P-Noy inks law easing right-of-way process

President Aquino


Business groups laud passage of RA 10752

MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino has signed a law covering procedures for the acquisition of right-of-way (ROW) for infrastructure projects of the government.

Under Republic Act 10752 or An Act Facilitating the Acquisition of ROW Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure Projects signed on March 7 and published yesterday, owners of private property taken for public use would be given just compensation.


“The State shall ensure that owners or real property acquired for national government infrastructure projects are promptly paid just compensation for the expeditious acquisition of the required ROW for the projects,” the law stated.

The law provides the following modes of acquiring real property for any national government infrastructure project: donation, negotiated sale, expropriation or any other modes allowed legally.

Business groups said infrastructure development is expected to accelerate at a faster pace in the coming years with the passage of the ROW law.

With infrastructure being one of the country’s weak spots, local and foreign business groups welcomed the recent signing of RA 10752.

“The signature of RA 10752 by the President is a welcome development for the infrastructure industry. We are hopeful that it will address the substantial delays that right of way issues have caused for vital infrastructure projects across the country in the past,” European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) president GuenterTaus said.

“This is a great news as this law will make infrastructure development faster,” ECCP vice president for external affairs Henry Schumacher added.

According to the business community, the law would primarily boost roll out and development of projects under the government’s public-private-partnership (PPP) program.

Business groups have long been clamoring for more infrastructure projects given the country’s sustained and robust economic growth.

“That should help, though at the end of the day it boils down to the ability of agencies to execute,” said John Eric Francia, head of Ayala’s infrastructure and energy group.

The Ayala Group has been an active participant in the PPP program in recent years and the country’s oldest conglomerate is expected to continue doing so in the coming years.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries president George Barcelon said right of way issues have long been hampering the immediate development of some of the country’s important infrastructure developments.

“It should have been done much earlier (signing the bill into law) as this would definitely give private investors confidence. Whoever wins the next election could leverage on this and make infrastructure development much faster,” Barcelon said.

The law provides the following modes of acquiring real property for any national government infrastructure project: donation, negotiated sale, expropriation or any other modes allowed legally.

For property acquired via negotiated sale, the implementing government agency of the project must pay the owner fair compensation equivalent to the current market value of the land, costs of replacement of structure and improvements therein, as well as the value of crops and trees to be removed.

To determine the appropriate price offer, the implementing government agency may engage the services of a government financial institution or an independent property appraiser accredited by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The property owner is given 30 days to accept or refuse the government’s offer for payment.

If the land owner accepts the offer, the implementing agency will need to pay 50 percent of the negotiated price upon execution of a deed of sale.

The balance would be paid by the time the land title is transferred to the government.

Should the property owner decline the price offer, the implementing agency could initiate expropriation proceedings and take the matter to the proper court.

For informal settlers to be affected by the project, the government will have to establish resettlement sites.

To be able to acquire ROW site or location for infrastructure projects, the government will need to provide adequate appropriations.

The law takes effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

The implementing rules and regulations would be issued by a committee composed of the secretaries of the following departments: public works, transportation and communications, energy, justice, and budget and management, as well as the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority and the chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, within 60 days from approval of the law.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the approval of the law is a positive development.


 (The Philippine Star) |