We have an agricultural land that is being farmed by tenants who are children of the original tenants. Since the death of our eldest sibling, who is the administrator/caretaker of all our common properties, the tenants have been remitting grains of palay below the minimum agreed amount. They make several excuses, which are very unbelievable. We tried talking to them to just leave our farm peacefully, but they argued that they have security to stay in the land as if their rights are superior than the rights of the owner. Please advice us on what to do.
Dear Mrs. GDR,
A tenant in an agricultural land enjoys security of tenure. This security of tenure entitles the tenants continuous enjoyment of their landholding even if the same has been sold or alienated and even upon death of the landowner. In fact, the death or incapacity of the tenant shall transfer the tenancy right thereof to one of the members of his immediate farm household who is related to him within the second degree of consanguinity (Section 3, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 2263 entitled “An Act Amending Certain Section of Republic Act Numbered One Thousand One Hundred Ninety-Nine, Otherwise Known as the Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines”). Nevertheless, a tenant may be dispossessed of his landholding if he has committed any of the grounds mentioned under R.A. No. 1199 otherwise known as “Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines” as amended by R.A. No. 2263. One of the sufficient grounds mentioned therein in dispossessing a tenant is his failure to pay the agreed rental or to deliver the landholder’s share which is not caused by a fortuitous event or force majeure (Section 50, R.A. No. 1199).
Following the abovementioned provisions of law, your tenants enjoy security of tenure in the possession of his landholding but this tenure is not permanent as to deprive the basic rights of the landholder, such as his right to receive his share in the fruits of his agricultural land. The failure of the tenant to deliver your share of grains of palay is one of the grounds to eject them if the said failure was not caused by force majeure. Thus, we cannot answer if the failure of your tenant can be a ground for their dispossession since you failed to mention their excuses in not remitting in full the agreed amount of palay to you. In order to settle this agrarian dispute, you may bring your concern to the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) in the municipality of the place where your property is located for a possible settlement and in order to clarify the reasons for your tenants’ failure to deliver your share in the crops.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com