Procedure for expropriation

Posted by Admin | Posted in Special Civil Actions | Posted on 16-07-2010

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There are two stages in expropriation. The decisions of the court in both instances are final and appealable.  Multiple appeals are allowed in this case.

  • Stage 1: Determination of the Right to Expropriate

The government or LGU will file a verified complaint:

a)      stating its right and the purpose for its exercise

b)      description of the property

c)       name of all persons owning, or claiming to own, or occupying it, showing as far as practicable their separate interest

d)      if the title to the property is in the name of the Republic of the Philippines but is occupied by a private individual, or if the title is obscure or doubtful, this fact must be stated

Upon filing of the complaint, the expropriator may enter the property after depositing a certain amount with an authorized government depositary.   The value of the deposit will vary – if it is real property, the assessed value for tax purposes, and if it is personal property, the court will provisionally determine it.

If it is an LGU expropriating a real property, the deposit should be equal to 15% of the market value of the property based on the tax declaration.

If the acquisition involves property to be used for national government infrastructure projects (RA 8794), the government should deposit 100% of the value of the property based on the current zonal valuation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, including the value of improvements, if any.

These amounts are only provisional; the purpose is only to allow the plaintiff/expropriator to enter the property while the case is pending.  It is for the protection of the property owner, who, in the meantime, will be deprived of the use and enjoyment of his/her property.  If the case pushes through, the court will still have to determine the amount of just compensation to be paid to the owner in exchange for his or her property.

Then, the court may either dismiss the complaint or issue an Order of Expropriation declaring the plaintiff’s right to expropriate.

  • Stage 2: Determination of Just Compensation

The just compensation is equivalent to the fair market value of the property – that is the price agreed upon by a buyer not compelled to buy and a seller not compelled to sell.  This is to avoid a price that is either lower or higher than the actual market value.

The court will determine the just compensation with the aid of commissioners.  The court will appoint not more than three competent and disinterested persons. They are to submit a report with recommendations to the court after they have viewed and examined the property.   The court may wholly or partially accept or reject their report, securing the rights of both parties in either case.

Just compensation means not only the correct determination of the amount to be paid to the owner, but also payment within reasonable time after taking.  Without prompt payment, compensation cannot be considered just. (Republic vs. Lim, June 29, 2005)

Basis for determining the value of the property:

1)      If the expropriator has entered the property or was already in possession when the complaint for expropriation was filed, compensation should be based on the value of the property at the time of the taking.

2)      If the taking coincides with the filing of the case or if the taking happened after the case was filed, the basis should be the value at the time of the filing.

The purpose of these rules is to avoid a situation where the government would first negotiate with the owner to lease the property and inform the owner of its intent to expropriate later when the lease is about to expire.  Then it would claim that the taking began at the time of the lease and that the compensation should be based on the value at such time of taking, when the value of the property was still lower.   This would result in an injustice to the private property owner.

Thus, for the purpose of determining the just compensation, it is important to know the time of the “taking”.  And it is also important to fully understand the meaning of “taking” for us to know WHEN taking has occurred. pinoylegal

Taking, in expropriation, “may be defined generally as entering upon private property for more than a momentary period, and, under the warrant or color of legal authority, devoting it to a public use, or otherwise informally appropriating or injuriously affecting it in such a way as substantially to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment thereof”  (Republic vs. vda. de Castellvi, GR No. L-20620, August 15, 1974).  Thus, “taking” takes place when the following requisites are present:

1)      The expropriator entered the private property;

buying drugs online left;”>2)      The entrance is for more than a momentary period;

3)      The entrance is under warrant of authority or color of legal authority;

4)      The property is devoted for public use; and

5)      The owner is deprived of all beneficial enjoyment of the property.

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