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Mindanao business community pushes for land administration reform act, national land use policy

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 7 – Recognizing some inconsistent laws and conflicting land uses, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) officials and delegates of the 25th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) had proposed for the passage of the Land Administration Reform Act (LARA) and National Land Use Policy (NLUPA) Act.

At present a number of bureaus and offices under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform, the National Mapping Resources and Information Authority (NAMRIA) and National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) were among the government agencies involved in land surveying, mapping classification, titling and registration functions leading to the issuance of different land tenurial instruments in the country.

It is hoped that the Duterte administration and the 17th congress will favorably act on aforesaid resolutions that will streamline land surveying, mapping, classification, titling and registration processes to be placed in one responsible agency.

With some existing inconsistent laws, the resolution also proposed for the enactment of a National Land Use Policy Act and recommend updating of comprehensive land use plans that will provide broader framework on land allocations objectively considering vital land requirements for settlements, production, commercial and industrial uses, environmental management of protected and key biodiversity areas among others.

One of the concerns is that vast potential agricultural lands remain unproductive due to absence of appropriate land tenurial instruments.

While some environmentally critical, key biodiversity conservation and watershed areas are within mining exploration and mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) areas. It has to be noted that in the last meeting of the Economic Development Committee of the Surigao City Development Council, Uriel Correos Assistant City Planning and Development Officer proposed for endorsement of the passage of the LARA Bill be considered in the MinBizCon resolutions of which the Surigao Chamber of Commerce and Industry has duly supported.

DTI Provincial Director Celestino L. Negapatan, vice chairperson of the City Economic Development Committee appreciated that the PCCI leadership had gave priority for the pushing of the land administration act that will hopefully paved the way for settlements of land use conflicting issues among various interest groups and the eventual issuance of appropriate land tenurial instruments that can ultimately lead to improved land valuation, increase production and sustained economic growth. (DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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