RD Luis G. Banua of NEDA Region IV-A (2nd row, 4th from the left) with the resource persons and participants of the 2018 Calabarzon Development Planning Leaders’ Group Seminar.

The NEDA IV-A conducts annual meetings with the local planning officers in the region to provide updates on national and regional policies and plans, discuss concerns on development planning, and strengthen link among local and regional planners and government agencies. For this year, the local planners convened on April 20 at The Bayleaf Cavite, General Trias City to be abreast and discuss ways to advance urban resilience and inclusive development amidst the region’s rapid urbanization. Mayor Antonio Ferrer of General Trias City, the host of the seminar, welcomed the participants and expressed his appreciation for holding the seminar in their city and for sharing relevant topics that are useful for their progressing city.

In his opening message, Director Luis G. Banua of NEDA Region IV-A highlighted the importance of being able to prepare well and adapt to challenges brought by risks and rapid urbanization, and the key role of LGUs, particularly the local development planners, in achieving the country’s and the region’s growth and development objectives set out in the Philippine and Calabarzon Regional Development Plans for 2017-2022.

Director Angelito F. Aguila of the Policy Development, Legislation and Special Projects Group of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) shared in his keynote message the recent policies, major programs as well as past experiences in implementing national programs on housing and urban development. He emphasized the importance of proper planning and governance at the local level to effectively implement the National Urban Development and Housing Framework 2017-2022 and achieve the objectives of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992. He also pointed out the need to develop a reliable planning database, good monitoring system, transparency, and participation of stakeholders.

The planners also discussed their concerns on the preparation of Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plans (PDPFPs), Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs), Comprehensive Development Plans (CDPs), and data generation for Community-based Monitoring System (CBMS) during an open forum led by Engr. Mildred Purificacion, President of the Regional League of Local Planning and Development Coordinators of the Philippines, Inc. (LLPDCPI). Panelists from NEDA IV-A, HLURB Southern Tagalog, and DILG IV-A responded to the concerns of the planners and also provided updates on the preparation of such local plans.

Resource persons from different government agencies, the academe, and the private sector discussed topics on the National Transport Policy (Usec. Anneli R. Lontoc of DOTr), the New Urban Agenda (Prof. Efraim Roxas of the University of the Philippines Los Baños), National Housing Policies (Director Jeanette Cruz of HUDCC), Green Building Code (Engr. Elena Diaz of DPWH), and developing integrated, mixed-use, and sustainable communities (Arch. Shirley Silva-Mazon, Ayala Land, Inc.)

The activity was well attended and greatly appreciated by the provincial, municipal, and city local planners in the region.

Aprille M. Suyat | April 27, 2018