TACLOBAN CITY – The provincial government of Northern Samar and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) have forged a partnership in the development of the local government units capacity on ecosystem-based planning.

The partnership was sealed with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Governor Edwin Ongchuan and UPLB Chancellor Jose Camacho on Tuesday (Jan.23).
Gov. Ongchuan thanked UPLB for helping Northern Samar address the gaps in achieving sustainable development.

The initiative, dubbed as Technical Assistance Program on Human Settlements Planning, is aimed to advance, fortify, and sustain capacities of municipal local government units in the formulation, updating, and monitoring of plans, programs, and projects, primarily regarding the comprehensive land use plan (CLUP) of municipalities.

The Local Government Code of the Philippines of 1991 mandates that all LGUs must prepare a CLUP which will serve as their primary basis and framework for the future use of land and protect the valued resources in their locality regulating the growth and development of its areas by identifying road networks, zone classifications, and growth centers.

Under the agreement, the UPLB will provide technical assistance to the provincial government of Northern Samar by assessing the urban planning and development needs of LGUs and conduct the needed capacity development trainings to increase planning capability.

In Northern Samar, 14 municipalities still have to update their CLUPs.

These are the towns of Allen, Biri, Bobon, Capul, Mapanas, Silvino Lubos, Lope de Vega, San Antonio, Rosario, Palapag, San Isidro, San Jose, San Vicente, Victoria, and Lapinig.
LGUs with approved CLUP by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan are the towns of Gamay, Laoang, San Rogue, Lavezares, Mondragon, and Catarman, the provincial capital.

Towns with CLUP reviewed by the Provincial Board Land Use Committee include Lapinig, Lope de Vega, Capul, and San Antonio.