Duterte signs law removing restrictions on agricultural patents

Published March 14, 2019, 11:18 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

A measure removing the restrictions on agricultural free patents issued to farmers to unleash land titles as capital assets have been signed into law by President Duterte.

Republic Act No. 11231 or the Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act lifts the restrictions imposed on the registration, acquisition, encumbrance, alienation, transfer and conveyance of land covered by free patents under the Public Land Act.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte  (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The law, signed by the President last February 22, was released by the Palace Thursday. It takes effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper.

“It is the declared policy of the State to remove the restrictions on free patents to allow the efficient and effective utilization of these lands in order to contribute to wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and economic development,” the law read.

Under the law, the agricultural free patent shall “now be considered as title in fee simple and shall not be subject to any restriction on encumbrance or alienation.”

The law will also have retroactive effect and any restriction regarding acquisition, transfer or dispositions imposed on agricultural free patents before the effectivity of the Act shall be removed and immediately lifted.

Prior to the new law, the Public Land Use Act prohibits agricultural patent holders from mortgaging or selling their land within five years from the issuance of the patent.

Senator Richard Gordon, who sponsored and authored the agricultural free patent reform bill, said the measure would make agricultural land titles immediately available for trade to help spur development in the agricultural sector

He said it would also help provide farmer entrepreneurs the much-needed access to credit, and create capital to make investments, create jobs, increase productivity, and reduce poverty in rural areas.
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