Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed with the proposal for the issuance of an executive order (EO) that will establish a national land-use policy.
This developed after the President, during the 44th Cabinet meeting held at Malacañan Palace on December 2, acknowledged the need for the passage of the proposed National Land Use Act, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“President Duterte thereafter stressed the importance of the passage of the National Land Use Act,” Panelo said.
“In the meantime, the President approved the suggestion that the administration first comes up with an executive order for the purpose,” he added.
During his fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22, Duterte renewed his call on Congress to immediately pass the measure on national land use policy to ensure the rational and sustainable use of the country’s land and physical resources.
The proposed National Land Use Act has been in the works since the leadership of former president Fidel Ramos.
Duterte has also identified the proposed National Land Use Act as among his administration’s priority legislative measures.
The proposed law was identified as a legislative agenda in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 to support strategies in ensuring ecological integrity, clean, and healthy environment, as well as in building safe and secure communities.
Several bills institutionalizing the national land use policy have been filed in the 18th Congress.
Meanwhile, the National Land Use Committee (NLUC) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has also drafted its version of the proposed National Land Use Act.
Panelo said NEDA director-general and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, along with Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro, discussed the “salient points” of the draft bill during the 44th Cabinet meeting.
The NLUC’s proposed measure seeks to harmonize sector-specific land-use policies and institutionalize land use planning.
The committee is targeting the completion of the final draft of the legislation within the year.
It hopes Congress would adopt its version of the proposed National Land Use Act, which incorporates all inputs from various stakeholders. (PNA)