BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council approved the Cordillera Regional Spatial Development Framework (RSDF) 2019-2049 during the 2nd quarter joint meeting of the RDC-RPOC on June 24. The RSDF is a 30-year framework prepared by the Regional Land Use Committee (RLUC) consistent with the Luzon Spatial Development Framework 2015-2045 and the National Spatial Strategy 2015-2045.
RLUC chair and NEDA-CAR Regional Director Milagros Rimando said the framework, which serves as a development planning guide for agencies and local government units in the region to rationalize the growth of settlements, links growth centers and enhance disaster resiliency in the region. This includes updated maps of the Cordillera showing the various data from population density, forestland cover, the hierarchy of settlements, the status of the Cordillera Roads Improvements Project (CRIP), and the status of roads and areas prone to rain-induced landslides, among many others. The data and maps gathered for the RSDF were sourced from several regional line agencies and local government units.
The NEDA-CAR Regional Director added the RSDF is based on the National Spatial Strategy with three major spatial strategies on concentration, connectivity, and vulnerability reduction. The region adopts two primary and regional growth centers namely the BLISTT (Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay) and TRiPT (Tabuk, Rizal, Pinukpuk, Tanudan).
The RSDF integrates the RDC-approved Declaration of Principles on Environmental Governance which seriously considers the Cordillera’s unique topography and culture. Included in the RSDF’s legislative agenda is seeking the exemption of the whole region from PD 705 which limits development to areas under 18% in slope. Currently, only Benguet and Cebu are exempted from PD 705. Only 15% of the Cordillera land area is alienable and disposable and with the exemption from this decree, an expansion of the region’s alienable and disposable land is expected.
Also included in the legislative agenda is the passage of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera Organic Law to ensure self-determined management of natural resources in the region to include watersheds and mining areas.
The RLUC in its June 19 meeting endorsed the RSDF for adoptions and approval by the RDC.