The National Land Use Act (NLUA) being supported by the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. (CREBA) which is pending in both houses of Congress will set the framework for land use planning involving four major categories of land uses – protection, production, settlements, and infrastructure.
“A national land use plan has long been needed by this country. And if done correctly, it shall be a key policy reference for all local comprehensive land use and development plans in all sectors, including commercial, industrial, housing, and real estate,” said CREBA national chairman Charlie A. V. Gorayeb. However, Gorayeb said the NLUA bill should be made to adapt to current laws that had already been used by the business community for important investment decisions and made the basis of projects now under way. Gorayeb was referring to laws such as RA 7279, or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992, covering all lands in urban and urbanizable areas; PD 399 limiting the use of strip lands; and RA 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, empowering local government units (LGUs) to reclassify agricultural lands deemed by the Department of Agrarian Reform as no longer economically feasible for agricultural use, or appraised by the LGU to gain greater economic value in other purposes.
“The NLUA bill must also resolve the uncertainty as to where and what exactly is the extent of the ‘protected lands’ that are banned from conversion,” Gorayeb said.
He noted that the bill strived to identify lands under protection and production despite the still pressing need to properly delineate the agricultural lands under these categories.
He stressed the need for a rational and wholistic land use policy that reflects the realities on the ground, covering all areas of land use, and factoring in all the development requirements of every sector to achieve a well-balanced and stable economy.
(The Philippine Star) | http://www.philstar.com