25 Jun 2012

The Case for a National Land Use and Management Act: Stories from Palawan and Bukidnon

Photo by Manuel Domes

Written by Manuel Domes

The current 15th Congress has the unique chance to finally pass the legislation for a comprehensive national land-use policy. The National Land Use and Management Act (NLUMA) is the last incarnation of a bill that has been making its rounds in Congress for almost two decades.

Despite commendable existing legislation governing the use of land and other natural resources, there is still no overarching framework encompassing our entire archipelago. In an interdependent and fragile ecosystem like the Philippines, the sustainable management of resources is crucial to ensure our well-being and future generations' livelihoods. Recent disasters like typhoon Sendong, which killed scores in Northern Mindanao in late 2011, have once again demonstrated why our country needs a land use policy that reflects the complexity of its interdependent ecosystems.

CLUP Now!, a multi-sectoral network of twenty-nine (29) non-government organizations and people's organizations pushing for the passage of the NLUMA bill, is pleased to announce the timely distribution of its information materials in support of the bill.  Part of these materials are two documentations of land use model cases. The first one focuses on the participatory and comprehensive land use planning of Puerto Princesa City while the other case highlights the example of co-management in natural resource management as exemplified in Mt. Kalatungan Range Natural Park, Bukidnon. With these case studies, CLUP Now! shows that the NLUMA does in fact build on existing initiatives and best practices. There is a wealth of successful land use models, such as co-management and comprehensive land use planning. Rather than reinventing the wheel, NLUMA aims to mainstream such successful approaches and make their benefits available to the entire nation.


 This case study takes an in-depth look at the land use planning in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The country-wide support for an effective and comprehensive land use planning process is at the heart of the proposed NLUMA bill. In a country like the Philippines, where mountains often seem to rise straight out of the ocean, this necessitates an integrated approach to land use planning, covering ridge to reef.

Puerto Princesa is blessed with a unique level of biodiversity. At the same time, its natural richness is vulnerable and constantly threatened. This case study demonstrates how the city has attempted to address these concerns by adoption of a comprehensive land use plan, involving stakeholders from all levels of society. In conclusion, the case study draws some lessons learned for NLUMA from the Puerto Princesa experience. The data for this study was gathered through interviews with local stakeholders[1] in January 2012. The range of interview partners spanned all levels of society from grassroots to the local chief executive.

Puerto Princesa City within Palawan

Palawan has the highest number of islands in the country (more than one thousand), as well as the highest number of endemic species. It is home to about 30% of the remaining mangrove forest and about 40% of the remaining virgin forest found in the country. But this wealth of natural resources also leads to problems. Environmental crimes, such as wildlife smuggling or illegal logging, are present in the province. Large-scale mining operations are converting vast tracts of land into open-pit mines, particularly in the island's southern municipalities. This is not only affecting Palawan's natural beauty: local stakeholders are also raising concerns about the heightened risk of natural disasters such as landslides, as well as environmental pollution, loss of biodiversity, and the displacement of indigenous communities.

Located right in the middle of Palawan, Puerto Princesa City encapsulates many of the problems and potentials of the island province in a condensed space. The city spans an area of almost 240,000 hectares from Palawan's western to eastern coast, making it the country's second-largest city after Davao. While being recognized as a highly urbanized city with more than 200,000 inhabitants, the majority of Puerto Princesa's barangays are rural in nature, with travel times from the urban center often taking several hours. The city is not just home to several mountains higher than 1,000 meters above sea level, but also to crucial watersheds and river systems -- among them the famous underground river, which has recently been awarded as one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World"[2] on top of already being recognized as a national park.

Puerto Princesa also plays a crucial role for the development of the entire province of Palawan.  It is the only city LGU of the province, has the highest number of flights, attracts a large volume of tourists and has seen its investments soar to 12 billion pesos in the year 2011. Due to its strategic position, almost all economic activities in the province -- including illegal wildlife smuggling -- depend on access to the city. Its conservation efforts are affected by environmentally destructive activities in neighboring municipalities €“ such as large-scale mining, illegal logging, or dynamite and cyanide fishing.

Due to its vulnerable biodiversity, its urban-rural identity mix, and its interdependent ecosystem spanning ridge to reef, Puerto Princesa can be considered as a microcosm of the Philippines. The city has responded to these challenges with the implementation of a complex and demanding process of comprehensive land use planning.

Puerto Princesa as a Model Case for Land Use Planning

Institutional Framework

Unique among Philippine provinces, Palawan has a special law governing its natural resource management. The Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) Law or RA 7611 provides a number of provisions to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources in the province. Most notably, the SEP establishes the "environmentally-critical areas network" (ECAN) zoning approach, which prescribes appropriate uses for land and water bodies in order to "protect, develop and conserve" the natural resources of Palawan.

The purposes of the environmentally-critical network zoning, as stated in the SEP, include "forest protection and conservation through a commercial logging ban in protected and restricted use zones, protection of watersheds, preservation of biodiversity and endangered species, protection of tribal peoples and their culture, maintenance of maximum sustainable yield, provision of areas for research and education as well as for tourism and recreation".

In Puerto Princesa, the ECAN zoning is implemented through the ECAN Zones Management Framework of 2006 and City Ordinance No. 396, entitled "Code of Conduct for the Conservation, Protection and Restoration of the Sources of Life in the City of Puerto Princesa". Through this ordinance, ECAN zones are established for Puerto Princesa City. Land bodies are divided into core zones (of maximum protection), buffer zones (allowing restricted, controlled, and traditional resource uses) and multiple use zones (with explicitly defined allowed and prohibited activities). In addition to these, water bodies have additional special zones for agriculture and tourism. Finally, special concerns of indigenous peoples' lands are addressed by a "Tribal Ancestral Lands Component". Notably, Puerto Princesa's ECAN Zones Management Framework also prescribes the creation of ECAN Zoning Committees on the barangay level to assist the City ECAN Board in the implementation of ECAN zoning. These barangay ECAN zoning committees should be chaired by the barangay captain and institutionalize the sectoral participation of leaders of fisherfolk, farmers, women and youth, traders, businessmen and others. The major role of the committee is the enforcement and monitoring of allowable and prohibited uses of the ECAN zones.

By providing for such a participatory approach in the implementation and monitoring of contextualized zoning regulations, the ECAN zoning ordinance also represents the main implementation mechanism for the city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP). On top of these institutional frameworks, Puerto Princesa also has a CLUP. The current revision of the CLUP, which is due to come into force during the first quarter of 2012, specifically addresses the challenges for Puerto Princesa as a highly urbanized city, which is at the same time facing large urban-rural disparities.

Civil Society Participation in the Land Use Planning and Management

While Puerto Princesa has had CLUPs since 1978, the planning process has become much more attentive to civil society's voices since the mid-1990s. Rather than being donor- or consultant-driven, the city government has by now established a process that involves civil society actors during all stages and aims to bring back the ownership of the plan to the people of Puerto Princesa. To this end, Puerto Princesa's CLUP employs a capacity-building approach. Different sectoral committees were trained to participate during all phases of the planning process, including the formulation of sectoral plans and the monitoring of LGU policies.

When the Puerto Princesa city government began to open up to the concerns of civil society stakeholders in the 1990s, the LGU under Mayor Edward Hagedorn started to consult civil society organizations (CSOs) to address information demands, particularly on the issue of mining. Following this early involvement, a series of meetings ensued in which stakeholders raised critical environmental issues to be addressed by the city government such as mining, wildlife smuggling, illegal logging, and cyanide fishing. The awareness raising for the latter eventually resulted in the total shipping ban for live fish in Puerto Princesa, which effectively stalled destructive cyanide fishing techniques.

Today, NGO representatives highly appreciate the openness of the city government to consult CSOs and other stakeholders almost on a day-to-day basis, be it through meetings, phone calls, emails or even text messages. Stakeholders from civil society also participate in various management boards, such as the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for the underground river national park.

The underground river national park, situated in the ancestral domain of barangay Cabayugan, is a case in point for effective grassroots participation in land use planning. The resident indigenous cultural communities drafted their own land use and protection plans for the area, which were then integrated into the Barangay Development Plan (BDP), the Subterranean River National Park Plan (SRNPP) and the Ancestral Domain Management Plan (ADMP). More recently, approaches relating to climate change, land degradation and biodiversity protection were also integrated into these plans through a series of community consultations. Giving meaning to such plans, information and education activities were conducted in cooperation between indigenous leaders and the barangay LGU to sensitize residents on the importance of environmental protection, particularly regarding logging and water use.

Regarding the benefits of community involvement, representatives both from the LGU and civil society were unanimous in their appreciation of the participatory land use planning approach employed in Puerto Princesa. The city government particularly highlighted how having an extensive process of community involvement during the planning phase eases the eventual implementation of such plans, since the community owns the plan and feels responsible for its implementation. Puerto Princesa's city planning officer described this as a "combined top-down and bottom-up" approach.

From the NGO side, it was highlighted that civil society can rely on their grassroots network to contribute to a number of land use planning activities. They emphasized the comparative advantages of civil society actors for data gathering, monitoring of activities and enforcement of rules. All of these activities are essential for an efficient drafting and implementation of land use plans, but LGUs cannot handle all of these on their own due to lack of resources, capacities, or sheer territorial size. In Puerto Princesa, communities and government institutions have decided to join their forces, for example by monitoring transgressions on the grassroots level, which helps the city government to enforce environmental rules in the judicial and political arenas.

One of Puerto Princesa's key economic sectors and major growth engine of the past few years has been its reputation as an eco-tourism destination. Community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) schemes include the involvement of local fishing communities in managing and running marine sanctuaries in Honda Bay, such as Pambato Reef. By participating in eco-tourism projects, local communities not only ensure their livelihoods, they also help to make Puerto Princesa's stunning natural beauty accessible to tourists in a sustainable way. Today, such eco-tourism projects are one of the trademarks of Puerto Princesa's positive developmental outlook. They have also achieved a shift in livelihood patterns, for example from environmentally destructive coal production to eco-tourism around Sabang, the location of the underground river.

Finally, the CLUP also incorporated many already existing NGO-led protection activities, such as the establishment of marine sanctuaries in Honda Bay, which eventually became part of the land-use plan. In an interdependent ecosystem like Puerto Princesa's, it is crucial that the land use plan does not only cover land, but also water bodies. In recognizing these interdependencies, Puerto Princesa's CLUP implements the so-called ridge to reef or total catchment approach. This approach ensures the sensitivity of land use policies and practices in upstream areas for the effects of such land and resource uses in downstream areas.

Conclusion: Learning from Puerto Princesa for NLUMA

The Puerto Princesa experience provides a compelling case for the rationale of the proposed NLUMA. The bill adheres to the principles of sustainable, just management and utilization of natural resources through institutionalizing land use and physical planning as the mechanism for identifying, determining, and evaluating appropriate land use and allocation patterns.   Through a total catchment approach in land use planning such as the one employed by Puerto Princesa, lands shall be delineated under four (4) categories, namely:   protection, production, settlements, and infrastructure in order to ensure that our lands and resources are protected and utilized in a manner that will be beneficial and sustainable to all sectors of society and the future generations.

The case of Puerto Princesa shows that development does not need to sacrifice environmental protection. Economic activities such as eco-tourism, services, or transportation can attract investments in the multibillion peso range, without relying on unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Essential for such a successful balance of development and protection is a rational and effective land use plan, encompassing not just land, but also water and all natural resources therein.

The NLUMA bill also integrates and institutionalizes people's participation in defining the framework of land utilization and management.   It provides for the mandatory participation of stakeholders, particularly the basic sectors, in key decision making bodies on land use policy at all levels.  Likewise, measures were installed to ensure strong people's involvement in the enforcement of such policies.

Plans are only as good as the underlying data and the enforcement structures allow them to be. For both, the involvement of local communities in the planning process is crucial. Not only does the participation of civil society sectors ensure that land use plans have a solid and reliable data basis, they also voice concerns, issues, and recommendations that such plans need to address. The continuous involvement of civil society stakeholders also eases the implementation, since communities have ownership of the plan and feel responsible for its monitoring and enforcement.

Puerto Princesa already incorporates many elements that are envisaged in the NLUMA's proposed planning process, such as sectoral representation in the planning and management boards, community consultations, and the integration of existing sectoral plans such as the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) and best practices into the CLUP. With its interdependent island ecosystem, Puerto Princesa also exemplifies the situation of many other Philippine LGUs who face the challenge of balancing environmental protection and economic development. Passing the NLUMA would allow such LGUs to learn from best practices and gather institutional support for the implementation of a truly comprehensive land use planning process.  The passage of the bill would also transform the currently isolated best practices of land use planning into a standard that every LGU is mandated and empowered to follow.


The current 15th Congress has the chance to finally pass one of our country's most-needed and most-delayed bills, the National Land Use and Management Act (NLUMA). In an interdependent and fragile ecosystem like the Philippines, a comprehensive framework for the sustainable management of land and resources is a necessity for the welfare of our own and future generations. Recent disasters like Sendong, which killed and displaced scores in Northern Mindanao in late 2011, have repeatedly demonstrated the need for a land use policy that reflects the complexity of our interdependent ecosystems. The authors and supporters of NLUMA firmly believe that community participation is a key factor for the formulation and implementation of land use policies and regulations. Through participatory approaches, as this case study shows, not only can local concerns be voiced and integrated in the planning process, they also improve the quality and relevance of the plans and ease the implementation thanks to the commitment of sectoral groups and stakeholders.

This case study explores how local indigenous communities in Bukidnon's Mt. Kalatungan Natural Park Range contribute to the sustainable management of the park.   Like in other mountainous areas of the Philippines, indigenous communities settling along the slopes of the Mt. Kalatungan range are faced with a double challenge. On the one hand, the Philippine discourse on indigenous people has identified them as "forest stewards". At the same time, these communities have been depending on the natural resources of these forests literally since "time immemorial". This challenge of balancing conservation and use of resources has intensified due to the realization that environmentally destructive activities, such as mining and logging, primarily take place in indigenous communities' mountainous homelands, which are usually rich in biodiversity and mineral resources. It is no mere coincidence that ample primary forest cover still exists in areas adjacent to indigenous ancestral domains. Indigenous communities have preserved and protected these natural resources since ancient times and have ensured their sustainable use. Social justice requires due recognition of their role in ensuring environmental sustainability through the formal granting of access and use rights and their stewardship role.

All of this boils down to the fact that indigenous participation in protection initiatives is a necessity if we want to preserve our natural resources for future generations. Protecting indigenous homelands also requires to broaden, rather than to limit, the livelihood options of such communities. In the past, many laudable protection initiatives such as the National Integrated Protected Area System Act (NIPAS) (RA 7586) failed to take this adequately into consideration, resulting in non-compliance and an ineffective management of natural resources. One way to address such limitations is the co-management of protected areas. This co-management is mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991, Section 3 (i), which stipulates that LGUs "shall share with the national government the responsibility in the management and maintenance of ecological balance within their territorial jurisdiction." The case of Mt. Kalatungan shows that such co-management agreements between indigenous communities and state institutions are indeed a highly effective tool for the sustainable management and protection of our country's natural resource wealth. The data for this study was collected during several interviews[1] and focus group discussions[2] with local indigenous communities, government representatives, as well as NGOs in February 2011.

The Mt. Kalatungan Range Natural Park (MaKRNP)

Geography and Relevance

The Mt. Kalatungan Range Natural Park (MKaRNP, hereinafter the park) is located in the heart of the province of Bukidnon in Northern Mindanao. It is part of the Mindanao Central Cordillera and reaches an altitude of 2,824 meters above sea level. The park's protected area (24,800 hectares) and its buffer zone (30,900 hectares) cover about 5.5% of Bukidnon's total land area and include parts of the municipalities of Pangantukan, Maramag, Talakag, and the city of Valencia. Indigenous people (hereinafter referred to as lumads or IPs) represent a vast majority of about 80% of the estimated 4,000 residents of the park's protected area and buffer zone. The resident resident indigenous people (lumads) belong to the tribes of the Manobo, the Talaandig, the Higaonon, and the Bukidnon.

The Mt. Kalatungan range was declared as a natural park by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 305 in 2000. As the result of a process which was perceived as non-participatory and lacking consultation, resident lumads remained opposed to the park's existence for several years. As explored in greater detail below, it needed an attitude change from the DENR and the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) towards greater inclusiveness to finally turn this situation around.

The park is not just home to Mt. Kalatungan, the sixth-highest peak of the Philippines at 2,824 meters above sea level. It is also the habitat of more than 300 different species of flora and at least 129 wildlife species, including the Philippine eagle. It serves as the origin of the headwaters for the tributaries to several major water systems, among them the Cagayan de Oro river and the Mandulog river leading to Iligan City. In a province dominated by its vast agricultural plantations, the mountain range is one of the few areas with significant old growth forest coverage. But outside of the protection and buffer zones, rampant logging remains a perennial problem. As a result, the lessened water absorption capacity of the soil in these areas appears to have intensified the catastrophe caused by typhoon Sendong in late 2011. Consequently, as a critical watershed and wildlife sanctuary, the park not only plays a crucial role for the protection of our biodiversity, but also for the protection of the lives and livelihoods of Northern Mindanao's population.

Park Management

The key institution for the park's management is the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB). PAMBs are created by virtue of the NIPAS law and constitute multi-sectoral bodies of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to ensure the management and administration of protected areas. In the case of Mt. Kalatungan, the board is composed of DENR representatives from regional, provincial and municipal levels, representatives from civil society and the academe, as well as the relevant tribal leaders and municipal chieftains. The LGUs with territorial jurisdiction over the park are represented by their four mayors and 21 barangay captains. Other involved government agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP), also belong to the total membership of the PAMB, which decides according to the "one person, one vote" principle.

With such a large membership, it is necessary to establish effective working mechanisms. Consequently, the entire PAMB only meets once a year, while the Executive Committee, composed of 24 members, meets quarterly. The executive committee decides on the implementation of plans and programs. Specific key topics are tackled by subcommittees, which include working groups on research and education, resource management and infrastructure, as well as cultural and tribal affairs. The PAMB also decides on the General Management Plan, which covers five years and is currently under review. Directly responsible to the PAMB is the Protected Area Superintendent (PASu, currently Vergilino P. Alima), who acts as chief operating DENR officer and is tasked with the implementation of the park's general management plan.

In terms of monitoring, one of the park's key innovations is the bantay lasang (forest guard). The 105 active bantay lasang volunteers "almost all of them lumads" are organized within their respective barangays and patrol the area on a daily basis. By monitoring developments within the park and possible transgressions of park rules, they contribute to the minimization of illegal activities, such as timber poaching or illegal entry. The bantay lasang informs the PAMB on such transgressions, which is tasked to follow up on such cases for example through court cases against violations of the NIPAS act, of which 22 have been filed so far.

Indigenous Peoples' Participation in the Co-management of the Park

While lumads have a strong representation in Mt. Kalatungan's PAMB nowadays, this has not always been the case. In fact, the local indigenous groups and governmental bodies, particularly the DENR, look back on a troubled history. The initial grievance arose when the entire mountain range was unilaterally declared as a protected area by virtue of a presidential proclamation in 2000. The DENR's initial plans simply ignored the presence of a sizeable indigenous population living on the mountain slopes. In fact, indigenous communities were not even shown on the first DENR map of the to-be-protected area. Consequently, when the DENR set up billboards declaring the mountain range as a protected area, these boards were repeatedly dismantled by the local communities as a sign of protest. Apart from the lack of consultation in setting up the protected area, lumad interview partners also voiced other reasons for their dissent. Among them was the non-recognition by the DENR of already existing IP-led conservation and reforestation efforts, as well as the perceived inconsistency of the DENR in enforcing protection policies, for example through the toleration of logging activities inside or in the vicinity of the protection area.

Following several attempted dialogues facilitated by NGOs, such as Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), the lumads gave their formal consent to the declaration as a protected area in 2005. But it was only in 2007 when the relationship between the lumads and the DENR really began to transform. The newly appointed PASu, Vergilino P. Alima, supported indigenous participation in the park management. Not only was the indigenous representation in the PAMB strengthened in numbers and ranks, Alima also recognized the role of lumads as "stewards of the forest". The role and independence of the bantay lasang was strengthened by giving indigenous communities themselves the authority to decide on the composition of their respective forest guard. PASu Alima also recognized the shared interest of the DENR and the lumads to protect the fragile ecosystem of the mountain range.

Today, lumads describe themselves and the DENR as "allies" in their environmental conservation interests. In practice, this alliance often means that the lumads themselves implement protection programs and policies, while the DENR and other stakeholders provide guidance. A case in point has been the DENR's National Greening Program, the implementation of which was led by the lumads themselves according to their own priorities and knowledge of endemic species.

Apart from implementation, indigenous communities also enjoy considerable self-governance in deciding on plans and policies. In sitio Balmar, municipality of Pangantukan, the local Manobo (Menuv¹) community has recently drafted their own Community Conservation Plan (CCP), which is based on the Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCA) approach.[3] The CCP formalizes the traditional conservation practices that lumads have been employing since time immemorial in managing their ICCA, known as idsesenggilaha in the local dialect.   For example, when the tribe designates an area as sacred, this means that this area is off limits for resource exploitation. Rules for such sacred places, but also for hunting (penuges) and limited tree cutting were identified in the CCP. In the case of the latter, the CCP stipulates that tree cutting is only possible for traditional uses and with consent of the council of elders, and requires the replanting of at least the same number of trees that were cut.

The co-management idea for the Mt. Kalatungan range is embodied in the fact that local plans and policies, such as this CCP, are harmonized and integrated into the general management plan of the park as well as the municipal development plan. This process is currently ongoing for Balmar's CCP and has already been accomplished for the plans of other communities, such as the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) of Portulin, another community along the slopes of Mt. Kalatungan located in the municipality of Pangantukan.

The community of Portulin consists of members of the Talaandig tribe and is represented through the Portulin Tribal Association (PTA). They have established a system of customary laws to ensure the protection of their area's natural resource wealth. People who violate the protection policies stipulated in the ADSDPP and harmonized with the park's management plan face penalties or sala by the tribal leaders. The sala is a traditional dispute settlement mechanism and is commonly in the form of payment with carabaos, pigs or chickens, or the replantation of trees, or both -- depending on the gravity of the offense. Interview partners from the Pangantukan's LGU emphasized that they consider such traditional laws and customary means of dispute resolution to be the most efficient way of regulating conflicts in the protected area.

Conclusion: Effective Community Participation in Protected Area Management is Necessary and Effective

The case of Mt. Kalatungan shows that indigenous peoples and local communities have a valuable and indispensable role to play in the sustainable management of our nation's natural resource wealth. The protection aspect of traditional laws and practices has often been overlooked, but fortunately, this is beginning to change. LGUs and government bodies, such as those represented on Mt. Kalatungan's PAMB, are beginning to integrate indigenous policies and practices into their management plans. Today, the management of the Mt. Kalatungan Natural Park Range can be seen as a good practice for protected area co-management by government agencies and local communities.

Still, communities willing to make conservation efforts are also faced with tremendous challenges. Overzealous protection can result in the loss of livelihood options for indigenous groups who have depended on forest resources since time immemorial. Not only need their voices to be heard in ensuring a certain degree of traditional resource use even in protected areas. Policymakers and implementers also need to take up the challenge to assist such communities in broadening their livelihood options beyond the exploitation of resources, for example through eco-tourism, merchandise, and sustainable agriculture.

The passage of the NLUMA and thus the establishment of an overarching land use and regulation framework would help to address some of the challenges that local communities face in land use planning. In the Philippines, land use planning is being undertaken within the context of three territorial domains: the private, public, and ancestral domains. For public domains, the Local Government Code emphasized the concept of co-management of the natural resources as a shared responsibility between the national government and the local government units. The planning of the latter government units should, in turn, reflect community concerns, for example through the integration of ancestral domain planning in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan as required by the IPRA. Unfortunately, the concept of co-management never really took off the ground. The main reason for this is the absence of a clear framework on allocating responsibilities and resolving conflicts between the national and local governments units.[4]

The NLUMA would create the enabling environment for a more effective enforcement of co-management through a clearer mandate on how the national and local governments should work together. It would also provide a clear framework where community-based plans such as the Community Conservation Plan will anchor from and how to interphase the various management plans of the LGUs for lands and natural resources found in the public and ancestral domains with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. As the key mechanism to achieve this, the NLUMA promotes and requires community participation, the missing element in co-management approaches modeled after the Local Government Code.


[1] Interview participants include Forester Rodolfo Sotelo, Deputy Protected Area Superintendent (Deputy PASU) Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Pangantucan; Leonilo Bago, Executive Assistant and Jonas Calag, Municipal Administrator of Pangantucan, Bukidnon; Zhinal T. Kinoc and Glaiza Tabanao of Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID-Davao).

[2] Focus group discussions were conducted with the tribal elders of the Menuvu of Sitio Balmar, Brgy. Nabaliwa and the Talaandig of Portulin as well as members of the Portulin Tribal Association both in Pangantucan, Bukidnon.

[3] The ICCA model stipulates the importance of indigenous and community decision-making and the use of customary laws and practices for ensuring conservation of protected areas. See http://www.iccaforum.org/

[4] Based on: Serote, E. M. (2004). Property, Patrimony, and Territory - Foundations of Land Use Planning in the Philippines. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Planning and Development Research Foundation, Inc. (PLANADES).

[5] For this documentation, interview partners include Edward Hagedorn, Chief Executive, Puerto Princesa City; Engr. Jovenee Sagun, City Planning and Development Officer; Atty. Grizelda Gerthie Mayo-Anda, Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) Inc.; Tribal Chieftain Rodolfo Rodrigo, Sitio Sabang, Brgy. Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa City; Ramil Gonzales, Brgy. Captain, Cabayugan.

[6] http://www.new7wonders.com/



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