President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday vowed to give "urgent attention" to the proposed measure institutionalizing a national land use policy that will ensure the country's holistic development. In a speech during the grand launching of Pier 88 in Liloan, Cebu, Marcos said he would persuade Congress to immediately pass the proposed National Land Use Act, one of his priority bills. "Allow me to reiterate the urgency of enacting a [National] Land Use Policy for our country, which is a priority legislative agenda of this administration," Marcos said. "This time, we will see to it that this measure shall be given [the] urgent attention that it deserves, cognizant of its fundamental importance to our holistic national development." Marcos also thanked the House of Representatives for its "timely and significant" approval of House Bill (HB) 6128 or the proposed NLUA. On Monday, the House approved on final reading the proposed NLUA which seeks to provide the national framework for the development of the country's land to ensure its optimum use, consistent with the principle of sustainable development. Marcos said he has personal knowledge of the significant impact of the bill, adding that worked on the measure as a senator and chair of the Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement Committee. "Through a [national] physical framework plan, all mandates and policies on land use shall be integrated -- from watersheds to farmlands from cultural heritage sites to ancestral domains, from protected disaster-prone areas,' Marcos said. The passage of the bill is "terribly important," Marcos said, adding that local governments must ensure that their respective physical and land use plans "will conform to and will be consistent with the national plan." "Hence, the whole-of-government approach. Moreover, national and local governments will tap the budding profession of environmental planners for its technical expertise in the crafting of accurate and well-aligned physical and land use plans," he said. Marcos emphasized the importance of "holistic, systematic, and integrated" planning in the Philippines, as he lauded the coordinated efforts of the Liloan government and the whole province of Cebu in pursuing good urban planning and development practices. He said such strategic planning would further solidify the urban development foundation and consolidate the socio-economic strength not only of Cebu province but also of the entire country. "Let us imagine if these kinds of projects are replicated across the country, laterally and locally coordinated, and harmonized both on the provincial and national levels, then we could say that we are genuinely closer to our ambition of a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society," Marcos said. "We will be watching the success of all of these coordinated efforts that we are doing with Cebu and again we will use those examples around the country," he added. Under HB 6128, the National Land Use Commission (NLUC) will be created under the Office of the President and will act as the highest policy-making body on land use and resolve land use policy conflicts between or among agencies, branches, or levels of the government. The NLUC will coordinate efforts towards the development of integrated land use plans at the national, regional, provincial, city and municipal levels, and monitor the implementation of all land use plans, including relevant policies. Several bills on the proposed land use policy have also been filed in the Senate.
Source: Philippines News Agency