3rd time's the charm? Duterte again pushes for Nat'l Land Use Act

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – For the 3rd time, President Rodrigo Duterte used his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to ask Congress to pass a national land use law.

This time, he set a deadline: end of 2019.

"I further ask Congress to urgently pass the National Land Use Act or NLUA within this year," said Duterte during his SONA.

The measure, he said, will allow the Philippines to "meet the demands of the investors coming in." It would also "serve as basis for the LGUs in crafting respective development plans and help disperse economic activities for the countryside."

A National Land Use Act (NLUA) has been languishing in Congress for two decades, even after it was certified as urgent by then-president Benigno Aquino III in 2013.

Duterte had asked Congress to finally pass the NLUA in two previous SONAs, in 2018 and 2017. He made the same plea in his 4th SONA on Monday, July 22.

The proposed NLUA creates a national land use authority that will draft and oversee a national land use plan that will classify land according to use: protection (for conservation), production (for agriculture and fisheries), settlements development (for residential purposes), and infrastructure development (for transportation, communication, water resources, social infrastructure).

Such a measure is deemed critical as it will help the Philippines manage its resources, map out its agricultural lands for food security, determine hazardous areas, and delineate protected areas. 

The House passed its version of the NLUA in May 2017. In the Senate, there were 5 similar bills in the Senate environment and natural resources committee. Will the 18th Congress, finally ratify this measure? – Rappler.com

For highlights of President Duterte’s 4th SONA, check out our live blog.

Rappler takes a deeper look at the first half of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency – its highs and lows, its achievements and shortcomings: 
Duterte Year 3: The Halfway Mark

 

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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