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[Act No. 517, (1902-11-12)](https://lawyerly.ph/laws/view/l911a)
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[ Act No. 517, November 12, 1902 ]

AN ACT TO PROVIDE AGAINST THE DANGER OF FAMINE IN THE PROVINCES OF THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO.

By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission, that:

SECTION 1. To provide against the danger of famine, due to the short crop for the coming year in rice and other food stuffs usually produced in the provinces of the Philippine Archipelago, it shall be the duty of all municipal presidents to call meetings of the people of their respective municipalities, to notify them of the impending danger of famine, and to urge them at once to take steps to secure the necessary seed and to plant quick-growing crops of corn, camotes, rice, or other food plants, whichever may furnish the most abundant crop in the particular locality, sufficient in quantity to produce the requisite food for the people of the municipality for the coming year.

SEC. 2. Any municipal president is authorized to allot to the citizens of his municipality such public land as there may be within the boundaries of the municipality at present unoccupied, for the planting of the seed and the raising of the crops provided for in this Act.

SEC. 3. The crops planted and gathered under this Act shall belong to the persons planting and gathering the same, even though they be planted upon the public land, and no rent for the public land thus used shall be chargeable against the persons so using same.

SEC. 4. In cases where it is impossible in the municipality or province to secure the proper seed, the municipal council shall call upon the provincial board to procure the needed seed through the Insular Purchasing Agent. The provincial board shall purchase the needed seed from the general funds of the province, and shall sell the same to the presidents of the municipalities whose councils have called for seed. The seed furnished by a provincial board to any municipality shall be receipted for by the municipal president and paid for out of the municipal funds by order of the municipal council. The seed shall then be sold to the residents of the municipalities at the cost price thereof. If any person having land of his own, or tilling the public land, shall be known to be unable to pay for the seed, the municipal president may furnish him the seed without receiving the price thereof, in which case he shall collect an amount equal to the value of the seed furnished from the new crop, and shall sell the same and reimburse the municipal treasury with the proceeds.

SEC. 5. Each municipal president shall keep a record of the amount of seed furnished to the inhabitants of his municipality and the number of hectares planted by each inhabitant in accordance with the requirements of this Act, and it shall be his further duty to make monthly reports of his proceedings under this Act to the provincial governor.

SEC. 6. It shall be the duty of the provincial governor to see that the municipal presidents discharge their duties under this Act, and if they fail to do so to suspend them and bring them before the provincial board to answer to the charges of noncompliance therewith.

The provincial governor shall make monthly reports of the proceedings of the municipal presidents and his own proceedings under this Act to the Civil Governor.

SEC. 7. Any municipal president receiving seed from the provincial board under section four of this Act who shall appropriate it to his own use or shall fail to distribute it in accordance with the terms of this Act, or who shall knowingly permit or connive at the use of the seed for any other purpose than planting a new crop us in this Act provided, shall be held to be guilty of embezzlement, and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

SEC. 8. It shall he the duty of the Civil Governor to issue a proclamation to the governors of the provinces, reciting the terms of this Act and directing them to order the municipal presidents in accordance herewith to call the people of their respective municipalities together and secure the action required by this Act.

SEC. 9. The said proclamation of the Civil Governor shall be printed in English and Spanish and in the principal dialects of the Islands, and shall be forwarded to the various provincial governors to be by them distributed among the municipalities of their respective provinces.

SEC. 10. The public good requiring the speedy enactment of this bill, the passage of the same is hereby expedited in accordance with section two of "An Act prescribing the order of procedure by the Commission in the enactment of laws," passed September twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred.

SEC. 11. This Act shall take effect on its passage.

Enacted, November 12, 1902.

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