How to be exempt from CARP?

The Supreme Court has unequivocally held that "to be exempt from CARP, all that is needed is one valid reclassification of the land from agricultural to non-agricultural by a duly authorized government agency before June 15, 1988, when the CARL took effect."[1]As to what is a "duly authorized government agency," the DAR Handbook for CARP Implementors[2] recognizes and discusses the LGU's authority to reclassify lands under Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code.

Moreover, in Heirs of Dr. Jose Deleste v. Land Bank of the Philippines,[3] the Supreme Court held that "[it] is undeniable that the local government has the power to reclassify agricultural into non-agricultural lands." Citing Pasong Bayabas Farmers Association, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,[4] the Supreme Court further held that this power is not subject to DAR approval, viz:
[P]ursuant to Sec. 3 of Republic Act No. (RA) 2264, amending the Local Government Code, municipal and/or city councils are empowered to "adopt zoning and subdivision ordinances or regulations in consultation with the National Planning Commission." It was also emphasized therein that "[t]he power of the local government to convert or reclassify lands [from agricultural to non-agricultural lands prior to the passage of RA 6657] is not subject to the approval of the [DAR]."[5] (Emphasis ours, citation omitted.)

[1] Buklod Nang Magbubukid set Lupaing Ramos, Inc. v. E. M. Ramos and Sons, Inc., 661 Phil. 34, 88 (2011).

[2] Downloaded from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Legal Information System (LIS) <http://www.lis.dar.gov.ph> on April 8, 2015.

[3] 666 Phil. 350, 373 (2011).

[4] 473 Phil. 64 (2004).

[5] Heirs of Dr. Jose Deleste v. Land Bank of the Philippines, supra note 3 at 374. 

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