Responsible land use sought in Yolanda-hit areas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2014 12:19 AM | Updated as of Jun 05 2014 08:19 AM

MANILA -- The Campaign for Land Use Policy Now (CLUP Now) and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) are urging the business sector and government agencies to observe proper land use planning standards in rebuilding Yolanda-devastated areas.

In a conference held in Makati on Wednesday, businessmen gathered to discuss issues on land use planning to provide a long-term solution to impacts of disasters.

“The role played by the business sector is crucial not only to the economy of the country but also more importantly to the improvement in the lives of the community that will result from economic progress. Typhoon Yolanda exposed the vulnerabilities of our economy and our businesses to climate disasters. I believe we could mitigate business risks brought about by climate change if we have better land use planning and enforcement,” said Rafael Lopa, executive director of PBSP.

The conference focused on the rebuilding and community development in areas affected by Yolanda, and on how to ensure proper land use and planning in these areas.

“Our business sector, especially those in the small and medium enterprises, need to be informed on how proper land use can create a positive impact to their businesses. As businesses are located in geo-hazard and flood-prone areas, operations of these businesses are not always secure” said Anthony Marzan, convenor of CLUP Now.

The conference was held seven months after Typhoon Yolanda devastated the country, leaving behind P89.6 billion worth of damage.

Of this amount, P9.6 billion affected infrastructure, and production losses amounted to P21.8 billion.

CLUP Now has been campaigning for the passage of the National Land Use Act (NLUA). The bill passed third reading in the lower House last June 2 with 194 affirmative votes.

Among those present in the conference were Sec. Panfilo Lacson from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR), NLUA co-author and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. and Mayor Sandy Javier of Javier, Leyte.