Land governance in the Philippines remains a big challenge as land deprivation, problematic land information and valuation data, complex and tedious bureaucractic processes, overlapping tenurial policies, highly sectoral approach in addressing land issues, and absence of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms worsen the presence state of the issue. These multi-faceted concerns also exacerbate the problem on land rights claiming of smallholders in the country.
It is in this context that the Land Management Bureau (LMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) crafted the 2030 Land Sector Development Framework (LSDF) in 2010 as a road map for reforms in the land sector in support of long-term development goals. It also serves as a strategy for a common policy on land administration and management in the country among government agencies concerned on land.
With the ongoing process of updating the 20-year framework, DENR-LMB is conducting consultations with various stakeholders to gather more comprehensive reviews and inputs for the LSDF.
On 29 June 2017, representatives from DENR and CSOs working on land, agriculture, and environment gathered in the Land Sector Development Framework (LSDF) Review: A CSO Roundtable Discussion held at the DENR Central Office. Jointly organized by DENR and Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) in partnership with the Philippine National Engagement Strategy (NES) platform, the event provided the opportunity for CSOs to provide inputs on the initial review of the framework prepared by DENR.
With the persistent issues on access to complete, updated, and harmonized spatially-referenced land information, and on efficient and effective provision of land administration and management services, the government plans to take the following actions, among others, in reforming land governance through the LSDF:
- national land titling program for five to 10 years;
- completion of land records digitization in the next two to three years;
- establishment of a Control Map to address spatial information deficiency; and
- assessment of cadastral maps through satellite imagery.
Recommendations and insights from CSOs were on the following topics:
- Linkage of LSDF 2030 with broader national physical (i.e. National Physical Framework Plan and National Spatial Strategy) and long-term development visions (i.e. Ambisyon Natin 2040)
- Responding to future demands and projected conditions for land resources and uses of the country
- Assessment and evaluation of the physical, vulnerability, and biological status of land resources/assets (fertility, best use, viability)
- Prioritization of strategic land resource allocation and uses
- Quantification of land allocation requirements and priorities, and designation as ‘land reserves’
- Resolution of basic land sector issues to address current, recurrent and future land administration and management problems
- Need to link the LSDF with other national sectoral/development and implementation plans.
Public Land Specialist Mr. Elmer Mercado, EnP, and NES Members of the International Land Coalition (ILC) in the Philippines presented the proposed national legislations related to land and resource use to look into ways on how the LSDF will be linked in these Bills. These include the National Land Use Act (NLUA) Bill, the Notice of Coverage (NOC) Bill under the land administration and distribution of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), and the Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCA) Bill.
For more information, read the full document on Updating the Philippine Land Sectors Development Framework (LSDF) 2030: Insights and Recommendations prepared by Elmer Mercado, EnP.
The LSDF review is an ongoing activity under the Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) on Mainstreaming the Voluntary Guidelines of Tenure (VGGT): Philippines jointly implemented by DENR, Department of Finance (DoF) and ANGOC with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).