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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Long-sought bill calling for National Land Use Act finally hurdles House
22 May 2023 06:40:36 PM

Voting 262 against three and zero abstentions, the long-sought measure seeking to institutionalize a national land use policy was overwhelmingly
approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives on

Embodied in House Bill (HB) No. 8162, the proposed Act instituting a
national land use policy, providing the implementing mechanisms,
creating for the purpose the National Land Use Commission, is among
the Legislative-Executive Development Council (LEDAC) measures of
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

"This is a long-awaited measure and the President knows its
importance. Through this proposed National Land Use Act (NLUA), the
government will have the tool to properly identify land use and
allocation patterns in all parts of the country," Speaker Ferdinand
Martin G. Romualdez said following the passage of HB No. 8162.

"Through the guidance of the Chief Executive, the House members also
made it so that the measure would pave the way for the Philippines to
achieve food security," Romualdez said. President Marcos is the
concurrent Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary.

Some of the principal authors of the measure are Reps. Francisco Jose
Matugas II, Manuel Jose M. Dalipe, Rosanna Vergara, Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo, Joey Sarte Salceda, Mikee Romero, Rufus Rodriguez, Romeo Acop,
and others.

Under HB No.8162, the National Land Use Commission (NLUC) is created
under the Office of the President (OP). It shall exercise the powers
and responsibilities of the current National Land Use Committee, which
is hereby abolished.

Among the powers and functions of the Commission is to advise the
President of the Philippines on all matters concerning land use and
physical planning; Integrate and harmonize all laws, guidelines, and
policies relevant to land use and physical planning to come up with a
rational, cohesive, and comprehensive national land use framework; and
prepare, periodically review and if necessary, update the national
framework for physical planning to provide the general framework for
the spatial development directions for the entire country and
sub-national levels

The NLUC serves as the heart of the legislation and acts as the
highest policy-making body on land use and resolves land use policy
conflicts between or among agencies, branches, or levels of the

The NLUC commissioner will have the rank of Cabinet Secretary, while
the two deputy NLUC commissioners will be given the titles of

The National Land Use Office (NLUO), which shall serve as the
technical secretariat to the NLUC, shall also be created under the OP.

"All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum,
and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries,
forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural
resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural
lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated," the bill

"Pursuant to the constitutional provision or mandate, it is the policy
of the State to provide for a rational, holistic, and just allocation,
utilization, management, and development of the country’s land to
ensure their optimum use to promote sustainable socio-economic
development and ecological protection," it added.

Through HB No. 8162, the State institutionalizes land use and physical
planning as mechanisms for identifying, determining, and evaluating
appropriate land use and allocation patterns that promote and ensure,
among others, the sustainable management and utilization of natural
resources; disaster risk-reduction and climate change resiliency; and
protection of prime agricultural lands for food security in basic
commodities with an emphasis on self-sufficiency in rice and corn.

They likewise seek the perpetual protection of permanent forests and
watershed and ecosystem services for the attainment of food, water,
and energy sufficiency; and the protection, preservation, and
development of the country’s historical, cultural, archaeological, and
built heritage resources for the deeper understanding of our history
and culture as a people.

The bill also provides mandatory consultations from the regional,
provincial, city, and municipal levels, as well as harmonizes existing
rules and regulations governing the allocation, utilization,
development, and management of land resources. (END)