Marcos renews call for passage of national land use policy

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. renewed his plea to Congress on Saturday to pass a national land use policy. Speaking at the inauguration of Pier 88 in Liloan, Cebu province, Marcos said he would make sure that this measure would be given the “urgent attention that it deserves, cognizant of its fundamental importance to our holistic national development.”

Marcos first proposed the passage of the measure in his State of the Nation Address last July. “[A]llow me to reiterate the urgency of enacting a [National] Land Use Policy for our country, which is a priority legislative agenda of this administration,” he said. “Through a [national] physical framework plan, all mandates and policies on land use shall be integrated– from watersheds to farm lands from cultural heritage sites to ancestral domains, from protected disaster-prone areas. Local governments must ensure that their respective physical and land use plans shall conform to and shall be consistent with the national plan. Hence, the whole-of-government approach,” he added. “Moreover, national and local governments will tap the budding profession of environmental planners for its technical expertise in the crafting of accurate and well-aligned physical and land use plans.” Marcos issued the remark after the House of Representatives on Monday approved, on third and final reading, the proposed National Land Use Law (House Bill 8162), which does not include a total ban on the conversion of agricultural land for food production. He thanked the House of Representatives for “its timely and significant action” on the bill. Pier 88 Meanwhile, Marcos said Pier 88 offers a “faster transport alternative for passengers and cargo and holds promise to become a local economic hub.” “It shall immensely serve the interests of the people of Liloan and beyond,” he said. “But we must think of it in terms of not only this single port that we are looking at here now but as part of a larger system, a larger network, which will make it easier for, not only for Filipinos to get from one place to another, [but for] Filipinos to be able to do business to open up areas that do not have economic activity as of now.” The President also highlighted the concept of connectivity, saying this has been discussed by ASEAN leaders. “We have now extended the meaning of that connectivity to include not only digital connectivity, but also connectivity in terms of land, sea, and air transport,” Marcos said. “And this is what that provides. We have seen, all of us have seen all the problems with supply chain networks, and that is why we have focused, all of us have focused on making that connectivity more smooth and more streamlined and more accessible and easier to use and therefore making the ease of doing business not such a difficult effort for those who would like to do business in any way whatsoever,” he added. Pier 88, a three-hectare port, will incorporate a Smart Port System which features an Automated Ticketing System. It will also integrate digital technology into its operations by using QR codes and a radio frequency identification (RFID)-ready system to be integrated with a mobile application, further enhancing the traveling experience of passengers. Deputy Speaker Duke Frasco of Cebu earlier said Pier 88 would serve commuters from Bohol, the Camotes Islands, Leyte, and Metro Cebu. The development project was done through a partnership between the Municipality of Liloan, Pier88 Ventures, Inc., Topline Group of Companies, Vikingland Corporation, and FL Port Management Corporation. — VBL, GMA Integrated News

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