Republic Act No. 6657 Ch XV

Republic Act No. 6657


SEC. 65. Conversion of Lands . – After the lapse of five (5) years from its award, when the land ceases to be economically feasible and sound for agricultural purposes, or the locality has become urbanized and the land will have greater economic value for residential, commercial or industrial purposes, the DAR, upon application of the beneficiary or the landowner, with due notice to the affected parties, and subject to existing laws, may authorize the reclassification or conversion of the land and its disposition: Provided, That the beneficiary shall have fully paid his obligation.

SEC. 65-A Conversion into Fishpond and Prawn Farms. – No conversion of public agricultural lands into fishponds and prawn farms shall be made except in situations where the provincial government with the concurrence of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) declares a coastal zone as suitable for fishpond development. In such case, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall allow the lease and development of such areas: Provided, That the declaration shall not apply to environmentally critical projects and areas as contained in Title (A) sub-paragraph two, (B-5) and (C) and Title (B), number eleven (11) of Proclamation No. 2146, entitled “Proclaiming Certain Areas and Types of Projects as Environmentally Critical and Within the the Scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System Established under Presidential Decree No. 1586”, to ensure the protection of river systems, aquifers and mangrove vegetations from pollution and environmental degradation: Provided, further, That the approval shall be in accordance with a set of guidelines to be drawn up and promulgated by the DAR and the BFAR: Provided, furthermore, That small-farmer cooperatives and organizations shall be given preference in the award of the Fishpond Lease Agreements (FLAs).

No conversion of more than five (5) hectares of private lands to fishponds and prawn farms shall be allowed after the passage of this Act, except when the use of the land is more economically feasible and sound for fishpond and/or prawn farm, as certified by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) , and a simple and absolute majority of the regular farm workers or tenants agree to the conversion. The Department of Agrarian Reform may approve applications for change in the use of the land: Provided, finally, That no piecemeal conversion to circumvent the provisions of this Act shall be allowed. In these cases where the change of use is approved, the provisions of Section 32-A hereof on incentives shall apply. (As added by R. A. 7881)

SEC. 65-B. Inventory. – Within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, the BFAR shall undertake and finish an inventory of all government and private fishponds and prawn farms and undertake a program to promote the sustainable management and utilization of prawn farms and fishponds. No lease under Section 65-A hereof may be granted until after the completion of the said inventory.

The sustainable management and utilization of prawn farms and fishponds shall be in accordance with the efflue standards, pollution charges and other pollution control measures such as, but not limited to, the quantity of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals used that may be established by the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), the Environment Management Bureau (EMB), and other appropriate government regulatory bodies, and existing regulations governing water utilization, primarily Presidential Decree No. 1067, entitled “A Decree Instituting a Water Code, Thereby Revising and Consolidating the Laws Governing the Ownership, Appropriation, Utilization, Exploitation, Development, Conservation and Protection of Water Resources.” (As added by R. A. 7881)

SEC. 65-C. Protection of Mangrove Areas. – In existing Fishpond Lease Agreement (FlAs) and those that will be issued after the effectivity of this Act, a portion of the fishpond area fronting the sea, sufficient to protect the environment, shall be established as a buffer zone and be planted to specified mangrove species to be determined in consultation with the regional office of the DENR. The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources shall provide the penalties for any violation of this undertaking as well as the rules for its implementation. (As added by R. A. 7881)

SEC. 65-D. Change of Crops. – The change of crops to commercial crops or high value crops shall not be considered as a conversion in the use or nature of the land. The change in crop should, however, not prejudice the rights of tenants or leaseholders should there be any and the consent of a simple and absolute majority of the affected farm workers, if any, shall first be obtained. (As added by R. A. 7881)

SEC. 66. Exemptions from Taxes and Fees of Land Transfers. – Transactions under this Act involving a transfer of ownership, whether form natural or juridical persons, shall be exempted form taxes arising from capital gains. These transactions shall also be exempted from the payment of registration fees, and all other taxes and fees for the conveyance or transfer thereof: Provided, That all arrearages in real property taxes, without penalty or interest, shall be deductible from the compensation to which the owner may be entitled.

SEC. 67. Free Registration of Patents and Titles. – All Registers of Deeds are hereby directed to register, free from payment of all fees and other charges, patents, titles and documents required for the implementation of the CARP.

SEC. 68. Immunity of Government Agencies from Undue Interference. – No injunction, restraining order, prohibition or mandamus shall be issued by the lower courts against the Departments of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in their implementation of the Program.

SEC. 69. Assistance of Other Government Entities.- The PARC, in the exercise of its functions, is hereby authorized to call upon the assistance and support of other government agencies, bureaus and offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations.

SEC. 70. Disposition of Private Agricultural Lands. – The sale or disposition of agricultural lands retained by a landowner as a consequence of Section 6 hereof shall be valid as long as the total landholdings that shall be owned by the transferee thereof inclusive of the land to be acquired shall not exceed the landholdings ceilings provided for in this Act. Any sale or disposition of agricultural lands after the effectivity of this Act found to be contrary to the provisions hereof shall be null and void. Transferees of agricultural lands shall furnish the appropriate Register of Deeds and the BARC with an affidavit attesting that his total landholdings as a result of the said acquisition do not exceed the landholding ceiling. The Register of Deeds shall not register the transfer of any agricultural land without the submission of this sworn statement together with proof of service of a copy thereof to the BARC.

SEC. 71. Bank Mortgages. – Banks and other financial institutions allowed by law to hold mortgage rights or security interests in agricultural lands to secure loans and other obligations of borrowers, may acquire title to these mortgaged properties, regardless of area, subject to existing laws on compulsory transfer of foreclosed assets and acquisition as prescribed under Section 16 of this Act.

SEC. 72 . Leases, Management, Grower or Services Contracts, Mortgages and Other Claims. – Lands covered by this Act under lease, management, grower or service contracts, and the like shall be disposed of as follows:

a) Lease, management, grower or service contracts covering private lands may continue under their original terms and conditions until the expiration of the same even if such land has, in the meantime, been transferred to qualified beneficiaries.

b) Mortgages and other claims registered with the Register of Deeds will be assumed by the government up to an amount equivalent to the landowner’s compensation value as provided in this Act.

SEC. 73. Prohibited Acts and Omissions. – The following are prohibited:

a) The ownership or possession, for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Act, of agricultural lands in excess of the total retention limits or award ceilings by any person, natural or juridical, except those under collective ownership by farmer-beneficiaries.

b) The forcible entry or illegal detainer by persons who are not qualified beneficiaries under this Act to avail themselves of the rights and benefits of the Agrarian Reform Program;

c) The conversion by any landowner of his agricultural land into non-agricultural use with intent to avoid the application of this Act to his landholdings and to dispossess his tenant farmers or the land tilled by them;

d) The willful prevention or obstruction by any person, association or entity of the implementation of the CARP;

e) The sale, transfer, conveyance or change of the nature of lands outside of urban centers and city limits either in whole or in part after the effectivity of this Act. The date of the registration of the deed of conveyance in the Register of Deeds with respect to titled lands and the date of the issuance of the tax declaration to the transferee of the property with respect to unregistered lands, as the case may be, shall be conclusive for the purpose of this Act;

f) The sale, transfer or conveyance by a beneficiary of the right to use or any other usufructuary right over the land he acquired by virtue of being a beneficiary, in order to circumvent the provisions of this Act.

SEC. 73-A. Exception. – The provisions of Section 73, paragraph (e) to the contrary notwithstanding, the sale and/or transfer of agricultural land in cases where such sale, transfer or conveyance is made necessary as a result of a bank’s foreclosure of the mortgaged land is hereby permitted.( As added by R. A. 7881)

SEC. 74 . Penalties. – Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the provisions of this Act shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month to not more than three (3) years or a fine of not less than one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) and not more than fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court. If the offender is a corporation or association, the officer responsible therefor shall be criminally liable

SEC. 75. Suppletory Application of Existing Legislation. – The provisions of Republic Act Number 3844, as amended, Presidential Decree Numbers 27 and 266 as amended, Executive Order Numbers 228 and 229, both Series of 1987, and other laws not inconsistent with this Act shall have suppletory effect.

SEC. 76. Repealing Clause. – Section 35 of Republic Act Number 3844, Presidential Decree Number 316, the last two paragraphs of Section 12 of Presidential Decree Number 1038, and all other laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations, issuances or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

SEC. 77. Separability Clause. – If, for any reason, any section or provision of this Act is declared null and void, no other section, provision or part thereof shall be affected and the same shall remain in full force and effect.

SEC. 78. Effectivity Clause. – This Act Shall take effect immediately after publication in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: June 10, 1988.