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Republic Act No. 4665




Section 1. In order to raise funds for the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption of September, 1965, the Postmaster General shall order the printing of seventy centavos air-mail postal stamps in the total aggregate value of seven million pesos. Said stamps shall depict the Taal Volcano in eruption and with such other motif as the Postmaster General may decide. Until all stamps are sold and disposed of, and subject to existing laws, regulations and international postal agreements governing postal rates, no foreign air-mail matter shall be accepted and/or carried by the Bureau of Posts which do not use said stamps; however, in cases where the air-mail matter mailed is of such class or weight that stamps due are in excess of seventy centavos or multiples of seventy centavos, any other stamp or stamps of different denominations can be used to cover said excess. The proceeds of the sale of said air-mail stamps shall constitute a special trust fund and deposited with the National Treasury to be expended by the Rehabilitation Committee herein created in the rehabilitation of the victims of Taal Volcano eruption of September, 1965.

Sec. 2. With the exception of the amount mentioned in Section four hereof, no amount of money shall be withdrawn from the aforementioned special trust fund until after the full amount of the special fund shall have been generated: provided, however, that the Rehabilitation Committee created in Section three hereof, pending the full generation of the special trust fund herein provided for, may apply either with the Government Service Insurance System or the Social Security System for a long-term loan not exceeding six million pesos in order to effect an early rehabilitation of the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption of September, 1965. Should said loan be effected, all sales of said air-mail stamps shall first be utilized for the amortization of the principal and interest on the loan. If, at the time of periodic amortization, the amounts accumulated in the said special trust fund should exceed the amount of amortization due, the excess should also be paid on the account of the loan as advance payment in order to save interest cost. Provisions of existing laws and/or regulations to the contrary notwithstanding, any such loan secured from the Government Service Insurance System or Social Security System shall bear interest not exceeding three per cent per annum, said loan to be secured only with the proceeds of the sale of the stamps.

Sec. 3. Only those who, at the time of the said eruption of the Taal Volcano, were engaged in agriculture or farming either as tenants or owners in actual cultivation thereof, are qualified to receive the benefits of this Act if the land or farm being cultivated at the time of the said eruption was rendered useless, barren and/or became unfit for cultivation due to said eruption. For purposes of this Act, a Rehabilitation Committee shall be created to be composed of the Executive Secretary to the President as Chairman, the Provincial Governor of the Province of Batangas as Vice-Chairman-Executive Officer, with the Social Welfare Administrator, the Representative of the first congressional district of Batangas, the Representative of the third district of Batangas, and two others to be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, as members. The two members to be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments shall each receive a compensation of one peso a year. The Executive Secretary to the President, the Provincial Governor of the Province of Batangas, and the representatives of the first and third districts of Batangas shall not receive any additional compensation for serving the committee. Said Rehabilitation Committee herein created shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have the exclusive control, administration, and management of the special trust fund herein provided for. Within sixty days after the approval of this Act, the Chairman shall convoke an organizational meeting of the committee at a time and place to be determined by the Chairman. Within one year after the approval of this Act, the said Rehabilitation Committee shall compile a list of persons and/or families so entitled to the benefits provided for by this Act.

The Rehabilitation Committee shall cease to function as soon as the trust fund shall have been expended or disbursed in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Sec. 4. The special trust fund mentioned in Section one hereof shall be used in the purchase of agricultural lands preferably within the Province of Batangas for distribution to the victims of the volcano eruption and who are qualified under this Act in the proportion of five hectares for each family and in the construction of a house for each in the amount not to exceed one thousand pesos.

Should the special trust fund be inadequate to provide the aforementioned land and house to the persons and/or families in the compiled list mentioned in paragraph two hereof, priority should be given to those who have not in the interregnum been able to find any land to cultivate or find other means of livelihood. If, among the latter category the funds are still insufficient to provide the land and house above-mentioned, priority, within this category, shall be given to those with large families.

If, after the distribution of land to the persons qualified as provided in this Act, it is ascertained that there is a surplus in the land bought, said surplus shall form part of the public domain and shall be disposed of in accordance with the Public Land Act; however, in such event, priority should be given to inhabitants of the volcano as well as the area bordering the Taal Lake.

Any amounts left after the distribution of land and houses shall be expended for agricultural implements, work animals, fertilizers and seedlings for distribution to the said persons and/or families and the building of access roads.

Sec. 5. The Rehabilitation Committee herein created shall have the power to issue rules and regulations not inconsistent with this Act, and for this purpose, it shall have the right to make the forms which it may deem necessary in the implementation of this Act, issue subpoenas, have access to all public records, or otherwise exercise functions necessary in order to implement this Act.

The committee has the right to avail of the services of government employees to act as clerks and other office help which they may deem necessary in order to implement this Act. Any such officer or employee so required to work with the committee shall do so without the additional compensation. The committee shall maintain books of accounts and all expenditures and disbursement are subject to normal government auditing requirements. The Provincial Auditor of the Province of Batangas shall be the ex officio auditor for the committee.

Sec. 6. Should at any future time the lands rendered useless, barren and/or unfit for cultivation as provided in Section three hereof become usable again for agricultural purposes, the owners thereof who have applied and who were grantees of agricultural land as provided herein shall have the option to return to their former lands should the government declare that the area wherein said land is located is no longer a danger zone: provided, however, that should any said person exercise the right to return, he shall forfeit in favor of the government the five hectares given to him including the improvements thereon: provided, further, that should he elect to retain the five hectares granted to him, he may repossess and cultivate his original land less the five hectares equivalent to the area he received from the government by virtue of this Act. Said five hectares so forfeited shall form part of the public domain and shall be subject to the provisions of the Public Land Act. Should at the time he choose to elect either to return to his original land or retain the land granted to him, the Rehabilitation Committee shall have ceased to function, the proper application and approval shall be filed with and acted upon by the Director of the Bureau of Lands.

Sec. 7. The sum of thirty thousand pesos or so much thereof as may be necessary is hereby appropriated, out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to defray the cost of printing of such postal stamps in the current year, which sum will be reimbursed from the special fund above created. The sum necessary to defray the cost of printing such stamps in subsequent years shall be taken from said special fund.

Sec. 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Enacted without Executive approval, June 18, 1966.

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