To enhance the capacities of its technical staff and partner agencies,  the NEDA Regional Office (NRO) X recently conducted a two-day refresher course on Land Use Planning and Regional Spatial Development Framework for the Formulation of  Climate and Disaster Risk-Sensitive Regional Physical Framework Plan (RPFP). The activity was participated  by the Regional Land Use Committee-Technical Working Group (RLUC-TWG) and the technical staff of the NRO X.

Assistant Regional Director Mae Ester T. Guiamadel of NRO X welcomed land use planning expert Professor Ernesto M. Serote of the University of the Philippines-School of Urban and Regional Planning (UP-SURP) and thanked him for serving as resource person during the two-day activity. She also acknowledged the attendance of the RLUC-TWG. “This is intended for the participants to learn new methodologies on how to integrate new data into the DRR/CCA-enhanced RPFP and make it a significant guide in regional development planning,” ARD Guiamadel said.

Topics covered were the following: (a) public sector-led planning; (b) the dynamics of urban development; (c) significance of the four land-use policy areas and the determinants of land use decisions; and (d) the National Spatial Strategy/Regional Spatial Development Framework. An integrating framework was also discussed to utilize the River Basin Flood Modelling and River Basin Master Plans for the refinement of the RPFP, 2015-2045.

Meanwhile, Professor Serote emphasized that planning is a primary function of the State. “The effectiveness of public sector planning hinges on the willingness of the State to assert itself as the first among equals,” he added.  He also cited the three major actors in urban development, namely: (a) the households which produce the space for living; (b) the business firms which produce the space for making a living; and (c) the government which produces the infrastructure support and preserves the life support system. The four land use policy areas (settlement, infrastructure, production and protection areas) were also translated into the following goals which can be adopted in all physical development plans at all levels: (a) rational distribution of population; (b) access to economic opportunities and social services; (c) sustainable utilization of resources; and (d) maintaining environmental integrity.