Act No. 2975






Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Legislature assembled and by the authority of the same:


SECTION 1.  The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources is hereby authorized to take action in accordance with the existing Public Land Law upon applications for leases of agricultural public lands filed by corporations totally or partly composed of foreign citizens, after February eight, nineteen hundred and eighteen, and before November twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and nineteen, provided such applications comply with the following requisites:


First.  That the corporation be authorized to hold real estate in the Philippine Islands; that the land for which application is made by it be necessary for the accomplishment of the purposes for which it was created and exceed in no case one thousand and twenty-four hectares; and that said corporation, or any of the members thereof be not in any manner interested in any other corporation engaged in agriculture, forest industry or mining.


Second.  That the application for lease be filed in the form and under the conditions prescribed by the laws in force at the time it was filed.


Third.  That after filing the application, the corporation have made improvements worth not less than ten thousand pesos on the land applied for.


Fourth.  That the applicant have not, in its organization or capitalization, or in any other manner, violated the laws of the Philippine Islands or any order, regulation or instruction of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources and of the bureaus or offices under its jurisdiction; and


Fifth.  That the land applied for be not more suitable for forestry than for agricultural purposes, nor included in any reservation or proposed reservation for any public purpose.


SEC. 2.  It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, before granting the application of any of the corporations above-mentioned, to require of the same a statement duly signed and sworn to by its president, manager or administrator, to the effect that it and all and each of its members possess and have complied with the requirements of the preceding section; to order an investigation, if he deem it necessary, in order to ascertain the truth of such statement; and to require of the petitioning corporation the payment of all pecuniary liabilities which it may through its acts have incurred towards the Government of the Philippine Islands or any of its dependencies.


SEC. 3.  Upon compliance with the formalities prescribed in this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources shall grant the lease applied for in accordance with the existing Public Land Law, and the petitioning corporation shall then be authorized to hold the land applied for as lessee thereof for a period of time deemed just and equitable by said Secretary to compensate it for the investments made for improvements thereon, which period shall in no case exceed that fixed for leases in said Public Land Law.


SEC. 4.  Any corporation composed totally or partly of foreign citizens which has made application to purchase under the old Public Land Act before November twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and nineteen, may request that said application be considered as an application for lease on the date of its filing; and upon compliance with the requirements and conditions of sections one and two of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources may grant the lease applied for, subject to all restrictions and limitations prescribed in this Act.


SEC. 5.  This Act shall take effect on its approval.


Approved, February 21, 1921

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