Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Philippines and China have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on co-operation on oil and gas development


See - https://www.vantageasia.com/mou-philippines-china-natural-resource/


"x x x.

Philippines-China MoU on natural resource development
By Ritz Micah A Diumano, ACCRA Law Offices
10 September 2019



On 20 November 2018, the Philippines and China entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on co-operation on oil and gas development. Premised on the charter of the UN, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the 2002 Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, the two governments agreed to negotiate on an accelerated basis (i.e., within 12 months of its signing) arrangements to facilitate oil and gas exploitation in “relevant maritime areas”.

Under section III of the MOU, the two governments listed their intention to establish an inter-governmental joint steering committee and inter-entrepreneurial working groups.

The committee will be co-chaired by the foreign ministries, and co-vice-chaired by the energy ministries, with the participation of relevant agencies of both governments, and with an equal number of members nominated by the two governments.

Under the same section, the committee is responsible for negotiating and coming up with co-operation arrangements and the maritime areas (or co-operation areas) to which they will apply. The committee will also decide on the number of working groups to be established, and for which part of the co-operation area each working group will be established (working areas).

More specifically, each working group will consist of representatives from enterprises authorized by the two governments. For this purpose, China will authorize the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), while the Philippines will authorize enterprises that have entered into service contracts with the Philippine government with respect to the applicable working areas. Should there be none, the Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC), will be the Philippine enterprise authorized to represent it in a particular working group.

The MOU is without prejudice to the respective legal positions of both governments with respect to their claims in the disputed sea, and will not create rights or obligations of either party under international or domestic laws.

It can be observed that the MOU is an effort by both parties to peacefully settle their conflicting territorial claims. Still, any joint development agreement that may be entered into with respect to the relevant maritime areas will inevitably have to be measured against the yardstick of the Philippines’ 1987 constitution.

Section 2, article XII of the 1987 constitution provides that the exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the state. Moreover, it mandates the state to protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial seas, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.

Nonetheless, it gives the president authority to enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils, subject to certain safeguards.

In the 2004 case of La Bugal B’laan Tribal Association v DENR, the Supreme Court held that the language of section 2, article XII of the constitution should be interpreted as allowing the president to enter into an agreement to explore, develop and utilize minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils even with a 100% foreign-owned corporation. It further held that this type of agreement should not be restricted to one that is merely for financial or technical assistance.

The Supreme Court, however, reminded that the state must still retain full control and supervision over the exploration, development, and utilization of these resources. In particular, the Supreme Court held that while the foreign contractor may be allowed a certain degree of management prerogative, the state must still be able to direct, restrain, regulate and govern the affairs of the foreign contractor.
There are those who opine that a joint development agreement with China can hurdle constitutional issues in view of this ruling. However, a conclusion is not as easily arrived at as it may seem. In this regard, it is apt to quote Professor Jay L Batongbacal’s assessment of the MOU as published on the website of the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative, thus:

“… the MOU … still does not address the specific challenges and restrictions posed by the Philippine constitution and legislation … It also does not address the constitutional and legal requirement of ‘sole control and supervision by the state’ of natural resource exploration and exploitation. Unfavourable answers to these questions may lead to the conclusion that Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights will indeed be compromised. These can be finally determined only when the parties agree on the actual co-operation arrangements for specific areas.”

Ritz Micah A Diumano is an associate with the litigation and dispute resolution department at ACCRALAW
x x x."

Friday, September 6, 2019

All prisoners regardless of whether already serving his/her sentence or undergoing preventive imprisonment may qualify for the reduction of their sentence pursuant to the time allowances under R.A. 10592.

See - http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/4510/

G.R. No. 212719, June 25, 2019, Inmates of the New Bilibid Prison, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al.; Atty. Rene A.V. Saguisag, Sr. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al.; William M. Montinola, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al.; G.R. No. 214637, June 25, 2019, Reynaldo D. Edago, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al., June 25, 2019. 


"x x x.

SC Rules In Favor of Prisoners and Inmates
July 1, 2019

The Supreme Court in their En Banc session on 25 June 2019 and in a decision penned by Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, declared invalid Section 4, Rule 1 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (“IRR”) of Republic Act No. 10592 (“R.A. 10592”) in so far as the said IRR provided for the prospective application of the grant of time allowance of prisoners for: i.) good conduct, ii.) study, teaching, and mentoring service, and iii.) loyalty.

As a consequence, all prisoners regardless of whether already serving his/her sentence or undergoing preventive imprisonment may qualify for the reduction of their sentence pursuant to the time allowances under R.A. 10592. 

The decision was in connection with the following consolidated cases:

Inmates of the New Bilibid Prison, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al.; Atty. Rene A.V. Saguisag, Sr. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al.; William M. Montinola, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al. (G.R. No. 212719).

Reynaldo D. Edago, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al. (G.R. No. 214637)

R.A. 10592 which was passed into law on 29 May 2013 amended Articles 29[1], 94[2], 97[3], 98[4], and 99[5] of the Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3815 or “RPC”). The important amendments under RA 10592, among others, are as follows:

1.) It expanded the application of the good conduct time allowance for prisoners even during preventive imprisonment.

2.) It increased the number of days that may be credited for good conduct time allowance.

3.) It allowed additional deduction of 15 days for each month of study, teaching, or mentoring service.

4.) It expanded the special time allowance for loyalty and made it applicable even during preventive imprisonment.

On 26 March 2014 an IRR was jointly issued by the Secretary of the Department of Justice, Leila H. De Lima, and the Secretary of the Department of Interior, Manuel A. Roxas II. However, Section 4, Rule 1 of the IRR directed the prospective application of the grant of good conduct time allowance (GCTA), time allowance for study, teaching, and mentoring (TASTM) and special time allowance for loyalty (STAL) to prisoners. Section 4, Rule 1 of the IRR reads:

Section 4. Prospective Application. – Considering that these Rules provide for new procedures and standards of behavior for the grant of good conduct time allowance as provided in Section 4 of Rule V hereof and require the creation of a Management, Screening and Evaluation Committee (MSEC) as provided in Section 3 of the same Rule, the grant of good conduct time allowance under Republic Act 10592 shall be prospective in application.

The grant of time allowance of study, teaching and mentoring and of special time allowance for loyalty shall be prospective in application as these privileges are likewise subject to the management, screening and evaluation of the MSEC.

The petitioners assail the validity of the said provision of the IRR on the ground that it violates Article 22 of the RPC, which provides:

Article 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws. – Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the persons guilty of the felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same. 

In the decision, the Supreme Court took note of the definition of “penal laws” to be: “Penal laws and laws which, while not penal in nature, have provisions defining offenses and prescribing penalties for their violation.”

Thus Justice Peralta, in granting the petition and declaring the IRR invalid in so far as it provides for the prospective application of the grant of GCTA, TASTM, and STAL, stated in the decision:

“While R.A. No. 10592 does not define a crime/offense or provide/prescribe a penalty as it addresses the rehabilitation component of our correctional system, its provisions have the purpose and effect of diminishing the punishment attached to the crime. The further reduction of the length of the penalty of imprisonment is, in the ultimate analysis, beneficial to the detention and convicted prisoners alike; hence, calls for the application of Article 22 of the RPC.

“The prospective application of the beneficial provisions of R.A. No. 10592 actually works to the disadvantage of petitioners and those who are similarly situated. It precludes the decrease in the penalty attached to their respective crimes and lengthens their prison stay; thus, making more onerous the punishment for the crimes committed. Depriving them of time off to which they are justly entitled as a practical matter results in extending their sentence and increasing their punishment. Evidently, this transgresses the clear mandate of Article 22 of the RPC.”

With the said ruling of the Supreme Court, and considering the increased time allowances for GCTA, TASTM, and STAL under R.A. 10592 given to qualified inmates, there will be a substantial reduction in their respective penalties; which eventually will result in the decongestion of the jail system in the country.

The court voted as follows:

The following Justices voted to grant the petition –
Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin
Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio
Justice Diosdado M. Peralta
Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo
Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe
Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen
Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Cagouia
Justice Andres B. Reyes, Jr.
Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo
Justice Jose C. Reyes, Jr.
Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando
Justice Rosmari D. Carandang
Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier
Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting

The following Justice took no part –
Justice Francis H. Jardeleza (on official leave)

(G.R. No. 212719, Inmates of the New Bilibid Prison, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al.; Atty. Rene A.V. Saguisag, Sr. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al.; William M. Montinola, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al.; G.R. No. 214637, Reynaldo D. Edago, et al. vs. Sec. Leila M. De Lima, et al. June 25, 2019)


[1] ART. 29. Period of preventive imprisonment deducted from term of imprisonment. – Offenders or accused who have undergone preventive imprisonment shall be credited in the service of their sentence consisting of deprivation of liberty, with the full time during which they have undergone preventive imprisonment if the detention prisoner agrees voluntarily in writing after being informed of the effects thereof and with the assistance of counsel to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, except in the following cases:
When they are recidivists, or have been convicted previously twice or more times of any crime; and
When upon being summoned for the execution of their sentence they have failed to surrender voluntarily.

If the detention prisoner does not agree to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, he shall do so in writing with the assistance of a counsel and shall be credited in the service of his sentence with four-fifths of the time during which he has undergone preventive imprisonment.

Credit for preventive imprisonment for the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be deducted from thirty (30) years.

Whenever an accused has undergone preventive imprisonment for a period equal to the possible maximum imprisonment of the offense charged to which he may be sentenced and his case is not yet terminated, he shall be released immediately without prejudice to the continuation of the trial thereof or the proceeding on appeal, if the same is under review. Computation of preventive imprisonment for purposes of immediate release under this paragraph shall be the actual period of detention with good conduct time allowance: Provided, however, that if the accused us absent without justifiable cause at any stage of the trial, the court may motu propio order the rearrest of the accused: Provided, finally, that recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes are excluded from the coverage of this Act. In case the maximum penalty to which the accused may be sentenced is destierro, he shall be releases after thirty (30) days of preventive imprisonment. (Amendments in bold, italicized, and underlined words)

[2] ART. 94. Partial extinction of criminal liability. – Criminal Liability is extinguished partially:
By conditional pardon;
By commutation of sentence; and
For good conduct allowance which the culprit may earn while he is undergoing preventive imprisonment or serving his sentence. (Amendments in bold, italicized, and underlined words)

[3] ART. 97. Allowance for good conduct. – The good conduct of any offender qualified for credit for preventive imprisonment pursuant to Article 29 of this Code, or of any convicted prisoner in any penal institution, rehabilitation or detention center or any other local jail shall entitle him to the following deductions from the period of his sentence:

During the first two years of (his) imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of twenty days for each month of good behavior during detention;
During the third to the fifth year, inclusive, of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of twenty-three days for each month of good behavior during detention;
During the following years until the tenth year, inclusive, of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of twenty-five days for each month of good behavior during detention;
During the eleventh and successive years of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of thirty days for each month of good behavior during detention;
At any time during the period of imprisonment, he shall be allowed another deduction of fifteen days, in addition to numbers one to four hereof, for each month of study, teaching, or mentoring service time rendered.

An appeal by the accused shall not deprive him of entitlement to the above allowances for good conduct. (Amendments in bold, italicized, and underlined words)

[4] ART. 98. Special time allowance for loyalty. – A deduction of one fifth of the period of his sentence shall be granted to any prisoner who, having evaded his preventive imprisonment or the service of his sentence under the circumstances mentioned in Article 158 of this Code, gives himself up to the authorities within 48 hours following the issuance of a proclamation announcing the passing away of the calamity or catastrophe referred to in said article. A deduction of two-fifths of the period of his sentence shall be granted in case said prisoner chose to stay in the place of his confinement notwithstanding the existence of a calamity or catastrophe enumerated in Article 158 of this Code.

This Article shall apply to any prisoner whether undergoing preventive imprisonment or serving sentence. (Amendments in bold, italicized, and underlined words)

[5] ART. 99. Who grants time allowances – Whenever lawfully justified, the Director of the Bureau of Corrections, the Chief of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and/or the Warden of a provincial, district, municipal, of city jail shall grant allowances for good conduct. Such allowances once granted shall not be revoked. (Amendments in bold, italicized, and underlined words)

x x x."

Good conduct time allowance [GCTA]; RA 10592, amending Articles 29, 94, 97, 98 and 99, Revised Penal Code


REPUBLIC ACT No. 10592

AN ACT AMENDING ARTICLES 29, 94, 97, 98 AND 99 OF ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE REVISED PENAL CODE

Section 1. Article 29 of Act No. 3815, as amended, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"ART. 29. Period of preventive imprisonment deducted from term of imprisonment. – Offenders or accused who have undergone preventive imprisonment shall be credited in the service of their sentence consisting of deprivation of liberty, with the full time during which they have undergone preventive imprisonment if the detention prisoner agrees voluntarily in writing after being informed of the effects thereof and with the assistance of counsel to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, except in the following cases:

"1. When they are recidivists, or have been convicted previously twice or more times of any crime; and

"2. When upon being summoned for the execution of their sentence they have failed to surrender voluntarily.

"If the detention prisoner does not agree to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, he shall do so in writing with the assistance of a counsel and shall be credited in the service of his sentence with four-fifths of the time during which he has undergone preventive imprisonment.

"Credit for preventive imprisonment for the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be deducted from thirty (30) years.1âwphi1

"Whenever an accused has undergone preventive imprisonment for a period equal to the possible maximum imprisonment of the offense charged to which he may be sentenced and his case is not yet terminated, he shall be released immediately without prejudice to the continuation of the trial thereof or the proceeding on appeal, if the same is under review. Computation of preventive imprisonment for purposes of immediate release under this paragraph shall be the actual period of detention with good conduct time allowance: Provided, however, That if the accused is absent without justifiable cause at any stage of the trial, the court may motu proprio order the rearrest of the accused: Provided, finally, That recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes are excluded from the coverage of this Act. In case the maximum penalty to which the accused may be sentenced is lestierro, he shall be released after thirty (30) days of preventive imprisonment."

Section 2. Article 94 of the same Act is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"ART. 94. Partial extinction of criminal liability. – Criminal liability is extinguished partially:

"1. By conditional pardon;

"2. By commutation of the sentence; and

"3. For good conduct allowances which the culprit may earn while he is undergoing preventive imprisonment or serving his sentence."

Section 3. Article 97 of the same Act is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"ART. 97. Allowance for good conduct. – The good conduct of any offender qualified for credit for preventive imprisonment pursuant to Article 29 of this Code, or of any convicted prisoner in any penal institution, rehabilitation or detention center or any other local jail shall entitle him to the following deductions from the period of his sentence:

"1. During the first two years of imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of twenty days for each month of good behavior during detention;

"2. During the third to the fifth year, inclusive, of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a reduction of twenty-three days for each month of good behavior during detention;

"3. During the following years until the tenth year, inclusive, of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of twenty-five days for each month of good behavior during detention;

"4. During the eleventh and successive years of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of thirty days for each month of good behavior during detention; and

"5. At any time during the period of imprisonment, he shall be allowed another deduction of fifteen days, in addition to numbers one to four hereof, for each month of study, teaching or mentoring service time rendered.

"An appeal by the accused shall not deprive him of entitlement to the above allowances for good conduct."

Section 4. Article 98 of the same Act is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"ART. 98. Special time allowance for loyalty. – A deduction of one fifth of the period of his sentence shall be granted to any prisoner who, having evaded his preventive imprisonment or the service of his sentence under the circumstances mentioned in Article 158 of this Code, gives himself up to the authorities within 48 hours following the issuance of a proclamation announcing the passing away of the calamity or catastrophe referred to in said article. A deduction of two-fifths of the period of his sentence shall be granted in case said prisoner chose to stay in the place of his confinement notwithstanding the existence of a calamity or catastrophe enumerated in Article 158 of this Code.

"This Article shall apply to any prisoner whether undergoing preventive imprisonment or serving sentence."

Section 5. Article 99 of the same Act is hereby further amended to read as follows:"

"ART. 99. Who grants time allowances. – Whenever lawfully justified, the Director of the Bureau of Corrections, the Chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and/or the Warden of a provincial, district, municipal or city jail shall grant allowances for good conduct. Such allowances once granted shall not be revoked."

Section 6. Penal Clause. – Faithful compliance with the provisions of this Act is hereby mandated. As such, the penalty of one (1) year imprisonment, a fine of One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and perpetual disqualification to hold office shall be imposed against any public officer or employee who violates the provisions of this Act.

Section 7. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall within sixty (60) days from the approval of this Act, promulgate rules and regulations on the classification system for good conduct and time allowances, as may be necessary, to implement the provisions of this Act.

Section 8. Separability Clause. – If any part hereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the provisions not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.

Section 9. Repealing Clause. – Any law, presidential decree or issuance, executive order, letter of instruction, administrative order, rule or regulation contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act is hereby repealed, modified or amended accordingly.

Section 10. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) new papers of general circulation.

Approved: MAY 29 2013

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines

Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013; RA 10575



REPUBLIC ACT No. 10575

AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS (BUCOR) AND PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR

Section 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as "The Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013″.

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the policy of the State to promote the general welfare and safeguard the basic rights of every prisoner incarcerated in our national penitentiary. It also recognizes the responsibility of the State to strengthen government capability aimed towards the institutionalization of highly efficient and competent correctional services.

Towards this end, the State shall provide for the modernization, professionalization and restructuring of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) by upgrading its facilities, increasing the number of its personnel, upgrading the level of qualifications of their personnel and standardizing their base pay, retirement and other benefits, making it at par with that of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Section 3. Definition of Terms. –

(a) Safekeeping, which is the custodial component of the BuCor’s present corrections system, shall refer to the act that ensures the public (including families of inmates and their victims) that national inmates are provided with their basic needs, completely incapacitated from further committing criminal acts, and have been totally cut off from their criminal networks (or contacts in the free society) while serving sentence inside the premises of the national penitentiary. This act also includes protection against illegal organized armed groups which have the capacity of launching an attack on any prison camp of the national penitentiary to rescue their convicted comrade or to forcibly amass firearms issued to prison guards.

(b) Reformation, which is the rehabilitation component of the BuCor’s present corrections system, shall refer to the acts which ensure the public (including families of inmates and their victims) that released national inmates are no longer harmful to the community by becoming reformed individuals prepared to live a normal and productive life upon reintegration to the mainstream society.

Section 4. The Mandates of the Bureau of Corrections. – The BuCor shall be in charge of safekeeping and instituting reformation programs to national inmates sentenced to more than three (3) years.

(a) Safekeeping of National Inmates – The safekeeping of inmates shall include decent provision of quarters, food, water and clothing in compliance with established United Nations standards. The security of the inmates shall be undertaken by the Custodial Force consisting of Corrections Officers with a ranking system and salary grades similar to its counterpart in the BJMP.

(b) Reformation of National Inmates – The reformation programs, which will be instituted by the BuCor for the inmates, shall be the following:

(1) Moral and Spiritual Program;

(2) Education and Training Program;

(3) Work and Livelihood Program;

(4) Sports and Recreation Program;

(5) Health and Welfare Program; and

(6) Behavior Modification Program, to include Therapeutic Community.

(c) The reformation programs shall be undertaken by Professional Reformation Personnel consisting of Corrections Technical Officers with ranking system and salary grades similar to Corrections Officers.

(1) Corrections Technical Officers are personnel employed in the implementation of reformation programs and those personnel whose nature of work requires proximate or direct contact with inmates.

(2) Corrections Technical Officers include priests, evangelists, pastors, teachers, instructors, professors, vocational placement officers, librarians, guidance counselors, physicians, nurses, medical technologists, pharmacists, dentists, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, social workers, engineers, electricians, agriculturists, veterinarians, lawyers and similar professional skills relevant to the implementation of inmate reformation programs.

Section 5. Operations of the Bureau of Corrections. – (a) The BuCor shall operate with a directorial structure. It shall undertake reception of inmates through its Directorate for Reception and Diagnostics (DRD), formerly Reception and Diagnostic Center (RDC), provide basic needs and security through its Security and Operations Directorates, administer reformation programs through its Reformation Directorates, and prepare inmates for reintegration to mainstream society through its Directorate for External Relations (DER), formerly External Relations Division (ERD).

(b) The DRD shall be responsible for the conduct of classification of each and every inmate admitted to the BuCor. Inmates shall be classified according to security risk and sentence. Included in the classification is determining inmate’s certain skills or talents, physical, spiritual, social, mental and psychological evaluation and other behavioral assessments, as reference of the DRD in the preparation of individual inmate reformation programs.

(c) Aside from those borne of the provisions under Rule 8, Part I, Rules of General Application of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and that of the existing regulation of the BuCor on security classification (i.e. maximum, medium and minimum security risk), inmates shall also be internally classified by the DRD and segregated according to crimes committed based on the related penal codes such as Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Properties, Crimes Against Chastity, so on and so forth, as well as by other related Special Laws, Custom and Immigration Laws.

(d) From the DRD, the Custodial Force and Reformation Personnel of respective security institutions/camps shall be in charge for the security and the implementation of the recommended inmate reformation program of each and every inmate while serving sentence, respectively.

(e) The Directorate for External Relations (DER) shall be responsible for pre-release and post-release programs of inmates due for release. The DER shall also classify inmates according to skills acquired for referral and endorsement to appropriate companies or corporations participating in the BuCor On-The-Job Training Programs for newly reformed inmates. The DER shall also evaluate, classify and apply necessary programs to inmates for readiness to join the mainstream society upon release.

(f) Apart from handling inmates, the BuCor shall administratively operate like a standard government agency through its Administrative Directorates with internal control and internal audit units.

(g) The BuCor shall employ full computerization in the build-up, maintenance and transmittal of necessary inmate records to all its Prison and Penal Farms and other recipient agencies (i.e. Board of Pardons and Parole).

Section 6. Lands of the Bureau of Corrections. – (a) Aside from administrative purposes, all BuCor lands shall be used for inmate security, reformation programs and as a means to promote sustainability, both for income and non-income generating programs, with or without partnership among nongovernment organizations, civic organizations or other government entities.

(b) As a way to maximize its assets’ value for the effective and extensive reformation (corrections) programs for national inmates, the BuCor shall have the absolute authority to design, formulate and implement land-use development plans and policies.

(c) The BuCor may propose additional penal farms as may be necessary as possible, aside from its existing seven (7) prison and penal farms to decongest existing penal institutions and accommodate the increasing number of inmates committed to the agency.

(d) All BuCor lands shall have a Certificate of Title registered under its name.

Section 7. Facilities of the Bureau of Corrections. – The BuCor shall operate with standard and uniform design of prison facilities, reformation facilities and administrative facilities, through all the operating prison and penal farms, such as the following:

(a) Dormitory;

(b) Administration building;

(c) Perimeter/Security fences;

(d) Hospital/Infirmary;

(e) Recreation/Multipurpose hall;

(f) Training/Lecture center;

(g) Workshop facility;

(h) Mess hall/kitchen;

(i) Visiting area;

(j) Water tank and pump;

(k) Reception and diagnostic center; and

(l) Service personnel facilities.

Section 8. Supervision of the Bureau of Corrections. – The Department of Justice (DOJ), having the BuCor as a line bureau and a constituent unit, shall maintain a relationship of administrative supervision with the latter as defined under Section 38(2), Chapter 7, Book IV of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987), except that the DOJ shall retain authority over the power to review, reverse, revise or modify the decisions of the BuCor in the exercise of its regulatory or quasi-judicial functions.

Section 9. Organization and Key Positions of the Bureau of Corrections. – (a) The BuCor shall be headed by a Director who shall be assisted by three (3) Deputy Directors: one (1) for administration, one (1) for security and operations and one (1) for reformation, all of whom shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the DOJ: Provided, That the Director and the Deputy Directors of the BuCor shall serve a tour of duty not to exceed six (6) years from the date of appointment: Provided, further, That in times of war or other national emergency declared by Congress, the President may extend such tour of duty.

(b) The Head of the BuCor, with the rank of Undersecretary, shall have the position and title of Director General of Corrections. The second officers in command of the BuCor, with the rank of Assistant Secretary, shall have the position and title of Deputy Directors of Corrections. The third officer in command of the BuCor, with the rank of Chief Superintendent, shall have the position and title of Corrections Chief Superintendent. The fourth officer in command of the BuCor, with the rank of Senior Superintendent, shall have the position and title of Corrections Senior Superintendent. The fifth officer in command of the BuCor, with the rank of Superintendent, shall have the position and title of Corrections Superintendent.

(c) The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall rationalize the existing organizational structure and staffing pattern of the BuCor in accordance with the provisions of this Act and relevant compensation and position classification laws, rules and regulations.

Section 10. Increase of Personnel. – The BuCor shall maintain the custodial personnel-to-inmate ratio of 1:7 and reformation personnel-to-inmate ratio of 1:24. Hence, it is authorized to increase its manpower to meet such ratio and may continue to increase personnel per percentage rate increase of committed inmates annually or as the need arises.

Section 11. Professionalization and Upgrading of Qualification Standards in the Appointment of the BuCor Personnel. – (a) No person shall be appointed as personnel of the BuCor unless one possesses the following minimum qualifications:

(1) A citizen of the Republic of the Philippines;

(2) A person of good moral character;

(3) Must have passed the psychiatric/psychological, drug and physical test for the purpose of determining his/her physical and mental health;

(4) Must possess a baccalaureate degree from a recognized learning institution;

(5) Must possess the appropriate civil service eligibility;

(6) Must not have been dishonorably discharged or dismissed for cause from previous employment;

(7) Must not have been convicted by final judgment of an offense or crime involving moral turpitude; and

(8) Must be at least one meter and sixty-two centimeters (1.62 m.) in height for male, and one meter and fifty-seven centimeters (1.57 m.) for female: Provided, That a waiver for height and age requirement/s may be granted to applicants belonging to the cultural communities: Provided, further, That a new applicant must not be less than twenty-one (21) or more than forty (40) years of age. Except for this particular provision, the above-enumerated qualifications shall be continuing in character and an absence of any one of them at any given time shall be ground for separation or retirement from the service: Provided, furthermore, That those who are already in the service upon the effectivity of this Act shall be given five (5) years from the date of such effectivity to obtain the minimum educational qualification and eligibility with subsidiary assistance as provided for in this Act.

(b) After the lapse of the period for the satisfaction of a specific requirement, incumbent personnel of the BuCor who fail to satisfy any of the requirements enumerated under this section shall be separated from the service if they are below fifty (50) years of age and have served in the government for less than twenty (20) years, or retired if they are fifty (50) years and above and have served in the government for at least twenty (20) years without prejudice in either case to the payment of benefits they may be entitled to under existing laws.

(c) For sustained professionalism in the service, the BuCor is directed to conduct study for the feasible establishment of the Philippine Corrections Academy, patterned after the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) of the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) for its commissioned officers.

(d) The BuCor shall continue training its personnel through its Personnel Training School, which shall be renamed as Corrections Training School/Institute patterned after the BJMP’s Jail National Training Institute (JNTI), the Bureau of Fire’s Fire National Training Institute (FNTI) and the PNP’s National Training Institute (PNTI).

Section 12. Appointment of Personnel to the BuCor. – The appointment of the BuCor shall be effected in the following manner:

(a) Corrections Officer I to Corrections Chief Superintendent – Appointed by the Director General of Corrections, and attested by the Civil Service Commission (CSC); and

(b) Director General of Corrections and Deputy Director of Corrections – Appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the DOJ, with the proper endorsement by the Chairman of the CSC.

Section 13. Lateral Entry of Officer into the BuCor. – In general, all original appointments of officers in the BuCor shall commence with the rank of Corrections Inspector wherein applicants for lateral entry into the BuCor shall include all those with highly specialized and technical qualifications such as, but not limited to, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, chemical engineers, chemists, architects, criminologists, certified public accountants, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, social workers, psychologists, sociologists, guidance counselors and teachers. Doctors of Medicine, members of the Philippine Bar and chaplains shall be appointed to the rank of Corrections Senior Inspector in their particular technical service.

Section 14. Professionalization and Upgrading of Qualification Standards in the Designation of Personnel of the BuCor to Key Positions. –

(a) No person shall be designated to the following key positions of the BuCor unless one has met the qualifications provided therein:

(1) Sub-Colony Supervisor – Should have the rank of Senior Inspector, who must have finished at least-second year Bachelor of Laws or earned at least twelve (12) units in a master’s degree program in management, public administration, public safety, criminology, penology, sociology, national security administration, defense studies or other related disciplines from a recognized institution of learning, and must have satisfactorily passed the necessary training or career courses for such position as may be established by the BuCor;

(2) Colony Assistant Superintendent – Should have the rank of Chief Inspector, who must have finished at least second year Bachelor of Laws or earned at least twenty-four (24) units in a master’s degree program in management, public administration, public safety, criminology, penology, sociology, national security administration, defense studies or other related disciplines from a recognized institution of learning, and must have satisfactorily passed the necessary training or career courses for such position as may be established by the BuCor;

(3) Colony Superintendent – Should have the rank of Superintendent, who must be a graduate of Bachelor of Laws or a holder of a master’s degree in management, public administration, public safety, criminology, penology, sociology, national security administration, defense studies or other related disciplines from a recognized institution of learning, and must have satisfactorily passed the necessary training or career courses for such position as may be established by the BuCor: Provided, That in prison and penal farms with an inmate population of two thousand (2,000) but below three thousand (3,000), the Colony Superintendent shall have the rank and qualification of a Colony Senior Superintendent; and

(4) Regional Superintendent – Should have the rank of Senior Superintendent or Chief Superintendent, who must be a graduate of Bachelor of Laws or a holder of a master’s degree in management, public administration, public safety, criminology, penology, sociology, national security administration, defense studies or other related disciplines from a recognized institution of learning, and must have satisfactorily passed the necessary training or career courses for such position as may be established by the BuCor: Provided, That in prison and penal farms with an inmate population of three thousand (3,000) but below five thousand (5,000), the Regional Superintendent shall have the rank and qualification of a Colony Senior Superintendent: Provided, further, That in prison and penal farms with an inmate population of over five thousand (5,000), the Regional Superintendent shall have the rank and qualification of a Chief Superintendent.

Any personnel of the BuCor who is currently occupying such position but lacks any of the qualifications mentioned therein shall be given five (5) years to comply with the requirements; otherwise, the personnel shall be relieved from the position.

Section 15. Professionalization and Qualifications Upgrading Program. – The DOJ shall design and establish a professionalization and qualifications upgrading program for personnel of the BuCor, in coordination with the CSC and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), through an off-campus education program or other similar programs within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act.

Section 16. Attrition System for the Personnel of the BuCor. – There shall be established a system of attrition for the personnel of the BuCor within five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act, to be submitted by the said bureau to the DOJ for approval. Such attrition system shall include, but is not limited to, the provision of the following principles:

(a) Attrition by Demotion in Position or Rank – Any personnel of the BuCor who is relieved and assigned to a position lower than what is established for the grade in the respective staffing pattern, and who shall not be assigned to a position commensurate to one’s grade within two (2) years after such demotion in position shall be separated or retired from the service;

(b) Attrition by Non-Promotion – Any personnel of the BuCor who has not been promoted for a continuous period often (10) years shall be separated or retired from the service, except for those who are occupying a third level position;

(c) Attrition by Other Means – Any personnel of the BuCor with at least five (5) years of accumulated active service shall be separated from the service based on any of the following factors:

(1) Inefficiency based on poor performance during the last two (2) successive semestral rating periods;

(2) Inefficiency based on poor performance for three (3) cumulative semestral rating periods;

(3) Physical and/or mental incapacity to perform one’s duties and functions; or

(4) Failure to complete the required career courses and/or appropriate civil service eligibility for his/her position except for justifiable cause or reason; and

(d) Separation or Retirement from the BuCor under this Section – Any personnel who is dismissed from the BuCor pursuant to the above-enumerated principles in this section shall be separated if one has rendered less than twenty (20) years of service, and be retired if one has rendered at least twenty (20) years of service unless the concerned personnel is disqualified by law to receive such benefits.

Section 17. Promotion System for the Personnel of the BuCor. – Within six (6) months after the effectivity of this Act, the BuCor shall establish a system of promotion for the personnel of the BuCor through the following principles:

(a) Rationalized Promotion System – The system of promotion shall be based on merit and on the availability of vacant ranks in the BuCor staffing pattern. Such system shall be gender-fair so as to ensure that women personnel of the BuCor shall enjoy equal opportunity for promotion as to men;

(b) Requirements for Promotion –

(1) Any personnel of the BuCor shall not be eligible for promotion to a higher rank unless one has met the minimum qualification standards or the appropriate civil service eligibility set by the CSC, and has satisfactorily passed the required psychiatric/psychological, drug and physical test; and

(2) Any personnel of the BuCor who has exhibited acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry at the risk of one’s life above and beyond the call of duty, or selected as such in a nationwide search conducted by any accredited civic organization, shall be promoted to the next higher rank: Provided, That these shall be validated by the DOJ and the CSC based on established criteria.

Section 18. Performance Evaluation System. – (a) There shall be established a performance evaluation system which shall be administered in accordance with the rules, regulations and standards, and a code of conduct for the personnel of the BuCor to be promulgated by the BuCor through the DOJ. Such performance evaluation system shall be administered in such a way as to foster the improvement of the individual efficiency and behavioral discipline, as well as the promotion of organizational effectiveness and commitment to public service.

(b) The rating system as contemplated herein shall be based on standards prescribed by the BuCor through the DOJ and shall be considered the result of the annual psychiatric/psychological and physical test conducted on the personnel of the BuCor.

Section 19. Standardization of the Base Pay and Other Benefits of the Uniformed Personnel of the BuCor. – In order to enhance the general welfare, commitment to service and professionalism, the following are considered uniformed personnel of the BuCor:




CUSTODIAL RANK

REFORMATION RANK


Corrections Chief Superintendent


Corrections Senior Superintendent

Corrections Technical Senior Superintendent


Corrections Superintendent

Corrections Technical Superintendent


Corrections Chief Inspector

Corrections Technical Chief Inspector


Corrections Senior Inspector

Corrections Technical Senior Inspector


Corrections Inspector

Corrections Technical Inspector


Corrections Senior Officer IV

Corrections Technical Senior Officer IV


Corrections Senior Officer III

Corrections Technical Senior Officer III


Corrections Senior Officer II

Corrections Technical Senior Officer II


Corrections Senior Officer I

Corrections Technical Senior Officer I


Corrections Officer III

Corrections Technical Officer III


Corrections Officer II

Corrections Technical Officer II


Corrections Officer I

Corrections Technical Officer I




The DBM shall determine the equivalent rank of the uniformed personnel of the BuCor patterned after the existing ranks of the military and uniformed personnel of other departments.

The base pay, allowances and other benefits of the abovementioned personnel shall be in accordance with the existing compensation and position classification laws and regulations.

Section 20. Retirement Benefits. – Upon compulsory retirement, any custodial officer from the rank of Corrections Chief Superintendent and below shall be entitled to retirement benefits computed on the basis of one grade higher than the position last held: Provided, That the retirement pay shall be subject to adjustment/s based on the prevailing scale of base pay of the uniformed personnel in the active service.

Section 21. Funding Source. – The funds required for the implementation of this Act including personnel benefits shall be taken from the budget of the BuCor for the current fiscal year and also from the following:

(a) Collections from clearances and certification fees;

(b) Income from institutional projects subject to memoranda of agreements (MOAs), contracts or joint venture agreements; and

(c) Other miscellaneous incomes (outside MOAs and contracts), such as:

(1) Penal farm agro-production; and

(2) Inmate handicraft industry.

Thereafter, such amounts as may be necessary to implement this Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Section 22. Implementation. – The implementation of this Act shall be undertaken in staggered phases, but not to exceed five (5) years, taking into consideration the financial position of the national government: Provided, That any partial implementation shall be uniform and proportionate for all ranks.

Section 23. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The DOJ, in coordination with the BuCor, the CSC, the DBM and the Department of Finance (DOF), shall, within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act, promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this Act.

Section 24. Transitory Provisions. – (a) The incumbent Director and two (2) incumbent Assistant Directors shall serve under the terms for which they have been appointed without need of new appointments upon the enactment of this Act.

(b) All incumbent personnel who, upon the effectivity of this Act, shall opt to early or optionally retire from the service will be entitled to the retirement benefits computed as follows:
<>Age Age Basis for Computing Benefits


57 62
<>58 63


59 64


60 65


(c) All incumbent personnel, upon the effectivity of this Act, may continue to render services until one reaches the compulsory age of retirement for public officers of sixty-five (65). Those who shall be newly hired will have a compulsory age retirement of fifty-six (56) years pursuant to the prevailing provisions on retirement age of those who are in the uniformed services.

Section 25. Annual Report. – The BuCor, through the DOJ and the DBM, shall jointly submit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives an annual report on the implementation of this Act. This report shall include information on the application of the budget for the salary and other benefits provided under this Act. The DBM, in consultation with the BuCor through the DOJ, shall periodically review and adjust every five (5) years the rates of base pay, taking into consideration labor productivity, consumer price index, oil price and other similar economic indicators as may be determined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Section 26. Separability Clause. – If any portion or provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity and effectivity of the other provisions not affected thereby.1âwphi1

Section 27. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations and other issuances, or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby deemed repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Section 28. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation, whichever comes earlier.

Approved: MAY 24 2013

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines

Subsidiary penalty - REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10159 April 10, 2012, AN ACT AMENDING ARTICLE 39 OF ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE REVISED PENAL CODE



REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10159 April 10, 2012

AN ACT AMENDING ARTICLE 39 OF ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE REVISED PENAL CODE


Section 1. Article 39 of Act No. 3815, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 39. Subsidiary Penalty. – If the convict has no property with which to meet the fine mentioned in paragraph 3 of the next preceding article, he shall be subject to a subsidiary personal liability at the rate of one day for each amount equivalent to the highest minimum wage rate prevailing in the Philippines at the time of the rendition of judgment of conviction by the trial court, subject to the following rules:

"1. If the principal penalty imposed be prision correctional or arresto and fine, he shall remain under confinement until his fine referred in the preceding paragraph is satisfied, but his subsidiary imprisonment shall not exceed one-third of the term of the sentence, and in no case shall it continue for more than one year, and no fraction or part of a day shall be counted against the prisoner.

"2. When the principal penalty imposed be only a fine, the subsidiary imprisonment shall not exceed six months, if the culprit shall have been prosecuted for a grave or less grave felony, and shall not exceed fifteen days, if for a fight felony.
"3. When the principal penalty imposed is higher than prision correctional, no subsidiary imprisonment shall be imposed upon the culprit.

"4. If the principal penalty imposed is not to be executed by confinement in a penal institution, but such penalty is of fixed duration, the convict, during the period of time established in the preceding rules, shall continue to suffer the same deprivations as those of which the principal penalty consists.

"5. The subsidiary personal liability which the convict may have suffered by reason of his insolvency shall not relieve him from the fine in case his financial circumstances should improve." (As amended by Republic Act No. 5465, which lapsed into law on April 21, 1969.)

Section 2. Separability Clause. – If any provision or part hereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the provision not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.

Section 3. Repealing Clause. – All laws, presidential decrees or issuances, executive orders, letters of instruction, administrative orders or rules and regulations which may be inconsistent with this Act shall be deemed repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Section 4. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: April 10, 2012

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines

REPUBLIC ACT No. 10707, AN ACT AMENDING PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 968, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “PROBATION LAW OF 1976”, AS AMENDED



REPUBLIC ACT No. 10707

AN ACT AMENDING PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 968, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “PROBATION LAW OF 1976”, AS AMENDED


SECTION 1. Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 968, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 4. Grant of Probation. — Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the trial court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant for a probationable penalty and upon application by said defendant within the period for perfecting an appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place the defendant on probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may deem best. No application for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal from the judgment of conviction: Provided, That when a judgment of conviction imposing a non-probationable penalty is appealed or reviewed, and such judgment is modified through the imposition of a probationable penalty, the defendant shall be allowed to apply for probation based on the modified decision before such decision becomes final. The application for probation based on the modified decision shall be filed in the trial court where the judgment of conviction imposing a non-probationable penalty was rendered, or in the trial court where such case has since been re-raffled. In a case involving several defendants where some have taken further appeal, the other defendants may apply for probation by submitting a written application and attaching thereto a certified true copy of the judgment of conviction.

“The trial court shall, upon receipt of the application filed, suspend the execution of the sentence imposed in the judgment.

“This notwithstanding, the accused shall lose the benefit of probation should he seek a review of the modified decision which already imposes a probationable penalty.
“Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of imprisonment or a fine only. The filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal.

“An order granting or denying probation shall not be appealable.”

SECTION 2. Section 9 of the same Decree, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 9. Disqualified Offenders. — The benefits of this Decree shall not be extended to those:

“a. sentenced to serve a maximum term of imprisonment of more than six (6) years;

“b. convicted of any crime against the national security;

“c. who have previously been convicted by final judgment of an offense punished by imprisonment of more than six (6) months and one (1) day and/or a fine of more than one thousand pesos (P1,000.00);
“d. who have been once on probation under the provisions of this Decree; and

“e. who are already serving sentence at the time the substantive provisions of this Decree became applicable pursuant to Section 33 hereof.”

SECTION 3. Section 16 of the same Decree, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 16. Termination of Probation. — After the period of probation and upon consideration of the report and recommendation of the probation officer, the court may order the final discharge of the probationer upon finding that he has fulfilled the terms and conditions of his probation and thereupon the case is deemed terminated.

“The final discharge of the probationer shall operate to restore to him all civil rights lost or suspended as a result of his conviction and to totally extinguish his criminal liability as to the offense for which probation was granted.

“The probationer and the probation officer shall each be furnished with a copy of such order.”

SECTION 4. Section 24 of the same Decree is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 24. Miscellaneous Powers of Regional, Provincial and City Probation Officers. — Regional, Provincial or City Probation Officers shall have the authority within their territorial jurisdiction to administer oaths and acknowledgments and to take depositions in connection with their duties and functions under this Decree. They shall also have, with respect to probationers under their care, the powers of a police officer. They shall be considered as persons in authority.”

SECTION 5. Section 27 of the same Decree is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 27. Field Assistants, Subordinate Personnel. – Regional, Provincial or City Probation Officers shall be assisted by such field assistants and subordinate personnel as may be necessary to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.”

SECTION 6. Section 28 of the same Decree is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 28. Volunteer Probation Assistants (VPAs). — To assist the Chief Probation and Parole Officers in the supervised treatment program of the probationers, the Probation Administrator may appoint citizens of good repute and probity, who have the willingness, aptitude, and capability to act as VPAs.

“VPAs shall not receive any regular compensation except for reasonable transportation and meal allowances, as may be determined by the Probation Administrator, for services rendered as VPAs.

“They shall hold office for a two (2)-year term which may be renewed or recalled anytime for a just cause. Their functions, qualifications, continuance in office and maximum case loads shall be further prescribed under the implementing rules and regulations of this Act.

“There shall be a reasonable number of VPAs in every regional, provincial, and city probation office. In order to strengthen the functional relationship of VPAs and the Probation Administrator, the latter shall encourage and support the former to organize themselves in the national, regional, provincial, and city levels for effective utilization, coordination, and sustainability of the volunteer program.”

SECTION 7. Separability Clause. — If any provision of this Act is declared invalid, the provisions hereof not affected by such declaration shall remain in full force and effect.

SECTION 8. Repealing Clause. — All laws, executive orders, or administrative orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Act are hereby amended, repealed or modified accordingly.

SECTION 9. Appropriations Clause. — The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law.

SECTION 10. Implementing Rules and Regulations. — Within sixty (60) days from the approval of this Act, the Department of Justice shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.

SECTION 11. Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect immediately after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: NOV 26 2015

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO, III
President of the Philippines

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Who has authority to grant good conduct time allowances


“xxx. The question here is who has authority to grant good conduct time allowances, not on what basis such allowances should be made.

In Kabigting v. Director of Prisons, G.R. No. L-12276, Aug. 26, 1958, it was held that in habeas corpus proceedings, the trial court has no power to grant the petitioner time allowances for good conduct "[because] in accordance with Article 99 of the Revised Penal Code it is the Director of the Prisons who shall grant allowances for good conduct if such good conduct has been observed by the prisoner concerned." In People v. Tan, 19 SCRA 433 (1967),  it was emphatically held that a provincial warden cannot grant credit for good conduct to a prisoner and order his release because Art. 99 of the Revised Penal Code vests the authority to grant prisoners good conduct time allowances "exclusively in the Director and [in] no one else." In that case, the prisoner was under the supervision and control of the provincial warden, but the authority of the Director to grant good conduct time allowances was upheld. Indeed, there is nothing in R.A. No. 6975 [‘Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990’] which repeals Art. 99 [‘Who grants time allowances’] of the Revised Penal Code.

X x x.

Needless to say, the writ of habeas corpus remains available as a remedy against any abuse of the authority granted by Art. 99 of the Revised Penal Code to the Director of Prisons, but that is altogether a different kettle of fish from the question posed in this case. Here, the question is whether a court may rely on the certification of the City Warden as to good conduct time allowances in ordering the release of prisoners by writ of habeas corpus. We hold that it cannot, in view of Art. 99 of the Revised Penal Code vesting the authority to grant good conduct time allowances solely in the Director of Prisons.

In view of the foregoing, we are constrained to order the re-arrest of all of respondents. This can be done without placing them in double jeopardy of being punished for the same offense because their re-incarceration is merely a continuation of the penalties that they had not completely served due to the invalid crediting of good conduct time allowances in their favor. [citing People v. Tan, 19 SCRA 433 (1967)].

WHEREFORE, the appealed order is SET ASIDE and the case is hereby REMANDED to the trial judge for further proceedings, taking into account the certification of the Director of the Bureau of Corrections as to the good conduct time allowances to which respondents may be entitled, by either granting the writ of habeas corpus with respect to some of the respondents or ordering the re-arrest of others, as the facts may warrant.”

CITY WARDEN OF THE MANILA CITY JAIL, petitioner, vs. RAYMOND S. ESTRELLA, et. al., G.R. No. 141211, August 31, 2001.


Implied repeal of laws



“Neither is there any inconsistency between Art. 99 and R.A. No. 6975. Repeals by implication are not favored. To the contrary, every statute must be so interpreted and brought in accord with other laws as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence. Interpretare et concordare leqibus est optimus interpretendi. [Republic of the Philippines v Marcopper Mining Corporation, G.R. No. 137174, July 10, 2000 citing Hagad v. Gozo-Dadole, 251 SCRA 242 (1995)]. For there to be an implied repeal, there must be a clear showing of repugnance. The language used in the later statute must be such as to render it irreconcilable with what has been formerly enacted. An inconsistency that falls short of that standard does not suffice. [Agujetas v. Court of Appeals, 261 SCRA 17 (1996) citing AGPALO, STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION 287-288 (1990)].

CITY WARDEN OF THE MANILA CITY JAIL, petitioner, vs. RAYMOND S. ESTRELLA, et. al., G.R. No. 141211, August 31, 2001.




Easements; DENR procedures in the retention of areas within certain distances along the banks of rivers, streams, and shore of seas, lakes and oceans for environmental protection.



DENR Administrative Order No. 97-05 
March 06, 1997 

SUBJECT: Procedures in the retention of areas within certain distances along the banks of rivers, streams, and shore of seas, lakes and oceans for environmental protection. 

In the interest of the service and in order to promote ecological balance and protection of the environment, the provisions of R.A. No. 1273, P.D. No. 705 (as amended ) and P.D. No. 1067 shall be strictly implemented. 

Section 1. RATIONALE - It has been observed that in the processing and subsequent approval of isolated and cadastral surveys and patents, the provisions of R.A. No. 1273, P.D. No. 705 (as amended) and P.D. No. 1067 as regards to the retention of areas within certain distances along the banks of rivers, streams, and shores of seas, lakes and oceans, have not been followed. These areas are crucial to ensure environmental protection, hence, the following sections of the aforementioned laws area hereby quoted for strict observance of all concerned: 

1.1 Section 1 of R.A. No. 1273 otherwise known as An Act to Amend Section Ninety of Commonwealth Act Number One Hundred and Forty-One, known as the "Public Land Act", mandates: 

"Section 1 (i) That the applicant agrees that a strip of forty meters wide starting from the bank on each side of any river or stream that may be found on the land applied for shall be demarcated and preserved as permanent timberland to be planted exclusively to trees of known economic value, and that he shall not make any clearing thereon or utilize the same for ordinary farming purposes even after patent shall have been issued to him or a contract lease shall have been executed in his favor." 

1.2 Section 16, paragraphs 7 and 8, of P.D. No. 705 otherwise known as "Forestry Code", provides: 

Section 16. Areas needed for forest purposes xxx 

(7) Twenty-meter strips of land along the edge of the normal high waterline of rivers and streams with channels of at least five (5) meters wide; 

(8) Strips of mangrove or swamplands at least twenty (20) meters wide, along shorelines facing oceans, lakes and other bodies of water and strips of land at least twenty (20) meters facing lakes; xxx 

1.3 Article 51 of P.D. No. 1067 otherwise known as "Water Code of the Philippines" also provides: 

"Article 51. The banks of rivers and streams and the shores of the seas, and throughout their entire length and within a zone of three (3) meters in urban areas, twenty (20) meters in agricultural areas, and forty (40) meters in forest areas, along their margins, are subject to the easement of public use in the interest of recreation, navigation, floatage, fishing and salvage xxx" 

1.4 These three (3), twenty (20) or forty (40) meters strips of land as indicated in the Forestry Land Classification Maps and Forestry Administrative Orders promulgating the L.C. Maps, shall be retained and preserved as permanent forests for stream or river bank protection and area non-alienable. 

Section 2. IMPLEMENTATION - To strictly observe the pertinent provisions of the laws herein stated, the following procedures are hereby promulgated: 

2.1 In the case of previously surveyed and titled properties bordering rivers, streams, creeks, arroyos and esteros, or fronting the seas, oceans or other bodies of water. 

2.1.1 When these lands are subdivided, certain areas as described in Sections 1.2 and 1.3 of this Order, shall be demarcated as separate lot and preserved for forest purposes. When these areas are bereft of trees, these shall be planted with trees. No permanent infrastructure shall be allowed on these areas, unless intended for erosion control or to enhance the aesthetic qualities of the area. 

2.1.2 When these lands are consolidated and subdivided into residential / commercial / industrial subdivisions, certain areas as described in Sections 1.2 and 1.3 if this Order, shall also be demarcated as separated lot and to be retained as permanent forest. This may form part of the open space for parks and recreational areas which shall likewise be planted with trees. 

2.1.3 When the surveys have been approved and subject of Public Land Applications which are being processed or covered by request for data for judicial titling, the survey plan shall be amended pursuant to R.A. No. 1273 so as to demarcate the three(3) meters, Twenty (20) meters or forty (40) meters strips of land, as the case may be. This strip of land shall be indicated as separate lots clearly marked as permanent forest for stream or river bank protection. 

The lot marked as permanent forest for stream or river bank protection shall be excluded from the patent to be issued under the public land application; provided however, that the name of the applicant shall be indicated on the plan. The plan and lot date to be issued for judicial titling shall state that this strip is for permanent forest for stream or river bank protection; provided however, that when the petition for judicial registration is being heard in court and publication has been made, the court shall be informed about the exclusion of this strip of land in accordance with the law. 

2.2 In the case of private properties bordering rivers, streams, creeks, arroyos, esteros, and when the strips of land described in Sections 1.2 and 1.3 of this Order are included in the title. 

2.2.1 When these properties are consolidated and subdivided in residential / commercial / industrial subdivisions, the same procedure as stated in Section 2.1.2 shall be observed; provided further, that these strips of land shall be treated as open spaces as required in P.D. No. 1216 and P.D. No. 957, and shall be planted with trees to form greenbelts in accordance with P.D. No. 953. 

2.2.2 When these properties in urban and urbanizing areas are sold, certain areas as described in Sections 1.2 and 1.3 of this Order, shall not be included as these area non-alienable and non-buildable. 

2.3 In lands to be surveyed, being surveyed, or surveyed but not yet approved, the provision of R.A. No. 1273 and P.D. No. 705 (as amended) shall be strictly observed. 

2.3.1 The boundary lines of surveys shall be the line forty (40) meters in forest areas, twenty (20) meters in agricultural areas, and three (3) meters in urban areas measured landward from each side of the bank of river, stream, creek or arroyo, or shore of the sea. These boundary lines shall be clearly marked or blazed on the ground with permanent concrete monuments or any practicable sign to ensure protection and maintenance of the area. The strips of land shall be excluded from the survey claim. This shall be kept with vegetative cover and planted with trees. 

2.3.2 The edge of the high waterline or banks of the rivers, streams, creeks arroyos or esteros shall be located by direct measurements from a traverse station and the side shots must be clearly recorded in the field notes and shown on the plan in red-ink dotted lines. 

2.3.3 Before a public land application is accepted or technical description is issued for judicial titling, an ocular inspection of the lot should be conducted to ensure that the three (3) meters, twenty (20) meters and forty (40) meters strips of land for permanent forest for stream and river bank protection, area excluded. 

2.3.4 The strip of land for stream or bank protection shall be kept with vegetative cover and planted with trees. Sufficient measures shall be undertaken to present soil erosion. 

Section 3. ADMINISTRATION - All practicing geodetic engineers (DENR and in private practice) shall strictly observe these procedures. 

To properly implement the provisions of this Order: 

3.1 All Regional Executive Directors shall implement these guidelines; deny the acceptance of surveys and/or subdivision surveys which are not in conformity with laws and these guidelines. 

3.2 All Regional Executive Directors shall submit compliance reports to this Order on a quarterly basis to the Undersecretary for Field Operations for review and evaluation thereof. The USEC for Field Operation may initiated penal sanction against erring personnel as the review and evaluation may warrant. 

Section 4. PENAL SANCTIONS - Employees, officials and other parties involved in the processing and subsequent approval of the surveys and issuance of patents that failed to observe provisions of this Order and pertinent laws or found conniving with the applicants or surveyors or committing fraud shall be dealt with administratively and criminally in accordance with the existing and applicable laws on the matter, 

Section 5. REPEALING CLAUSE - All order, circulars, official instruction of parts thereof inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or amended accordingly. 

Section 6. EFFECTIVITY - This order shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation. 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Divorce: "Before Spain, we had divorce. After Spain, we had divorce for 32 years. Muslims never stopped having the option and some of our indigenous peoples still practice it. Indeed, divorce is NOT alien to Filipinos as claimed by some...."



See - http://manilastandard.net/mobile/article/302578 


"x x x.

Divorce in the Philippines: Then and now

by Elizabeth Angsiocoposted August 17, 2019 at 12:40 am 







"It is most definitely not a foreign concept to Filipinos."

Divorce, is again a hot topic these days with the filing in both Houses of Congress of bills that will bring divorce back to the country. Yes, you read it right. We had divorce laws before despite not having it now.

We have heard senators express views against divorce on the basis of Filipino culture. They say that divorce is a foreign concept, it is not Filipino.

Yet, we had divorce-like practices before the Spaniards colonized us. These practices are mentioned in several pieces of literature on pre-colonial Philippines. In fact, such are still being practiced by some of our indigenous peoples.

Also, Filipino Muslims did not lose this option under the law unlike their Christian counterparts. On June 18, 1949, the divorce law was repealed by The Civil Code of the Philippines. However, RA 349 was enacted in the same month allowing absolute divorce for Muslims in non-Christian provinces. In 1977, Ferdinand Marcos, incorporated this in PD No. 1083, “A Decree to Ordain and Promulgate a Code Recognizing the System of Filipino Muslim Laws, Codifying Muslim Personal Laws ...” Thus, Muslim Filipinos have continuously had divorce as an option to dissolve marriages.

The Spaniards must have been shocked at the “liberal” practices of the people they found here when they arrived. So they instituted Las Siete Partidas, the law that only allowed relative divorce, or legal separation. This is the same law we now under which couples may be allowed to separate in terms of abode and properties WITHOUT invalidating their marriage. This means that neither party can legally remarry.

After the Philippine-American War, Siete Partidas was supplanted by Act. No. 2710, or the “Divorce Law” by the Americans on March 11, 1917. Absolute divorce, the law that nullified valid marriages, was allowed on grounds of adultery on the part of the wife, and concubinage by the husband.

Even at that time there were already those advocating for a more liberal divorce law. Governor General Francis Burton asserted that the grounds were too restricted and impractical. Associate Justice Fisher of the Supreme Court wrote a series of Articles in Manila Daily Bulletin saying that the law was inconsistent with the modern problems of Filipino families. They wanted a more relaxed law on divorce.

Eventually, a movement for easier divorce law composed of Filipinos emerged. Senators Camilo Osias and Benigno Aquino favored a more liberal law. They filed bills that were passed by both Houses of Congress only to be vetoed by the Governor General then. Since the bills were passed by a Congress of Filipinos, one can say that that Congress favored a liberal divorce law.

Then the Japanese came. Act. No. 2710 was supplanted by Executive Order No. 141 on March 25, 1943, through the Chair of the Philippine Executive Commission with the approval of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines. EO No. 141 allowed absolute divorce based on 11 grounds: adultery and concubinage; attempt on the life of one spouse by the other; a subsequent marriage by either party before the previous one was dissolved; loathsome contagious diseases contracted by either spouse; incurable insanity; impotency; repeated bodily violence by one against the other; intentional or unjustified desertion continuously for at least one year; unexplained absence from the last conjugal abode continuously for at least three years; and slander by deed or gross insult by one spouse against the other. Again, this liberal law came into effect in 1943, some 76 years ago.

After the Philippines was “liberated” by the Americans from Japan, General Douglas MacArthur as the Commander-in-Chief proclaimed that all laws shall revert to those that were valid during the Commonwealth era. This meant that on Oct. 23, 1944, EO 141 was again supplanted by Act. No. 2710. The divorce law was again more restrictive. Still, there was divorce.

Again, there were attempts at liberalizing the law. In 1946, bills were filed by Congresspersons Hermenegildo Atienza (uncle of Buhay Party-List Representative Lito Atienza, a most vocal opponent of the present divorce bills), and Marcos Calo for this purpose.

The subsequent drafting of the Civil Code of the Philippines in 1947 became the major arena for a more relaxed divorce law. Again, the fight was led by Rep. Atienza who was proposing amendments to the draft of the Civil Code that totally scrapped divorce up until the very last minutes before it was adopted.

The Catholic lobby was very strong then. They succeeded in having Title IV on Divorce totally deleted and again replced with Legal Separation. Interestingly also, the Chair of the Code Commission Jorge Bocobo, wrote in a newspaper that the divorce law was not liberalized despite the favorable sentiments of a good number of the Commission members because this was requested by the late President Manuel Roxas. Roxas passed away due to a heart attack in 1948.

Thus, June 18, 1949, the day when The Civil Code of the Philippines was adopted marked the demise of the divorce law in the Philippines for non-Muslims and those not practicing indigenous customs.

Still, soon after its adoption, Senator Vicente Y. Sotto (the grandfather of the present Senate President Tito Sotto, another staunchly anti-divorce legislator) introduced a bill that would allow absolute divorce with grounds that were more liberal than the American era Act. No. 2710. Unfortunately, Sen. Sotto passed away on May 28, 1950 at the age of 73.

In recent history, other legislators filed bills that could have legalized divorce. Former Rep. Manuel Ortega filed HB No. 6993 in 1999, Sen. Rodolfo Biazon filed SB No. 782 and Rep. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo filed HB No. 878 in 2001. Since then, divorce bills have been subsequently and repeatedly filed by other legislators.

Last Congress, the House of Representatives passed on Third and Final Reading a liberal bill on absolute divorce filed by Representative Edcel Lagman. However, the Senate did not move on this. This Congress, bills have again been filed in both Houses. One of the former champions in the House who is now back in the Senate, Sen. Pia Cayetano, filed her bill and is expected to work hard for its passage.

Before Spain, we had divorce. After Spain, we had divorce for 32 years. Muslims never stopped having the option and some of our indigenous peoples still practice it. Indeed, divorce is NOT alien to Filipinos as claimed by some. It is time to re-enact a progressive divorce law.

(Those interested may read “History of Divorce Legislation in the Philippines since 1900” by Deogracias T. Reyes, the main reference material for this piece.)

@bethangsioco on Twitter Elizabeth Angsioco on Facebook

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Duterte signed 27 new laws in July-August 2019



See - https://www.onenews.ph/post-sona-scorecard-27-laws-adopted-9-vetoed



"x x x.

Data from the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office showed that the President has affixed his signature on 27 measures since July 25, triple the number of bills he vetoed since assuming office in 2016.

Eleven of the bills were signed on July 25, three on July 31, one on Aug. 7 and 12 on Aug. 8.

Signed into law after Duterte’s fourth SONA were the following:


Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11346 increasing the excise tax on tobacco products.

The measure raises tobacco excise tax rates and imposes taxes on heated tobacco and vapor products to raise funds for the government’s health care program.

RA 11350: National Commission of Senior Citizens Act

The law creates a commission that will formulate policies to protect the rights of senior citizens and ensure the implementation of programs designed for their benefit.

RA 11358: National Vision Screening Act

The measure establishes a national vision screening program for kindergarten pupils to help those with eye ailments.

RA 11360: Law requiring establishments to distribute in full to their employees the service charges collected.

The measure amends Article 96 of the Labor Code, which stated that 85 percent of service charges collected by establishments shall be distributed to employees.

RA 11361: Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act

The law enumerates and seeks to punish acts that will interrupt the transmission and distribution of electricity.

RA 11362: Community Service Act

The measure seeks to promote restorative justice and decongest jails by allowing courts to require community service in lieu of imprisonment for offenses punishable by up to six months in prison.

RA 11363: Philippine Space Act

The law creates the Philippine Space Agency, which will create, develop and implement the country’s space program.

RA 11364: Cooperative Development Authority Charter of 2019

The law aims to strengthen and reorganize the Cooperative Development Authority, which is mandated to develop and formulate regulations, standards and rules to ensure the effective operation of cooperatives.

RA 11369: National Students’ Day Act

The law declares Nov. 17 of every year as National Students’ Day to recognize the contribution of student activism to the country’s democracy.

RA 11371: Murang Kuryente Act

The law seeks to reduce electricity rates by allotting a portion of the net national government share from the Malampaya Natural Gas Project for the payment of stranded contract costs and stranded debts.

RA 11370: An act declaring Sept. 8 of every year a special working holiday in commemoration of the feast of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

RA 11372: Philippine Coast Guard General Hospital Act

The law seeks to promote the well-being and provide the medical needs of active and retired coast guard personnel and their dependents.

RA 11357: Solar Para sa Bayan Corp. franchise

The measure grants a 25-year franchise to a solar company controlled by Leandro Leviste, son of Antique Rep. Loren Legarda.

RA 11347, 11348: Laws establishing PUP campuses in Quezon City and San Juan

RA 11349: Law creating three additional branches of the Regional Trial Court in Macabebe, Pampanga

RA 11351: An act upgrading the sub-district engineering office in Carmona, Cavite into a regular district engineering office

RA 11352: Law granting a franchise to Bohol Chronicle Radio Corp. and laws renewing the franchises of Mountain Province Broadcasting Corp. (RA 11353), Southern Broadcasting Network Inc. (RA 11354), Radioworld Broadcasting Corp. (RA 11355), Beacon Communications Systems Inc. (RA 11356), Radio Audience Developers Integrated Organization Inc. (RA 11368), Mareco Broadcasting Network (RA 11367) and Solidnorth Broadcasting System (RA 11366).

RA 11359: An act increasing the bed capacity of Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga from 500 to 1,000

RA 11365: An act declaring the Balanga Wetland and Nature Park in Bataan as a responsible and community-based ecotourism zone

x x x."