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A. Exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources

1. GOALS OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMY

The goals of the national economy are:

1) A more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth;

2) A sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and,

3) An expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged. (Section 1, Article XII, 1987 Constitution)

a. Promotion of industrialization and full employment

The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. (Paragraph 2, Section 1, Article XII, Ibid.)

b. Protection against unfair foreign competition and trade practices

The State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices. (Paragraph 2, Section 1, Article XII, Ibid.)

c. Opptimum opportunity to develop

In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. (Paragraph 3, Section 1, Article XII, Ibid.)

Private enterprises, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall be encouraged to broaden the base of their ownership. (Paragraph 3, Section 1, Article XII, Ibid.)

A. Exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources

1. LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN

All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. (Section 2, Article XII, Ibid.)

1) Regalian Doctrine

GENERAL RULE: Pursuant to the Regalian Doctrine (Jura Regalia), all lands of the public domain belong to the State. (Federation of Coron v. DENR Secretary, En Banc, G.R. No. 247866, 15 September 2020)

This means that the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land, and is charged with the conservation of such patrimony. All lands not appearing to be clearly under private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. Also, public lands remain part of the inalienable land of the public domain unless the State is shown to have reclassified or alienated them to private persons. (Ibid.)

EXCEPTION: The only exception in the Regalian Doctrine is native title to land, or ownership of land by Filipinos by virtue of a claim of ownership since time immemorial and independent of any grant from the Spanish Crown – i.e. ancestral lands. (Ibid.)

2) Ancestral lands

Ancestral lands are covered by the concept of native title that “refers to pre-conquest rights to lands and domains which, as far back as memory reaches, have been held under a claim of private ownership by ICCs/IPs, have never been public lands and are thus indisputably presumed to have been held that way since before the Spanish Conquest.” To reiterate, they are considered to have never been public lands and are thus indisputably presumed to have been held that way. (Republic v. Cosalan, G.R. No. 216999, 04 July 2018)

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national development policies and programs, the State shall protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being. (Section 5, Article XII, Ibid.)

a) Customary Laws

The Congress may provide for the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain. (Paragraph 2, Section 5, Article XII, Ibid.)

2. NATURAL RESOURCES

1) Non-alienation of natural resources

With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. (Paragraph 2, Section 2, Article XII, Ibid.)

2) Exploration, development, and utilization

The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum (60%) of whose capital is owned by such citizens. (Ibid.)

a) 25-year limit, renewable for 25-year max

Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five (25) years, renewable for not more than twenty-five (25) years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. (Ibid.)

b) Water rights

In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant. (Ibid.)

3) Marine wealth

The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens. (Paragraph 2, Section 2, Article XII, Ibid.)

4) Small-scale utilization of natural resources

The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons. (Paragraph 3, Section 2, Article XII, Ibid.)

5) Agreements with foreign-owned corporations

The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. (Ibid.)

a) Local scientific and technical resources

In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources. (Paragraph 3, Section 2, Article XII, Ibid.)

b) President to notify Congress

The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution. (Last paragraph, Section 2, Article XII, Ibid.)

3. CLASSIFICATION OF LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN

Lands of the public domain are classified into:

1) Agricultural;

2) Forest or timber;

3) Mineral lands; and,

4) National parks. (Section 3, Article XII, Ibid.)

a. Agricultural lands

Agricultural lands of the public domain may be further classified by law according to the uses which they may be devoted. (Section 3, Article XII, Ibid.)

Alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands. (Ibid.)

b. Forest or timber lands

The Congress shall determine by law the specific limits of forest lands and national parks, marking clearly their boundaries on the ground. (Section 4, Article XII, Ibid.)

Such forest lands and national parks shall be conserved and may not be increased nor diminished, except by law. (Ibid.)

The Congress shall provide, for such period as it may determine, measures to prohibit logging in endangered forests and watershed areas. (Ibid.)

c. Mineral lands

d. National parks

Such forest lands and national parks shall be conserved and may not be increased nor diminished, except by law. (Ibid.)

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