Civil society groups want bigger role in drafting Cebu City’s land use plan

Photo by Mary Francis Caayon, STC intern
Photo by Mary Francis Caayon, STC intern

CIVIL society organizations (CSOs) demand more transparency from the Cebu City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and a bigger role in the drafting of the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Clup).

“The CPDO gave us only a synopsis and denied us a copy of the full plan and its related documents. This situation is at odds with the City of Cebu’s policy of upholding its citizens’ right to be informed about issues pertinent to the public, as mandated in Ordinance 2657, which is also known as the Freedom of Information Ordinance,” said Orlando Carvajal of the Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors Inc.

“We recall in 2008, the City conducted a consultation series that included 10 sectors with every sector represented by a minimum of 100 members to have in-depth talks on proposals and necessities of their respective sector,” he added.

Where profit is

Aida Granert of the Soil and Water Conservation Foundation said that to ensure all sectors protect the environment, they must allocate more resources towards research and investment. She said decisions can be made after reviewing the collected data.

“Profit is also clean air, clean water and clean drainage canals,” she said.

Granert said the Clup and any other significant projects cannot be approved until there is genuine and comprehensive stakeholder consultation.

The CSOs signed a letter directed to the CPDO and made 12 proposals to facilitate the revamping of the process.

Section 3 of Republic Act 7297, or the Urban Development Housing Act of 1992, describes the Clup as a “rational approach of allocating available land resources as equitably as possible among competing user groups and for different functions consistent with the development of the area.”

The Local Government Code mandates local government units to prepare a Clup that usually covers eight to 10 years.

In Cebu, Mandaue City is the only highly urbanized city to have its Clup ratified and approved by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development in 2021. (Mary Francis Caayon, STC Intern)


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