2ND UPDATE: SPECIAL REPORT: Malaybalay’s proposed land use for 2012-2022: A city of six clusters, nine zones

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/27 September) A city of six clusters, this is the main feature of the proposed revision of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of this city during the public hearing held by the City Council Committee on Human Settlement, Zoning and Land Use as presented by the City Planning and Development Office on September 26, three years after the expiration of the 2001 to 2010 plan. 

The proposed zoning ordinance to legalize the plan also indicated a total of nine zones, to include two “new important” zones: “no build zones” and “restricted development zones” based on the Water Code of the Philippines and the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Plan 2011-2028 .

Engr. Adrian Gamboa, CPDO officer in charge, did not present the whole proposed revised plan. Instead, he cited in his presentation the bases used and highlights of the proposed CLUP. But said “nothing much” has changed between the 2001 to 2010 CLUP and the proposed version.

The proposed CLUP and zoning ordinance drew mixed reactions at the public hearing on September 26.

CLUP ‘highlights’
Gamboa, who did not distribute copies of the CLUP and the zoning ordinance to back it, in the public hearing  said among the preliminaries to the CLUP revision was the vision of Malaybalay City for the inclusive next 10 years.

He cited that they envisioned the city as “a prime agri-industrial center in Northern Mindanao with vibrant economy where people are God-centered, productive, contented and self-reliant, living in an ecologically balanced environment managed by dynamic, transparent and accountable leaders.”

He cited another basis was the mission of the city government, which is to “provide basic services, encourage business enterprises, promote social justice and ensure effective management and utilization of its natural resources.”

Among the highlights of the CLUP is the grouping of the city’s 46 barangays into six clusters, each with identified “major strategies”.

Construction of another Jollibee store in downtown Malaybalay City| Bukidnon News photo

Construction of another Jollibee store in downtown Malaybalay City| Bukidnon News photo

City proper as center of services
The core of the clusters is the “center of services cluster” to refer to the 11 poblacion barangays and Casisang and Sumpong.

Gamboa cited major strategies in the cluster as to “provide conducive business environment,” “decent housing for the under privileged and homeless,” “provision of sports and recreational facilities,” “efficient and effective ecological solid waste management.”

Basakan area for food security
The next cluster is the agricultural protection cluster, grouping the 12 Basakan barangays.

In this cluster, city planners intend to use strategies like increased agricultural crop production and productivity in support to food sufficiency and security, provision of adequate production facilities (irrigation and post-harvest), promote organic farming and increase inland fishery production, strengthen production-marketing linkages and provide technical assistance.

Upper Pulangi and Kibalabag watershed
The third group, the forest and water resources protection cluster, includes the eight Upper Pulangi barangays and the villages of Can-ayan, Kibalabag, and Manalog.

In this area, which covers Kibalabag watershed, the major source of potable water in the city, the city government intends to apply sustainable management of forest resources, control settlements in protected areas (forests and head water sources), control and limit harvesting of forest natural resources, promote sustainable farming technologies, sustain enforcement of forest protection laws and production laws in upland and marginal areas, and protect and sustain the water quality of the creeks and rivers.

According to the CPDO, about 18 percent of 17,815 of the city’s 108, 259 hectares land area is covered with primary forest and 16 percent or 15,453 hectares with secondary forest.

The CPDO noted the need for protection of headwaters with the expansion of communities, deforestation, and siltation of intake boxes.

Kitanglad buffer zone
The fourth cluster refers to NIPAS (National Integrated Protected Area System) Buffer and Forest Production Cluster to include the barangays Dalwangan, Capitan Anghel, and Imbayao.

In this area, city planners eye adherence to the buffer or multiple use zone and other regulations of Protected Area Management Board of ASEAN Heritage Park Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park and the promotion of eco-tourism such as the eco-lodge in Dalwangan for bird watching.

A city of six clusters| Grabbed from CPDO presentation

A city of six clusters| Grabbed from CPDO presentation

Agri-industrial area
The fifth cluster is the agri-industrial center referring to only two barangays Patpat and Kalasungay, which are havens for poultries and piggeries.

The lone strategy indicated for the cluster is: “Limit expansion of poultries and piggeries.”

Agri production area
The last cluster is dubbed the “agricultural production” areas referring to Aglayan, Laguitas, San Jose, and Magsaysay.

In this sector, the major strategy cited was to stop expansion of plantation crops especially bananas and pineapple, rehabilitation of creeks and rivers, strengthen production-marketing linkages and provide technical assistance.

Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri pronounced throughout the hearing that the city government will stick to regulation of the agricultural plantations sounding off that the moratorium on the expansion of agricultural plantations still hold, even if he said the legislation is only a resolution yet, not an ordinance.

Needed: interventions like buffer zones and designated expansion areas for settlement and urban centers | Grabbed from CPDO presentation

Needed: interventions like buffer zones and designated expansion areas for settlement and urban centers | Grabbed from CPDO presentation

Industrial food, food security, urbanization
The CPDO cited a 285 percent increase in the areas planted to banana, pineapple, rubber, and sugarcane from 2000 to 2012, with only 2,350.32 only in 2000 and shooting to 9,051.84 hectares in 2012.

In contrast, increase in areas planted to rice allotted for food security has increased only 7.13 percent, from 2,797 in 2000 to 2,996 hectares in 2012.

Gamboa also cited the problem of urbanization with the increase in informal settlers along environmentally critical areas. This also meant increase demand for low cost housing demand for basic services.

In the proposed CLUP, Gamboa cited the need to put up a buffer zone from these areas with the exposure to natural hazards such as flooding and landslide, areas observed to have expanded over the years across clusters.

They identified build up area for expansion of settlement in Aglayan and San Jose and urban expansion in Sumpong and Casisang barangays.

To decongest traffic in the poblacion, they planned to open a new road connecting Dalwangan and San Jose, but the details were not given yet in the public hearing.

Across clusters
The CPDO also cited that across all clusters, the city government will ensure public safety and internal security, and develop facilities and utilities geared towards the promotion of green infrastructure to support the social and economic needs of the city.

They also stressed that they plan to make accessible and affordable quality preventive, promotive, consultative and rehabilitative health services, and increase participation, completion, cohort survival, and achievement rates at all educational levels.

Zoning ordinance

The proposed zoning ordinance to legalize the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for 2012-2022 identifies "no build zones" and "restricted development zones".| Grabbed from CPDO presentation

The proposed zoning ordinance to legalize the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for 2012-2022 identifies “no build zones” and “restricted development zones”.| Grabbed from CPDO presentation

To give legal support to the plan, the city council also proposed the zoning ordinance to embody the city’s land use policies and establish permitted uses for land covered by the ordinance. The ordinance also seeks to distinguish between different types of uses which may be incompatible and provided for the different “zones” where certain types of permitted use can occur.

Engr. Jorge Cabanelez, city zoning administrator, presented seven zones with sub-zones in the public hearing, namely the residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural, protective zones, and other zones to include parks and recreation and tourist zones.

But Cabanelez said they will also designate “no build zones” or areas prohibited for all kinds of development in specific distances from the banks of streams, creeks, rivers and all other forms or bodies of water.

He added that there will also be “restricted development zones” or areas where all kinds of developments are restricted due to existing, historical and/or perceived physical hazardous conditions like flooding, landslides and or earthquakes. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)