Malaybalay in 2011-2020: Portrait of a growing “city within a forest”

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/10 September) — Two of Malaybalay’s five urbanizing barangays in 2000 will be considered “urban areas,” according to the draft of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of the city for 2011 to 2020. But one barangay identified as “urbanizing” 10 years ago, will be categorized again as a “rural barangay,” according to the list obtained by MindaNews from the City Planning and Development Office.

Of the city’s 46 barangays, barangays Sumpong and Casisang are now considered “urban barangays, according to the CPDO list.

But while the city is urbanizing, 29 of its 46 barangays are still considered rural and will remain as such in the proposed revision of the land use plan.

Of the 29, 18 barangays have been identified as areas where agriculture can co-exist with forest protection, buffer zone or watershed areas. In the 2000 to 2010 land use plan, there were 26 barangays considered  “agricultural.”

In the current CLUP, the 11 poblacion barangays are classified as “commercial, recreational, institutional, and residential” areas. In the proposed CLUP for the next 10 years, the poblacion barangays will also become “business district” and “urban center.” Barangays 1 and 9 will also be considered “ecotourism areas.”

Barangays Aglayan, Bangcud, and Managok will be joined by Barangay San Jose in the group of four “urbanizing barangays.”

At present, Aglayan, at the crossroads of Lantapan and Cabanglasan towns along the proposed Iligan to Butuan East-West Lateral highway, is considered a “residential, institutional, and commercial transportation hub.”

It is also presently an “agri-industrial” area.  The barangay is the site of the city’s biggest grains centers. The city government is eyeing to make Aglayan an “agri-industrial center” in the next 10 years.

Managok, in the city’s rice farming Basakan area, classified as residential, institutional, tourism, and agri-industrial in the city’s zoning, will become “agri eco-tourism” and “grains center.”

Bangcud, a “residential, institutional, and tourism” area will be the “institutional research center.”  Bangcud is the site of the DA’s Regional Crop Protection Center and the Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Brgy. San Jose, home of the famous Benedictine Monastery of Transfiguration, which is presently classified as a “residential, tourism, commercial, industrial, and institutional area” is being eyed as a “major commercial hub.”

Brgy. Kalasungay, which has been classified as an “urbanizing barangay” in the 2000 CLUP, is proposed to be reverted as a “rural barangay.” It is presently a residential, cultural, agri-industrial, and institutional area. In the next 10 years it is being eyed as a residential haven and agri-forestry center.

Two barangays, Caburacanan in the city’s Upper Pulangi area and Kibalabag, where Malaybalay City sources its potable water, are the only two barangays eyed to be exclusively for “watershed” purposes in the proposed CLUP.

Caburacanan’s present classification is “agricultural.”

In the 2000 land use plan, there were 12 barangays identified to be agro-industrial or areas where agricultural plantations thrive. In the proposed revision, only seven are classified as “agri-industrial” with four barangays, namely Aglayan, Cabangahan, Magsaysay, and Patpat, classified as “agri-industrial” only.

The city appears to be poised for its greening efforts, too. From nine barangays identified in the last decade for watershed/buffer zone/ forest protection, the new CLUP is proposing to have 21 barangays classified for the same category.

Also, the proposed revision envisions Malaybalay as a more active tourism player with nine barangays being projected as tourism, eco-tourism or agri tourism destinations. In 2000, there were only four villages eyed for tourist destinations.

Two barangays, Dalwangan and Kalasungay were classified as “cultural areas” in 2000. But no barangay has been considered “cultural” in the proposed revision.

Engr. Jorge Cabañelez, the city’s zoning administrator-designate, told MindaNews , the “future role” identified in the proposed revision is not meant to alter the present role.

“It is an addition to the existing classification,” he added.

Cabañelez said they expect to complete the revision before the end of the year. He added that they will propose the revisions to the city’s zoning ordinance by October. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)