NEDA cluster rejects 2-yr ban on land conversion

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THE government’s economic team has rejected the two-year ban on the conversion of agricultural land into non-agricultural sites as proposed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), saying that such moratorium is detrimental to economic growth. It is now seeking the concurrence of other related government agencies with the move to put its position forward with more gravitas.

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The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is opposing the two-year ban on land conversion, which had earlier gained the support of the Department of Agriculture and President Rodrigo Duterte, who is set to issue an Executive Order for the moratorium.

However, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia said the economic planning body had circulated a position paper recommending the rejection of the said moratorium to the Departments of Finance (DOF), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), in an effort to give the recommendation more “gravitas.”

Pernia said the NEDA’s position paper will make the heads of the DOF, DTI and DBM see the point of agreeing to the rejection of the proposed ban.

He said they need to strengthen their position now to oppose the draft Executive Order on the matter.

Pernia said the DOF is fully supportive of the move to reject the ban. “We are just waiting for the comment of the DBM, but I already talked with [DBM] Secretary Benjamin Diokno and he is also supportive,” he added.

Bad for housing backlog, infra plans
Citing the ill effects of the moratorium, Pernia said it is detrimental to economic growth because it would prevent the government from addressing the housing backlog and the problem of infrastructure gap in the country.

“It is anti-housing, especially housing for the poor. It is also a problem for infrastructure projects because the right of way will be a problem,” he said.

The NEDA chief explained that many infrastructure projects will need right-of-way provisions and if land conversion is prohibited in the country, then roads would not be widened and new roads and railways could not be constructed.

“There are many land [areas]not suited for agriculture. So why ban these lands to be converted so that they can be used for other purposes, like infrastructure, housing or commercial use?” he said.

“It [what they are proposing]is total ban for the entire country for two years. That is going to be detrimental.”

Instead of banning land conversion altogether, the government should be imposing strictly its zoning and land use policy, Pernia said, adding, “And also, taxing idle lands, so that the owners will be forced to put them to appropriate use.”

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5 Comments

  1. This should be ban forever.. agricultural land must be for the agriculture not to convert into commercial land. Just like they did in northern luzon, esp in Bulacan. Theres a lot of rice field converted into commercial like SM and subdivision which is not suppose to be…Kaya pati bigas nauubusan na tayo at nag iimport pa ang goberyno ni Abnoy.. This is Ridiculous.. Talagang planado ng mga yellow government ang mga ito, upang makapagimport sila ng bigas ng dahil sa pera. At hindi ang maging self sufficient tayo ng ating sariling food production like rice.. Sindikato ang previous administration ng dahil sa pera.. kahit maubusan na tau ng agricultural land para sa sariling interest ng mga ganid na dilawan businessman. About housing , bakit hindi kayo magpatayo near to the mountains , like tenement just like what FEM did, BLISS HOUSING…Look at Japan, they were for the welfare of their people..The government of Japan fully supportive to their people..This is truly good governance by Japan.. Not like in the Philippines, they organize syndicate at the congress and the senate manipulated by President itself, moymoy palaboy..to allow themselves as the greatest thief in our government.

  2. Your actions Director Permia is comendable, there are small agricultural lands that can be converted into low cost housing projects, or mini memorial parks, under Res. 129, and this can help the economy, as well as employment. However the biggesr problem is the conversion process that would take 2 to 3 years or more due to goverment RED TAPES, and how to FINANCE the project.

  3. I entirely agree with Director Pernia, not to emplement the non conversion of agricultural to commercial or residential as long as they are not tenanted and irrigated as provided under res. 129.
    This would greatly help the economy of our country. However these converted lands have problems when it comes to financing projects like small memorial parks , low cost housing projects. Mr. Pernia can NEDA be of help to these small projects but highly income generating?

  4. While conversion of agricultural land to residential will provide housing, conversion of agricultural land to industrial will provide vast economic progress.

    The number one problem in the Philippines to solve is zoning. Rezoning must de done; to start with in MManila and CALABARZON, then impose restrictive zoning in other parts of the Archipelago.

    Wrong zoning in greater Manila is the major cause of traffic problems. The Philippines will not be able to solve the traffic problems in MManila, until the government correct the zoning. They must start in a clean slate.

    First move — scrub all the illegal housing, then make a restart layout in planning and designing the infrastructure. Send government representatives to crowded cities in the United States, like New York City and see how zoning is being done and implemented. Housing problem — provide tenement housing to the squatters and train them for employment. Anyway, the Philippines is practicing a socialist democracy in terms of welfare.Taxpayers will have to pay, like New York City which is run by welfare politicians. NAKAKASUKA! PERO YAN ANG MAGIGING KATOTOHAN.

  5. The NEDA guys seems like economic agents form previous administration by the way they are acting. They should be asked to resign or investigated if the are acting under the influence of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and Big Land Lords who opposed land reform.