Tag Archives: local government units

DENR ties up with LGUs to fast-track land titling in Mindanao

14 August 2013
Jonathan L. Mayuga

DENR Northern Mindanao Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan said partnerships were forged with the municipalities of Lala, Kolambugan, Kauswagan and Tubod, all of Lanao del Norte; and Gitagum town of Misamis Oriental recently.

In her report to Environment Secretary Ramon JP Paje, Tawantawan said the new partnerships bring to 15 the number of LGUs that have responded positively to the call of the DENR for a joint effort to bring land services to communities through memoranda of partnership agreements (MOPA).

The LGUs that earlier signed MOPAs with the DENR North Mindanao office included five in Bukidnon, namely the towns of Maramag, Don Carlos, Quezon, Sumilao and Impasug-ong; three in Lanao del Norte such as Kapatagan, Linamon and Bacolog; one in Camiguin which is Mambajao; and Cagayan de Oro City.

Tawantawan said the signing of the agreements was in consonance with DENR Administrative Order No. 2011-06 which seeks to facilitate the implementation of public land titling in partnership with local government.

Under the order, the LGU shall assign necessary officials and personnel required to undertake land-titling activities, including a liaison officer between the municipality and the DENR.

The DENR shall provide technical assistance to the LGU personnel, as well as materials, equipment and personnel needed to undertake agreed activities. It is also expected to provide monitoring and quick-response assistance to the municipality in all phases of titling activities.

She said a series of orientation on DAO 2011-06, as well as training on land laws and policies, land surveys and disposition, community mobilization and land adjudication were conducted with personnel of LGUs, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

Tawantawan said the DENR field personnel from the Land Management Service will also be mobilized to assist the LGUs.

The partnership, according to Tawantawan, will benefit both the landowners and concerned LGUs in terms of revenue generation.

Also mandated to provide support to the land-titling activities are land personnel from the DENR’s provincial and community environment and natural resources offices, according to Tawantawan.

House okays bill allowing disposition of government-owned lands for socialized housing

The Philippine Star
By Paolo S. Romero
June 20, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill allowing the disposition of government-owned lands for socialized housing projects for poor Filipinos to address the country’s housing problem.

Passed was House Bill 4578 or the “Idle Government-Owned Lands Disposition Act of 2011,” which mandates the Local Government Units (LGUs) to undertake urban development and housing projects for the benefit of the underprivileged and homeless citizens.

Under the measure, 10 percent of government-owned lands to be sold, alienated and encumbered for development purposes shall be segregated or allocated for socialized housing projects.

The bill directs the conveyance of the segregated land or fund to the National Housing Authority (NHA), for lands owned by the national government intended for the development of socialized housing projects.

However, for lands owned by the LGUs, the segregated land or fund shall be retained by the LGU concerned to be utilized exclusively for its socialized housing projects.

The measure authorizes the NHA and the local government unit to enter into a joint venture agreement or other similar agreements with private developers and non-governmental organizations engaged in housing production.

“The right to a decent housing of every Filipino is enshrined in our Constitution. Section 9 of Article XIII states that the State shall, by law, and for the common good, undertake, in cooperation with the private sector, a continuing program of urban and land reform and housing which will make available at affordable cost decent housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlement areas,” said Nueve Ecija Rep. Joseph Gilbert Violago, one of the authors of the bill, said.

Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson, Jr., another author of the bill, said there is a need to improve the government’s housing program in order to make available at affordable prices decent housing and basic services to poor and homeless families all over the country.

“The acute housing problem compounded by indiscriminate squatting in the urban areas necessitates a forward-looking approach to answer this basic need of the people,” Singson said.

Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo, another author of the measure, said there should be continuing update to policies designed to address the problem of housing for the underprivileged if not for the homeless whose number or population has swelled through the years making the problem a constant menu in the country’s development agenda.

“Consistent with a rationalized land use plan, housing for the underprivileged could be set aside from government-owned lands for homeless Filipinos,” Castelo said.

Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, also an author of the bill, said the housing needs of the underprivileged and homeless in the country “is a problem that continuously paints a stark picture for the country’s economic managers and housing czars.”

“Our government is fast running out of available residential lands for its huge and ever-increasing population.  It has to pursue a rational land use plan that will entail the rational allocation of the government’s scarce land resources to include housing for the underprivileged,” Biazon said.

DAR exceeds land distribution target

SunStar Davao
February 23, 2011

THE regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Davao Region distributed a total of 6,290 hectares of land to 5,727 farmer beneficiaries last year, exceeding its annual target by 14 percent.

DAR-Davao Director Datu Yusoph B. Mama on Tuesday reported land distribution in the region last year was broken down as followed: 1,786 hectares in Davao Norte; 1,539 hectares in Compostela Valley Province; 1,430 hectares in Davao Sur; 1,285 hectares in Davao Oriental; and 250 hectares in Davao City.

Since the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) in 1988, DAR-Davao had already distributed around 235,529 hectares of agricultural lands to about 164,000 farmer beneficiaries, Mama said.

“With the sheer determination of our DAR workforce and full support of concerned government and non-government agencies and organization, from the regional up to the provincial and municipal field offices, we are confident that DAR 11 can finish its land distribution target on or before the end of Carper (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reforms) in 2014,” he said.

This year, DAR is committed to distribute 7,354 hectares of land, implement the corresponding support services interventions and resolve long delayed agrarian related cases to hasten rural development and promote lasting peace in the countryside.

Tagum: From rural area to boom city

Inquirer Mindanao
By Frinston Lim
February 19, 2011

CLAD IN a white shirt, shorts and sneakers, the diminutive man stops by one of the barbecue stalls along the clogged Quezon Street in Tagum City, where long tables and smoking grills cluttered the otherwise wide, clean-swept place during an ordinary night.

He waves to the crowd of uniformed students and workers having dinner and many of them call back, inviting. He politely declines.

Some from the crowd call him by his nickname, “Chiong Oy,” and he doesn’t mind at all. There’s really nothing to fuss about being called such, he says. Even if he is Rey Tao Uy, the mayor of Davao del Norte’s capital city, one of Mindanao’s newest bustling urban centers.

“I’m just a simple person. I’m more comfortable at being ordinary,” the 56-year-old businessman-turned-politician says.

Since its first days as a city in 1998, the agriculture graduate has been at the helm of the former marshy municipality that used to be safe haven of communist rebels, and where solvent-sniffing juveniles terrorized residents with crude knives and barbecue sticks.


The transformation of the rural capital into a booming metropolis in just over a decade was largely under Uy’s administration. Making a comeback in 2004 after being defeated by the veteran Boholano Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza (who would later become governor of Davao del Norte), the Chinese mestizo stamped his own brand of leadership in Tagum.

“A no-nonsense governance and strong political will that shaped what is now Tagum,” according to Ped Velasco, a newspaperman covering Davao region since the 1970s.

“The development of Tagum speaks a lot about who really the man is. If he did not become a mayor and instead chose to continue being a businessman, Tagum wouldn’t look like what it is now, developed,” Velasco says.

He narrates how he used to see the young Chiong Oy back in the days tending the family’s store at the Magugpo (Tagum’s former name) poblacion in what is now Roxas Street. Even back then, he says, Uy was known already for being simple and friendly man.

Uy began his political career in 1988 when he represented the then undivided Davao del Norte’s second district in the provincial board.

At a young age, he was already taught by his parents to be resilient and resourceful—traits which became helpful when he plunged into politics and was elected to govern a city of 200,000 and with scare natural resources, Velasco says.

Politician’s traits

“Manage properly and efficiently whatever you have right now,” the mayor says on how he realized those traits as a politician. “Run your city as if you’re managing an enterprise.”

He calls that kind of leadership as corporate governance. Effective utilization of resources and efficient delivery of services are not just bywords. These are the mantra.

“Since we’re not blessed with rich natural resources like gold or tourist spots compared to our neighboring local government units (LGUs) like Compostela Valley or Davao City, what we do is we create situations in such a way that businesses could thrive,” Uy says. The same concept, he adds, serves as the driving force behind the progress of the small state of Singapore.

The city government under Uy sees to it that projects and programs are effectively and efficiently implemented. All infrastructure projects are being done by administration to eliminate corruption.

The city’s equipment and facilities are properly managed and well-maintained. Raw materials for concreting and other road projects are produced by the city’s asphalt mixing plant, thereby reducing considerably the cost of road and drainage projects.

The city also offers its equipment and services to other LGUs like Davao City, providing additional revenues to the city coffers. Tong-pats (grease money to contractors) and shakedowns are a no-no.

“We saved so much (government money) by eliminating corruption,” he says.

Strategic location

Being at the center of two intersecting national roads, Tagum’s strategic location attracts an influx of visitors virtually all times of the year. The Pan-Philippine Highway cuts through the city from north to south while the Davao-Mati road snakes to its west.

With this, Uy says he sees to it the city has enough good facilities to cater to the demands of visitors so to attract investments and revenue.

Millions of pesos were invested to the city’s drainage system to arrest the perennial flooding that used to hit the city proper during rainy months.

Adding to come-ons to local and foreign tourists is a slew of festivals (an average of 14 a year), showcasing the city’s rich culture, tradition and, of course, delicious fruits.

The city is also known of its improved peace and order situation. The place, in most parts, has been spared from bombings, kidnappings and other terror attacks plaguing other cities in Mindanao.

Bullish sentiments Downsouth —

By Hernani De Leon
BusinessWorld Online
November 16, 2010

DAVAO CITY — Feedback from regions in Mindanao indicates a bullish sentiment in past months. New shops and offices are opening and property developers are aggressive in marketing campaigns. These are positive signs after a slight economic slowdown that started in 2008 and a power crisis that crippled the island’s industrial areas in the first semester.

Expansion moves, however, are anticipatory and not hinged on higher demand. Power consumption, a solid indicator of growth, is short of projection. A couple of years ago, it was estimated that power demand this year will outstrip supply, currently at 1,300 megawatts (MW).

Latest power demand figures from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines show roughly 1,200 MW at peak level. Lower-than-expected demand could be traced to the mining industry’s delayed takeoff. Capacity utilization of steel plants in Iligan City, estimated to require at least 100 MW, apparently did not meet expectations.

There are no surges in prices of construction materials, another proof that housing demand is not as high yet, even as some sectors complain of lower revenues given the strengthening of the peso’s value against the US dollar. While wage adjustments took effect three months ago, proceeds from overseas worker remittance went significantly lower, taking its toll on consumption during the Yuletide season.

Mindanao’s exporters, meanwhile, are in a crisis. The banana industry, which posts as high as $700 million in export receipts annually, is anticipating losses to reach over a billion pesos. A volatile exchange rate will have a significant effect on annual supply contracts. Take note that an annualized P1 loss in foreign exchange rate will automatically mean P700 million in losses from the industry this year.

That could mean less food on the table of plantation worker families this Christmas. At four dependents per worker, the crisis can affect half-a-million individuals in Davao Region as well as thousands in nearby south-central Mindanao which host some plantations.

Local government units, not only the regional offices of the Department of Trade and Industry, should also be concerned with substandard products sold on sidewalks and in retail establishments. Often, only Trade and Industry personnel are looking into this issue and there were cases when erring entrepreneurs would even drop names of their city hall protectors.

Cheap substandard products could bring disaster during the holidays. Consumers who lack the technical background sometimes decide based on deceptive product packaging. For electrical appliances or gadgets, one should be wary of the wire’s thickness since a thin wire gauge could cause fire when the line is overloaded, or when the appliance is left operating overnight.

Checking if the wire is safe enough for hours of use is easy. Simply feel it after a few hours while the appliance or gadget is operating.

If it is hot, better unplug the appliance immediately, or take it to a technician to have the wire replaced. That would cost less than a hundred pesos, a small amount to keep your home safe.

Believing there is no other way but up, private sector leaders are driving the economy in the last few months. The same entrepreneurs, however, are at a loss justifying high expectations. Many admit the administration’s Mindanao agenda is so far vague, with rhetoric on achieving peace and security and speeding up economic development as priorities in the island.

One challenge is to harness local government institutions in achieving economic objectives, which has yet to get attention from national leaders. The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) was created by the previous administration early this year but it has yet to harmonize local government policies with national objectives and integrate regional efforts into a strategy that could bring in results.

As previously pointed out in this column, MinDA could be another redundant unit — an excess baggage, if you may — in the bureaucracy that the administration wants streamlined. A recent report that the authority’s chairman will coordinate with regional development councils to integrate plans only means the agency is redundant.

Integrating development plans is a function of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Another agency doing the same work implies inefficiency unless that agency takes the role of a bigger regional unit of NEDA. Its chief goal is to have a NEDA undersecretary for Mindanao.

That should have been the setup for its predecessor, the Mindanao Economic Development Council, but politicians in Congress passed a law creating MinDA instead. Despite limitations, MinDA should perform well as the country’s counterpart BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area.

It should also be an effective overseer of small projects related to the peace process. Ideally, NEDA should confine itself into development planning and should turn over small projects to MinDA.