Neda to draft EO on national land use
State planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) will craft a draft executive order (EO) to put in place its national land use proposal following President Duterte’s order to fine-tune the bill pending in Congress.
“The final decision (during last Monday’s Cabinet meeting) is to draft an EO in the meantime and for Neda to revise the implementing structure so that there will be fewer members,” Undersecretary Adoracion M. Navarro, who together with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, presented the Neda-backed National Land Use Act (Nalua), told the Inquirer in an e-mail Wednesday.
According to Navarro, the Cabinet deemed that Nalua might face “a difficult time” passing in the Senate, without elaborating.
Neda officials nonetheless requested the Cabinet to adopt the Neda Board-approved revised version of Nalua as the executive’s version of the bill.
Nalua will contain the “policies and principles of land use and physical planning to ensure rational allocation, utilization, development and management of the country’s land resources to achieve sustainable development and inclusive growth,” Neda said.
In particular, Neda said Nalua will properly and rationally delineate, classify/reclassify, allocate, establish, utilize and manage forest lands and watersheds, coastal zones, agricultural lands, mineral lands, energy resource lands, lands for settlements, lands for tourism and lands for infrastructure development.
The measure will also slap penalties and sanctions on land use-related violations, including failure to formulate and implement comprehensive land use plans, illegal land use conversion, as well as leaving lands idle, according to Neda.
Presented to the President was a streamlined implementing structure to be called the land use policy committee under the Neda Board, which would be chaired by Neda and which would have as members the Departments of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Agriculture (DA), Energy (DOE), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Science and Technology (DOST), Tourism (DOT), Trade and Industry (DTI), Transportation (DOTr), and the newly established Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).
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