HLURB offers program for LGUs to draft less costly land use plans

Article written by Mia A. Aznar

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Original link of this article.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 17, 2012

AS cities and municipalities continue to grow, more local government leaders are starting to be conscious of the need for a comprehensive land use plan (Clup), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) 7 Director Roy Lopez noted.

Lopez said they have also seen a more active participation from local government units (LGUs) after they began clustering their comprehensive land use planning workshops.

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While only 15 LGUs participated in 2011, Lopez said they were able to sign up 93 municipalities in Central and Eastern Visayas to participate in their Clup assistance program this year.

In coming up with their Clup, Lopez said they allow the participants to come up with the land use plan themselves, while they only assist in the technical aspects. He described the sessions as a “democratic process” in a consultative and participative

“Everyone works on it. We give them inputs, but they are the ones who craft the plan.

We just guide them.”

Aside from seeing the need to have a Clup, Lopez believes the affordability of their Clup assistance program is also what attracts LGUs to join.

If done on its own, a fourth class municipality could spend up to P1.5 million to have a private contractor or hold a one-on-one session in conducting a Clup consultation.

He added that a highly-urbanized city could spend up to P2.5 million.

But under the clustering program of the HLURB, Lopez said, LGUs spend only about P360,000 for travel and accommodation expenses for participants for six months.

“Politicians are now conscious of its importance. They are very interested. We have seen attendance from officials like the mayors and vice mayors,” said Lopez.

Lopez said clustering the Clup is economical for LGUs and allows leaders to be conscious of their roles when it comes to land use planning.

He added that the National Government saw the effectiveness of the clustering program and decided to adopt the practice nationwide.