House OKs land use bill on 2nd reading

THE HOUSE of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a bill that aims to create a framework that will determine the best use of land.  

Congressmen voted through voice the passage of House Bill 8162, which will create a National Land Use Commission under the Office of the President.  

The agency will be the highest policy-making body on land use and “will coordinate efforts towards the development of integrated land use plans at all levels of government and monitor their implementation,” Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Jose F. Matugas told the plenary. 

The measure also has guidelines in planning “areas of concern,” namely forestlands and water sheds, coastal zones, settlements, protected areas and agricultural lands. 

Also covered are lands for energy resource exploration, industrial, infrastructure and agro-industrial development.  

The bill is part of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council’s common legislative agenda. The House aims to pass the bill on final reading before Congress adjourns on June 2.Beatriz Marie D. Cruz