Duterte signs law removing restrictions on agricultural free patents

/ 10:39 AM March 14, 2019
Duterte signs law removing restrictions on agricultural free patents

President Rodrigo Duterte. File photo from the PCOO

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure seeking to lift restrictions on agricultural free patents, meaning land owners can no longer wait for the prescribed five years before they can re-sell or mortgage the land they intend to dispose.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11231 or the “Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act” last Feb. 22, a copy of which was shared to the media on Thursday.


The new law removes the Commonwealth-era restrictions on agricultural free patents imposed under the Commonwealth Act No. 141 or the Public Land Act.

These restrictions prohibit land owners to sell and mortgage the land within the first five years of the patent grant and gives the option to the original owner of buying back the property within five years from the date of sale.


The new law will make agricultural land titles immediately available for trade to help spur development in the agricultural sector.

It is expected to “allow efficient and effective utilization of these lands in order to contribute to wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and economic development.”

The law also has a “retroactive effect and any restrictions regarding acquisitions, encumberances, conveyances, transfers or dispositions imposed on agricultural free patents issued under Section 44 of Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended, before the effectivity this Act shall be removed and hereby immediately lifted.” /jpv


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