Ifugao lawmaker pushes green land use law-A A +A
Saturday, September 22, 2012
IFUGAO Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr. is pushing for the passage of a national land use and management law.
The national land use and management bill is co–authored by Baguilat with several other representatives. It aims to set the government’s land use priorities and identify areas that need protection for ecological purposes and those that need to be protected from conversion to ensure food security.
In an exclusive interview with Sun.Star Baguio on Friday, Baguilat said the bill recently passed the third hearing.
He said this bill aims to promote honest-to-goodness zoning of the different local government units and cities.
He said the bill identifies the protected areas and sites that can be developed.
Baguilat said it can also help prevent natural disasters because it will classify high risk zones of the country.
He said indigenous peoples (IPs) directly bear the brunt of activities like indiscriminate mining, activities that defile their sacred ancestral lands and take away the trees and land from which they get their daily needs.
Mining has forced IPs to move away from their native land and has deprived them of a source of livelihood, he said.
Meanwhile, Baguilat said the alternative mining bill he pushes would not put a stop to all mining activities, as he acknowledges these have a value as well.
But he said mining should be prohibited in critical areas such as watersheds and areas where irrigation activities may be affected.
Sacred lands of IPs, such as their burial grounds, should also be spared, he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 22, 2012.