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Chavez v.

NHA | 530 SCRA 235


FACTS: On March 19, 1993, the National Housing Authority (NHA) and R-II Builders, Inc. (RBI) entered into a Joint
Venture Agreement (JVA) for the development of the Smokey Mountain dumpsite and reclamation area to be converted
into a low cost medium rise housing complex and industrial/commercial site. The Project will involve 79 hectares of
reclaimed land (it was initially 40 hectares but the JVA was amended). The JVA also provides that as part of the
consideration for the Project, NHA will convey a portion of the reclaimed lands to RBI.
The reclamation of the area was made; and subsequently, Special Patents were issued conveying the reclaimed land to
NHA.
On August 5, 2004, former Solicitor General Francisco I. Chavez filed this Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus
seeking to declare NULL and VOID the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) and the Smokey Mountain Development and
Reclamation Project, and all other agreements in relation thereto, for being Unconstitutional and Invalid.
ISSUES: Whether NHA and RBI have been granted the power and authority to reclaim lands of the public domain.
(Chavez claims that the power to reclaim lands of public domain is vested exclusively with PEA)
RULING: YES. Although PEA was designated under EO 525 as the agency primarily responsible for integrating,
directing, and coordinating all reclamation projects, its charter does not mention that it has the exclusive and sole power
and authority to reclaim lands of public domain. In fact, EO 525 provides that reclamation projects may also be
undertaken by a national government agency or entity authorized by its charter to reclaim land.
There are 3 requisites to a legal and valid reclamation project:
a. Approval by the President;
b. Favorable recommendation of PEA; and
c. Undertaken by any of the ff:
i. PEA
ii. Any person or entity pursuant to a contract it executed with PEA
iii. The National government agency or entity authorized under its charter to reclaim lands subject to consultation
with PEA.