STEWARDSHIP CONCEPT OF OWNERSHIP. A legal document which holds that a property ownership presupposes concomitant obligations to the State and the community, and that property is supposed to be held by the individual only as trustee by people in general. As mere trustee, the property owner must exercise his rights to the property not just for his own exclusive and selfish interest but for the good and general welfare of the nation as a whole. It carries the following features and characteristics:
- Ownership carries with it a distinct social obligation. As stewards of their lands, the owners are bound to use or utilize their properties in a manner that will promote not only their welfare and benefit but also those of the State.
- Every citizen retains the right of private ownership. However, when his landholdings exceed the requirements for his essential necessities or its utilization is not conducive to the general welfare, the State may exercise its authority to control or regulate such right.
- The right of the citizen to own land continues to be guaranteed by the New Constitution. The guarantee extends to the exercise of the so-called “Bundle of Rights” or attributes which are inherent in ownership, subject only to the limitations or restrictions imposed by law or government regulations. (to be continued next week)