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Questions Concerning Urban Land Reform and Areas for Priority Development
What is the Urban Land Reform Law? Presidential Decree No. 1517 issued on June 11, 1978 is what is known as the Urban Land Reform Law. It was a piece of legislation that instituted the Urban Land Reform Program of the government. Briefly, this program aims to rationalize -- with due process and through equitable means -- the existing pattern of land use and ownership in urban and urbanizable areas. As such, it involves the imposition of certain limitations on the use by the owner of his property. Is urban land reform the same as agrarian reform? No. Agrarian reform (AR) involves the diffusion of land ownership through the imposition of retention limits for owners of large tracts of land. It is mandatory in the sense that the landowner cannot refuse not to sell the agricultural land in excess of the retention limit to the tenants who till the same. In urban land reform (ULR), on the other hand, a landowner cannot ordinarily be compelled to sell the land to the tenant. It is only when the land is expropriated that he or she is forced to sell, but only after due process. In the event, however, that a landowner voluntarily decides to sell the property, the tenant has a pre-emptive right to buy the property or the right of first refusal before it can be legally sold to another. The law compels him merely to offer it first to the tenant. In AR, all agricultural lands are covered although exemptions may be applied for. On the other hand, ULR applies only to selected parcels of urban land. Is the right of first refusal available to all urban tenants? No. PD 1517 limited its application to Urban Land Reform Zones or specific parcels of land later identified and proclaimed. What are Areas for Priority Development or APDs? The term Areas for Priority Development (APDs) was used in the pertinent decrees and proclamations interchangeably or alternatively with the term Urban Land Reform Zones (ULRZs). From all indications they have the same meaning. They refer to the 244 areas in Metro Manila specifically described and identified in Proclamation 1967, and other sites later identified and proclaimed. How many APDs/ULRZs are there at present?

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There are at present 284 APDs / ULRZs. In addition to the 244 APDs in Metro Manila under Proclamation No. 1967 and Dagat-Dagatan, Tondo under Proclamation No. 2284, nineteen (19) Slum Improvement and Resettlement (SIR) sites were included pursuant to Proclamation No. 1810 (Declaring that all sites under the Zonal Improvement Program (ZIP) and SIR areas shall become ULRZs upon proclamation by the President). These are located in the regional cities of Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. Subsequently, pursuant to the same decree, the National Housing Authority identified and proclaimed 20 more APD sites 19 in Metro Manila and one in Cebu City. In summary: Number of APDs/ULRZs By By By By Proclamation No. 1967 - 244 Proclamation No. 2284 - 1 Proclamation No. 1810 - 19 NHA Approval - 20

Total - 284 What is the significance of a parcel of lands being within an APD/ULRZ? Within an APD/ULRZ:

1. Legitimate tenants who have resided on the land for ten years or more who have built their homes on the land, and residents who have legally occupied the lands by contract, continuously for the last ten years shall not be dispossessed of the land and shall be allowed the right of first refusal to purchase the same within a reasonable time and at reasonable prices. 2. No urban land can be disposed of or used or constructed on unless its disposition or use conforms with the development and zoning plans. This is implemented through the requirement of development use permit or locational clearance for projects within these areas. 3. In cases where the tenants and residents are unable to purchase the said lands, the government may acquire the same by expropriation or other land acquisition techniques in accordance with the policies of existing laws.

May apartment dwellers invoke the right of first refusal? No. The law is explicit that it applies only to urban land. How do we know whether or not the land that we own or the land that we lease is within an APD or ULRZ? HLURB prepared books of detailed maps and land use plans for 245 APD sites declared under Proclamation 1967 and 2284 and has condensed this to a Locational Reference Handbook which is available to the public. This handbook presents the physical location of the sites though maps in relation to their immediate vicinity and provides the precise location and complete boundary description. If necessary, HLURB also issues a certification whether or not a piece of property is within or outside of an APD. Did the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (Republic Act No. 7279) repeal the Urban Land Reform Law? No. UDHA is actually more expansive than the ULR law. As to Coverage:

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PD 1517: Limited to areas proclaimed RA 7279: All lands in urban and urbanizable areas, including existing areas for priority development sites, and in other areas that may be identified by the local government units as suitable for socialized housing. As to Thrust PD 1517: Land tenancy protected, with land purchase and expropriation only as an incident thereof RA 7279 : Socialized Housing as primary strategy for providing shelter to put an end to tenancy status As to Beneficiaries: PD 1517: Legitimate tenants RA 7279: Underprivileged and homeless citizen, must not own any real property, not a professional squatter or a member of squatting syndicates;--must be actual occupants to avail of right of first refusal if property is government-owned or acquired. back to FAQs page

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