Zubiri Cites Need for Natural Resources Policy

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri has expressed hope that the Senate will immediately pass his proposed land use measure which he said will address the seeming lack of a master plan in using the country's natural resources even as he lauded the Aquino government's commitment to support the measure.Citing the importance of the measure, Zubiri, chairman of the Senate Committee on environment and natural resources, said his proposed Senate Bill 2673 or the Land Use Act needs to be immediately enacted after several failed attempts to pass a law that will manage the use of the country's limited land and water resources."The proposed national land use measure addresses the vital issues of agrarian reform, climate change, the completion of a national database and geo-hazard mapping and disaster risk reduction and management. These issues have emerged and exerted great impact on the Philippines since Congress first initiated the crafting of a national land use policy, more than two decades ago," Zubiri said in the explanatory note of Senate Bill 2673 or the Land Use Act.Under the proposed bill, a Land Use Policy Council (LUPC) led by the Secretary-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) shall act as a superbody to resolve all policy conflicts and territorial jurisdiction on land use between and among agencies, branches or levels of government. It shall also integrate efforts, monitor developments relating to land use and the evolution policies.The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources has already conducted a series of consultative hearings related to the proposed measure. …