BY: CHAMBER OF REAL ESTATE AND BUILDERS' ASSOCIATIONS, INC.
January 21, 2020
POSTED IN: Local Industry Snapshots
By: Anna Leah E. Gonzales The Manila Times | January 21, 2020
THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has already crafted a draft executive order (EO) on national land use.
“We prepared a draft executive order and we will discuss it at the Cabinet assistance system meeting on January 22,” said NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion Navarro in a briefing on Monday.
However, Navarro clarified that they are still pushing for the legislation of the National Land Act Use (NaLUA).
“We are still pushing for the bill. Let me correct that it was not the President (Rodrigo Duterte) who expressed desire to have an EO first, it was certain members of the Cabinet.
It’s [draft EO] already prepared but we will still push for legislation,” said Navarro.
NaLUA seeks to harmonize policies on land use and address competing uses of limited land resources in the country.
While several NaLUA bills have already been filed, none of these made it to the final approval stage.
“It was expressed by certain members of the Cabinet that we might have a difficult time at the Senate but the NEDA is ready to present our arguments with the Senate and House,” said Navarro.
The NEDA official also admitted that they are “guessing” on the contentious issues of the proposed bill.
“Actually that’s what we would want to know. That’s why we would like to be given day at the Senate. We would like to know what the main contentions are, whether it’s about ensuring that residential areas will no longer be allowed in hazard sensitive areas. We are left guessing what the contention issues are,” she said.
“The NEDA drafted a version with the help of members of the Land Use Committee, we are proposing this as the executive’s input to the legislators. It’s really the legislature which should draft proposed laws. We are calling this as executives input,” she added.
Navarro said they are counting on the House of Representatives to enact their version of the NaLUA.
On notions that NEDA is “regulating too much,” Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said that there is a need to regulate the use of land.
“There’s also the notion that we are regulating too much like regulating the land, why don’t we free up that market. Now our contention is that land is a very scarce resource,” said Edillon.
“With respect to the supply, we have so many demands and many have competing uses. That’s a signal that you really need regulation in that particular sector,” she added.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, for his part, is hoping that the bill on land use will be passed immediately.
“In the President’s mind, this is an urgent bill. It’s something that he thinks is very important so he has to again say this is an urgent bill and remind the legislature,” said Pernia.