NLUANational Land Use Act (The Philippines)
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Although the heads of the finance, budget and management, and trade and industry departments, as well as of the National Economic and Development Authority, and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council opposed the DAR-initiated moratorium, they were united in their push for a NLUA as a long-term solution.
But despite a strong support for a NLUA among government agencies, the bill has failed to pass over the past nine congresses.
But according to some NLUA advocates, the fairest outcome for the law may not be everyone getting an equal share.
Mercado and Demaisip recounted the bill's fateful end in the 15th Congress: It was almost at the finish line with all deliberations and technical sessions on the NLUA done.
One of those senators, Cynthia Villar, herself from a prominent family of developers, is now chair of the committee in charge of the proposed NLUA in the 17th Congress.
The NLUA has been scheduled for deliberations since January 21 but no single amendment took place because of the senators' disagreement over the release of additional 'maintenance and operating expenses' (MOOE).
On January 23, the NLUA again was scheduled for deliberations but was sideswiped anew, with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano giving a privilege speech countered by Enrile.
Please pass the laws that this nation needs, such as the NLUA," Marzan appealed.
At present, a total of 35 bills are awaiting the action of the Senate, including the bills on Strengthening the Witness Protection Program, Security and Benefit Program, Comprehensive Regulation of Firearms, Light Weapons, and Ammunitions, and the NLUA.
The President mentioned in his State of the Nation Address in July the need to pass the NLUA, which has been languishing in Congress for the past 20 years.
The NLUA aims to protect prime agricultural lands, provide rationalized land use planning in the country, consolidate national laws on land uses, and to address long-standing land use conflicts.
The Philippines' efforts to pass a NLUA has been futile for the past two decades despite making the proposed law a priority legislation.