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Governmental Powers

Reclassification of Lands

1) DAR vs Sarangani
G.R. No. 165547, January 24, 2007

Petitioner: DAR
Respondents: Sarangani Agricultural Co Inc, ACIL Corporation, Nicasio Alcantara and
Tomas Alcantara
Ponente: Azcuna

Facts: The Sangguniang Bayan of Alabel, Sarangani passed Resolution No. 97-08
adopting a 10 year comprehensive development plan of the municipality and its land
use. On January 30, 1998, pursuant to Municipal Zoning Ordinance No. 08, Series of
1997, and to accelerate the development and urbanization of Alabel, the
Sangguniang Bayan of Alabel passed Resolution No. 98-03 reclassifying lots that were
located within the built-up areas, based on the 1995-2005 Land Use Plan of the
municipality, from agricultural to non-agricultural uses.
Later, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sarangani approved Resolution No. 98-
018 or the “Resolution Adopting the Ten-Year Municipal Comprehensive Development
Plan (MCDP 1995-2205) and the Land Use Development Plan and Zoning Ordinance of
the Municipality of Alabel, Sarangani Per Resolution No. 97-08 and Municipal
Ordinance No. 97-08, S. of 1997 of the Sangguniang Bayan of Alabel.” A portion of the
area involving 376.5424 hectares, however, was covered by the CARP commercial
farms deferment scheme.
The Zoning Certification issued by the office of the Municipal Planning and
Development Council (MPDC) showed that respondents’ properties located at
Barangay Maribulan, Alabel were among those reclassified from agricultural and
pasture land to residential, commercial institutional, light industrial and open space
in the 1995-2005 land use plan of Alabel.
The respondent then field an application for land use conversion of certain
parcels of land. Meanwhile, members of the Sarangani Agrarian Reform
Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (SARBAI) sent a letter-petition to the DAR Secretary
oppposing the application for land use conversion filed by SACI. SARBAI alleged that
its members were merely forced to sign the waiver of rights, considering that the
commercial farm deferment period ended on June 15, 1998. Later, the PLUTC agreed
to recommend the disapproval of a portion of a property which was still viable for
agriculture. The conversion was deferred subject to the submission of certain
Later, the DAR Secretary denied SACI’s application for land use conversion.
On November 9, 2000, DAR Secretary Horacio R. Morales, Jr. denied SACI’s application
for land use conversion. SACI appealed to the Office of the President. The Office of
the President dismissed the appeal and affirmed in toto the challenged DAR Orders.
Respondents’ motion for reconsideration was denied, so they filed with the Court of
Appeals a petition for review raising substantially the same issues.
The CA granted the petition and ordred DAR to issue a conversion order. As to
the deferred portion, DAR was directed to expedite the processing and evaluation of
petitioner’s application.

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. the CA is correct in declaring that DAR should refer to the comprehensive land use plans and the ordinances of the Sanggunian in assessing land use conversion applications. No. areas non-negotiable for conversion and those falling under environmentally critical areas or highly restricted for conversion under the NIPAS law. Series of 1993. empowers the local government units to reclassify agricultural lands. 2 of 9 . It provided that all ordinances authorizing reclassification of agricultural lands shall be subject to the review and approval of the province in the case of component cities or municipalities. 7160. This holds true in the present case where. 1998 Issue: WON the DAR should use the comprehensive land use plans and ordinance of the local sanggunian as primary reference Held: Yes. ensuring sufficient food production. with regard to agricultural lands that have been reclassified for non- agricultural uses by the local government unit concerned. Memorandum Circular No. Section 20 of Republic Act No.GENERAL POWERS and ATTRIBUTES of LGUs Pub Corp Governmental Powers Issue: WON a notice of coverage is an indispensable requirement for the acquisition of land Held: No. or by the HLURB for highly urbanized or independent component cities in accordance with Executive Order No. petitioners have already complied with the standard requirements laid down under the applicable rules and regulations of the DAR. Hence.A. thus: Construing Sec. which are covered by a deferment period under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) or R. 72. such as the allowable percentage of agricultural [area] to be reclassified. therefore.. 1993 specified the scope and limitations on the power of the cities and municipalities to reclassify agricultural lands into other uses.A. Definitely. No 6657 upon its effectivity on June 15. 20 of the Local Government Code and the subsequent administrative issuances implementing the same. the DAR is required to use the comprehensive land use plans and accompanying ordinances of the local Sanggunian as primary references in evaluating applications for land use conversion filed by individual landowners. Precisely.. The conversion of agricultural lands into non-agricultural uses shall be strictly regulated and may be allowed only when the conditions prescribed under R. a notice of coverage is not an indispensable requirement before DAR can acquire the subject lots or commercial farms. the DAR’s power in such cases may not be exercised in such a manner as to defeat the very purpose of the LGU concerned in reclassifying certain areas to achieve social and economic benefits in pursuit of its mandate towards the general welfare. 54 “Prescribing the Guidelines Governing Section 20 of R. otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991. 7160 Otherwise Known as the Local Government Code of 1991 Authorizing Cities and Municipalities to Reclassify Agricultural Lands Into Non-Agricultural Uses” issued by President Ramos on June 8. the Court agrees with the ratiocination of the CA that DAR’s scope of authority in assessing land use conversion applications is limited to examining whether the requirements prescribed by law and existing rules and regulations have been complied with. No. 6657 are present. the exercise of such authority should be confined to compliance with the requirements and limitations under existing laws and regulations. Under the circumstances. In this case. In this regard.A. we are of the opinion that while the DAR retains the responsibility for approving or disapproving applications for land use conversion filed by individual landowners on their landholdings.

” Thus. DAR should utilize the comprehensive land use plans in evaluating the land use conversion application of respondents whose lands have already been reclassified by the local government for non- agricultural uses.5424 hectares. As mentioned earlier. No. One such limitation that is present here is that a portion of respondents’ property of 376. 6657. to reiterate. particularly its provincial capital which is the Municipality of Alabel. however. No. the local government has reclassified certain portions of its land area from agricultural to non- agricultural.R. IAC G. and the reclassification that was effected by the Municipality of Alabel did not operate to supersede the applicable provisions of R. HELD: No. are covered by CARL’s ten-year deferment scheme. the creation of the new Province of Sarangani.GENERAL POWERS and ATTRIBUTES of LGUs Pub Corp Governmental Powers because of the creation of the Province of Sarangani and in view of its thrust to urbanize.622 [or 154. All but Jupiter St. The strong opposition later gave way when the municipal officials force-opened the gates of said street for public use. 71169. Thus. No. ISSUE: Whether or not there is a contract between homeowners and Ayala Corporation violated in opening the Jupiter street for public use. Action for damages was brought against Ayala Corporation and BAVA for alleged breach of contract. a portion totaling 154. No. Section 20 of the LGC of 1991 on the reclassification of lands explicitly states that “[n]othing in this section shall be construed as repealing. Moreover. that every property of respondents which is included in the comprehensive land use plan of the Municipality of Alabel shall be automatically granted non-coverage. said application is subject to the limitations and conditions prescribed by law. The Court of Appeals affirmed the said dismissals. amending or modifying in any manner the provisions of R. which was way before the creation of the Province of Sarangani and the eventual reclassification of the agricultural lands into non- agricultural in the Municipality of Alabel where respondents’ properties are located.O. in accordance with E.A. Closure and Opening of Roads 1) Sangalang v. 6657. December 22.A. was voluntarily opened. to maintain the purely residential status of the area. 1988. The area ceased to be purely residential.A. there is no room for interpretation. 3 of 9 .1622] hectares which are planted to bananas and coconuts. By law. Other similarly situated also filed their respective cases. No. hence nothing was violated. Series of 1993. All were dismissed in the trial court. 1988 FACTS: The Mayor of Makati directed Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA) to opening of several streets to the general public. 1998. counted from the date of the effectivity of the CARL or R. In short. and subject to the limitations prescribed by law. which has expired on June 15. There is only room for application. after a series of developments in zoning regulations. This is not to say. 6657 on June 15. 72. There was no contract to speak of in the case. where the law speaks in clear and categorical language. these lands are subject to redistribution to CARP beneficiaries upon the lapse of the ten-year period.

2000 FACTS: On December 30.” There is no syllable in RA 7924 that grants the MMDA police power. to build a “[f]ence along Jupiter [street] with gate for entrance and/or exit as evidence of Ayala’s alleged continuing obligation to maintain a wall between the residential and commercial sections. 2) MMDA v Bel-Air Village Association. Unlike the legislative bodies of the LGUs. 1995. Assuming there was a contract violated. let alone legislative power. On the same day. Our Congress delegated police power to the LGUs in Sec. The MMDA Chairman is not an elective official.16 of the Code and in the proper exercise of the [LGU’s corporate powers] provided under the Code. 4 of 9 . which is secondary to the more compelling interests of general welfare. 1996.16 of the LGC of 1991. GR 135962 March 27. It is a “body politic and corporate” – one endowed with powers as a political subdivision of the National Government and as a corporate entity representing the inhabitants of its territory (LGC of 1991).GENERAL POWERS and ATTRIBUTES of LGUs Pub Corp Governmental Powers RATIO: Petitioners cannot successfully rely on the alleged promise by Ayala Corporation. The petitioners have not shown why Courts should hold otherwise other than for the supposed “non-impairment” guaranty of the Constitution. ISSUE: WON MMDA has the authority to open Neptune Street to public traffic as an agent of the state endowed with police power. Respondent instituted a petition for injunction against petitioner. panlungsod and bayan to “enact ordinances. HELD: A ‘local government’ is a “political subdivision of a nation or state which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs”. The Ordinance has not been shown to be capricious or arbitrary or unreasonable to warrant the reversal of the judgments so appealed. it was still overtaken by the passage of zoning ordinances which represent a legitimate exercise of police power. Inc. but is merely appointed by the President with the rank and privileges of a cabinet member. there is no grant of authority in RA 7924 that allows the MMDA to enact ordinances and regulations for the general welfare of the inhabitants of Metro Manila. to public vehicular traffic starting January 2. respondent received from petitioner a notice requesting the former to open its private road. praying for the issuance of a TRO and preliminary injunction enjoining the opening of Neptune Street and prohibiting the demolition of the perimeter wall. respondent was apprised that the perimeter separating the subdivision from Kalayaan Avenue would be demolished. The MMDA is merely a “development authority” and not a political unit of government since it is neither an LGU or a public corporation endowed with legislative power. approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the [province. It empowers the sangguniang panlalawigan. city or municipality] and its inhabitants pursuant to Sec. Neptune Street.

Lucena now comes to the Court via petition for review to assail the Decision and Resolution of the CA. JAC LINER. finance. and allow the operation of only one common terminal located outside the city proper. The Court referred the petition to the Court of Appeals (CA) with which it has concurrent jurisdiction. The true role of Constitutional Law is to effect an equilibrium between authority and liberty so that rights are exercised within the framework of the law and the laws are enacted with due deference to rights. filed its Motion for Reconsideration which was denied. on the other hand. 5 of 9 . hence. The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Makati City did not pass any ordinance or resolution ordering the opening of Neptune Street. ISSUE: Whether or not the means employed by the Lucena Sannguniang Panlungsod to attain its professed objective were reasonably necessary and not duly oppressive upon individuals HELD: With the aim of localizing the source of traffic congestion in the city to a single location. INC. Lucena then elevated it via petition for review under Rule 45 before the Court. establish. the subject ordinances prohibit the operation of all bus and jeepney terminals within Lucena. Inc. FACTS: Two ordinances were enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Lucena with the objective of alleviating the traffic congestion said to have been caused by the existence of various bus and jeepney terminals within the city. 452 SCRA 174 (2005). It is the LGUs.jeepney terminal facility in the City of Lucena. 3) LUCENA GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL. the franchise for which was granted to Lucena. operate and maintain common bus. City Ordinance 1631 grants franchise to the Lucena Grand Central Terminal. the MMDA has no power to enact ordinances for the welfare of the community. including those already existing. Petitioner Lucena Grand Central Terminal. Inc. to construct. Inc.) The true role of Constitutional law is to effect an equilibrium between authority and liberty so that rights are exercised within the framework of the law and the laws are enacted with due deference to rights.GENERAL POWERS and ATTRIBUTES of LGUs Pub Corp Governmental Powers In sum. The CA dismissed the petition and affirmed the challenged orders of the trial court. City Ordinance 1778. INC. that possess legislative power and police power. EN BANC (Carpio Morales. The Regional Trial Court of Lucena declared City Ordinance 1631 as a valid excercise of police power while declaring City Ordinance 1778 as null and void for being invalid. acting through their respective legislative councils. strips out all the temporary terminals in the City of Lucena the right to operate which as a result favors only the Lucena Grand Central Terminal. Its motion for reconsideration having been denied by the CA. v. The common carriers plying routes to and from Lucena City are thus compelled to close down their existing terminals and use the facilities of Lucena. J. its proposed opening by the MMDA is illegal.

March 30. From the memorandum filed before the Court by Lucena. hostels. impede or help impede the flow of traffic. beerhouses. motels. The weight of popular opinion.GENERAL POWERS and ATTRIBUTES of LGUs Pub Corp Governmental Powers A due deference to the rights of the individual thus requires a more careful formulation of solutions to societal problems. with permits to operate the same denied those which are unable to meet the specifications. motels. night clubs. then reasonable specifications for the size of terminals could be instituted.R. If terminals lack adequate space such that bus drivers are compelled to load and unload passengers on the streets instead of inside the terminals. massage parlors. the scope of the proscription against the maintenance of terminals is so broad that even entities which might be able to provide facilities better than the franchised terminal are barred from operating at all. cabarets. day clubs. inns. Judge Laguio (G. it is gathered that the Sangguniang Panlungsod had identified the cause of traffic congestion to be the indiscriminate loading and unloading of passengers by buses on the streets of the city proper. services and facilities where women are used as tools in entertainment and which tend to disturb the community. The Ordinance prohibited the establishment of sauna parlors. copies of which were submitted to this Court by Lucena Grand Central Terminal. apart from that franchised to Lucena. How the outright proscription against the existence of all terminals. the conclusion that the terminals contributed to the proliferation of buses obstructing traffic on the city streets. The Court is not unaware of the resolutions of various barangays in Lucena City supporting the establishment of a common terminal. and adversely affect the social and moral welfare of the community. however. Inc. Malate Tourist Development Corporation (MTOC) is a corporation engaged in the business of operating hotels. It built and opened Victoria Court in Malate which was licensed as a motel although duly accredited with the Department of Tourism as a hotel. and lodging houses. Owners and operators of the enumerated establishments are given three months to wind up business operations or transfer to any place outside Ermita-Malate or convert said businesses to other kinds allowable within the area. can be considered as reasonably necessary to solve the traffic problem. however. In the subject ordinances. must be balanced with that of an individual‘s rights. 1993 . annoy the inhabitants. Legislative Power 1) City of Manila vs. entertainment.City Mayor Alfredo S. the Court has not been enlightened. The Ordinance also provided 6 of 9 . hence. Bus terminals per se do not. karaoke bars. 118127) Facts: The private respondent. and similar expressions of support from the private sector. however. Lim approved an ordinance enacted which prohibited certain forms of amusement. No.

There are two types of taking: A “possessory” taking and a “regulatory” taking. Held: SC held that the ordinance is unconstitutional for several reasons. fornication nor will it arrest the spread of sexual disease in Manila. insofar as it included motels and inns as among its prohibited establishments. To be valid. June 28. The latter occurs when the government’s regulation leaves no reasonable economically viable use of the property. (2)It must be germane to the purpose of the law.MTOC filed a Petition with the lower court. both as to the rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. The ordinance forbids running of the enumerated businesses in Ermita-Malate area and instructs owners/operators to wind up their business operations or to transfer outside the area or convert said business into allowed business. It will not itself eradicate prostitution. The object of the ordinance was the promotion and protection of the social and moral values of the community. and (4)It must apply equally to all members of the class. praying that the Ordinance. should not be treated differently. Judge Laguio ruled for the petitioners. Similar subjects. Legislative bodies are allowed to classify the subjects of legislation provided the classification is reasonable. the premises of the erring establishment shall be closed and padlocked permanently. adultery. be declared invalid and unconstitutional for several reasons but mainly because it is not a valid exercise of police power and it constitutes a denial of equal protection under the law. An ordinance which permanently restricts the use of property that it cannot be used for any reasonable purpose goes beyond regulation and must be recognized as a taking of the property without just compensation. there are no substantial distinction between motels. require an interference with private rights. so as to give undue favor to some. it must conform to the following requirements: (1)It must be based on substantial distinction. in other words. Otherwise stated. The modality employed constitutes unlawful taking. (3)It must not be limited to existing conditions only. Third. The case was elevated to the Supreme Court. 7 of 9 . 1993 . but (2)the means employed must be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive. To successfully invoke the exercise of police power. The closing down and transfer of businesses or their conversion into businesses allowed under the ordinance have no reasonable relation to its purpose. The ordinance violates the equal protection clause. The ordinance is unreasonable and oppressive as it substantially divests the respondent of the beneficial use of its property. Second. Equal protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike. it did not meet the valid exercise of police power. as distinguished from those of a particular class. not only must it appear that (1)the interest of the public generally. In the Court’s view. First. It is intrusive and violative of the private property rights of individuals. the prohibition of the enumerated establishments will not per se protect and promote social and moral welfare of the community. as in this case. Issue: WON the Ordinance is constitutional.GENERAL POWERS and ATTRIBUTES of LGUs Pub Corp Governmental Powers that in case of violation and conviction.

and not prohibit. such power may be delegated. 8027 is a legitimate exercise of police power As with the State. The P. encapsulates the delegated police power to local governments. hotels. Police power is the plenary power vested in the legislature to make statutes and ordinances to promote the health. By definition. Fourth. education. This police power was also provided for in RA 409 or the Revised Charter of the City of Manila. Not only that. The Court likewise cannot see the logic for prohibiting the business and operation of motels in the Ermita-Malate area but not outside this area. No reason exists for prohibiting motels and inns but not pension houses. Had already converted the residential Ermita-Malate area into a commercial area. and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. in this case. Specifically. peace. as distinguished from those of a particular class. the establishments enumerated. hotels. local governments may be considered as having properly exercised their police power only if the following requisites are met: (1) the interests of the public generally. lodging houses or other similar establishments. While police power rests primarily with the national legislature. Specifically. A noxious establishment does not become any less noxious if located outside the area. The ordinance is repugnant to general laws. good order or safety and general welfare of the people. Section 16 of the LGC. thus it is ultra vires.D. 8027 Ordinance No. LGUs like the City of Manila exercise police power through their respective legislative bodies. The enactment of Ordinance No.D. The ordinance is in contravention of the Revised Administrative Code as the Code merely empowers the local government units to regulate. the petition was DENIED and the decision of the RTC was AFFIRMED. it likewise runs counter to the provisions of P. This power flows from the recognition that salus populi est suprema lex (the welfare of the people is the supreme law). In short. 2) Social Justice Society v Atienza (GR 156052) The City of Manila has the power to enact Ordinance No. all are commercial establishments providing lodging and usually meals and other services for the public. the Sanggunian can enact ordinances for the general welfare of the city. lodging houses or other similar establishments. The decree allowed the establishment and operation of all kinds of commercial establishments. pension houses. require its exercise. 8 of 9 . known as the general welfare clause. Wherefore. the Sanggunian has the power to reclassify land within the jurisdiction of the city. morals. 499. there must be a concurrence of a lawful subject and a lawful method. 8027 was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Manila in the exercise of its police power.GENERAL POWERS and ATTRIBUTES of LGUs Pub Corp Governmental Powers inns. the Sangguniang Panlungsod or the city council.

the Sanggunian was in the best position to determine the needs of its constituents. the government may enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty. ensuring health. property. Consequently. the methods or means used to protect public health. 8027 is a valid police power measure because there is a concurrence of lawful subject and lawful method. The power to establish zones for industrial. defines and apportions a given political subdivision into specific land uses as present and future projection of needs. the continued operation of the businesses of the oil companies in their present location will no longer be permitted. lawful businesses and occupations to promote the general welfare. As a result of the zoning. It therefore became necessary to remove these terminals to dissipate the threat. The depot is perceived. prescribes. the interference must be reasonable and not arbitrary. However. In the exercise of police power. commercial and residential uses is derived from the police power itself and is exercised for the protection and benefit of the residents of a locality. The Sanggunian was impelled to take measures to protect the residents of Manila from catastrophic devastation in case of a terrorist attack on the Pandacan Terminals. It was enacted “for the purpose of promoting sound urban planning. A zoning ordinance is defined as a local city or municipal legislation which logically arranges. safety or welfare must have a reasonable relation to the end in view. The ordinance was intended to safeguard the rights to life. as a representation of western interests which means that it is a terrorist target. the enactment of Ordinance No. property rights of individuals may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the objectives of the government. 8027 is within the power of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Manila and any resulting burden on those affected cannot be said to be unjust. the residents of Manila are not safe. security and safety of all the inhabitants of Manila and not just of a particular class. And to forestall arbitrariness. Wide discretion is vested on the legislative authority to determine not only what the interests of the public require but also what measures are necessary for the protection of such interests. 9 of 9 . public safety and general welfare†of the residents of Manila. As long as it there is such a target in their midst. Towards this objective. the Sanggunian reclassified the area defined in the ordinance from industrial to commercial. Otherwise stated. rightly or wrongly.GENERAL POWERS and ATTRIBUTES of LGUs Pub Corp Governmental Powers Ordinance No. morals. The means adopted by the Sanggunian was the enactment of a zoning ordinance which reclassified the area where the depot is situated from industrial to commercial. Clearly.