1st Philippine Republic“The yoke has finally broken”, When the First Philippine Republic was establishedin 1899, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared in the Malolos Constitution his intention toconfiscate large estates, especially the so-called Friar lands. However, as the Republic wasshort-lived, Aguinaldo’s plan was never implemented.14
American Period“Long live America”, significant legislation enacted during the American Period: Philippine Bill of 1902 – Set the ceilings on the hectare of private individuals andcorporations may acquire: 16 have. For private individuals and 1,024 has. For corporations. Land Registration Act of 1902 (Act No. 496) – Provided for a comprehensiveregistration of land titles under the Torrens system. Public Land Act of 1903 – introduced the homestead system in the Philippines. Tenancy Act of 1933 (Act No. 4054 and 4113) – regulated relationships betweenlandowners and tenants of rice (50-50 sharing) and sugar cane lands.The Torrens system, which the Americans instituted for the registration of lands, didnot solve the problem completely. Either they were not aware of the law or if they did, theycould not pay the survey cost and other fees required in applying for a Torrens title.Commonwealth Period“Government for the Filipinos”, President Manuel L. Quezon espoused the "SocialJustice" program to arrest the increasing social unrest in Central Luzon. Significantlegislation enacted during Commonwealth Period: 1935 Constitution – "The promotion of social justice to ensure the well-being andeconomic security of all people should be the concern of the State" Commonwealth Act No. 178 (An Amendment to Rice Tenancy Act No. 4045),Nov. 13, 1936 – Provided for certain controls in the landlord-tenant relationships National Rice and Corn Corporation (NARIC), 1936 – Established the price of riceand corn thereby help the poor tenants as well as consumers. Commonwealth Act. No. 461, 1937 – Specified reasons for the dismissal oftenants and only with the approval of the Tenancy Division of the Department of Justice. Rural Program Administration, created March 2, 1939 – Provided the purchaseand lease of haciendas and their sale and lease to the tenants. Commonwealth Act No. 441 enacted on June 3, 1939 – Created the NationalSettlement Administration with a capital stock of P20, 000, 000.Japanese Occupation“The Era of Hukbalahap”, The Second World War II started in Europe in 1939 andin the Pacific in 1941. Hukbalahap controlled whole areas of Central Luzon; landlords whosupported the Japanese lost their lands to peasants while those who supported the Huksearned fixed rentals in favor of the tenants. Unfortunately, the end of war also signaled the
end of gains acquired by the peasants. Upon the arrival of the Japanese in the Philippines in1942, peasants and workers organizations grew strength. Many peasants took up arms andidentified themselves with the anti-Japanese group, the HUKBALAHAP (Hukbo ng BayanLaban sa Hapon).
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Corazon Aquino, Joseph Estrada, agrarian reform, Land reform, Agrarian Law
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