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JUNE 23, 2016

NR # 4240

Stimulate land productivity to sustain national growth Belmonte


There is need for the country to attract more investments and unleash land
productivity in the country to maximize national development, re-elected lawmakers
stressed.
The lawmakers led by the Speaker, re-elected Quezon City Rep. Feliciano
Belmonte, are expected to pursue their pet legislative initiative to be known as the
National Land Use and Management Act contained in HB 4382.
As early as June 2, 2014, the House of Representatives approved on final reading
HB 4382 and transmitted the same to the Senate where it failed to reach plenary
consideration until its sine die adjournment early this June.
We have to arrest the current degradation of the countrys land resource through a
clear land use policy which would rationalize the use of lands and make land markets
work and attract more direct foreign and local investments, the Speaker stressed.
HB 4382 (a consolidation of several similar bills) is entitled An Act instituting a
National Land Use and Management Policy, providing the implementing mechanisms
therefor, and for other purposes.
Re-elected co- authors of the reform measure during the current Congress include:
Rep. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Rep. Winston Castelo,
Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, and Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, chairperson of the sponsor-Special
Committee on Land Use in the current Congress.
We should take advantage of the growing international confidence in the country
as an investment haven in Asia, the authors said, noting that since the 8 th Congress the
proposed Land Administration Reform Act (LARA) and related measures have been filed
and re-filed without much legislative success.
The authors pointed out that the proposed land use statute should complement the
proposed amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law to encourage more private
sector investments in infrastructure.
The proposed Act the standardization of the classification of land use, for purposes
of planning and management, into the following areas: 1) Protection Land Use; 2)
Production Land Use; 3) Settlement development; and 4) Infrastructure development.
It also creates the National Land Use Policy Council (NLUPC) as the highest
policy-making body on all matters pertaining to land use and management. It shall be

headed by the Secretary of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) who
shall be responsible for all concerns within the ambit of land use and management on a
national level.
Likewise, the bill determines the scope and nature of responsibilities of national
government agencies and addresses the long-overdue task of determining and delineating
the countrys permanent forest line.
It also provides for the completion and upgrading of existing cadastral surveys as
well as the creation of a National Spatial (multi-dimensional) Database Information and
Mapping System (NSDIMS) with an NSDIMS-Inter-Agency Mapping Support System
headed by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).
HB 4382 mandates the institutionalization of land use and physical planning as a
mechanism for identifying, determining, and evaluating appropriate land use and
allocation patterns that promote and ensure:
Maintenance and preservation of environmental integrity and stability;
Sustainable and just management and utilization of natural resources;
Disaster risk reduction and climate risk-based planning;
Protection of prime agricultural lands for food security in basic food commodities
with emphasis on self-sufficiency in rice and corn through efficient and sustainable
use of land resources consistent with the principles of sound agricultural
development, natural resources development, and agrarian reform;
Sustainable development and management of water resources towards water
security;
Settlements, transportation and other infrastructure development in support of
inclusive growth and rural, urban regional development;
Improved access to affordable housing by increasing supply through direct
allocation, better access to unutilized lands, and multiple use of lands with higher
population densities, among other suitable and feasible land use strategies;
Respect for and protection of the sustainable traditional resource right of the
ancestral domains, compliance with free and prior informed consent of ICCsIPs as
well as recognition of customary laws and sustainable traditional resource use and
management, knowledge, and practices in ancestral domains;
Equitable access of basic sectors to the countrys land through state intervention in
ensuring affordability of land for the basic sectors;
Protection and conservation of the countrys natural heritage, permanent forest
lands, natural forests and critical watersheds and biodiversity to ensure the 54%
forest cover to maintain ecological processes in the country; and
Energy security and self-sufficiency. (30) dpt