Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Homestead Program (Philippines)

homestead patent program philippinesAs I mentioned in a previous post, I no longer reside in Manila. Rather, I am now living in a fishing community in northern Zambales, quite close to Pangasinan. I do routine fishing to help put food on the table, and I do freelance web and software development on the side, while of course maintaining this blog.

Yet, there is an abundance of raw farm land in the surrounding area, and I also have an interest in agriculture -- particularly horticulture, free range animal husbandry, permaculture, organic farming, and sustainable living -- thus, when I became aware of the Homestead Program, it piqued my interest.

The Philippine Legislature passed the Homestead law in 1903. And from my understanding, the Homestead Program allows citizens to be awarded several hectares of land under the agreement that they cultivate the land and essentially put it to good use. I was wondering if any of my readers are aware of this program and whether they may have insights or more details regarding it.

For those who may be interested, here is what I've come across online:

Homestead Patent is a mode of acquiring alienable and disposable lands of the public domain for agricultural purposes conditioned upon actual cultivation and residence.

Where should Homestead Application be filed?
A Homestead application like any other public land applications should be filed at the DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources Office where the land being applied for is located.

Who are qualified to apply
Citizens of the Philippines.
Over 18 years old or head of the family.
Not the owner of more than 12 hectares of land pursuant to the 1987 constitution

Can a married woman make a Homestead entry?
A married woman can now apply for a patent application under DAO-2002-13 dated June 24, 2002 issued by the then Secretary of the Department of Enviropnment and Natural Resources Heherson T. Alvarez. This is in accordance with Article II, Section 14 of the Constitution and Republic Act No. 7192 otherwise known as the "Women in Development and Nation Building Act" as implemented by DAO No. 98-15 of May 27, 1998 on "Revised Guidelines on the Imoplementation of Gender and Development (GAD) Activities in the DENR". This Administrative Order gives women, equal right as men in filing, acceptance, processing and approval of public land applications.

Legal Requirements
Application fee of P50.00;
Entry fee of P5.00;
Final fee of P5.00;
Approved plan and technical description of the land applied for;
Actual occupation and residence by the applicant;

Steps leading to the issuance of a Homestead patent
Filing of application;
Preliminary Investigation;
Approval of application;
Filing of final proof which consists of two (2) parts;
Notice of intention to make Final Proof which is posted for 30 days.
Testimony of the homesteader corroborated by two (2) witnesses mentioned in the notice. The Final Proof is filed not earlier than 1 year after the approval of the application but within 5 years from the said date.
Confirmatory Final Investigation;
Order of Issuance of Patent;
Preparation of patent using Judicial Form No. 67 and 67-D and the technical description duly inscribed at the back thereof;
Transmittal of the Homestead patent to the Register of Deeds concerned.

Signing and Approving Authority For Homestead and Free Patents:
Up to 5 hectares (has.) - PENRO
More than 5 Has. to 10 Has. - RED
More than 10 Has. - DENR Secretary


Section 1. Sections nineteen, twenty, and one hundred and eighteen of Commonwealth Act Numbered One hundred and forty-one are amended to read as follows:

"Section 19. Not more than one homestead entry shall be allowed to any one person, and no person to whom a homestead patent has been issued by virtue of the provisions of this Act regardless of the area of his original homestead, may again acquire a homestead; Provided, however, That any previous homesteader who has been issued a patent for less than twenty-four hectares and otherwise qualified to make a homestead entry, may be allowed another homestead which, together with his previous homestead shall not exceed an area of twenty-four hectares.

"Section 20. If at any time after the approval of the application and before the patent is issued, the applicant shall prove to the satisfaction of the Director of Lands that he has complied with all the requirements of the law, but cannot continue with his homestead, through no fault of his own, and there is a bona fide purchaser for the rights and improvements of the applicant on the land, and that the conveyance is not made for purposes of speculations, then the applicant, with the previous approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, may transfer his rights to the land and improvements to any person legally qualified to apply for a homestead, and immediately after such transfer, the purchaser shall file a homestead application to the land so acquired and shall succeed the original homesteader in his rights and obligations beginning with the date of the approval of said application of the purchaser. Any person who has so transferred his rights may not again apply for a new homestead. Every transfer made without the previous approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall be null and void and shall result in the cancellation of the entry and the refusal of the patent."

"Section 118. Except in favor of the Government or any of its branches, units, or institutions, lands acquired under free patent or homestead provisions shall not be subject to encumbrance or alienation from the date of the approval of the application and for a term of five years from and after the date of issuance of the patent or grant, nor shall they become liable to the satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the expiration of said period, but the improvements or crops on the land may be mortgaged or pledged to qualified persons, associations, or corporations.

"No alienation, transfer, or conveyance of any homestead after five years and before twenty-five years after issuance of title shall be valid without the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, which approval shall not be denied except on constitutional and legal grounds."

Section2. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved, June 8, 1939.


Jake said...

Hi David,

I am not really aware about this program. It was my first time to encounter this. There are lot of Filipinos who doesn't have any land at all even those who leave on the rural areas they still till land of the rich landlords.

The Philippines have good laws but remain lack of implementation.

How I wish I can avail also on the program. The Philippines still depend on agriculture (and other forms) to feed the massive inevitable population.

Jerick said...

thanks david!

i would love to own a parcel of land and put it into good use. :)

Matt Wilkie said...

Although the law is in existence I doubt it can or will be enforced especially for the smaller farmer as the rich landlords would just keep it tied up court until people ran out of money. Sad to say but true..

The idea is a great one and maybe there are other things you can do I am also interested in permaculture,aquaponics as well as many other things which I am happy to share my information with you if your looking to develop the projects. I am currently starting a blog to cover most of these things on Farming.TropicalPenpals.com as I know we can't get the land from the rich but we can maximise the land that is available.

Diamond R said...

can you give the link of this program. I need this. and this is what i really want.

Coconuter said...

@Diamond R:

You can try searching online, but that is about all the information I could find regarding the program. I wasn't able to locate a site for the program itself.

I haven't done this yet, but I recommend visiting your town's municipal hall or DENR office and asking about the Homestead Program. Hopefully they will know more about it.

Juvel Tadena said...

thanks a lot for the information you provide...hope I can start searching for this program ASAP.

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