House chief vows Land Use bill nod

Speaker Martin Romualdez has pledged to deliver the National Land Use Act that eluded previous administrations, at the “soonest time possible” or before the end of this year.

Romualdez underscored that he and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos shared the desire to create a unified framework that would govern the use of land resources in the country.


In his State of the Nation Address last Monday, Marcos stressed a comprehensive land use policy is included in his legislative agenda, particularly the National Land Use Act.

“My dear friends at NREA (National Real Estate Association), we at the House of Representatives are committed to approve the National Land Use Act the soonest time possible. We expect to approve this measure on third and final reading before the year is over,” Romualdez said during his address to the NREA assembly on Friday night.

The top lawmaker pointed out the need to harmonize and integrate conflicting laws, policies, principles and guidelines on land use and physical planning.

Romualdez cited policy experts who identified around 30 overlapping environmental and ecological protection laws, water use policies and land management policies.

Meanwhile, he urged NREA to research and submit position papers on other bills that have been filed in Congress related to the growth of the real estate industry.


Consultations key to bills

“We will not pass any law affecting your sector without hearing you first,” Romualdez stressed.

“You generate jobs for our people, provide shelter for the protection and security of Filipino households, and contribute a steady flow of income for the nation’s coffers,” he continued.

According to Romualdez, the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines, also known as Republic Act 9646, was passed by Congress in 2009 to address various concerns in the sector and to develop and nurture through proper and effective regulation and supervision a list of technically competent, responsible and respected professional real estate service practitioners whose standards of practice and service are globally competitive and promote the growth of the industry.


Romualdez and Gatchalian shared the view that initiatives meant for the real-estate sector will be protected in both chambers of Congress.


“We will pursue it (Land Use Act) in the 19th Congress, it was filed already at the House of Representatives, as this would promote the real estate industry in many ways. We look at the different facets of the bill, and we will check how we can pass it,” the House leader said.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who also graced the NREA assembly, said that although the Land Use Act already has its Senate version, he admitted that the law has been languishing in both chambers of the legislative department.

“But now that the President has made a clear marching order to tackle that bill, we must follow him as it is important to know the appropriate use of lands, whether it is for agriculture, housing, industrial. There are cases where we are losing the lands meant for the agriculture sector because it is invaded by developers. Those issues should be rectified,” Gatchalian told the Daily Tribune.


Voice of real estate sector

Meanwhile, Romualdez and Gatchalian shared the view that initiatives meant for the real-estate sector will be protected in both chambers of Congress.

With this, NREA chairperson Ricky Celis and NREA chairman emerita and One Filipinos Worldwide Partylist Representative Marissa del Mar extolled the assurance of both lawmakers.

“We are happy about the full support extended by our lawmakers to the housing industry. We at NREA are one with our lawmakers to make the lives of our member developers, brokers, and clients calm as well, especially in launching projects such as producing affordable housing for our kababayans. We will work together with the government to put an end to the more than 5 million backlogs in the housing industry,” according to Del Mar.

Further, Del Mar said they also wanted to realize the long-held dream of most Filipino families and overseas Filipino workers to at least have a decent house that they can call their own through socialized housing.

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