Revisiting the BLISTT plan (II)-A A +A
Real Estate Updates
Sunday, July 29, 2012
FOR any urban metropolitan planning to succeed, two important ingredients stand out. One, it must identify the needs and problems of the affected inhabitants and the communities, their acceptance and full support of such proposed plan. Secondly, it must have a built-in workable mechanism for its successful implementation. It will be a waste of time and effort notwithstanding the cost if these conditions are not met.
The plan starts with a genuine and community wide public consultation with the involved stakeholders and inhabitants. While it cannot be denied that many public consultations were conducted as a mere compliance and a lip service just to say it was done, the difficult and greater task to undertake in this respect is to seek wider citizen participation and their active involvement in the consultations.
One way of facilitating the process is initially to organize a separate comprehensive government and non-government/sectoral consultations/workshops and request these participants to conduct their own consultations with their constituents. The government groups shall include the different government services going down to the barangay constituents, while the non-government and private sectors will include wide sectoral areas of professionals, businessmen, church leaders and even ordinary citizens.
From these separate consultations, a joint government and non-government consultations/workshops shall then be scheduled to further discuss and refine the results of their separate consultations. Results and feedbacks from these various consultations can then be collated and finalized in the report. These shall be given to the executives of the different local government units who shall then use the report to come up with their high-level comprehensive and over-all plan.
One of the concerns most especially in the real estate sector is the developments in housing. In my previous articles, I have sounded the alarm of a critical housing backlog situation. Along this, we believe that development in housing should be maximized in the on-going BLISTT Plan in the next few years with the assistance of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) to benefit the areas’ burgeoning population.
With the inclusion of housing developments in the various crafted comprehensive land use plan of the different local government units in the BLISTT area and incorporated in the BLISTT Plan and actual developments going on in Baguio City and adjoining towns, Metro Baguio will be a very competitive local governments accommodating large flock of investors in the years to come.
The second consideration requires further study as to how the BLISTT Plan can be placed in motion. One option requires a BLISTT Authority be established to oversee the over-all project implementation. This alternative has the advantage if considered in a bigger and macro context where various projects and programs might infringe on inter-jurisdictional authorities, administrative delineations and geographical boundaries for effective implementation. An example is the protection of the environment and the forested areas which will require a joint undertaking by the different LGU’s and the component government implementing agencies spearheaded by the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR).
This option of BLIST Authority composition finds legal justification under the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act 7160) which states: “Local government units may group themselves, consolidate or coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to them.” (Sec. 3, par. f). A proposed authority will answer these coordinated efforts of the affected areas in BLISTT.
There are many administrative set-ups that will be involved in the undertaking. Practicality demands that the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in the Cordilleras can be assigned to take the lead in initiating the formation of the BLISTT Authority. Suffice to say that the proposed Authority must be an independent entity, free from political influences and the organization run by professional and career-service managers.
Planning the future growth of the community must not be left to chance. Forward and proactive planning as it affects the very lives of each inhabitant now and the future cannot be gambled with. We are certain that it is now being done in the case of the BLISTT Planning exercise. Let us all be involved, be fully supportive and give it our best shot.
(The writer is a Certified Public Accountant and president of the Baguio Realtors Board Inc. Apart from being a recognized Real Estate Practitioner as a Real Estate Broker and Educator, Lecturer and Resource Person, he is likewise a Business Management/ NGO/Cooperative Consultant, Project Development Consultant, Financial Advisor/Loan Broker and Columnist. For comments and more information of Real Estate Updates and Studies, you may get in touch with him at No. 04 Old Forestry Compound, Baguio City 2600, Tel. No (074) 427-1971/ Cell Nos. 09109302753/09163188274 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 30, 2012.