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Atlas Fertilizer v.

Secretary of DAR Doctrine: Questions concerning the constitutionality of assailed provisions in RA 6657 become moot and academic with the passage of RA 7881. Petitioner: Atlas Fertilizer Corporation Respondents: The Honorable Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform Date: June 19, 1997 Ponente: Romero, J. Nature: Petition to question constitutionality of some portions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (RA 6657) Summary: Petitioners claim that Sections 3(b), 11, 13, 16(d), 17 and 32 of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (RA 6557) are unconstitutional for these extend agrarian reform to aquaculture lands when Sec. 4, Art, 13 of the Constitution limits agrarian reform only to agricultural lands. The Supreme Court held that the questions concerning the aforesaid provisions have become moot and academic with the passage of RA 7881. Issues: 1. WON the questions raised by the petitioners became moot and academic with the passage of RA 7881. Held: 1. YES. Facts: The petitioners claim that: That in the case of Luz Farms, Inc. v Secretary of Agrarian Reform, the court ruled that when the use of land is only incidental to and not the principal factor in productivity they should be excluded from RA 6557. The petitioner claims that this should also apply to aquaculture activities as only 5% of the total investment is in the form of land and therefore cannot be classified as an agricultural activity. RA 7881 expressly state that fishponds and prawn farms are exempted from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.

That RA 6657 by treating aquaculture operations the same as agriculture or farming violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution and is therefore void That it was the intent of the framers of the Constitution to exclude industrial lands which includes aquaculture.

That there are no farmworkers who till the lands so the beneficiaries under Sec 4 Art XIII of the 1987 Constitution do not exist. Administrative Order No. 8 and 10 is likewise unconstitutional as it implements the assailed provisions.

RA 6657 contested provisions Sec. 3(b) includes raising of fish in definition of agricultural, agricultural enterprise or agricultural activity. Sec. 11 defines commercial farms as private agricultural lands devoted to fishponds and prawn ponds. Sec. 13 calls upon petitioner to execute a production-sharing plan Sections 16 and 17 rest on the Department of Agrarian Reform the authority to determine just compensation to be paid for lands covered by the Comprehesive Agrarian Reform Law. Sec. 32 spells out production-sharing plan mentioned in Sec. 13 (3% of gross sales from production of lands to be distributed within 60 days at the end of the fiscal year as compensation to regular and other farmworkers in such lands over and above their compensation, provided that individuals or entities realize gross sales in excess of P5M per annum unless the DAR, upon proper application, determines a lower ceiling. For every profit realized, an additional 10% of net profit after tax shall be distributed to regular and other farmworkers within 90 days of the end of the fiscal year. RA 7881: Sec (10) Exception and Exclusions - Private lands actually, directly and exclusively used for prawn farms shall be exempt from the coverage of this act. Provided that said prawn farms and fishponds have not been distributed and Certificate of Land Ownership Award issued to agrarian reform beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Sec (4) Incentives

Fishpond and prawn farms - 7.5% of the net profit shall be distributed as additional compensation to the workers. The following provisions shall not apply to agricultural lands subsequently converted to fishponds or prawn farms, provided the size of the land converted does not exceed the retention limit of the land owners