State Powers: Eminent Domain

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

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The power of eminent domain involves the power and right of the state (through its government) to appropriate or take private property to be used for a public purpose. This process of taking is popularly known as expropriation. A compulsory sale to the government, it places a limitation on one’s property rights. That is why, before the government can validly take any private property, it must comply with strict legal requirements.  This is in accord with the Constitution which says:  “no person shall be deprived of property without due process of law”.pinoylegal

The following are the basic limitations on the exercise of this power:

1) It must be for a public purpose;

2) There must be a necessity for its exercise, which should be genuine and public in character; and

3) The owner of the private property must be paid just compensation.

But for local government units (province, city, municipality or barangay), the requirements are more specific.

1) There must be an ordinance enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the local chief executive, in behalf of the LGU, to pursue expropriation proceedings over a particular private property. pinoylegal

2) It is exercised for public purpose, use or welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the landless.

3) There is payment of just compensation.

4) A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner but it was rejected.

5) It must be in accordance with RA 7279 (Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992), specifically:

a) Section 9: In the order of priority in the acquisition of land, privately-owned land ranks last.

b) Section 10: As to the modes of land acquisition, expropriation should be used only when other modes (joint venture agreement or negotiated purchase) have been exhausted.pinoylegal


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