Cebu News

More consultations sought on Cebu City’s land use plan

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cause-oriented groups are seeking further consultations on the proposed City Comprehensive Land Use PIan (CLUP) in Cebu City, saying they want something that is “genuine and inclusive.”

The FREEMAN got hold of a copy of a letter sent to the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) addressed to the department’s assistant department head, Architect Ann Marie Yap-Cuizon, in response to the department’s invitation to submit their comments and suggestions for the CLUP.

The group got the invitation just last February 3 and was told to submit their comments no later than yesterday.

Even with a short span of time, the groups, including the Pagtambayayong Foundation Incorporated, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, Soil&Water Conservation Foundation, Akbayan Citizen’s Action Party, Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors (FORGE), Partido Lakas ng Masa-Ceb, Sentro Sa  Serbisyo ug Panginabuhian, Urban Ooor Alliance, Sanlakas-Cbu, along with former city councilor Alvin Dizon, among others, were able to meet and come up with a 12-point agenda to overhaul the process.

The proposal also came with the hope that the city government is undertaking the CLUP sincerely and not just part of a requirement.

“We do hope that the city is undertaking this CLUP out of a sincere desire to develop the City and its people and not to merely to comply with DILG/DSHUD requirements," they said.

The groups further stressed that CLUP is a serious document.

“It is the city's blueprint of our desired growth and direction in the next 10 years. It is a document designed to guide and regulate the future actions of the community consistent with the vision, mission, and goals of the city," they stressed.

The groups also noted that none of them or many others that they asked were able to participate in the formulation of the proposed CLUP and the CPDO only furnished a summary to that effect.

“It refused to give us a copy of the complete Plan and its supporting papers, which runs contrary to Cebu's City's policy of recognizing its constituents' right to information on matters of public concern as embodied in Ordinance 2657 or the Freedom of Information Ordinance of Cebu City," they lamented.

Issues Raised

The groups recalled that in 2008, the city conducted a series of consultations that involved different sectors, convened to harmonize and synthesize these proposals, which were then dubbed as Cebu City Plus 10.

Along with this, the groups initially proposed for the city to “re-examine its claim  that "Cebu City is God-fearing."

“How can we claim as such when we blatantly neglect and do not even have clear plans on how to uphold the rights and dignity of all including the poor and the oppressed such as the informal settlers whose homes are being demolished without adequate relocation and the vendors in Carbon and on the sidewalks who have and are being displaced?” they said.

The CLUP is expected to consider an analysis of the current situation and needs of the different sectors–social, economic, and the environment and should not just consider the proposed plan for the next 10 years, but consider the CLUP made in 2008 and the present land use situation and be based on facts and pieces of evidence.

Climate change, geology hazards (man-made or natural), and inter-city and cross-boundary concerns have to be looked into as well. Also to be considered, according to then, are the existing laws and ordinances and their level of implementation.

With 70% of carbon emissions coming from cities, the CLUP should also make a stand on this, they said.

“It must provide substance to our City's Declaration of Climate Emergency. How much carbon is the city emitting? What are our mitigation measures? Does the CLUP have plans to further reduce these emissions?" the groups said.

The groups also discussed the city’s Waste Management Plan. They wonder whether it also includes the elimination of single-use plastic and the recovery of biodegradable waste into compost and if it prevents incineration consistent with the existing national ban on incineration in treating municipal, biomedical, and hazardous waste.

CLUP is also expected to include the establishment of coastal greenbelt zones to prevent coastal erosion and mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change.

The groups also asked if there is a plan to promote the preparation of functional barangay development plans “that include the carrying capacity for development and the impact of climate change, such as landslides and agricultural degradation?”

The issue of social housing had also been raised, together with the plans to protect the watershed areas, agricultural development, and disaster risk reduction and management plan.  – JMD (FREEMAN)

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