  Every application under the provisions of this Act shall be made under oath and shall set forth:

(a) The full name of applicant, his age, place of birth, citizenship, civil status, and post-office address. In case the applicant is a corporation, association or co-partnership, the application shall be accompanied with a certified copy of its articles of incorporation, association or co-partnership together with an affidavit of its President, manager, or other responsible officer, giving the names of the stockholders or members, their citizenship, and the number of shares subscribed by each.

(b) That the applicant has all the qualifications required by this Act in the case.

(c) That he has none of the disqualifications mentioned herein.

(d) That the application is made in good faith, for the actual purpose of using the land for the object specified in the application and for no other purpose, and that the land is suitable for the purpose to which it is to be devoted.

(e) That the application is made for the exclusive benefit of the application and not, either directly or indirectly, for the benefit of any other person or persons, corporation, association, or partnership.

(f) As accurate a description of the land as may be given, stating its nature the province, municipality, barrio, and sitio where it is located, and its limits and boundaries, specifying those having reference to accidents of the ground or permanent monuments, if any.

(g) Whether all or part of the land is occupied or cultivated or improved, and by whom, giving his post-office address, and whether the land has been occupied or cultivated or improved by the applicant or his ascendant, the name of the ascendant, the relationship with him, the date and place of the death of the ascendant, the date when the possession and cultivation began, and description of the improvements made, accompanying satisfactory evidence of the relationship of the applicant with the ascendant, and of the death of the latter and the descendants left by him, in case it is alleged that he occupied and cultivated the land first; or whether there are indications of its having been occupied, cultivated, or improved entirely or partially, and if so, in what such indications consist, whether he has made investigations as to when and by whom such improvements were made, and if so, how such investigations were made and what was the result thereof; or whether the land is not occupied, improved, or cultivated either entirely or partially, and there are no indications of it having ever been occupied, improved, or cultivated, and in this case, what is the condition of the land.

(h) That the land applied for is neither timber nor mineral land and does not contain guano or deposits of salts or coal.

(i) That the applicant agrees that a strip forty meters wide starting from the bank on each side of any river or stream that may be found on the land applied for, shall be demarcated and preserved as permanent timberland to be planted exclusively to trees of known economic value, and that he shall not make any clearing thereon or utilize the same for ordinary farming purposes even after patent shall have been issued to him or a contract of lease shall have been executed in his favor. 68

Section91. The statements made in the application shall be considered as essential conditions and parts of any concession, title, or permit issued on the basis of such application, and any false statements therein or omission of facts altering, changing, or modifying the consideration of the facts set forth in such statements, and any subsequent modification, alteration, or change of the material facts set forth in the application shall ipso facto produce the cancellation of the concession, title, or permit granted. It shall be the duty of the Director of Lands, from time to time and whenever he may deem it advisable, to make the necessary investigations for the purpose of ascertaining whether the material facts set out in the application are true, or whether they continue to exist and are maintained and preserved in good faith, and for the purposes of such investigation, the Director of Lands is hereby empowered to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum and, if necessary, to obtain compulsory process from the courts. In every investigation made in accordance with this section, the existence of bad faith, fraud, concealment, or fraudulent and illegal modification of essential facts shall be presumed if the grantee or possessor of the land shall refuse or fail to obey a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum lawfully issued by the Director of Lands or his authorized delegates or agents, or shall refuse or fail to give direct and specific answers to pertinent questions, and on the basis of such presumption, an order of cancellation may issue without further proceedings.

Section92. Although the maximum area of public land that may be acquired is fixed, yet the spirit of this Act is that the rule which must determine the real area to be granted is the beneficial use of the land. The concession or disposition shall be for less than the maximum area authorized if, at the time of the issuance of the patent or of the concession or disposition, it shall appear that the applicant is utilizing and is only able to utilize a smaller area, even though the application is for a greater area. For the purposes of this section, the Director of Lands is authorized to determine the area that may be granted to the applicant, and to deny or cancel or limit any application for concession, purchase, or lease if convinced of the lack of means of the applicant for using the land for the purpose for which he has requested it.

Section93. Lands applied for under this Act shall conform to the legal subdivisions and shall be contiguous if comprising more than one subdivision. If subdivisions have not been made on the date of the application, the lands shall be rectangular in form so far as practicable, but it shall be endeavored to make them conform to the legal subdivision as soon as the same has been made, provided the interests of the applicant or grantee are protected; and the subdivision assigned to the applicant or grantee shall, so far as practicable, include the land improved or cultivated. The regulations to be issued for the execution of the provisions of this section shall take into account the legal subdivision to be made by the Government and the inadvisability of granting the best land at a given place to only one person.

Section94.  In case the legal subdivisions have already been made at the time of the filing of the application, no charge shall be made for the survey; but if the legal subdivisions have not yet been made, the cost of the survey shall be charged to the Government, except in the following cases:

(a) In purchases under chapters five and ten of this Act, the cost of the survey shall be charged to the purchaser if the same is a corporation, association, or partnership; in other purchases the purchases, whoever it be, shall pay the total cost of the survey.

(b) In leases, the cost of the survey shall be paid by the lessee; but at any time after the first five years from the approval of the lease, and during Cost of the life of the same, the lessee shall be entitled to the reimbursement of one-half of the cost of the survey, if he shows to the satisfaction of the Director of Lands that he has occupied and improved a sufficient area of the land or incurred sufficient expenses in connection therewith to warrant such reimbursement.

Section95. If before the delimitation and survey of a tract of public land the President shall declare the same disposable or alienable and such land shall be actually occupied by a person other than the applicant, the Director of Lands shall inform the occupant of his prior right to apply for the land and shall give him one hundred and twenty days time in which to file the application or apply for the concession by any of the forms of disposition authorized by this Act, if such occupant is qualified to acquire a concession under this Act.

Section96. As soon as any land of the public domain has been surveyed, delimited, and classified, the President may, in the order issued by him declaring it open for disposition, designate a term within which occupants with improvements but not entitled to free patents may apply for the land occupied by them, if they have the qualifications required by this Act.

Section97. If in the case of the two last preceding sections, the occupant or occupants have not made application under any of the provisions of this Act at the expiration of the time limit fixed, they shall lose any prior right to the land recognized by this Act, and the improvements on the land, if any, shall be forfeited to the Government.

Section98. All rights in and interest to, and the improvements and crops upon, land for which an application has been denied or canceled or a patent or grant refused, or a contract or concession rescinded or annulled, shall also be forfeited to the Government.

Section99. The Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce may order such improvements and crops to be appraised separately, for sale to the new applicant or grantee, or may declare such land open only to sale or lease.

Section100. In case the cancellation is due to delinquency on the part of the applicant or grantee, the same shall be entitled to the reimbursement of the proceeds of the sale of the improvements and crops, after deducting the total amount of his indebtedness to the Government and the expense incurred by it in the sale of the improvements or crops and in the new concession of the land.

Section101. All actions for the reversion to the Government of lands of the public domain or improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor-General or the officer acting in his stead, in the proper courts, in the name of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

Section102. Any person, corporation, or association may file an objection under oath to any application or concession under this Act, grounded on any reason sufficient under this Act for the denial or cancellation of the application or the denial of the patent or grant. If, after the applicant or grantee has been given suitable opportunity to be duly heard, the objection is found to be well founded, the Director of Lands shall deny or cancel the application or deny patent or grant, and the person objecting shall, if qualified, be granted a prior right of entry for a term of sixty days from the date of the notice.

Section103. All the proofs, affidavits, and oaths of any kind required or necessary under this Act may be made before the justice of the peace 71 of the municipality in which the land lies, or before the judge or clerk of the Court of First Instance of the province in which the land lies, or before any justice of the peace or chargeable notary public of the province in which the land lies, or before any officer or employee of the Bureau of Lands authorized by law to administer oaths.

The fees for the taking of final evidence before any of the officials herein-before mentioned shall be as follows:

For each affidavit, fifty centavos.

For each deposition of the applicant or the witness, fifty centavos.

Section104. Any owner of uncultivated agricultural land who knowingly permits application for the same to be made to the Government and the land to be tilled and improved by a bona fide grantee without protesting to the Bureau of Lands within one year after cultivation has begun, shall lose all to the part of the land so cultivated and improved, unless he shall bring action in the proper court before such action for recovery prescribes and obtains favorable judgment therein, in which case the court shall, upon its decision becoming final, order the payment to the grantee, within a reasonable period, of the indemnity fixed by said court for the cultivation and improvement.

Section105. If at any time the applicant or grantee shall die before the issuance of the patent or the final grant of the land, or during the life of the lease, or while the applicant or grantee still has obligations pending towards the Government, in accordance with this Act, he shall be succeeded in his rights and obligations with respect to the land applied for or granted or leased under this Act by his heirs in law, who shall be entitled to have issued to them the patent or final concession if they show that they have complied with the requirements therefor, and who shall be subrogated in all his rights and obligations for the purposes of this Act.

Section106. If at any time after the approval of the application and before the issuance of a patent or the final concession of the land, or during the life of the lease, or at any time when the applicant or grantee still has obligations pending with the Government, in accordance with this Act, it appears that the land applied for is necessary, in the public interest, for the protection of any source of water or for any work for the public benefit that the Government wishes to undertake, the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce may order the cancellation of the application or the non issuance of the patent or concession or the exclusion from the land applied for of such portion as may be required, upon payment of the value of the improvements, if any.

Section107. All patents or certificates for land granted under this Act shall be prepared in the Bureau of Lands and shall be issued in the name of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines under the signature of the President of the Philippines: Provided, however, That the President of the Philippines may delegate to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources 74 and/or the Under secretary for Natural Resources 74 the power to sign patents or certificates covering lands not exceeding one hundred forty-four hectares in area, and to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources 75 the power to sign patents or certificates covering lands exceeding one hundred forty-four hectares in area: Provided, further, That District Land Officers in every province are hereby empowered to sign patents or certificates covering lands not exceeding five hectares in area when the office of the District Land Officer is properly equipped to carry out the purposes of this Act: Provided, That no applicant shall be permitted to split the area applied for by him in excess of the area fixed in this section among his relatives within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity excepting the applicant’s married children who are actually occupying the land: Provided, finally, That copies of said patents issued shall be furnished to the Bureau of Lands for record purposes. No patent or certificate shall be issued by the District Land Officer unless the survey of the land covered by such patent or certificate, whether made by the Bureau of Lands or by a private surveyor, has been approved by the Director of Lands. The Director of Lands shall promptly act upon all surveys submitted to him for approval and return the same to the District Land Officer within ninety days after receipt of such surveys by his office. In case of disapproval, the Director of Lands shall state the reasons therefor. Any person aggrieved by the decision or action of the District Land Officer may, within thirty days from receipt of the copy of the said decision, appeal to the Director of Lands. Such patents or certificates shall be effective only for the purposes defined in Section one hundred and twenty-two of the land Registration Act, and actual conveyance of the land shall be effected only as provided in said section.

All surveys pending approval by the Director of Lands at the time this Act takes effect shall be acted upon by him within ninety days from the effectivity of this Act.

Section108. No patent shall issue nor shall any concession or contract be finally approved unless the land has been surveyed and an accurate plat made thereof by the Bureau of Lands.

Section109. In no case shall any land be granted under the provisions of this Act when this affects injuriously the use of any adjacent land or of the waters, rivers, creeks, foreshore, roads, or roadsteads, or vest the grantee with other valuable rights that may be detrimental to the public interest.

Section110. Patents or certificates issued under the provisions of this Act shall not include nor convey the title to any gold, silver, copper, iron, or other metals or minerals, or other substances containing minerals, guano, gums, precious stones, coal, or coal oil contained in lands granted thereunder. These shall remain to be property of the State.

Section111. All persons receiving title to lands under the provisions of this Act shall hold such lands subject to the provisions hereof and to the same public servitude as exist upon lands owned by private persons, including those with reference to the littoral of the sea and the banks of navigable rivers or rivers upon which rafting may be done.

Section112. Said land shall further be subject to a right-of-way not exceeding sixty (60) meters in width for public highways, railroads, irrigation ditches, aqueducts, telegraph and telephone lines and similar works as the Government or any public or quasi-public service or enterprise, including mining or forest concessionaires, may reasonably require for carrying on their business, with damages for the improvements only. 77

Section113. The beneficial use of water shall be the basis, the measure, and the limit of all rights thereto, and the patents herein granted shall be subject to the right of the Government to make such rules and regulations for the use of water and the protection of the water supply, and for other public purposes, as it may deem best for the public good. Whenever, by priority of possession, rights to the use of water for mining, agricultural, manufacturing, or other purposes have vested and accrued, and the same are recognized and acknowledged by the local customs, or by the laws and decisions of the courts, the possessors and owners of such vested rights shall be maintained and protected in the same, and all patents granted under this Act shall be subject to any vested and accrued rights to ditches and reservoirs used in connection with such water rights as may have been acquired in the manner above described prior to April eleven, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine.

Section114. There is hereby reserved from the operation of all patents, certificates, entries, and grants by the Government authorized under this Act the right to use for the purposes of power any flow of water in any stream running through or by the land granted, the convertible power from which at ordinary low water exceeds fifty horse power. Where the convertible power in any stream running through or by land granted under the authority of this Act thus exceeds fifty horsepower, and there is no means of using such power except by the occupation of a part of the land granted under authority of this Act, then so much land as is reasonably necessary for the mill site or site for the power house, and for a suitable dam and site for massing the water, is hereby excepted from such grants, not exceeding four hectares, and a right of way to the nearest public highway from the land thus excepted, and also a right of way for the construction and maintenance of such flumes, aqueducts, wires, poles, or order conduits as may be needed in conveying the water to the point where its fall will yield the greatest power, or the power from the point of conversion to the point of use, is reserved as a servitude or easement upon the land granted by authority of this Act: Provided, however, That when the Government or any concessionaire of the Government shall take possession of the land under this section which a grantee under this Act shall have paid for, supposing it to be subject to grant under this Act, said grantee shall be entitled to indemnity from the Government or the concessionaire, as the case may be, in the amount, if any, paid by him to the Government for the land taken from him by virtue of this section: And provided, further, That with respect to the flow of water, except for converting the same into power exceeding fifty horse power, said grantee shall be entitled to the same use of the water flowing through or along his land that other private owners enjoy under the law, subject to the governmental regulation provided in the previous section. Water power privileges in which the convertible power at ordinary low water shall exceed fifty horse power shall be disposed of only upon terms established by an Act of the Assembly concerning the use, lease or acquisition of such water privilege.

Section115. All lands granted by virtue of this Act, including homesteads upon which final proof has not been made or approved, shall, even though and while the title remains in the State, be subject to the ordinary taxes, which shall be paid by the grantee or the applicant, beginning with the year next following the one in which the homestead application has been filed, or the concession has been approved, or the contract has been signed, as the case may be, on the basis of the value fixed in such filing, approval or signing of the application, concession or contract.

Section116. The appraisal or reappraisal of the lands or improvements subject to concession or disposition under this Act shall be made by the Director of Lands, with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce. The Director of Lands may request the assistance of the provincial treasurer of the province in which the land lies or may appoint a committee for such purpose in the province or in the municipality in which the land lies. In no case shall the appraisal or reappraisal be less than the expense incurred or which may be incurred by the Government in connection with the application or concession, nor shall any reappraisal be made with an increase of more than one hundred per centum upon the appraisal or reappraisal next preceding.

Section117. All sums due and payable to the Government under this Act, except homestead fees, shall draw simple interest at the rate of four per centum per annum from and after the date in which the debtor shall become delinquent.

Section118. Except in favor of the Government or any of its branches, units, or institutions, lands acquired under free patent or homestead provisions shall not be subject to encumbrance or alienation from the date of the approval of the application and for a term of five years from and after the date of issuance of the patent or grant, nor shall they become liable to the satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the expiration of said period, but the improvements or crops on the land may be mortgaged or pledged to qualified persons, associations, or corporations.

No alienation, transfer, or conveyance of any homestead after five years and before twenty-five years after issuance of title shall be valid without the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, which approval shall not be denied except on constitutional and legal grounds.

Section119. Every conveyance of land acquired under the free patent or homestead provisions, when proper, shall be subject to repurchase by the applicant, his widow, or legal heirs, within a period of five years from the date of the conveyance.

Section120. Conveyance and encumbrance made by persons belonging to the so-called “non-Christian Filipinos” or national cultural minorities, when proper, shall be valid if the person making the conveyance or encumbrance is able to read and can understand the language in which the instrument or conveyance or encumbrances is written. Conveyances and encumbrances made by illiterate non-Christian or literate non-Christians where the instrument of conveyance or encumbrance is in a language not understood by the said literate non-Christians shall not be valid unless duly approved by the Chairman of the Commission on National Integration.

Section121. Except with the consent of the grantee and the approval of the Secretary of Natural Resources, and solely for commercial, industrial, educational, religious or charitable purposes or for a right of way, no corporation, association, or partnership may acquire or have any right, title, interest, or property right whatsoever to any land granted under the free patent, homestead, or individual sale provisions of this Act or to any permanent improvement on such land.

The provisions of Section 124 of this Act to the contrary notwithstanding, any acquisition of such land, rights thereto or improvements thereon by a corporation, association, or partnership prior to the promulgation of this Decree for the purposes herein stated is deemed valid and binding; Provided, That no final decision of reversion of such land to the State has been rendered by a court; And Provided, further, That such acquisition is approved by the Secretary of Natural Resources within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Decree.

Section122. No land originally acquired in any manner under the provisions of this Act, nor any permanent improvement on such land, shall encumbered, alienated, or transferred, except to persons, corporations, associations, or partnerships who may acquire lands of the public domain under this Act or to corporations organized in the Philippines authorized therefor by their charters.

Except in cases of hereditary succession, no land or any portion thereof originally acquired under the free patent, homestead, or individual sale provisions of this Act, or any permanent improvement on such land, shall be transferred or assigned to any individual, nor shall such land or any permanent improvement thereon be leased to such individual, when the area of said land, added to that of his own, shall exceed one hundred and forty-four hectares. Any transfer, assignment, or lease made in violation hereof, shall be null and void.

Section123. No land originally acquired in any manner under the provisions of any previous Act, ordinance, royal order, royal decree, or any other provision of law formerly in force in the Philippines with regard to public lands, terrenos baldios y realengos, or lands of any other denomination that were actually or presumptively of the public domain, or by royal grant or in any other form, nor any permanent improvement on such land, shall be encumbered, alienated, or conveyed, except to persons, corporations or associations who may acquire land of the public domain under this Act or to corporate bodies organized in the Philippines whose charters authorize them to do so: Provided, however, That this prohibition shall not be applicable to the conveyance or acquisition by reason of hereditary succession duly acknowledged and legalized by competent courts; Provided, further, That in the event of the ownership of the lands and improvements mentioned in this section and in the last preceding section being transferred by judicial decree to persons, corporations or associations not legally capacitated to acquire the same under the provisions of this Act, such persons, corporations, or associations shall be obliged to alienate said lands or improvements to others so capacitated within the precise period of five years; otherwise, such property shall revert to the Government.

Section124. Any acquisition, conveyance, alienation, transfer, or other contract made or executed in violation of any of the provisions of sections one hundred and eighteen, one hundred and twenty, one hundred and twenty-one, one hundred and twenty two, and one hundred and twenty-three of this Act shall be unlawful and null and void from its execution and shall produce the effect of annulling and cancelling the grant, title, patent, or permit originally issued, recognized or confirmed, actually or presumptively, and cause the reversion of the property and its improvements to the State.

Section125. The provisions of sections twenty-two, twenty-three, thirty-three, one hundred and twenty-two, and one hundred and twenty-three of this Act, and any other provision or provisions restricting or tending to restrict the right of persons, corporations, or associations to acquire, hold, lease, encumber, dispose of, or alienate land in the Philippines, or permanent improvements thereon, or any interest therein, shall not be applied in cases in which the right to acquire, hold or dispose of such land, permanent improvements thereon or interests therein in the Philippines is recognized by existing treaties in favor of citizens or subjects of foreign nations and corporations or associations organized and constituted by the same, which right, in so far as it exists under such treaties, shall continue and subsist in the manner and to the extent stipulated in said treaties, and only while these are in force, but not thereafter.

Section126. All public auctions provided for in the foregoing chapters in the disposition of public lands shall be held, wherever possible, in the province where the land is located, or, in the office of the Bureau of Lands in Manila

CHAPTER XIV
TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

Section127. During the existence and continuance of the Commonwealth and before the Republic of the Philippines is finally established, citizens and corporations of the United States shall enjoy the same rights granted to citizens and corporations of the Philippines under this Act.

Section128. During the period specified in the next preceding section, the President of the Philippines, upon receipt of the order of the President of the United States, shall, by proclamation, designate such land as the latter may set aside for military, naval or other reservations for use of the Government of the United States.

CHAPTER XV
PENAL PROVISIONS

Section129. Any person who presents or causes to be presented, or cooperates in the presentation of, any false application, declaration, or evidence, or makes or causes to be made or cooperates in the making of a false affidavit in support of any petition, claim, or objection respecting lands of the public domain, shall be deemed guilty of perjury and punished accordingly.

Section130. Any person who voluntarily and maliciously prevents or hinders or attempts to prevent or hinder the presentation of any application for public land under this Act, or who in any manner attempts to execute or executes acts intended to dissuade or discourage, or aid to dissuade or discourage, the acquisition of public lands, shall be deemed guilty of coercion and be punished accordingly.

Section131. Any person who sells forms issued and distributed gratuitously under this Act or who, being an officer charged with distributing them, refuses or fails, without sufficient reason, to furnish the same, shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not more than one hundred pesos or by imprisonment for not more than three months, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Section132. Any person, corporation, association or partnership which, not being qualified or no longer authorized to apply for public land under the provisions of this Act, files or induces or knowingly permits another person, corporation, association or partnership to file an application in his or its behalf or for his or its interest, benefit or advantage, shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred nor more than five thousand pesos or by imprisonment for not less than two months nor more than five years, or both, in the discretion of the court; and the application shall be cancelled.

Section133. Any person who, without having the qualifications required by this Act, shall by deceit or fraud acquire or attempt to acquire lands of the public domain or other real property or any right, title or interest, or property right of any class to the same, and any person aiding and abetting him therein or serving as a means or tool therefor, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than five thousands pesos, or by the imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

TITLE VII
FINAL PROVISIONS

CHAPTER XVI
EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS ACT

Section134. If, for any reason, any section or provision of this Act is challenged in a competent court and is held to be unconstitutional, none of the other sections or provisions thereof shall be affected thereby and such other sections and provisions shall continue to govern as if the section or provisions so annulled, disapproved, or repealed had never been incorporated in this Act, and in lieu of the section or provision so annulled, disapproved, or repealed, the provisions of law on the subject thereof in force prior to the approval of this Act shall govern until the Assembly shall otherwise provide in the premises.

Section135. All laws and regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed.

Section136. This Act shall take effect on December first, nineteen hundred and thirty-six unless the President shall, in the proclamation announcing its effectiveness, designate a prior date, in which case this Act shall take effect on the date so designated.

Approved: November 7, 1936