Senator Loren Legarda called on concerned government agencies to ensure that the comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs) of local government units (LGUs) are being enforced.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, issued the statement during the committee hearing for the proposed National Land Use Act (NaLUA) and the Final Forest Limits Act.
She said, it is not enough that 1,500 LGUs have their respective CLUPs. “We have to make sure that these approved CLUPs are carried out effectively, which means that hazard-prone areas, forestlands, and protected areas remain uninhabited and are preserved as no building zones.”
The Senator added that national government agencies, particularly the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), must ensure that CLUPs are faithfully implemented.
Legarda also highlighted the need to approve the proposed National Land Use Act because the government is currently using an antiquated land classification method formed in the 1920s.
“We have been experiencing stronger storms, earthquakes and other natural hazards. A national land use measure is crucial in the government’s current disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation efforts,” she stressed.
“Furthermore, LGUs play a critical role in the crafting of risk-sensitive and participatory land use planning and management. LGUs are considered to be the first line of defense against disasters so there is an urgent need for them to be capacitated, enabling them to prepare, update and implement their respective CLUPs based on policy guidelines to be set under the proposed NaLUA,” she added.
Meanwhile, Legarda also said that through the Final Forest Limits Act, “we aim to conserve, protect, and develop our forest resources to attain ecological balance and promote sustainable development.”
“With demarcated and properly identified forestlands, the national government can better plan the utilization of the natural resources of the country, and LGUs would be better equipped to initiate and implement development projects and programs with due regard to the preservation and protection of the integrity of the demarcated forest lands,” Legarda concluded.***