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PD 705


The law governing the management and utilization of
Forest Lands is PD 705 known as Revised Forestry Code of
the Philippines which was issued on May 19, 1975. The law
places emphasis not only on the utilization of forest
resources but more so on the protection, rehabilitation
and development of forest lands, in order to ensure the
continuity of their productive condition.
definition of


It is the mass of lands of the It refers to those lands of the
public domain which has not public domain which have
been the subject of the been the subject of the
present system of present system of
classification for the classification and declared as
determination of which not needed for the forest
lands are needed for forest purposes.
purposes and which are not.
definition of


It refers to forest lands which It includes the public forest,
have been reserved by the permanent forest or forest
President of the Philippines reserves, and forest
for any specific purpose or reservations
definition of

It is a land area drained by a It is a forest land reservation
stream or fixed body of water established to protect or
and its tributaries having a improve the conditions of
common outlet for surface the water yield thereof or
run-off. reduce sedimentation.
definition of


It is a term applied to the It is a portion of the forest

type of forest occurring on land, whether occupied or
tidal flat along the sea coast, not, which is subjected to
extending along streams shifting and/or permanent
where the water is brackish. slash- and- burn cultivation
having little or no provision
to prevent erosion.
definition of


It is any tract of forest land It means the systematic removal
purposely and extensively of the mature, over-mature and
planted to timber crops defective trees in such manner
primarily to supply the raw as to leave adequate number
material requirements of and volume of healthy residual
existing proposed processing trees of the desired species
plants and related industries. necessary to assure a future crop
of timber, and forest cover for
the protection and conservation
of soil and water.
definition of

It is a privilege granted by the It is a short- term privilege or
State to a person to utilize forest authority granted by the State to a
resources within any forest land person to utilize any limited forest
with the right of possession and resources or undertake a limited
occupation thereof to the activity with any forest land without
exclusion of others, except the any right of occupation and
government, but with the possession therein.
corresponding obligation to
develop, protect, and rehabilitate
the same in accordance with the
terms and conditions set forth in
said agreement.
DENR Mandate
DENR shall be primarily
responsible for the
implementation of the State
Policy which is the
conservation, management,
development, and proper use
of the country’s environment
and natural resources for the
welfare of the present and
future generations of Filipinos.
DENR Mandate
In Ysmael VS Deputy Executive
Secretary (1990), in sustaining
the cancellation of petitioner’s
timber license agreement, the
courts will not interfere in
matters which are addressed
to the sound discretion of
government agencies
entrusted with the regulation
of activities coming under the
special technical knowledge
and training of such agencies.
DENR Mandate
In Sunville Timber Products
Inc. VS Abad (1992), the DENR
should be allowed to rile in the
first instance on any
controversy coming under its
express powers before the
courts of justice may intervene.
BUREAU Composition
The Forest Management Bureau is
headed by a Director and assisted by
one or more Assistant Directors. The
Director and Assistant Director are
appointed by the President.

FMB is directly under the control of

DENR Secretary. Upon the
recommendation of the FMB, the
DENR Secretary shall promulgate rules
and regulations necessary to
implement PD 705.
BUREAU Mandate
All actions and decisions of the FMB
Director are subject to review, motu
proprio or upon appeal of any
aggrieved person, by the DENR
Secretary whose decision shall be final
and executory after the lapse of 30
days from receipt by the aggrieved
party of said decision, unless appealed
to the President. The decision of the
DENR Secretary may not be reviewed
by the Courts except through a special
civil action for certiorari and
BUREAU Jurisdiction
Sec. 5 of PD 705: FMB shall have
jurisdiction and authority over all
forest land, grazing lands, and all
forest reservation including watershed
reservations presently administered by
the other government agencies or
BUREAU Jurisdiction
In Republic VS CA and Bernabe (1987), forest
lands are within the exclusive jurisdiction of
FMB and beyond the power and jurisdiction
of the Courts to register under the Torrens

In Lagua VS Cusi (1988), PD 705 does not vest

any power in the FMB to determine whether
or not the closure of a logging road is legal or
illegal and to make such determination a pre-
requisite before an action for damages may
be maintained. This should properly be
threshed out in a judicial proceeding. Not
every activity made inside a forest area is
subject to the jurisdiction of the FMB.
classification and
i. concept of forest
and forest lands
In Heirs of Amunategui VS Director of Forestry
(1983), a forested area classified as forest land of the
public domain does not lose such classification
simply because loggers or settlers may have
stripped it of its forest cover. The classification is
descriptive of its legal nature or status and does not
have to be descriptive of what the land actually
looks like.

Public forests or forests reserves are not capable of

private appropriation.
ii. topography

Sec. 15 of PD 705:


No land of the public domain 18% in slope or over

shall be classified as A&D, nor any forest land 50%
in slope or over as grazing land. Lands 18% in slope
or over which have already been declared as A&D
shall be reverted to the classification of forest lands
by the DENR Secretary, to form part of the forest
ii. topography


Unless they were already covered by existing titles

or approved public land applications, or actually
openly, continuously, adversely and publicly for a
period of not less than 30 years as of the effectivity
of the Code, where the occupant is qualified for a
free patent under CA 141.

Note: For purposes of registration, RA 8371 (IPRA) expressly converts

ancestral land (private) into public agricultural land which may be
disposed by the State, regardless of whether or not the land has a
slope of 18% or over.
ii. mangrove swamps
are in the category of
forest lands

Mangrove swamps or Manglares are within the

public forest lands of the Philippines. In Director of
Forestry VS Villareal (1989), the Director of Lands has
no authority to dispose the same under the Public
Land Act. It is the Director of FMB who has the
authority to determine whether forest land is more
valuable for agricultural rather than forestry uses.
ii. mangrove swamps
are in the category of
forest lands
In Republic VS CA and Carantes (1987), forest lands
or forest reserves are not capable of private
appropriation and possession thereof, no matter
how long, cannot convert them into private
property, unless such lands are reclassified and
considered disposable and alienable by the
Director of FMB, but even then, possession of the
land by the applicants prior to the reclassification of
the land as A&D cannot be credited as part of the
30-year requirement under Sec. 48(b) of CA 141.
ii. mangrove swamps
are in the category of
forest lands

However, in Malabanan VS Republic (2009), the law

does not require that the land subject of
registration should have been A&D during the
entire period of possession, or since June 12, 1945. It
is sufficient that the land is already A&D at the time
the application for registration for registration is
filed so as to entitle the possessor of registration.
reservation in forest lands
and off-shore areas

The DENR Secretary may reserve and establish

any portion of the public forest or forest
reserve as site or experimental forest for use of
the Forest Research Institute.
reservation in forest lands
and off-shore areas
In International Hardwood VS UP (1991), the President
reserved for UP a land of the public domain. RA 3990 was
later on enacted for the same purpose and it ceded and
transferred full ownership to UP. However, the reservation
is within the area covered by petitioner’s timber license.
[Issue: has UP the authority to collect forest charges or to
supervise the operation by the petitioner of the timber
concession affected by the Act?]. Yes. When the Republic
ceded and transferred the property to UP, it completely
removed said land from the public domain and it has
been removed and segregated from the public forest. The
property became a private property of UP. However,
petitioner as licensee may continue to cut, collect, and
remove timber until its concession expires, but the forest
charges or royalties shall now be paid to UP.
multiple use
Sec. 19 of PD 705: Only the utilization,
exploitation, occupation or possession of any
forest lands and grazing lands, or any activity
therein, involving one or more of its resources,
which will produce the optimum benefits to
the development and progress of the country
and the public welfare, without impairment or
with the least injury to its resources, shall be
i. principle of

In Oposa VS Factoran (1993), every

generation has a responsibility to the next
to preserve that rhythm and harmony for
the full enjoyment of a balanced and
healthful ecology.
ii. a timber license is
not a contract but a
mere privilege which
does not create
irrevocable rights
A Timber License is an instrument by which the State
regulates the utilization and disposition of forest
resources to the end that the public welfare is
promoted. A timber license is not a contract, within
the purview of due process clause; it is only a license
or a privilege, which can be validly withdrawn
whenever dictated by public interest or welfare. The
granting of license does not create irrevocable rights,
neither is it property or property rights.
1. duration license
agreement or license to
harvest timber in forest
lands Sec. 27 of PD 705: The duration
of the privilege to harvest
timber in any particular forest
land under a license
agreement or license shall be
fixed and determined in
accordance with the allowable
cut therein, the established
cutting cycle thereof, the yield
capacity of harvestable timber,
and the capacity of healthy
residuals for a second growth.
1. duration license
agreement or license to
harvest timber in forest
The privilege shall
automatically terminate, even
before the expiration of the
license agreement of license,
the moment the harvestable
timber have been utilized
without leaving any logged-
over area capable of
commercial utilization.
1. duration license
agreement or license to
harvest timber in forest
The maximum period of any
privilege to harvest timber is 25
years, renewable for not
exceeding 25 years, necessary
to utilize all the remaining
commercial quantity or
harvestable timber either from
the unlogged or logged- over
1. duration license
agreement or license to
harvest timber in forest

It shall be a condition for the

continued privilege to harvest
timber under any license
agreement that the licensee
shall reforest all the areas
which shall be determined by
the Bureau.
2. size of forest concessions

Sec. 28 of PD 705: The size of

the forest lands which may be
the subject of timer utilization
shall be limited to that which a
person may effectively utilize
and develop for a period of 50
industrial tree plantations
and tree farms
Sec. 34 of PD 705: A lease for a
period of 25 years and
renewable for another period
not exceeding 25 years, for the
establishment of an industrial
tree plantation (100 hectares
min. area) or a tree farm (10
hectares min. area) may be
granted by the DENR to any
qualified person qualified to
develop and exploit natural
resources, over timber or forest
lands of the public domain.
industrial tree plantations
and tree farms
In Provident Tree Farms, Inc.
VS Batario (1994), the
enforcement of the
importation ban under Sec.
36 of PD 705 is within the
exclusive realm of the Bureau
of Customs, and direct
recourse of petitioner to the
RTC to compel the
Commissioner of Customs to
enforce the ban is devoid of
any legal basis.
swampland and
mangrove forests
All mangrove swamps set
aside for coast protection
purposes shall not be subject
to clear- cutting operation.
Mangrove and other swamps
released to the BFAR which
are not utilized, or which
have been abandoned for 5
Swamp Monster *rawr years from the date of such
release, shall revert to the
category of forestland.
authority of forest
Sec. 45 of PD 705: When in
the performance of their
official duties, forest officers,
or other government officials
or employees duly authorized
by the Secretary or Director,
shall have free entry into
areas covered by a license
agreement, license, lease, or
mineral reservations
Sec. 48 of PD 705: Mineral
reservations which are not the
subject of mining operations or
where operations have been
suspended for more than 5 years
shall be placed under forest
management by the Bureau.
Mineral reservations where
mining operations have been
terminated due to exhaustion of
its mineral shall revert to the
category of forest land, unless
otherwise reserved for other
special uses
Sec. 54 of PD 705: No forestland 50% in slope or
over may be utilized for pasture purposes.

Sec. 56 of PD 705: The Bureau shall, in the

preparation of multiple- use management plans,
identify and provide for the protection of scenic
areas in all forest lands which are potentially
valuable for recreation and tourism, and plan for
the development and protection of such areas
to attract visitors thereto and meet increasing
demands therefor.
diffusion of benefits
Sec. 59 of PD 705: In the
evaluation of applications for
corporations, increased Filipino
equity and participation
beyond the 60% constitutional
limitation shall be encouraged.
All other factors being equal,
the applicant with more
Filipino equity and
participation shall be preferred.
service contracts
Sec. 62 of PD 705: The Secretary
may, in the national interest, allow
forest products licensees, lessees, or
permittees to enter into service
contracts for financial, technical,
management, or other forms of
assistance in consideration for a fee,
with any foreign person or entity for
the exploitation, development,
exploitation or utilization of the
forest resources, covered by their
license agreements, licenses, leases,
or permits.
offenses and
1. cutting, gathering, and/or
collecting timber or other
products without license
2 Offenses under Sec. 68 of PD 705
as amended by EO 277:

Cutting, gathering, collecting, and
removing timber or forest products
from any forest land, or timber from
A&D public land, or from private
land without authority.

Raise legality of acts by presenting
the authorization issued by DENR.
1. cutting, gathering, and/or
collecting timber or other
products without license

Possession of timber or other forest

products without the legal
documents required under existing
forest laws and regulations.

Good faith is not a defense, since

violation of this law is a mala
prohibita and the commission of
the prohibited act is the crime itself,
regardless of intent.
1. cutting, gathering, and/or
collecting timber or other
products without license


In case of partnership, association,

or corporations, the officers who
ordered the cutting, gathering,
collecting, and possession shall be
liable, and if such officers are aliens,
they shall in addition to the penalty,
be deported without further
1. cutting, gathering, and/or
collecting timber or other
products without license

The Court shall further order the

confiscation in favor of the
government of the timber or any
forest products, cut, gathered,
collected, removed or possessed
as well as the machinery,
equipment, implements, and tools
illegally used in the area where
the timber or forest products are
2. unlawful occupation or
destruction of forest lands
Sec. 69 of PD 705
any person who [1] enters,
occupies, possesses, or makes
kaingin for his own private use or
for others any forest land without
authority or [2] in any manner
destroys such forest land or part
thereof, or [3] causes any damage
to timber stand and other
products and forest growths
found therein.
2. unlawful occupation or
destruction of forest lands
The Court shall further order the
eviction of the offender from the land
and the forfeiture of the government
of all improvements made and all
vehicles, domestic animals and
equipment of any kind used in the
commission of the offense.

In case the offender is a government

official or employee, he shall, in
addition to the above penalties, be
deemed automatically dismissed
from office and permanently
disqualifies from holding any elective
or appointive position.
3. pasturing livestock
Sec. 70 of PD 705: imprisonment, fine,
and confiscation of livestock and all
improvement in favor of the
government shall be imposed upon
any person, without the authority
under a lease or permit, graze, or
cause to graze livestock in forest
lands, grazing lands, and A&D lands
which have not as yet been disposed
under CA 141. In case the offender is a
corporation, partnership, or
association, the officers and directors
thereof shall be liable.
4. illegal occupation of
national parks system and
recreation areas and
vandalism therein
Sec. 85 of PD 705:
Punishable act – [1] any person, without
permit, occupy for any length of time any
portion of the national park system or shall,
in any manner, cut, destroy, damage, or
remove timber or any species of vegetation
of forest cover and other natural resources
found therein, or shall mutilate, deface or
destroy objects of natural beauty or of
scenic value within areas of national parks.
[2] Any person who, without proper permit
shall hunt, capture, or kill any kind of bird,
fish, or wild animal life within any area of
national park system.
5. survey by unauthorized

Sec. 73 pf PD 705: Any person

who shall, without permit to
survey from Director, enter any
forest lands, whether covered
by a license agreement, lease,
license, or permit, or not, and
conduct or undertake a survey
for whatever purpose.
6. misclassification and
survey by government
official or employee
Sec. 74 of PD 705: any public
officer or employee who
knowingly surveys, classifies, or
recommends the release of the
forest lands as A&D contrary to
the criteria and standards
established in this code, or the
IRR promulgated.

The survey, classification or

release of forest lands shall be
null and void.
7. arrest; institution of
criminal action

A forest officer or employee of

the FMB shall arrest even
without warrant any person
who has committed or is
committing in his presence any
offenses defined in this code.
7. arrest; institution of
criminal action
In Mustang Lumber VS CA (1996), the
seizure of petitioner’s truck and its
cargo consisting of lauan and
almaciga lumber which were not
accompanied with the required
invoices and transporting documents
is valid, as it is made on a moving

In Factoran VS CA (1999), forest

products and other items seized and
confiscated upon authority of the
DENR secretary by virtue of a legal
process is deemed to be in custodia
legis and beyond the reach of