WHEREAS, the Constitution bans the acquisition by aliens and alien-owned entities of public and private lands;
WHEREAS, leases of unreasonably long duration would amount to a virtual transfer of ownership in violation of the intent of the Constitutional prohibition;
WHEREAS, there is a compelling need to fix a reasonable maximum period for the duration of leases of private lands to aliens and to enforce compliance thereof by punishing violations;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and degree:
Section 1. The maximum period allowable for the duration of leases of private lands to aliens or alien-owned corporations, associations, or entities not qualified to acquire private lands in the Philippines shall be twenty-five years, renewable for another period of twenty-five years upon mutual agreement of both lessor and lessee.
Section 2. Any contract or agreement made or executed in violation of this degree shall be null and void ab initio, and both parties to the agreement shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand pesos, or by imprisonment of from six months to one year, or both in the discretion of the court, Provided, that the president or managers and directors or trustees of corporations, associations or partnerships violating this decree shall be criminally liable in lieu thereof.
Section 3. This decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 24th day of May, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.