Philippine Daily Inquirer / 3:15 AM November 20, 2021
Just like any other sector, our success in the housing industry is anchored primarily on how we plan for the future. As many would say, “if we fail to plan, we plan to fail.”
With this in mind, the Department’s Environmental Land Use and Urban Planning and Development Bureau (ELUPDB) is actively engaging local government units (LGUs) to synchronize all plans towards one goal—sustainable development.
Our Department is mandated to develop policies, standards, and guidelines for the formulation of Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs) of LGUs. Apart from CLUPs, we also approve the Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plans (PDPFP).
Recently, the Department approved the PDPFPs of five provinces, namely, Southern Leyte, Leyte, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro and South Cotabato. I would like to congratulate newly retired ELUPDB OIC-Director Nora Diaz for her more than four decades of committed public service and leading the bureau in accomplishing all these.
Each approval not only showcased each province’s physical characteristics and natural resources, but also gave way to lively discourses on the unique developmental concerns experienced by each LGU and corresponding solutions to address such problems.
It is no doubt that hard work and close coordination are needed to achieve the PDPFPs’ thrusts and vision. But what exactly does this plan entail?
Role of provinces
We must first look at the vital role of the provinces as they are the main authors of the PDPFPs.
They play an indispensable part in improving the quality of life of their constituents by creating a conducive pathway that brings social and economic services closer to people. They are tasked to create the PDPFP to guide their component cities and municipalities in the crafting of their respective CLUPs.
Hence, we recognize the importance of strengthening their capacity to develop policies and strategies that will guide the utilization of their land resources vis-a-vis the production, protection, settlement and infrastructure components.
The provinces are required to formulate a PDPFP—a technical document that details how the land resources will be utilized in order to facilitate the growth and development of the province and its citizens. It identifies the province’s physical resources, development constraints and opportunities, long-term vision and strategies, and corresponding policy and program recommendations.
It essentially becomes the basis for annual investment programming and budgeting in the province, thus serving as the main “bloodline” for economic activities.
The PDPFP seeks to address development concerns such as, but not limited to, environment and natural resource degradation, urban sprawl, proliferation of informal settlements, climate and disaster risks, lack of water and sanitation, solid waste management, traffic and other effects of anthropogenic activities.
It is therefore essential for the plan to go through a rigorous review and scrutiny, including public hearings to solicit inputs from various stakeholders. The plan also undergoes a series of reviews by a committee composed of DHSUD and other relevant government agencies, to evaluate its consistency with the Regional Physical Framework Plan (RPFP) and national policies.
The PDPFP must also consider the implications of its proposed policies and actions to surrounding provinces and how it can support regional development. Taking into account existing and potential conflicting land uses and shared climate and disaster risks with other provinces, the plan also presents an opportunity for inter-local cooperation in addressing common issues and concerns.
As the problems faced by our provinces become more complex, we also continue to come up with measures to help them manage urbanization and development in their areas of jurisdiction.
The Department thus remains relentless in crafting strategies deemed useful in the realization of our vision for the sector—“Better, greener, smarter human settlements and urban systems in a more inclusive Philippines.”
This article is first published in Philippine Daily Inquirer