NEDA seeks solution to LGU land conflict, passage of Land Use Law

MANILA -- The NEDA Board’s National Land Use Committee (NB-NLUC) pushed for the immediate resolution of boundary conflicts among local government units (LGUs) and reiterated its call for the passage of the proposed National Land Use Act (NaLUA).

During the 10th meeting of the NB-NLUC early this month, the committee highlighted these two concerns that needed immediate action. The NB-NLUC, chaired by Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, is mandated to advise the President on matters concerning land use and physical planning, including disaster risk management.

About 71 percent or 1,163 out of the 1,634 cities and municipalities have been contesting the computation of their land area, according to the Land Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“Correct and official land area computations are very important to LGUs because their internal revenue allotments are based on land area, population, and an equal sharing formula,” said Pernia.

He added the 2011-2015 cadastral survey data will be instrumental in addressing land boundary disputes and in adjusting the internal revenue allotments of LGUs.

“The national government needs to immediately decide on the official adoption of the said survey data to resolve lingering contestations. Thus, the NLUC is urging the tripartite committee composed of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, and the Department of Budget and Management to look at the results of the 2011-2015 cadastral survey and arrive at a consensus on the official adoption of the survey results,” Pernia said.

Meanwhile, the NLUC also reiterated to Congress its strong support for the immediate enactment of the NaLUA, which will institutionalize a national land use policy and ensure the sustainable use of the country’s land and physical resources.

The proposed law also seeks to address issues on agrarian reform, climate change, the completion of a national database and geo-hazard mapping, and disaster risk reduction and management.

“The National Land Use Act was identified as a priority legislative measure during the second State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on 24 July 2017, where the President appealed to all legislators to ‘immediately pass the NALUA to ensure the rational and sustainable use of our land and our physical resources,” read an NB-NLUC resolution approved by the NLUC chairman and committee representatives.

The resolution is due for confirmation through referendum by all principal members of the NLUC.

The House of Representatives already approved on May 2, 2017, its version of the NaLUA bill, or House Bill No. 5240 (An Act Instituting a National Land Use and Management Policy, Providing the Implementing Mechanisms, and Appropriating Funds Therefor).

Five NaLUA bills have been filed in the Senate. But to date, no consolidated bill has been drafted and no Senate committee discussions of the bills have been held. (NEDA/PR)