NEDA Region IV-A in partnership with the CALABARZON League of Local Planning and Development Coordinators of the Philippines, Inc. (LLPDCPI) conducted the CALABARZON Planner’s Forum on April 27, 2021, which focused on the theme “Planning More Inclusive, Livable, and Resilient Cities in the New Normal.”

In his welcome message, Director Luis G. Banua of NEDA IV-A, highlighted the vital role of local planners in the alignment and proper execution of plans, making evidence-based decisions, and in setting priorities that are long-term, inclusive, and supportive to the national plans and priorities.

In his keynote message, Undersecretary Meynardo A. Sabili of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development underscored the importance of fiscal autonomy of local government units (LGU), particularly on budgeting and investment programming, given the increase in LGU internal review allotment in 2022. He emphasized the important role of local chief executives and local planners in formulating investment programs that will significantly contribute to local economic development.

The forum featured policies and studies on promoting active transport, urban green spaces, urban carrying capacity and flood risk assessment. Issues and concerns on land conversion and reclassification as well as updates on the preparation of comprehensive development plans and land use plans were also tackled during the forum.

The forum’s objectives to update local planners on development plans, program and policies, discuss concerns of local planners in carrying out their functions, and strengthen partnership between regional and local planners were met through lectures on relevant topics provided by distinguished resource persons and through discussions during the open forum.

In her closing message, Engr. Mildred Purificacion, President of the CALABARZON LLPDCPI, pointed out some major take-aways from the forum. Among the notable practices worth replicating at the local level include provision of active transport facilities such as bike lanes, development of urban green spaces and urban drainage system, and preparation of flood risk master plan. She also acknowledged the importance of technical assistance of agencies to LGUs and adherence of LGUs to COVID-19 protocols.

A total of 129 local planners and other regional stakeholders participated in the forum.

Local Planners and other stakeholders during the CALABARZON Planner’s Forum conducted on April 27, 2021, via Zoom. 

Lovely S. Mores, NEDA Region IV-A | April 29, 2021