The furor over Torre de Manila getting in the view of a national and cultural interest also highlights the issue of growth control, or in local governance parlance , land use planning, and the actual implementation of land use plans. Relative to devolved DENR processes, environmental impact assessments of development projects as well and utilization of development fees in the mitigation of project impacts. With the ongoing Senate investigation on Vice President Jejomar Binay and his project the Makati City Hall 2, the issue of where money from real estate developers went as alleged by former Vice Mayor Mercado is now widely known.
Local Government Units (LGUs) are mandated via Executive Order 72 series 1993 to prepare 10-year Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs) and the accompanying Zoning Ordinances which are ultimately approved by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
But, years after 1993, 87% of LGUs are operating with approved CLUPs. Of the total 1,610 LGUs, close to half are still preparing or updating their plans. One wonders: what do these LGUs base their decisions on as to land use and development? What do local Zoning Boards base their decisions on as for instance whether or not to upzone or restrict zoning? What does the national government base it’s decision on as to the release of IRAs and how are rate performances including LGU competitiveness rating measured when these crucial and basic local plans are lacking?