Act No. 3219

 

 

AN ACT

TO AMEND CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE ACT KNOWN AS “THE PUBLIC LAND ACT,” AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

 

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.  Section nineteen of Act Numbered Twenty-eight hundred and seventy-four is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 19.  Not more than one homestead shall be allowed to any person; but if a homesteader has made final proof as provided in this chapter and is occupying and cultivating all the land applied for and the area thereof is less than twenty-four hectares, he may apply successively for an additional homestead on one or more tracts of land which must lie in the same municipality or municipal district or in an adjacent, municipality or district, provided the total area of said parcels does not exceed twenty-four hectares, and with the understanding that he shall with regard to the new tracts or additional homesteads comply with the same conditions as prescribed by this Act for an original homestead entry.”

 

SEC. 2.  Section twenty-two of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 22.  Any non-Christian native desiring to live upon or occupy land on any of the reservations set aside for the so-called ‘non-Christian tribes’ without applying for a homestead, may request a permit of occupation for any tract of land of the public domain open to homestead entry under this Act, the area of which shall not exceed sixteen hectares.  It shall be an essential condition that the applicant for the permit cultivate and improve the land, and if such cultivation has not been begun within six months from and after the date on which the permit was received, the permit shall ipso facto be canceled.  The permit shall be for a term of five years.  If at the expiration of this term or at any time theretofore, the holder of the permit shall apply for a homestead under the provisions of this chapter, including the portion for which a permit was granted to him, he shall have the priority, otherwise the land shall be again open to disposition at the expiration of the five years.

 

“For each permit the sum of five pesos shall be paid, which may be done in annual installments.”

 

SEC. 3.  Section twenty-three of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 23.  Any citizen of lawful age of the Philippine Islands or of the United States, and any such citizen not of lawful age who is head of a family, and any corporation or association of which at least sixty-one per centum of the capital stock or of any interest in said capital stock belongs wholly to citizens of the Philippine Islands or of the United States, and which is organized and constituted under the laws of the Philippine Islands or of the United States or of any State thereof and authorized to transact business in the Philippine Islands., and corporate bodies organized in the Philippine Islands authorized under their charters to do so, may purchase any tract of public agricultural land disposable under this Act, not to exceed one hundred and forty-four hectares in the case of an individual and one thousand and twenty-four hectares in that of a corporation or association, by proceeding as prescribed in this chapter:  Provided, That partnerships shall be entitled to purchase not to exceed one hundred and forty-four hectares for each member thereof, but the total area so purchased shall in no case exceed the one thousand and twenty-four hectares authorized in this section for associations and corporations:  Provided, further, That citizens of countries the laws of which grant to citizens of the Philippine Islands the same right to acquire public land as to their own citizens, may, while such laws are in force, but not thereafter, with the express authorization of the Legislature, purchase any parcel of agricultural land, not in excess of one hundred and forty-four hectares, available under this Act, upon complying with the requirements of this chapter.”

 

SEC. 4.  Section twenty-five of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 25.  Lands sold under the provisions of this chapter must be appraised in accordance with section one hundred and fourteen of this Act.  The Director of Lands shall announce the sale thereof by publishing the proper notice once a week for six consecutive weeks in the Official Gazette and in two newspapers, one published in Manila and the other published in the municipality or in the province where the land is located, or in a neighboring province, and the same notice shall be posted on the bulletin board of the Bureau of Lands in Manila, and in the most conspicuous place in the provincial building and the municipal building of the province and municipality where the land is located, and, if practicable, on the land itself; but if the value of the land does not exceed two hundred and forty pesos, the publication in the Official Gazette and newspapers may be omitted.  The notices shall be published one in English and the other in Spanish or in the local dialect, and shall fix a date not earlier than sixty days after the date of the notice upon which the land will be awarded to the highest bidder, or public bids will be called for, or other action will be taken as provided in this chapter.”

 

SEC. 5.  Section twenty-six of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 26.  All bids must be sealed and addressed to the Director of Lands and must have inclosed therewith cash or a certified check or post-office money order payable to the order of the Director of Lands, for ten per centum of the amount of the bid, which amount shall be retained in case the bid is accepted, as part payment of the purchase price:  Provided, That no bid shall be considered the amount of which is less than the appraised value of the land.”

 

SEC. 6.  Section twenty-seven of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 27.  Upon the opening of the bids the land shall be awarded to the highest bidder.  If there are two or more bids which are higher than other bids and are equal, and one of such higher and equal bids is the bid of the applicant, his bid shall be accepted.  If, however, the bid of the applicant is not one of such equal and higher bids, the Director of Lands shall at once submit the land for public bidding, and to the person making the highest bid on such public auction the land shall be awarded.  In any case the applicant, if any, shall always have the option of raising his bid to equal that of the highest bidder, and in this case the land shall be awarded to him.  No bid received at such public auction shall be finally accepted until the bidder shall have deposited ten per centum of his bid, as required in section twenty-six of this Act.  In case none of the tracts of land that are offered for sale or the purchase of which has been applied for, has an area in excess of twenty-four hectares, the Director of Lands may delegate to the provincial treasurer concerned the power of receiving bids, holding the auction, and proceeding in accordance with the provisions of this Act, but the provincial treasurer, in his capacity as delegate of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, shall submit his recommendations to the Director of Lands, for the final decision of the latter in the case.”

 

SEC. 7.  Section twenty-eight of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 28.  The purchase price shall be paid as follows:  The balance of the purchase price after deducting the amount paid at the time of submitting the bid, may be paid in full upon the making of the award, or in not more than ten annual installments from the date of the award:  Provided, That it shall be an inherent and essential condition of the sale that the purchaser shall have not less than one third of the land broken and cultivated within five years after the date of the award.”


SEC. 8.  Section thirty-five of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 35.  The Director of Lands shall announce the lease of lands under this chapter by publishing the proper notice once a week for six consecutive weeks in the Official Gazette and in two newspapers, one published in Manila and the other published in the municipality or in the province where the land is located, or in a neighboring province, and the same notice shall be posted on the bulletin board of the Bureau of Lands in Manila, and in the most conspicuous place in the provincial building and the municipal building of the province and municipality where the land is located, and if practicable, on the land itself; but if the value of the land does not exceed two hundred and forty pesos, the publication in the Official Gazette and newspapers may be omitted.  The notices shall be published one in English and the other in Spanish or in the local dialect, and shall fix a date not earlier than sixty days after the date of the notice, upon which the land will be awarded to the highest bidder, or public bids will be called for, or other action will be taken as provided in this chapter.

 

“All bids must be sealed and addressed to the Director of Lands and must have enclosed therewith cash or a certified check or post-office money order payable to the order of the Director of Lands, for a sum equivalent to the rental for the first three months of the lease:  Provided, That no bid shall be considered in which the proposed annual rental is less than three per centum of the value of the land according to the appraisal or reappraisal thereof made in conformity with section one hundred and fourteen of Act numbered Twenty-eight hundred and seventy-four.

 

“Upon the opening of the bids the land shall be awarded to the highest bidder.  If there are two or more bids which are higher than the others and equal, and one of such higher and equal bids is the bid of the applicant, his bid shall be accepted.  If, however, the bid of the applicant is not one of such equal and higher bids, the Director of Lands shall at once submit the land for public bidding, and to the person making the highest bid on such public auction the land shall be awarded.  In any case the applicant, if any, shall always have the option of raising his bid to equal that of the highest bidder, and in this case the land shall be awarded to him.  No bid received at such public auction shall be accepted until the bidder shall have deposited the rental for the first three months of the lease.”

 

SEC. 9.  Section thirty-seven of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 37.  Leases shall run for a period of not more than twenty-five years, but may be renewed for another period of not to exceed twenty-five years, at the option of the lessee.  In case the lessee shall have made important improvements which, in the discretion of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, justify a renewal of the lease, a further renewal for an additional period not to exceed twenty-five years may be granted.  It shall be an inherent and essential condition of the lease that the lessee shall have not less than one-third of the land broken and cultivated within five years after the date of the approval of the lease and shall not assign, encumber, or sublet his rights without the consent of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and that the violation of this condition shall avoid the contract:  Provided, That assignment, encumbrance, or subletting for purposes of speculation shall not be permitted in any case:  Provided, further, That nothing contained in this section shall be understood or construed to permit the assignment, encumbrance, or subletting of lands leased under this Act or under the former Public Land Act, to persons, corporations, or associations which under this Act, are not authorized to lease public lands, unless otherwise provided by general or special legislation by the Legislature.”

 

SEC. 10.  Section fifty-seven of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 57.  Any tract of land comprised under this title may be leased or sold, as the case may be, to any person, corporation, or association authorized to purchase or lease public lands for agricultural purposes.  The area of the land so leased or sold shall be such as shall, in the judgment of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, be reasonably necessary for the purposes for which such sale or lease is requested, and shall in no case exceed forty-eight hectares:  Provided, however, That this limitation shall not apply to grants, donations, or transfers made to a province, municipality or branch or subdivision of the Government for the purposes deemed by said entities conducive to the public interest; but the land so granted, donated, or transferred to a province, municipality, or branch or subdivision of the Government shall not be alienated, encumbered, or otherwise disposed of in a manner affecting its title, except when authorized by the Legislature:  Provided, further, That any person, corporation, association or partnership disqualified from purchasing public land for agricultural purposes under the provisions of this Act, may purchase or lease land included under this title suitable for industrial or residence purposes, but the title or lease granted shall only be valid while such land is used for the purposes referred to.”

 

SEC. 11.  Section fifty-nine of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 59.  The lands reclaimed by the Government by dredging, filling or otherwise shall be surveyed and may, with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, be divided by the Director of Lands into lots and blocks, with the necessary streets and alleyways between them, and said Director shall give notice to the public, by publication in the Official Gazette or by other means, that the lots or blocks not needed for public purposes shall be leased for commercial or industrial or other similar purposes.”

 

SEC. 12.  Section sixty of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 60.  If, upon receipt of applications for the lease or purchase of any of the lands covered by this chapter, it shall be decided that the lots or blocks so applied for are suited to the purposes for which they are requested and are not needed for public purposes, the Director of Lands shall ask the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources for authority to dispose of the same.  Upon receipt of such authority, the Director of Lands shall give notice by public advertisement in the same manner as in the case of leases or sales of agricultural public land, that such applications have been made and that the Government will lease or sell, as the case may be, the lots or blocks specified in the advertisement, for the purpose contemplated in the application and subject to the conditions specified in this chapter.”

 

SEC. 13.  Section sixty-two of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 62.  The sale of the lands comprised in class (d) of section fifty-six shall, among others, comprise the following conditions:

 

“(a) The purchaser shall make improvements of a permanent character appropriate for the purpose for which the land is purchased, and shall commence work thereon within six months from the receipt of the approval of the purchase; otherwise the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources may, upon recommendation by the Secretary of Commerce and Communications, rescind the contract.

 

“(b) The purchase price shall be paid cash down or in annual installments, not to exceed ten.

“The contract of sale may contain other conditions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.”

 

SEC. 14.  Section sixty-seven of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 67.  Any tract of public land of the class covered by this title may be sold or leased for the purpose of founding a cemetery, church, college, school, university, or other institution for educational, charitable or philanthropical purposes or scientific research, the area to be such as may actually and reasonably be necessary to carry out such purpose, but not to exceed ninety-six hectares in any case.  The sale or lease shall be made subject to the same conditions as required for the sale and lease of agricultural public land, but the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources may waive the condition requiring cultivation.  The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, if he sees fit, may order the sale to be made without public auction, at a price to be fixed by said Secretary, or the lease to be granted without auction, at a rental to be fixed by him.  In either case it shall be a condition that the purchaser or lessee or their successors or assigns shall not sell, transfer, encumber or lease the land for the purposes of speculation or use it for any purpose other than that contemplated in the application, and that the violation of this condition shall give rise to the immediate rescission of the sale or lease, as the case may be, and to the forfeiture to the Government of all existing improvements:  Provided, That it shall in no case be sublet, encumbered or resold under the conditions above set forth except with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources.”

 

SEC. 15.  Section sixty-eight of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 68.  Whenever it shall be considered to be in the public interest to found a new town, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources shall direct the Director of Lands to have a survey made by his Bureau of the exterior boundaries of the site on which such town is to be established, and upon completion of the survey he shall send the same to said Secretary, with his recommendations.”

 

SEC. 16.  Section eighty-one of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 81.  Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Governor-General may designate by proclamation any tract or tracts of land of the public domain as reservations for the use of the Government of the Philippine Islands or of any of its branches, or of the inhabitants thereof, in accordance with regulations prescribed for this purpose, or for quasi-public uses or purposes when the public interest requires it, including reservations for highways, rights of way for railroads, hydraulic power sites, irrigation systems, communal pastures or leguas comunales, public parks, public quarries, public fishponds, and other improvements for the public benefit.”

 

SEC. 17.  Section one hundred and thirteen of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 113.  All the lands granted by virtue of this Act except homestead upon which final proof has not been made and approved, shall, even though, and while the title remains in the Government, be subject to the ordinary taxes which shall be paid by the grantee beginning with the year next following the one in which the application or concession has been approved or the contract signed, as the case may be, on the basis of the value fixed in such approval, concession or contract.”

 

SEC. 18.  Section one hundred and fifteen of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 115.  All sums due and payable to the Government under this Act shall draw simple interest at the rate of four per centum per annum from and after the date in which the debtor shall become delinquent.  The Director of Lands may, however, remit such interest in the case of applicants for homesteads if it shall appear that the delinquency is due to no fault or neglect on their part.”

 

SEC. 19.  If, for any reason, the President of the United States excepts from his approval or the United States Congress repeals or declares invalid, any section or provision of this Act, none of the other sections or provisions thereof shall be affected thereby and such other sections and provisions shall continue to govern as if the section or provision so annulled, disapproved, or repealed have never been incorporated in this Act, and in lieu of the section or provision so annulled, disapproved, or repealed, the provisions of law on the subject thereof in force prior to the approval of this Act shall govern until the Legislature shall otherwise provide in the premises.

 

SEC. 20.  Upon the express or implicit approval of this Act by the President of the United States, as provided in the Act of Congress approved on August twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and sixteen, entitled “An Act to declare the purpose of the people of the United States as to the future political status of the people of the Philippine Islands, and to provide a more autonomous government for those Islands,” the Governor-General shall so announce forthwith, by means of a proclamation, and this Act shall take effect on the date of such proclamation.

 

Approved, January 19, 1925

 

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