Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said the recently approved Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Cotabato City would help in mitigating natural disasters caused by climate change.

“The amended CLUP of Cotabato City is expected, among others, to provide initial solutions to the perennial flooding in Cotabato City as the city identified and incorporated in the CLUP several projects that would mitigate the negative effects of climate change,” Binay said.

He added that the newly amended CLUP of the city complies with national standards and guidelines on CLUP formulation, updating and revision.

The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) approved Cotabato City’s CLUP during the agency’s board meeting on February 22, 2012 at the Coconut Palace.

Binay, who also chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), presented the CLUP Certificate of Approval to Mayor Japal I. Guiani, Jr. who was also present in the meeting.

The approval of the city’s land use plan was deferred last September 2011 following Binay’s instruction to incorporate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation measures in the plan.

Last year, Typhoon Dodong, compounded by the water lilies that clogged the river tributaries of Rio Grande de Mindanao, caused massive flooding in the city which displaced an estimated 25,375 families.

Binay said that since about half of the Cotabato City’s total land area is below sea level, the long-term solution to the city’s flood problem would need the cooperation of various agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other local government units in the area.

Cotabato City’s CLUP and Zoning Ordinance defined the land uses, regulations, development strategies, proposed programs and projects addressing social, economic, infrastructure and environmental concerns of the city incorporating provisions on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction.

It was the third time that Cotabato City’s CLUP was submitted to the board for ratification.

In August 2010, the proposed amendments of the city’s CLUP were only given provisional approval by the Board. They deemed it necessary to shorten the term of the plan from twenty to ten years so as not to restrict development in the city should it experience a sudden upsurge in development.

In September 2011, the Board deferred approval of the city’s land use plan following the passage of a new law requiring the national and local governments to adopt a plan that would mitigate the effects of abnormal environmental condition.

Also present in the simple ceremonies were HLURB Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner Antonio M. Bernardo, HLURB Commissioners Ria Corazon Golez-Cabrera, Luis A. Paredes and Linda Malenab-Hornilla, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Ex-Officio Commissioners Augusto B. Santos, DPWH Undersecretary Jaime A. Pacanan and HUDCC Secretary General Cecilia S. Alba.