Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer of the National Unity Party (NUP) has vowed to push the passage of the National Land Use and Management Act in the current Congress to effect reforms in the administration, development and allocation of the country’s land resources.
Ferrer, one of the co-authors of House Bill 6545 in the previous Congress, said he and his fellow lawmakers will re-file this urgent measure, which aims to integrate all land administration functions, currently performed by multiple agencies, into a single body -- the Land Administration Authority.
"We should take advantage of the growing international confidence in the country as an investment haven in Asia. We also have to end the current degradation of the country's land resource," said Ferrer, who represents the 4th District of Negros Occidental).
President Aquino had certified the proposed National Land Use and Management Act as urgent during the previous Congress and recently urged lawmakers in his fourth State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) to pass a measure that would ensure the convergence among agencies tasked to oversee the country’s land holdings.
Ferrer said he is optimistic that the 16th Congress will recognize the urgency of enacting a land use law, which has been filed and re-filed since the 8th Congress.
Besides Ferrer, the co-authors of the land use bill include Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City); Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City); Reps Diosdado M. Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur), and Gloria Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga).
The proposed law implements reforms in land administration, eliminating wastages in resources and manpower, Ferrer said.
He pointed out that the law would complement the proposed amendment to the Build-Operate-Transfer Act to encourage more private sector investments in infrastructure.
Under the bill, a Congressional Oversight Committee on the Land Use Act will be created to be composed of seven members from the Senate and seven from the House of Representatives to oversee the implementation of the proposed Act.
The bill also creates the National Land Use Policy Council (NLUPC) as the highest policy-making body on all matters pertaining to land use and management to be headed by the Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority.