Press Release
March 19, 2016


LONG-winding expropriation proceedings that prevent government projects from cutting across private property to meet deadlines may now be a thing of the past. According to Sen. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, the bill he authored aiming to introduce systematic improvements in acquiring right of way locations for national government projects, has been signed into law as Republic Act 10752 or the Right-of-Way Act.

"Improvements introduced in the law help us realize quick and visible solutions to flooding, traffic congestion, and poor public services," Guingona said.

The law eliminates hurdles to right-of-way sites needed for the expeditious completion of national government infrastructure projects. RA 10752 directs implementing government agencies to immediately initiate expropriation proceedings if affected private landowner fails to respond within 30 days or rejects the government's offer of just compensation.

Price offers to affected landowners, according to the Right of Way Act, must not only be equal to prevailing market price of the land. It must include the value of structures, improvements, crops, and trees. The law compels government agencies to base the offer on the estimate of government or independent appraisers who are accredited by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

As an extra measure, RA 10752 requires the implementing government agency to deposit 100 percent of the established zonal value of the land including the cost of improvements and crops, if any, with the proper court. Upon compliance, the court immediately allows expropriation so the government project can proceed.

If the court fails to issue a writ of possession within a week of the deposit, the court is compelled to issue the said writ ex parte with no need for further hearings.

In case the land is occupied by informal settlers who refuse expropriation, the same court will issue a writ of demolition to authorize the dismantling of structures within the right of way. The law tasks the local government units, the National Housing Authority (NHA), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and other concerned agencies, to resettle those affected.

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