Envi group pushes publication of revised zoning ordinance

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Friday, June 13, 2014

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group appealed anew to the 17th City Council to fast-track the publication of the city's revised Zoning Ordinance in order to start conservation and regreening efforts at Shrine Hills.

Interface Development Interventions (Idis) advocacy coordinator Chinkie Pelino said the goal to begin conservation and regreening efforts of Shrine Hills hit a snag pending the publication and consequent implementation of the city's revised Zoning Ordinance.

The amended ordinance has reclassified Shrine Hills into an Urban Ecological Enhancement Sub-Zone which called for, among others, the restriction of development along its slopes.


But before it can be implemented, the amended Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Clup) must be first published in a newspaper of general circulation.

"The problem is that the amended document is about three volumes long, which according to the City Council Secretariat, will require at least four million pesos if they are to publish it in newspapers," Pelino said.

According to her, the City Council secretariat revealed that the annual budget of the council for the appropriation for the publication of newly passed ordinances is only P100,000.

Pelino said they are concerned about this development since they feel that any delay in the zoning implementation will allow the housing developers to catch up with their construction on the slopes, increasing the risks for more environmental disasters.

Last April, a landslide occurred on the eastern slope of the hilly terrain situated in Barangay Maa.

The area, which is highly susceptible to landslides, is part of a high-end residential community.

Meanwhile, Save the Shrine Hills Movement member Norma Javellana said there is an immediate need to begin formulating the Ordinance's Implementing Rules and Regulation.

"With the onslaught of the rainy season, the city needs to get its act together towards making the Zoning Ordinance happen. Otherwise, the risk is high that similar incidents will occur in the future, given that the development is not being regulated at Shrine Hills," she said.

The Council secretary has already requested a budget from the City Mayor's Office. The request is expected to be included in the Supplemental Budget 1 which will be passed in July.

The Amended Zoning Ordinance was signed by Mayor Rody Duterte last October 14, 2013 and approved by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) a year later, last February 24, 2014.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 13, 2014.

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