Malaybalay proposed new land use plan draws mixed reactions

 

Businessman Juan Salang of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. asks a question during the public hearing for the proposed revision of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Malaybalay City on September 26 at the City Covered Court| Bukidnon News photo

Businessman Juan Salang of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. asks a question during the public hearing for the proposed revision of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Malaybalay City on September 26 at the City Covered Court| Bukidnon News photo

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/26 September) Some participants backed the proposed revisions of Malaybalay City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) while others reserved their support pending a full scrutiny of the 10-year plan for 2012 to 2022 during the public hearing held Thursday by the Committee on Human Settlement, Zoning, and Land Use of the City Council, in coordination with the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO). 

Roberto Tinsay, vice president of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (BKCCII) said the revision is timely as zoning is already imperative to secure the poultry industry, among many, in the city. 

He said two other industries have been waiting for the CLUP revision, the real estate and the eco-tourism sectors of the business community, who were among hundreds who attended the hearing, mostly from Malaybalay’s 46 barangays. Check the highlights of the CLUP and the zoning ordinance here, as presented in the public hearing.

Adrian Gamboa, officer in charge of the City Planning and Development Office, told Bukidnon News .Net Wednesday the plan is still open for changes and suggestion.

He said when the city’s CLUP expired in 2010, they started to update it. The proposed revision was initially presented to the City Development Council in 2011. The CPDO was ready to present the proposed revision in December 2012. But the city council committee, Gamboa added, deferred it due to the campaign period.

Gamboa told the public hearing that it is important to revise the CLUP for the allocation of lands for future development and to keep people safe by guiding development away from hazardous areas and reducing risk to disaster. The CLUP, he added, will also help ensure sustainable use of resources and facilitate delivery of services.

Gamboa, who did not distribute copies of the CLUP and the zoning ordinance to back it in the public hearing, cited in his presentation the bases used and highlights of the proposed CLUP (see related story). But cited that “nothing much” has changed between the 2001 to 2010 CLUP and the proposed version.

Tinsay, also president of the Chamber of Real Estate Builders Association Inc. in Malaybalay, said there is also a need to address flooding in the city that’s why the need for the CLUP.

But Engr. Alson Quimba, provincial agriculturist, cited the need to incorporate food sufficiency in the considerations for the CLUP revision. He added that city planners must also incorporate a projection of sufficiency for a set of crops for the inclusive 10 years in the CLUP.

He said the city government must base its “food sufficiency” projections on rice, corn, vegetables, livestock, and fisheries.

“When you speak of (agriculture) protection, you must also be talking about interventions (to prevent farmers from leaving the core crops and shift to industrial crops and jeopardize food security),” he stressed.

Quimba said on the issue of moratorium on extension of agricultural plantations, aside from their business permits, the companies must obtain a ‘permit to operate’ that requires a public hearing for the people to see if these companies should continue operating.

Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri, who stayed throughout the hearing, assured that the city government will take seriously its role to regulate industries in the city. He said economy and environmental protection should go together.

This was also his reaction when asked by businessman Juan Salang, another official from the Kaamulan chamber, on how should he present the city’s policy on plantations to a group of Singaporean firm interested to put up a thousand hectare coffee plantation in the city.

Hundreds of representatives from different sectors attend the public hearing for the proposed revision of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Malaybalay City on September 26 at the City Covered Court| Bukidnon News photo

Hundreds of representatives from different sectors attend the public hearing for the proposed revision of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Malaybalay City on September 26 at the City Covered Court| Bukidnon News photo

Former Kalasungay, Malaybalay barangay chair Eric Dagawasan questioned the alleged lack of consultation among the indigenous peoples even if the proponents have consulted barangays, the health and business, and other sectors, but not the IPs.

He said about 50,000 of the city’s 108,259 hectares land area are covered with the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles of the Lumads.

Engr. Jorge Cabanelez, the city’s zoning administrator, said the inputs of the IPs through their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) will be integrated in the CLUP.

But he clarified that not all items in the ADSDPP may be included as “there might be some conflicts.”

Ma. Shirlene Sario, provincial officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples also raised the need to set up cultural villages or schools for living traditions. Councilor Lorenzo Dinlayan Jr said they have already incorporated it in the eco-tourism plan of the city.

Dr. Boy Ching, a businessman, also reminded the city officials that planning for the city should be synergized with that of the whole province.

He appealed to be given a copy of the CLUP and the zoning ordinance and asked for time to “study the CLUP very well.”

The proponents told Ching the CLUP will pass deliberation not only at the city council but also at the provincial board after scrutiny at the Provincial Land Use Committee (PLUC). Gamboa said the CPDO can provide copies to other sectors who want to study the plan and input their position up to a deadline.

Gamboa cited a technical glitch behind the reason they couldn’t provide copies of the CLUP and the zoning ordinance presentations.
Herculano Ronolo, city administrator, told this reporter Thursday evening that the business community have asked the CPDO to give them a separate presentation on the CLUP and the zoning ordinance. He added that other sectors, too, are welcome to seek a schedule. But he said they can only do so until October 2013.

Hubert Quiblat, branch manager of the Land Bank of the Philippines Malaybalay welcomed the CLUP but cited the need for the city government to update the schedule of land market values, which dates back to 1991.

He said the problem affected the real estate industry. He noted that doing so will help increase the city government’s revenue, although it meant higher real property taxes. He also asked about the city’s vision to be “agri-industrial” center.

“What kind of crop do we intend to focus on?” he added, citing the one town one product thrust of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Zubiri said the city is positioning to increase real property taxes considering the need to augment its revenues in order not to be too dependent on the internal revenue allotment.

Belino Epie of the environmental desk of the Diocese of Malaybalay said the CLUP should also include the Forest Land Use Plan, considering that some farms are located in those areas.

Gamboa said after the CLUP, they will update the FLUP, which was classified in the 2001 to 2010 CLUP as protection and production forests.

He cited, however, that they cannot address it at the moment due to some issues with ancestral domain claims pending ADSDPPs from the CADT (Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title) holders.

Gamboa said after the public hearing, the city council will deliberate on the proposed revisions. After approval, it will be submitted to the Provincial Land Use Committee (PLUC) for the approval of the provincial board.

“If they prescribe revisions, it will have to be returned to the city government,” Ronolo, city administrator said. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)