PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday underscored the urgency of enacting a law on land use policy, a few days after Congress approved on third and final reading the proposed National Land Use Act (NLUA).
“But now, allow me to reiterate the urgency of enacting a land use policy for our country, which is a priority legislative agenda of this administration,” the President said during his speech at the Pier 88 inauguration in Liloan, Cebu on Saturday.
The Chief Executive said he would ensure that the proposed law would be given the urgent attention that it deserves due to its fundamental importance to the country’s holistic national development.
Marcos said he has personal knowledge of the significant impact of the bill on the people as he had a chance to work on it when he chaired the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement.
The passage of the bill by the Senate then, however, was overtaken by events.
“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,” the President said.
“Through a physical framework plan, all mandates and policies on land use shall be integrated— from watersheds to farm lands from cultural heritage sites to ancestral domains, from protected disaster-prone areas,” he added.
Marcos also noted that local governments must ensure that their respective physical and land use plans will conform to and will be consistent with the national plan.
He added that the national and local governments “will tap the environmental planners for their technical expertise in the crafting of accurate and well-aligned physical and land use plans.”
The House of Representatives approved last Monday onthird and final reading of House Bill No. 8162, or the proposed NLUA, which gives the government the tool to properly identify land use and allocation patterns in all parts of the Philippines.
It was earlier identified as a priority measure of President Marcos under the Legislative-Executive Development Council (LEDAC).
Marcos thanked the House of Representatives for approving the proposed measure.
Several bills on the proposed land use policy have also been filed in the Senate.
The President highlighted the importance of a “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 cooperation among the local government units will further solidify their urban development foundation and consolidate
socio-economic strength, thus will be eventually beneficial to the 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,” President Marcos said.
The President graced the Pier 88 launch in Liloan, Cebu designed to boost movements of commerce and the people in the region.
He was accompanied by Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Special Assistant to the President
Secretary Anton Lagdameo, Cebu Rep. Duke Frasco, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.
The event coincided with the 178th anniversary of Liloan town and the resumption of its Rosquillos Festival, named after the town’s popular delicacy that was suspended for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.