CREBA says NO to proposed moratorium on land conversion

#MakatiCondo January 04, 2017

The Chamber of Real Estate & Builders Associations, Inc. (CREBA) supports the position of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and therefore the Housing and concrete Development coordinating Council (HUDCC) rejecting the approaching imposition of a biennial moratorium on conversion of agricultural lands for human settlements and alternative non-agri uses.

NEDA and HUDCC have aforementioned that a "blanket" moratorium is harmful to the economy and would result to a slow-down within the delivery of housing units, significantly to the several homeless poor.

CREBA hopes that the national government can rethink the proposal as a moratorium alone is "not the cure-all" to unsuccessful efforts of past administrations to implement a good agricultural reform system and accomplish optimum agricultural production.

There is no argument that prime agricultural lands should be preserved for food security. however what we want is to use fashionable farming technology, additional infrastructure and higher government support for farmers to form the most out of the land that they until.

CREBA fears that the moratorium can bring efforts to deliver good and cheap homes to a minimum of 5.5 million homeless families to a standstill. Jobs created by housing construction are at stake; substantial taxes and alternative revenues from connected business activities are going to be lost; economic pump-priming effects are going to be suppressed.

Limited house can result to urban congestion as tension between agricultural land use and fast urbanization escalates. Republic Act 6657 or the great agricultural Reform Law recognizes that beneath bound conditions, some agricultural lands are higher reserved for non-agri uses, like once the land ceases to be economically possible for agriculture or a neighborhood has become extremely urban and therefore the land can have a bigger amount for alternative functions.

Instead, CREBA requires the passage of the projected national land use act (NLUA) filed in Congress to place the country's economic and physical development so as by setting four major classes of land uses for coming up with functions - Protection, Production, Settlements, and Infrastructure.

An equitable  national land use arrange has long been required by this country to be a key policy reference for all native comprehensive land use and development plans all told sectors, together with housing and land.

The bill is that the third in CREBA's 5-point agenda for housing, a package of inter-related programs and projected legislative measures that targets the assembly of 500,000 units a year or ten million homes in twenty years in pursuit of its long-term vision towards "a home for each Filipino."

A CREBA-led study valid by the National Mapping and Resource info Authority (NAMRIA) has debunked the lingering idea that the $64000 estate sector is that the "culprit" for food shortage ensuing from supposed "indiscriminate" or "rampant" conversion of lands.

It showed that agri lands account for a few 12.5 million hectares or 42.72 p.c of the country's total hectarage of 29.5 million.  Yet, the settled or developed areas amounted to solely 741,353 hectares or simply 2.52 p.c of the overall.
Lands designed up or developed for non-agricultural uses - from past times up to year 2010 - hardly created a dent within the country's total agricultural hectarage despite all government and personal infrastructure nationwide. Instead, agricultural expanse even distended by 5.4 p.c from 2003 to 2010.

These information ensure that conversion and development aren't the explanations why the country's agricultural scenario lags behind its rice-exporting neighbors.

Comparatively, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam have larger total land areas than our archipelagic country, however all of them have lesser agricultural hectarage than the Philippines at solely 38.75 p.c in Thailand, 24 p.c in Malaysia, and 28.51 p.c in Vietnam.

We need a rational and holistic land use policy that reflects the realities on the bottom, covering all areas of land use, and factorisation all told the event needs of each sector to realize a well-balanced and stable economy.