Memo to vice-president-elect Emmanuel Pelaez, 1961

To: Vice-president-elect Emmanuel Pelaez
From: David Wurfel, IPA, UP
In Re: Suggestions for Administrative Reorganization and policy Changes in the Field of Agrarian Reform and Rural Development

December 27, 1961


I. Department of Natural Resources (suggest Gozon]

  • Bureau of Forestry
  • Bureau of Mines
  • Bureau of Fisheries
  • [new] Division of Surveys (old Div. of Surveys, B. of lands)
  • Division of Soils (old Soil Survey Division, B. of soil Conservation)
  • Division of Research

II. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development *

A. Under-Secretary for Agricultural Affairs

  • Bureau of Plant Industry
  • Bureau of Animal Industry
  • Bureau of Soil Conservation (minus soil surveys)
  • Philippine Sugar Institute

B. Under-Sec. for Agrarian Affairs (suggest Jaime Ferrer]

  • (new) Bureau of Agrarian Relations (or Agricultural Tenancy Commission) [suggest Fernando Santiago]
  • Abolish Tenancy Mediation Comm. and transfer its Tenant Legal Aid Section, greatly expanded, to ATC: transfer mediation function of TMC to Court of Agrarian Relations, if CAR personnel and procedures can be improved.
  • (new) Bureau of Land Management
  • Div. of Public Land Distribution (homesteads, leases, sales) NARRA (or Division of Settlement Projects)/suggest Oscar Sarte/
  • Land Tenure Administration (absorb B. of Lands, Friar Lands Division, transfer urban estates to PHHC) [suggest Julian de Vera]
    «Alternative: NARRA and LTA could be retained at Bureau level.»
  • (New) Bureau of Agricultural Credit and Marketing
  • Abaca Corp. of the Philippines
  • Philippine Coconut Administration
  • Philippine Tobacco Administration (absorbing PVTA) ACCFA

C. Under-Secretary for Community Development (suggest Binamira]

  • (new)Bureau of Agricultural Extension and Community Development (merging present BAE and PACD)
  • Field Services (integrate all bureaus’ fieldmen under regional directors: decentralize authority.)


I. Administration Policy Changes (in addition to enforcement of old policies)

  1. Abolish “isolated administrative surveys”. Let inter­ested persons pay for private surveys and put all gov­ernment efforts into cadastral and large public land surveys. (This would help make possible separation of Land Classification and Land Management and enforce­ment of prohibition on disposal of un-surveyed land.)
  2. Repeal provisions of Araneta’s directives in ACCFA fa­voring the landlords in the FACOMAS.
  3. Prosecute vigorously all delinquent debtors to ACCFA, beginning with the “big people”.
  4. Limit mortgage loans from all government banks to 50% of assessed land values.

II. New Appropriations

  1. Double or triple appropriations for surveys and land classification, including photogrammetric survey.
  2. Appropriate for at least 100 Tenancy Legal Officers for ATO. Slight expansion in judges and Commissioners of CAR. Create CAR sheriffs or marshalls to enforce orders. Give Executive Judge more administrative control over other judges.

III. New Legislation

A. Credit

  1. Gradually put all loans to FACOMAS on 50-50 matching basis. Loans to come from Philippine CO-OP Bank, DBP, Rural Banks, and
  2. Remove loaning functions from ACCFA, concentrate on management training, cooperative education, supervision, and stimulation of coop marketing.

B. Taxation

  1. Revise Assessment Law aided by photogrammetry to make assessed value a function of land classification categories which would be combination of capital­ization from average income of land types (with types to be determined on basis of soils), of drainage, of rainfall, of access to markets, etc. Such an assessment system, “potential income”, is designed to penalize under-utilization and exempt from ad­ditional taxation especially efficient utilization of the land.
  2. Special levy on uncultivated cultivable land.
  3. Establish penalty (which is now non-existent) for non-declaration of land for tax purposes.
  4. Heavy surtax on any landowner with tenants on 50 or more hectares who receives an income equivalent or more than 30% of gross produce.
    These measures, coupled with enforcement of the Tenancy Act, would help to reduce the price of agricultural land and would establish in law a relationship between land values and gross product, which is a necessary part of a land transfer program.

C. Land Transfer

  1. Repeal or amend Land Tenure Act of 1955. Pass Land Reform Act of 1962(or might be called Voluntary Land Transfer Act). Basic provision: any tenant who petitions for purchase of land he cultivates will be given loan equal to purchase price payable in 15 ( 20 ) years. Any landowner with more than 50 hectares whose tenant so petitioned must sell to him
    1. at a price equal to 3 1/2 times the annual gross product if payment in cash, in which case, loan will come from DBP, PNB, or Rural Bank,
    2. or at a price equal to 5 times the annual gross product if payment in government corporate stock or reparations certificates, in which case loan would come from LTA (and repayment period, 20 years).
      (Both owner and tenant could present data on gross annual crop; but owner’s claim in this regard would become conclusive evidence for purpose, of tax assessment.) Or, in line with thinking of Salvador Araneta, assessed value could be made prima facie evidence of land value, but owner’s income from land sale would be tax exempt.
  2. Place limitation on size of any newly acquired private individual’s landholding, preferably 200.

Categories Philippines, Agrarian policy