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Law on Natural Resources Reviewer

Law on Natural Resources Reviewer

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Published by: Geoc Battad on Sep 13, 2011
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06/18/2015

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LAW ON NATURAL RESOURCES REVIEWERBlack’s Law Definition of NaturalResources
Black’s first definition in his 7
th
ed. is “any materialfrom nature having potential economic value orproviding for the sustenance of life, such as timber,minerals, oil, water and wildlife.” The seconddefinition is “environmental features that serve acommunity’s well-being or recreational interests,such as parks.”
Black’s
(Sixth edition, 1990), defined naturalresources as “any material in its native state whichwhen extracted has economic value.” Basically itstates that for a substance or feature to be classifiedas a natural resource, it must offer potential or actualeconomic value, creating wealth.
Definition of Natural Resources : OtherWebsitesNatural resource
is any naturally occurringsubstance or feature of the environment (physical orbiological) that, while not created by human effort,can be exploited by humans to satisfy their needs orwants. Many of such resources are our life line suchas water, air and solar radiation, which are essentialelements for the existence of all the flora and fauna. Two basic conditions for a substance or feature to beclassified as a natural resource: First, the resourcemust
exist naturally
in the environment; that is, notsynthetically produced by human beings, such as in alaboratory or factory. Second, the resource must beable to be exploited by humans to
directly satisfy aneed or want.
Natural resources may either be:
a)
Biotic resources which are derived frombiosphere such as the forests, marineorganism, animals, birds and their productsincluding mineral fuels come in thiscategory, or
b)
Abiotic which includes water, air, land andelemental ores such as gold, silver, copper,iron etc.It may also be either be renewable and non-renewable resources. A renewable resource growsagain or comes back again after we use it. Forexample, sunlight, water, and trees are renewableresources. A non-renewable resource is a resourcethat does not grow or come back, or a resource thatwould take a very long time to come back. Forexample, coal is a non-renewable resource.
Regalian DoctrineArt XII, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution
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 areowned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shallnot be alienated. The exploration, development, andutilization of natural resources shall be under the fullcontrol and supervision of the State. The State maydirectly undertake such activities, or it may enterinto co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, orcorporations or associations at least sixty
 per centum
of whose capital is owned by such citizens.Such agreements may be for a period not exceedingtwenty-five years, renewable for not more thantwenty-five years, and under such terms andconditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply fisheries, orindustrial uses other than the development of waterpower, beneficial use may be the measure and limitof the grant. The State shall protect the nation's marine wealth inits archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusiveeconomic zone, and reserve its use and enjoymentexclusively to Filipino citizens. The Congress may, by law, allow small-scaleutilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, aswell as cooperative fish farming, with priority tosubsistence fishermen and fish- workers in rivers,lakes, bays, and lagoons. The President may enter into agreements withforeign-owned corporations involving either technicalor financial assistance for large-scale exploration,development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum,and other mineral oils according to the general termsand conditions provided by law, based on realcontributions to the economic growth and generalwelfare of the country. In such agreements, the Stateshall promote the development and use of localscientific and technical resources.
The Concept of Jure Regalia (Regalian Doctrine)
 This principle means that all natural wealth -agricultural, forest or timber, and mineral lands of the public domain and all other natural resourcesbelong to the State. Thus, even if the private personowns the property where minerals are discovered,his ownership for such does not give him the right toextract or utilize said minerals without permissionfrom the state to which such minerals belong. The abovementioned provision provides that exceptfor agricultural lands for public domain which alonemay be alienated, forest or timber, and minerallands, as well as all other natural resources mustremain with the State, the exploration, developmentand utilization of which shall be subject to its fullcontrol and supervision albeit allowing it to enter intocoproduction, joint venture or production-sharingagreements, or into agreements with foreign-ownedcorporations involving technical or financialassistance for large-scale exploration, development,and utilization
 
Cases1.Cruz vs. Secretary of Environment andNatural Resource (2000)Facts:
Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europafiled a case for prohibition and mandamusas citizen and taxpayers, assailing theconstitutionality of certain provisions of theIndigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) and itsimplementing Rules on ground that theyamount to an unlawful deprivation of theState’s ownership over lands of publicdomain and minerals and other naturalresources, in violation of the Regaliandoctrine.
o
 They likewise contend thatproviding an all-encompassingdefinition of “ancestral domain”and “ancestral lands” which mighteven include private lands withinthe areas violate the rights of private land owners.
o
Petitioners likewise contend thatprovisions of the IPRA defining the jurisdiction and powers of the NCIPviolate due process of law.
o
Lastly, petitioners assail thevalidity of NCIP AdministrativeOrder No. 1 which provides that theadministrative relationship of theNCIP to the Office of the President(OP) as lateral and autonomousrelationship for purposes of policycoordination, thereby infringingupon the President’s power of control over the executivedepartment.
A groups of intervenors, including Sen.Flavier, one of the authors of the IPRA andmembers of 112 groups of indigenouspeoples prayed for the dismissal of thepetition.
 The Commission of Human Rights likewiseasserts that IPRA is an expression of theprinciple of 
 parens patriae
and that theState has the responsibility to protect therights of the indigenous peoples.
Decision:
 The votes of the Court are split where 7 voted todismiss the petition and 7 voted to grant. As thevotes were equally divided and the necessarymajority was not obtained, the petition wasdismissed.SEPARATE OPINION (Justice Puno)
I.
The Development of the Regalian Doctrinein the Philippine Legal System
A.
The Laws of Indies
 The “Regalian Doctrine” or jura regalia is aWestern legal concept first introduced bythe Spaniards through the
Laws of Indies
and the Royal Cedulas. All lands became theexclusive dominion of the Spanish Crown,and the Spanish Government took charge of distributing the lands by issuing royal grantsand concessions to Spaniards. Private landtitles can only be acquired from thegovernment by purchase or other land grantfrom the Crown. The Law of Indies was followed by the
Mortgage Law of 1893
which provided forthe systematic registration of titles anddeeds. The
Maura Law of 1894
was the lastSpanish law promulgated in the Philippines,which required the registration of allagricultural lands; otherwise the lands shallrevert to the state.
B.
Valentin vs. Murciano
 This case answered the question of which isthe better basis for ownership of land: long-time occupation or paper title.In this case, plaintiffs entered into peacefuloccupation of the subject land whiledefendants ourchased the land in 1892. TheCourt ruled that from 1860 to 1892 therewas no law in force in the Philippines bywhich plaintiffs could obtain ownership byprescription, without any action of the State,otherwise the same shall remain theproperty of the State. Thus, it requiredsettlers on public lands to obtain titlesdeeds from the State.
C.
Public Land Acts and the TorrensSystem
 Act No. 926
, the first Public Land Act, waspassed in pursuance with the Philippine Billof 1902, governing the disposition of land of public domain. It prescribe rules for thehomesteading, selling and leasing of portions of the public domain, and to enablepersons to perfect their titles to publiclands. It also provided for the issuance of patents to certain native settlers uponpublic lands.Act No. 926 was superseded by the
 Act 2874
, the second Public Land Act, passedunder the Jones Law. it limited theexploitation of agricultural lands to Filipinosand Americans and citizens of other
 
countries which gave the Filipinos the sameprivileges.It was amended by
Commonwealth Act No.141
which remains the present Public LandLaw.Grants of public land were brought underthe operation of the
Torrens System
under
 Act 496
which placed all public and privatelands in the Philippines under the Torrenssystem, requiring that the government issuean official certificate of title attesting to thefact that the person named is the owner of the property described.
D.
The Philippine Constitutions
 The Regalian Doctrine was enshrined in the1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions whichbasically states that all lands of the publicdomain as well as natural resources,whether on public or private land, belong tothe State. It is this concept of stateownership that petitioners claim is beingviolated by the IPRA.
II.
The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act
 The IPRA recognizes the existence of theindigenous cultural communities or indigenouspeoples as a distinct sector. It grants thesepeople the ownership and possession of theirancestral domains and ancestral lands, anddefines the extent of these lands and domains.Within their ancestral domains and lands theICCs/IPs are given the right to self-governanceand right to preserve their culture. To carry outthe policies of the ACT, the law created theNational Commission on Indigenous Peoples(NCIP)
A.
Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Cultural Communities or IndigenousPeoples (ICCs/ IPs) refer to a group of peoplewho have continuously lived as an organizedcommunity on communally bounded and definedterritory. These groups of peoples have actuallyoccupied, possessed and utilized their territoriesunder claim of ownership since timeimmemorial. Their unit of government is the barangay. In abaranganic society, the chiefs administered thelands in the name of the barangay, there was noprivate property in land. When Islam wasintroduced in the country in the archipelago of Maguindanao, the Sultanate of Sulu claimed jurisdiction over territorial areas.When Spaniards settled in the Philippines,Spanish missionaries were ordered to establish
 pueblos
where church would be constructed. Allthe new Christian converts were required toconstruct their house around the church. Alllands lost by the old barangays in the process of pueblo organization and all lands not assigned tothe pueblos were declared to be lands of theCrown., and the natives were stripped of theirancestral rights to the lands. The American government classified the Filipinosinto two: Christian Filipinos and non-ChristianFilipinos, not to religious belief, but togeographical area, the latter referring to nativesof the Philippines of a low grade of civilization,usually living in tribal relationship. TheAmericans pursued a policy of assimilation. Theypassed
 Act No. 253 creating the bureau of Non-Christian Tribes
to determine the mostpracticable means for bring about theiradvancement. The
1935 Constitution
did not carry any policyon the non-Christian Filipinos. It was in the
1973Constitution
that the State recognized thecustoms and interest of national culturalcommunities in the formulation of state policies.In 1974, President Marcos promulgated
PD 410or the Ancestral Lands Decree,
providing for theissuance of land occupancy certificates tomembers of the national cultural communities. The Aquino government shifted from the policyof integration to one of preservation. Shecreated the Office of Muslim Affairs, Office of Northern Cultural Communities and the Office forSouthern Cultural Communities all under the OP. The
1987 Constitution
expressly guaranteed therights of tribal Filipinos to their ancestral domainand ancestral lands.
III.
THE PROVISIONS OF THE IPRA DO NOTCONTRAVENE THE CONSTITUTION
A.
Ancestral Domains and Ancestral Landsare the Private Property of the IndigenousPeoples and do not constitute Part of theLand of Public Domain
 Ancestral domains
are all areas belonging toICCs/IPs held under a claim of ownership,occupied or possessed by ICCs/IPs since timeimmemorial, continuously until the presentexcept when interrupted by war or forcemajeure. It comprises of lands, inland waters,coastal areas, and natural resources therein andincludes ancestral lands, forests, pastures,hunting grounds, burial grounds, and bodies of water, mineral and other natural resources.
 Ancestral lands
are lands held by the ICCs/ IPsunder the same conditions as ancestral domainsexcept that these are limited to lands, notmerely occupied and possessed but are also

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