Environment group pushes for removal of provision in Davao’s CLUP allowing land reclassification

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Jan) – Environment group Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) is pushing for the removal of a provision allowing landowners to apply for reclassification of their properties in the 2013 to 2022 Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), which is currently undergoing review.

IDIS executive director Chinkie Golle said the technical working group revisiting and drafting the amendments to the existing CLUP should come up with more detailed land classifications.

The environmental group also sits as member of the technical working group, which targets to complete the draft before May 2019 and submit it for approval before the 18th Council adjourns on June 30, 2019.

She said the local government must stick to the identified land classifications until the effectivity of the new 2019-2028 CLUP lapses and another review is called for, which happens every five years upon approval of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

Section 14 of the Zoning Ordinance, the enabling mechanism of the CLUP, states that “changes in the zoning ordinance as a result of the review by the Local Zoning Review Committee shall be treated as amendment, provided that any amendment to the Zoning Ordinance or provision thereof shall be subject to public hearing and sectoral consultation to be conducted by the local zoning review committee and review evaluation of the said Local Zoning Review Committee and shall be carried out through a resolution/ordinance upon three-fourth majority votes” of the city councilors.

But Golle maintained the land conversion from agricultural to residential areas threatens the food production of the city.

The environmentalist cited, for instance, the relocation area for families living in flood-prone areas had to be converted from agricultural to residential because it’s cheaper compared to lots in the urban center.

“We had a dilemma. If we do not approve it because it’s agricultural area, it’s for production area, the people will have no place to live because they can’t afford the properties in the residential areas,” Golle said.

She said the review committee resolved that in the next review of the CLUP they will identify specific food production areas, residential areas, and affordable residential areas amid the massive infrastructure developments in the city.

“The trend in Davao City, it’s already getting crowded. That’s why you have to put some residential areas farther with designated food production areas. Our city is crowded but we have 244,000 hectares,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)