What is Urban Land Reform Code ?

pd 1517

What is Urban Land Reform Code also known as Proclamation No. 1967 and P.D. 1517 and what does this entail re ownership and possession of property ?

I’ve been helping a friend sell their property in a prime location for the last 4 years, however there is an on going case that’s been filed since 1994 and recently ( that’s 23 years !!! ), they finally won the case.  It is a major progress but another case still has to be filed in order to actually say that the property is free of any liens and encumbrances.  In this case, there are tenants, take note, not informal settlers that refuse to leave the property despite repeated demands from the Owner.  An informal settler does not pay rent but a tenant does.

So what really is Urban Land Reform Code ( ULRC ) ?

To get straight to the point, ULRC basically entitles the tenant to a Right of First Refusal should the property be put up for sale.  There are however, qualifications in order for a valid claim to be acceptable.

ULRC ( P.D. 1517 ) was passed on June 11, 1978. It being a state policy to liberalize human communities from blight, congestion, and hazard, and promote their development and modernization, through the optimum use of land as a natural resource for public welfare.

An urban tenant’s right of first refusal under Section 6 of PD 1517 provides :

Section 6 :  Land Tenancy in Urban Land Reform Areas.  Within the Urban Zones, Legitimate tenants who have resided on the land for 10 year or more, who have build their homes on the land for residents who have legally occupied the lands by contract continuously for the last ten years shall not be dispossessed  of the land and shall be allowed the right of first refusal to purchase the same within a reasonable time and reasonable prices under terns and conditions to be determined by the Urban Zone Expropriation and Land Management Committee created by Section 8 of this Decree.

Now this is where our Justice System comes into place.  Why does it take 23 years before something that can be proven true and justifiable take so much time ?  Interpretation of the law or something else ?

In this case, the tenant claimed that it had a right to first refusal.  To qualify for that, the property first has to be proven that’s it’s within a proclaimed areas of priority development, this can be verified with HLURB ( one questions the implementation of laws by some governing agencies that protects Buyers / Investors from SCAMMERS  and other issues and HLURB is one of them ).

Next issue is the lease was taken by the relatives of a predecessor.  This predecessor had a lease contract with owner which expired.  During his tenure, this predecessor allowed several tenants to build structures on the property ( take note that at least five commercial structures alone were built right along a very prime commercial location, add to that the other structured inside the property ).  The current tenants do not have a lease contract .  Prior tenants built a residential structure and later sold it’s LEASE RIGHTS to current tenant ( who gave them the right to even sell their rights ? )

For your information, this is an on going practice in several municipalities for reasons that have a means to it !

So given the above, now that the case is won, the next move is to evict the tenant.  From prior experience, an eviction notice now has to be served but in order to do this a case has to be filed.  I stand corrected if it’s a WRIT OF POSSESSION that’s needed.  I had a client that had to wait four years in order to get one and when they did, the proper authorities had to be brought in order to take over the property !

Now, the question is, can this be done AMICABLY or otherwise ?

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Thank you.

Robert G. Sarmiento Properties
Professional Affiliation :
Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards
Member, City of  Taguig Real Estate Board 2016 – 2017
Real Estate Broker’s Association of the Philippines 2000-2015
President, Greenhills Chapter 2008, 2009
Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers
San Juan Mandaluyong Chapter 1998, 1999
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