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NOTES ON PROPERTY natural resources shall not be alienated.

Prince Jan Ronald D. Wacnang exploration, development, and utilization of natural
Saint Louis University School of Law resources shall be under the full control and
13 June 2017 supervision of the State. The State may directly
undertake such activities, or it may enter into
PROPERTY coproduction, joint venture, or production-sharing
agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or
– Property is anything that can come under the right associations at least sixty per centum of whose
of ownership and be the subject of contract. This will capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements
include all things – real, personal, tangible, and may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years,
intangible – that are within the commerce of man. renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and
(Cruz & Cruz, Constitutional Law [2015], pp. 211- under such terms and conditions as may be provided
212; also see Art. 414, Civil Code) by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water
supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the
THE GENERAL LAW ON PROPERTY RIGHTS development of water power, beneficial use may be
the measure and limit of the grant.
A. Constitutional Framework
The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in
Art. II, Sec. 5. The maintenance of peace and order, its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive
the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment
promotion of the general welfare are essential for the exclusively to Filipino citizens.
enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of
democracy. The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale
utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as
Art. II, Sec. 10. The State shall promote social justice well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to
in all phases of national development. subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers,
lakes, bays, and lagoons.
Art. III, Sec. 1. No person shall be deprived of life,
liberty, or property without due process of law, nor The President may enter into agreements with
shall any person be denied the equal protection of the foreign-owned corporations involving either
laws. technical or technical assistance for large-scale
exploration, development, and utilization of minerals,
Art. III, Sec. 9. Private property shall not be taken for petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the
public use without just compensation. general terms and conditions provided by law, based
on real contributions to the economic growth and
Art. III, Sec. 10. No law impairing the obligation of general welfare of the country. In such agreements,
contracts shall be passed. the State shall promote the development and use of
local scientific and technical resources.
Art. V, Sec. 1 (last sentence). No literacy, property, or
other substantive requirement shall be imposed on The President shall notify the Congress of every
the exercise of suffrage. contract entered into in accordance with this
provision, within thirty days from its execution.
Art. XII, Sec. 2 (Regalian Doctrine). All lands of the
public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and Art. XII, Sec. 3. Lands of the public domain are
other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, classified into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral
fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, lands, and national parks. Agricultural lands of the
and other natural resources are owned by the State. public domain may be further classified by law
With the exception of agricultural lands, all other according to the uses which they may be devoted.

by law. 6. marking clearly their boundaries on the ground. common good so demands. and similar collective not more than twenty-five years. reduce social. Notwithstanding the provisions conditions therefor. XII. Sec. political power for the common good. a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine Art. subject to the requirements of agrarian reform. shall protect property and its increments. Sec. such Art. Art. subject to the To this end. 4. no private lands shall be transferred conservation. the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic. held. Private corporations social function. XII. The Congress shall human dignity. The Congress shall give highest forest lands and national parks shall be priority to the enactment of measures that conserved and may not be increased nor protect and enhance the right of all the people to diminished. Sec. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands the Congress shall determine. Art. XII. Art. Individuals and of the public domain except by lease. and or conveyed except to individuals. The use of property bears a limited to agricultural lands. of Section 7 of this Article. the size of of the public domain. Citizens of establish. determine by law the specific limits of subject to limitations provided by law. XII. 4. Sec. including corporations. Sec. 2. XIII. The Congress shall. shall include the commitment to create economic The Congress may provide for the applicability of opportunities based on freedom of initiative and customary laws governing property rights or self-reliance. Sec. The State. the Philippines may lease not more than five subject to the duty of the State to promote hundred hectares. XIII. developed. XIII. political inequalities. and remove cultural measures to prohibit logging in endangered inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and forests and watershed areas. the State shall regulate the provisions of this Constitution and national acquisition. not exceeding twenty-five years. possible. for such period as it may determine. par. except by law. and provide. and all economic agents shall or associations may not hold such alienable lands contribute to the common good.The General Law on Property Rights 2 Alienable lands of the public domain shall be Art. and disposition of development policies and programs. corporations. Save in cases of hereditary Taking into account the requirements of succession. 1. lands of the public domain which may be acquired. economic. The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers. or grant. and operate economic enterprises. ecology. forest lands and national parks. and development. 7. Art. Sec. or acquire not more than distributive justice and to intervene when the twelve hectares thereof by purchase. homestead. exceed one thousand hectares in area. Sec. or leased and the Art. ownership. as soon as citizenship may be a transferee of private lands. renewable for cooperatives. for a period private groups. 3. XII. recognizing the right of labor to its just share in . use. 8. and cultural well-being. shall have the right to own. 5. and not to organizations. The promotion of social justice social. Thereafter. relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain.

414. XIII. such as race. XIII. The State shall. Sec. In national or social origin. or equity considerations. Art. The State shall provide others. shall respect the rights of small property owners. whether it be independent. It shall also promote adequate object of appropriation are considered either: . To this end. 8. except in accordance with law and who are landless. jurisdictional or shall further provide incentives for voluntary international status of the country or territory to land-sharing. Fishworkers any other limitation of sovereignty. Art. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and reasonable retention limits as the Congress may freedoms set forth in this Declaration. to receive a just share of the fruits Universal Declaration of Human Rights thereof. the State shall encourage (UHDR): and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands. Furthermore. in the case of other farmworkers. employment creation.The General Law on Property Rights 3 the fruits of production and the right of employment opportunities to such citizens. by law. Property Rights in Philippine Civil Law basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlements Art. taking into account ecological. incentives to landowners to invest the proceeds of the agrarian reform program to promote (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his industrialization. religion. birth or other determining retention limits. XIII. and language. no distinction shall be made respect the right of small landowners. and for Inc. non-self-governing or under Art.. without prescribe. Urban or rural poor dwellers undertake an agrarian reform program founded shall not be evicted nor their dwellings on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers. a continuing program of xxx urban land reform and housing which will make available at affordable cost decent housing and B. undertake. Sec. Art. subject to the payment of just compensation. to own directly or collectively in a just and humane manner. 90 SCRA 189 (1973). distinction of any kind. Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization v. 2. XIII. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with Art. by law. subject to such priorities and Art. In enterprises to reasonable returns on the implementation of such program the State investments. the State shall status. The State on the basis of the political. Sec. which a person belongs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co. sex. and to expansion and growth. developmental. privatization of public sector enterprises. the lands they till or. 4. Art. in cooperation with the public sector. 17. 7 (last sentence). 10. Financial instruments used as payment for their Case: lands shall be honored as equity in enterprises of their choice. All things which are or may be the areas. the common good. Sec.. The State shall. demolished. political or other opinion. colour. property. 9. XIII. trust. shall receive a just share from their labor in the utilization of marine and fishing resources. and property. Sec.

the community property shall consist of all the . Sec. System of Absolute Community Usufruct Art. UHDR. without other limitations than those established by law. Civil Code. The provisions on co-ownership shall apply to the absolute community of property Individuals between the spouses in all matters not provided for in this Chapter. Natural Persons Art. (n) Art. 91. Usufruct gives a right to enjoy the Section 1. Art. Civil Code. express or implied. insanity or (1) Immovable or real property. (333) prodigality and civil interdiction are mere restrictions on capacity to act. 427. which is the power to do acts with legal effect. for the C. and do not exempt Ownership the incapacitated person from certain obligations. 2. 88. Juridical capacity. (2) Movable or personal property. or imbecility. (430a) Chapter 3. unless the Art. Capacity to act. such as easements. (467) moment that the marriage is celebrated. holder and possessor of the thing in order to recover it. is Section 2. Unless otherwise provided in this may be lost. The owner has also a right of action against the Art. Right-holders: Who may have/exercise commencement of the community regime at any property rights? other time shall be void. 17. 523. General Provisions property of another with the obligation of preserving its form and substance. the state of being a deaf-mute. 90. (145a) 1. dispose of a thing. Ownership may be exercised over or from property relations. (n) (32a) Art. Minority.The General Law on Property Rights 4 Art. II. things or rights. 5. (348a) xxx Possession Marital Partners Art. 37. is acquired and Art. The owner has the right to enjoy and Art. Constitution. The absolute community of property title constituting it or the law otherwise between spouses shall commence at the precise provides. 428. What Constitutes Community inherent in every natural person and is lost only Property through death. Possession is the holding of a thing or Family Code: the enjoyment of a right. Any stipulation. 562. 38. UHDR. which is fitness to be the subject of legal relations. (n) Chapter or in the marriage settlements. as when the latter arise from his acts Art.

if any. Chapter II The provisions of this Chapter shall also apply to Definition of Terms conjugal partnerships of gains already established between spouses before the Section 3. In case the future spouses agree in the marriage settlements that the regime of conjugal Republic Act No. fruits and income from their separate properties and (1) Property acquired during the marriage by those acquired by either or both spouses through gratuitous title by either spouse. (201a) Section 3. (160a) Chapter 4.The General Law on Property Rights 5 property owned by the spouses at the time of the with the Civil Code or other laws. and the fruits as well as the income. is presumed to be conjugal unless the contrary is proved. Definition of Terms. Article 256. 105. the following terms shall mean: vested rights already acquired in accordance . Property acquired during the marriage Art. 8371 partnership gains shall govern their property The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 relations during marriage. 106. testator or gains or benefits obtained by either or both grantor that they shall form part of the spouses shall be divided equally between them. without prejudice to of this Act. unless marriage. (142a) (2) Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse. (147a) a former marriage.For purposes effectivity of this Code. (n) (197a) Art. (160) name of one or both spouses. unless it is of the marriage or of the partnership. The conjugal partnership shall be of the community property. unless otherwise agreed in the marriage settlements. General Provisions Indigenous peoples communities Art. 108. jewelry shall form part Art. the provisions in this 29 October 1997 Chapter shall be of supplementary application. of such property. 116. if any. . as provided in celebration of marriage or acquired thereafter. Conjugal Partnership Property Art. contracted or registered in the therefrom. and the fruits as their efforts or by chance. Under the regime of conjugal Art. All property acquired during the is presumed to belong to the community. upon dissolution well as the income thereof. governed by the rules on the contract of partnership in all that is not in conflict with what (3) Property acquired before the marriage by is expressly determined in this Chapter or by the either spouse who has legitimate descendants by spouses in their marriage settlements. the net expressly provided by the donor. Conjugal Partnership of Gains xxx Section 1. The following shall be excluded from the partnership of gains. However. products. the husband and wife place community property: in a common fund the proceeds. community property. 92. 93. and. whether the acquisition appears to it is proved that it is one of those excluded have been made.

who have continuously lived as organized consequence of government projects and other community on communally bounded and defined voluntary dealings entered into by government territory. themselves or through their ancestors. deceit. stealth. possession and ownership of ICCs/IPs over their communally or individually since time ancestral domains identified and delineated in used activities. and which are necessary to ensure e) Communal Claims . or who have. customs and grounds. families and clans who scope of the activity. swidden farms and hereof. including. held under c) Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title - a claim of ownership. agricultural. residential lots. to the present except when group of people or homogenous societies interrupted by war. and hereof.Subject to Section 56 or paddies. worship areas. inland waters. mineral practices traditionally and continually and other natural resources. when interrupted by war. ICCs/IPs comprising lands. occupied. refers to land occupied. continuously to the present except accordance with this law. social and cultural welfare. occupied or possessed by refers to a title formally recognizing the rights of ICCs/IPs. and lands which recognized.refer to claims on land. be determined in cultivators. possessed and obtained after fully disclosing the intent and utilized by individuals. and who have. tradition and other distinctive cultural traits. government and private individuals. forests. bodies of water. corporations. immemorial. interference and coercion. under claims of and private individuals/corporations. stealth or as a d) Certificate of Ancestral Lands Title . and natural resources therein. belonging to the shall include ancestral land. usages.Subject to Section 56 manipulation. by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest.The General Law on Property Rights 6 a) Ancestral Domains . rice terraces possessed customs. private forests. but not limited to. force majeure or identified by self-ascription and ascription by displacement by force. ICCs/IPs but from which their traditionally had access to for their subsistence and traditional g) Free and Prior Informed Consent . burial and/or unwritten rules.refers consequence of government projects or any to a title formally recognizing the rights of other voluntary dealings entered into by ICCs/IPs over their ancestral lands. force majeure or displacement by force. whole community within a defined territory residential. their economic. deceit. particularly the home ranges of in this Act shall mean the consensus of all ICCs/IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting members of the ICCs/IPs to. It resources and rights thereon. pasture. accordance with their respective customary laws and practices. or as a other. and other lands individually owned whether alienable and f) Customary Laws .refer to a body of written disposable or otherwise. refer to all areas generally belonging to tree lots. coastal areas. in a language an process are members of the ICCs/IPs since time understandable to the community. accepted and observed by respective may no longer be exclusively occupied by ICCs/IPs.refer to a continuously. through . ownership since time immemorial. hunting grounds. under claims of h) Indigenous Cultural individual or traditional group ownership. Communities/Indigenous Peoples . free from any external b) Ancestral Lands .

the President. fishing and hunting Holder. relationships. and e) other areas of nature. patterns and refer to the rights of ICCs/IPs to sustainably use.refer to organizational and cultural leadership systems. Indigenous Concept of Ownership. systems and practices. or any other tribunal or body of similar grounds.refers to the office created customary law or inherited from their ancestors. j) Individual Claims . water.refer to claims on land beliefs. an ICC/IP which is accepted as representative of such ICCs/IPs. and and rights thereon which have been devolved to individuals. certain paddies and tree lots. protect and promote the rights of ICCs/IPs. families and clans including. economic.refers to a private. but who may have been displaced from their n) People's Organization . under this Act. or at the time of has been organized primarily for the delivery of inroads of non-indigenous religions and cultures. Section 5. Council of Timuays. at the time of private. c) collecting. by operation of Peoples (NCIP) . but not p) Time Immemorial . b) plants. include peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations m) Nongovernment Organization . non-indigenous religions and lands and are thus indisputably presumed to culture.refers to pre-conquest rights to view that ancestral domains and all resources lands and domains which. processed for decision-making and participation. economic. Bodong organisms. manage. Rights to Ancestral Domains plans and programs to recognize. rice terraces or when as far back as memory can go. which shall be under the Office of in accordance with their customs and traditions. established track record for effectiveness and who retain some or all of their own social. air. ceremonial and aesthetic value in accordance with their indigenous knowledge. and utilized a defined k) National Commission on Indigenous territory devolved to them. have been held under a claim of private their cultural integrity. possessed in the concept of owner. and which shall be the primary government agency responsible for the Chapter III formulation and implementation of policies. i) Indigenous Political Structure . have never been public of colonization.refers to a which inhabited the country. - Indigenous concept of ownership sustains the l) Native Title . and minerals. ICCs/IPs are known to have occupied. but not limited to. nonprofit voluntary organization that conquest or colonization. traditional domains or who may have resettled nonprofit voluntary organization of members of outside their ancestral domains. protect and conserve a) land. as far back as memory found therein shall serve as the material bases of reaches. animals and other Council of Elders.refers to a period of time limited to. various services to the ICCs/IPs and has an or the establishment of present state boundaries. d) sacred sites.The General Law on Property Rights 7 resistance to political. became historically differentiated from have been held that way since before the Spanish the majority of Filipinos. social and cultural inroads ownership by ICCs/IPs. cultural and political institutions. identified by ICCs/IPs such as. ICCs/IPs shall likewise Conquest. residential lots. The indigenous concept . o) Sustainable Traditional Resource Rights - institutions. acceptability in the community where it serves.

bodies of water return is not possible. the State shall endeavor to resettle profits from allocation and utilization of the the displaced ICCs/IPs in suitable areas where natural resources found therein. . furthermore. Right to Develop Lands and Natural and future development. through any means other than eminent domain. Persons thus relocated Resources. equal to that of the land previously occupied by them. and all improvements made by them at with lands of quality and legal status at least any time within the domains. as soon as the a.The General Law on Property Rights 8 of ownership generally holds that ancestral domains are the ICC's/IP's private but c. measures. Where relocation is considered necessary as an Section 7. Such rights shall include: possible. agreement or through appropriate procedures. therefrom. such time that the normalcy and safety of such environmental protection and the conservation lands shall be determined: Provided.In case the territories and uphold the responsibilities for displacement occurs as a result of natural future generations. and the right to adequately addressed: effective measures by the government to prevent any interfere with. When such ownership over lands. control and use lands and territories resulting loss or injury. . Rights to Ancestral Domains.The right to claim grounds for relocation cease to exist. ancestral domains and to receive just and fair That basic services and livelihood shall be compensation for any damages which they provided to them to ensure that their needs are sustain as a result of the project. displaced ICCs/IPs implementation of any project. Right to Stay in the Territories.The exceptional measure. sacred places. It likewise covers their free and prior informed consent. to manage and conserve natural resources within d. That the displaced ICCs/IPs shall have exploration of natural resources in the areas for the right to return to their abandoned lands until the purpose of ensuring ecological. . Rights of Ownership. alienation and encroachment upon these rights. . government or shall enjoy security of tenure over lands to which private. or used. pursuant to national and customary That should their ancestral domain cease to exist laws. that will affect or impact upon the they have been resettled: Provided. the right to an informed and intelligent and normalcy and safety of the previous participation in the formulation and settlements are not possible. further. . traditionally occupied. the right to they can have temporary life support system: negotiate the terms and conditions for the Provided. owned. Right in Case of Displacement.Subject to Section 56 hereof. such relocation shall take rights of ownership and possession of ICCs/IPs t place only with the free and prior informed their ancestral domains shall be recognized and consent of the ICCs/IPs concerned and whenever protected. nor sustainable traditional resource rights. No ICCs/IPs will be relocated without disposed or destroyed. right shall likewise be fully compensated for any to develop. to benefit and share the catastrophes. . suitable to provide for their present needs b. as determined by traditionally and actually occupied by ICCs/IPs. traditional hunting and fishing ICCs/IPs shall be provided in all possible cases grounds.The right to community property which belongs to all stay in the territory and not be removed generations and therefore cannot be sold. they shall be guaranteed the right to return to their ancestral domains.

the transferor ICC/IP shall have the right to redeem the same within a period not exceeding fifteen (15) years from the date of transfer. except those reserved and intended for common and public welfare and service. . or is transferred for an unconscionable consideration or price. . . . this purpose.end of notes for 13 June 2017 --- g.The right to claim parts of the ancestral domains which have been reserved for various purposes. Section 8. subject to customary laws and traditions of the community concerned. 347 SCRA 128 (2000). b. Right to Resolve Conflict. .Right to regulate the entry of migrant settlers and Case: organizations into the domains.The General Law on Property Rights 9 e. Cruz v. Secretary of Environment and Natural f. Right to Claim Parts of Reservations. Right to Regulate Entry of Migrants. --.In cases where it is shown that the transfer of land/property rights by virtue of any agreement or devise.A.The right of ownership and possession of the ICCs/IPs. Right to Safe and Clean Air and Water. Right to transfer land/property.For Resources. . . and only in default thereof shall the complaints be submitted to amicable settlement and to the Courts of Justice whenever necessary. and h. . to a non- member of the concerned ICCs/IPs is tainted by the vitiated consent of the ICCs/IPs.Such right shall include the right to transfer land or property rights to/among members of the same ICCs/IPs. a. Right to Redemption. to their ancestral lands shall be recognized and protected. the ICCs/IPs shall have access to integrated systems for the management of their Re: Constitutionality of provisions of R. 8371 inland waters and air space. Rights to Ancestral Lands.Right to resolve land conflicts in accordance with customary laws of the area where the land is located.