NEDA to Congress: Enact land use law now

NEDA to Congress: Enact land use law now
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia. (Photo by Monsi A. Serrano/THEPHILBIZNEWS.COM)

By THEPHILBIZNEWS STAFF

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s National Land Use Committee (NB-NLUC) called on Congress today, July 30, to immediately enact the National Land Use Act (NaLUA), as proposed by NLUC, to ensure the sustainable and efficient use of the country’s land and physical resources.

In a statement to Congress, a copy of which was sent to THEPHILBIZNEWS, the NLUC said it approved in a Special Meeting its Resolution No. 1, series of 2019 adopting the NLUC version of the proposed NaLUA.

With NEDA Chief and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia heading the special meeting yesteday, July 29, the committee version of the bill incorporated all inputs gathered from a series of technical discussions with various stakeholders and from regional consultations.

“The National Land Use Act was identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as among the priority legislative measures in his State of Nation Addresses (SONA) since 2017. In his fourth SONA last week, the President appealed again to all legislators to immediately pass the NaLUA to ensure the rational and sustainable use of our land and our physical resources,” said Pernia.

The bill also aims to harmonize sector-specific land use policies and institutionalize land use planning.

“We need to plan our physical space well. Land use policies must be clear on where and how much space to allocate for agricultural production to ensure we have enough food; where and how much space for settlements development to meet housing demand; where to encourage growth of industries to boost the economy and create jobs; and which areas should be protected for environmental sustainability,” Pernia said.

The NaLUA was identified as a legislative agenda in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 to support strategies in ensuring ecological integrity, clean and healthy environment as well as in building safe and secure communities.

In the next Cabinet meeting, NEDA, as chair of the NLUC, will seek the President’s endorsement of its version of the proposed NaLUA as the Executive’s inputs when the 18th Congress deliberates on the various NaLUA bills.

Based on NEDA’s monitoring, thus far, the following NaLUA bills have been recently filed in the 18th Congress—House Bill (HB) 105, HB 158, HB 564, HB 706 and Senate Bill 38.

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