Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, August 25, 2008

Country’s realtors, builders set meet at Subic

Manila Bulletin

The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations (CREBA) will hold its 2008 national convention with the theme “Managing Land and Environment for Today’s Communities – Best Practices and Success Stories” a the Subic Bay exhibit and Convention Center on Oct. 23-25.

CREBA national president Reghis M. Romero II and overall convention chairman Angel G. Vivas Jr. said a convention forum will focus on “Imperatives on Land for Food, Shelter and Energy” with Department of Agriculture Sec. Arthur C. Yap; Environmental Management Bureau Director Julian D. Amador and Habitat for Humanity Ms. Margarita Moran-Floreindo, as invited panelists.

Romero said, “Agricultural growth rate has consistently declined over the years, and at two percent, it is the lowest in the region. Food sufficiency and productivity are not directly proportionate to land size as shown by the United States, Israel, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

These countries are major exporters of their excess agricultural products. The Philippines should replicate their successes for the benefit of our people.

“Certain laws have reserved land for housing and other urban uses, such as Presidential Decree No. 399 which sets aside 500 meters on each side of the national road or 1,000-meter strip along such road for the purpose. Republic Act No. 7274 or the Urban Development and Housing Act or the Lina Law, mandates the inventory, identification and acquisition of land for socialized housing. RA 7160 or the Local Government Code authorizes the local government units to reclassify land into different uses. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) is already in place with 85 percent of the LGUs having enacted their respective Land Use Plans.

“CREBA takes the position that these laws prevail over RA 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Therefore, the Department of Agrarian Reform has no jurisdiction over lands which are identified for non-agricultural purposes to said laws.

“Like food, shelter is also one of man’s basic needs. Government estimates the housing backlog at 1.5 million units.

CREBA estimates an annual production of 600,000 units for the next 20 years to eradicate homelessness.

“Real estate development and housing are the vanguards of urbanization which, in turn, represents an important path way out of rural poverty. The industry has a very high multiplier effect of 16.6 on the economy, where for every P1 million spent on housing, P166 million is contributed to the economy. Millions of workers and at least 68 million allied industries rely on its activities and growth.

“Land of conversion, estimated at a measly 0.36 percent, has practically no effect on rice production. Housing and real estate development should therefore not be blamed for the failure of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“Instead of using land to plant ethanol as am alternative source of energy, it is suggested that government tap our abundant natural sources of energy such as natural gas, ocean, geothermal, solar, wind, hydro electric, biomass and coal.

“The answer is a comprehensive land use plan (CLUP) that addresses the land requirements of the various sectors, aimed at economic growth. Agricultural lands should be zoned or mapped according to crop suitability, weather and economic advantages. A physical framework based on CLUP can serve as an effective guide to be a balanced land use.”

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