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Copyright (c) 1988 Washington Law Review
Washington Law Review

COMMENT: PHILIPPINE LAND REFORM: THE JUST COMPENSATION ISSUE.

APRIL, 1988

63 Wash. L. Rev. 417

Author

Timothy Milton Hanstad

Excerpt

Strife and social instability characterize the Philippines' recent history. One need not look far for the roots of this problem. In the Philippines' large agricultural sector, sixty percent of the people cultivate land they do not own. 1 For years, these agricultural laborers and tenant farmers have provided the grass-root support for Philippine guerrilla movements. 2 Without a comprehensive land reform program, revolution in the Philippines may be inevitable. 3

The high proportion of landlessness among Philippine farmers has also resulted in poor agricultural productivity. Philippine rice yields are much lower than the yields attained by Asian nations where most rice farmers have acquired ownership of the land they cultivate through land reform. 4 Experts have pointed to the land tenure situation as the most basic cause of the poor agricultural productivity. 5

In an attempt to solve these problems, the 1986 Philippine Constitution contains unprecedented (in the Philippines) provisions mandating that the Philippine government implement a land reform program. 6 Specifically, the constitution provides that "the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands . . . subject to the payment of just compensation." 7 The success of any land reform program 8 rests largely upon the interpretation of "just compensation." To a large extent, this interpretation will determine the required cost of the program. A substantial cost may be beyond the government's ability to finance the program.

This Comment analyzes current Philippine land reform efforts, focusing on the constitutional definition of ...
 
 
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