House bill seeks institutionalize national land use

The House eyes to pass a measure that will determine and evaluate appropriate land use and allocation in the Philippines

The House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 5240 which seeks to institutionalize a national land use policy aimed at ending the destruction of the country’s land resources and promoting balanced development.

The bill mandates the standardization and classification of land use for the purposes of planning and implementation into protection land use, production land use, settlements development, and infrastructure development.

It also seeks to address the long-overdue task of determining and delineating the country’s permanent forest line. Moreover, it establishes the National Land Use Policy Council (NLUPC) as the highest policy-making body on all matters pertaining to land use and management.

The bill provides that the existing National Land Use Committee (NLUC) under the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board shall be abolished, and in its place, the NLUPC shall be created.

The NLUPC shall be the highest policy-making body on land use and shall resolve land use policy conflicts between or among agencies, branches, or levels of the government. It shall also incorporate efforts and monitor developments pertaining to land use and the evolution of policies.

The NLUPC shall be headed by the NEDA Director General, who shall be responsible for all concerns within the sphere of land use and management on a national level, including the issuance of locational clearances for projects of national significance.