Gender and Land Rights Database


Policies/Institutional mechanisms enforcing or preventing women’s land rights

- The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, created in 1975, is mandated to review, evaluate and recommend measures to ensure the full integration of women in various areas of development. The Commission guides national government agencies and local government units in their gender mainstreaming efforts (3).

- The 1989-1992 Philippine Development Plan for Women recognized the shared responsibility of government agencies to implement programmes for women’s advancement. Agencies created the Gender and Development (GAD) focal points to coordinate the plan implementation and lead the capacity building of the agency for gender mainstreaming. As of 2002, some 100 agencies had operational GAD focal points (3).

The National GAD Steering Committee provides directions and monitors the gender-based agrarian reform programmes through the GAD Technical Working Group Focal Point (3).

- The Women in Development and Nation Building Act, 1992

  • Aims at promoting the integration of women as full and equal partners with men in development and nation building. 
  • Under Section 5, women have full legal capacity to act and to enter into contracts, regardless of their marital status.
  • Section 5(1) recognizes women’s legal capacity to borrow and obtain loans.
  • Section 5(2) recognizes women’s right to “equal access to all government and private sector programmes granting agricultural credit, loans and non-materials resources.”
  • Section 6 grants women equal access to membership in social, civic and other organizations (11).

- The Administrative Order No. 1 of 2001 protects the rights of both spouses to ownership of the land, by requiring the issuance of Emancipation Patents or Certificates of Land Ownership Award (EP/CLOA) in the name of both spouses. The Order also provides for the integration of a gender responsive reporting system in the reporting for land acquisition and distribution and in the computerized information system of the Department of Agriculture (3).

- In 2004, the Department of Agriculture issued Special Order No. 21, directing all agency units to reorganize their respective focal points to facilitate the mainstreaming of gender concerns. A Technical Working Group was created within the Department to formulate a strategic plan for mainstreaming gender through data generation of selected agricultural information. Agricultural mainstreaming is further implemented through gender-sensitivity training among the Department’s officials, middle management and employees (14).

- The Department of Natural Resources Administration Order No. 13 of 2002 repealed paragraph 8 of the Lands Administrative Order No. 7-1 of 1936, thus granting women, regardless of civil status, equal rights as men to apply for the purchases or lease of public lands. The previous regulation required the written consent of the husband before applying for land purchase or lease (3).

- The 1995-2025 Philippine Plan for Gender-responsive Development is a 30 year framework for pursuing full equality and empowerment of women (3). The plan foresees that all government entities at all levels implement the Plan incorporating GAD concerns in their performance, commitment and financial plans (7). The chapters on agrarian reform, agriculture, indigenous people and environment and natural resources explicitly recognize the role of rural women in the development process (14).

- In 2003, the participants of the 2003 National Rural Women’s Congress compiled “The Rural Women Agenda: A Ten Year Vision” which contains an eight point agenda and corresponding proposed resolutions, including ensuring rural women’s property rights under agrarian reform, and increasing rural women’s access to adequate food, safe and potable water and basic services (3).

- The Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) has adopted a gender-mainstreaming handbook to ensure gender parity in the implementation of its Community-Based Forest Management Program. The department has also been issuing certificates of stewardship contracts and opening access to training programmes to both spouses (3).

- The House Bill 35333, An Act Instituting the National Land Use Policy of the Republic of the Philippines, Providing the Implementing Mechanisms Therefore and For Other Purposes

As defined in the bill, land use refers to the manner of allocation, utilization, management and development of land.

The Bill seeks to standardize the classification of land use in the following areas: Protection Land Use; Production Land Use; Settlements Development; and Infrastructure Development

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography