Aquino signs Right-of-Way Act

In light of prioritizing the nation's economy and future, the Republic Act 10752 or The Right-of-way Act was officially signed last March 7 by outgoing president Benigno Aquino III.

The law declares that a just compensation must be paid promptly to property owners of the site where national infrastructure projects will take place. With the passage of this law, business confidence from foreign and domestic investors is most likely to increase thereby creating more business opportunities. Also, this act is set to accelerate completion of infrastructure projects.

Furthermore,  in acquiring ROW sites, the state shall use legal modes such as:

  • Donation-

 

  • Negotiated Sale- In this mode, the sum of the ff. must be paid: (1) The current market value of the land, (2) The replacement cost of structures and improvements therein; and (3) The current market value of crops and trees therein.

 

  • Expropriation- the implementing government office shall promptly pay the ff: (1) One hundred percent (100%) current relevant zonal value of the land (as issued by Bureau of Internal Revenue(BIR)) in not more than three (3) years prior to the filing of the expropriation complaint. (2) The replacement cost at current market value of the improvements and structures within. (3) The current market value of crops and trees therein.

 

In terms of resettlements for affected informal settlers, the government shall provide via the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDGC), and the National Housing Authority (NHA) in cooperation with the respective  LGU's.

Moreover, a writ of demolition shall be issued by the court in cases of resistance attempts by some informal settlers. With this writ, the demolition shall proceed and delays in construction would be avoided.

For the past few years, the right-of-way has been an issue that impedes construction and delays completion of construction projects. In the recent economic freedom survey of The Heritage, property rights in the Philippines remained steady at 30 percent since 2004, much lower than the world’s property rights average of 42.0 percent.

With RA 10752, the government aims to ease the slow process of acquiring right-of-way (ROW) sites thereby improving property rights stature. Backlogs in the law and interruptions in the judicial process may somehow be minimized as well.