The executive and legislative branches of the Philippine government, the civil society, the academe, the private sector, and other stakeholders gathered together during the National Land Governance Summit that was held in Quezon City on January 24, 2023. The event was organized by the Land Management Bureau (LMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the Responsible Land Governance in Mindanao (RLGM) Project.
Stakeholders of land governance expressed their commitment to improve the land tenure security. They also signified their support to the Enhancement of the Land Sector Development Framework (eLSDF) 2019-2040, a long-term strategic roadmap with thematic areas on land administration, land management and governance, land information systems and management, and land valuation and market development. This document was prepared by the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) under the RLGM Project.
According to FEF’s Elmer Mercado, the updated version of the LSDF includes the management of private lands, valuation on ecological resources, and alternative dispute resolution, taking into account new technologies that have been introduced over the years. It is also anchored on the long-term Ambisyon Natin 2040.
On a related note, GIZ Senior Advisor Dr. Andreas Lange, speaking on the global agenda on land and the implications of climate change to tenure security, said that the eLSDF could be a key contributor to agriculture productivity, biodiversity preservation, and resilience of urban areas.
In his keynote address on behalf of DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, DENR Undersecretary for Legal and Administration Ernesto Adobo, Jr. emphasized the importance of responsible land governance through “timely, evidence-based, and equitable policies and technology-driven programs,” amidst rapid urbanization. He highlighted the DENR’s accelerated land titling program for farmers and residential land owners, supported by partnerships with local government units and other agencies.
Ms. Laura Oexle, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, renewed Germany’s commitment to the Philippines to “promote the development, rehabilitation, conservation, and preservation of nonpublic lands and related resources” and “identify strategies, data, successes, failures, creative collaboration, and more.”
Non-government organizations said that they would seek continuous cooperation with government agencies on the resolution of cross-cutting land issues and concerns. (RLGM/ Nicole Ortega)