Author: Andy G. Zapata Jr,
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
MANILA, Philippines — A dozen advocacy and non-government groups are calling on candidates to include food security and land rights on their campaign platforms.
Among the measures that the groups—including KAISAHAN, Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! and Asian NGO Coalition—are calling on candidates to back is the National Land Use Act, a piece of legislation that President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to pass in his State of the Nation Address in July.
The bill, if passed into law, will have the national and local governments "determine the specific uses of land and other physical resources" in the country.
Among its provisions is the full protection from conversion to other purposes of "irrigable lands, all lands developed or possessing the potential for development of high value crops, and all agricultural lands that are ecologically fragile and whose conversion will result in serious environmental problems."
The House of Representatives has passed its version of the National Land Use bill while a counterpart remains pending at the Senate.