Eco groups blast Davao City’s new law removing ‘green space’ in development projects
DAVAO CITY – Pro-environment groups here blasted the city council for removing the 10-percent green space requirement for new and future development projects in the local Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).
Recently, the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) decided to do away with the separate 10-percent green space requirement for developers and just incorporate it in the 30-percent open space for roads, chapels and other community spaces.
“The amendment is considered illegal because it bypassed the recommendation of the Local Zoning Review Committee (LZRC), which is necessary as provided for by the ordinance,” lawyer Arnold Abejaron of the Ateneo de Davao University’s Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC).
The UCEAC is among 43 groups opposed to the amendment. The others included Ban Toxics, ADDU-Ecoteneo, Mindanao Land Foundations, Gabriela, Interface Development Interventions (Idis).
“There was no consultation at all and if there were, then we were not invited. How can you call it a public hearing when only the developers were invited and heard?” Mary Ann Fuertes, Idis director, asked.
“Reducing the green space requirement will only worsen the flooding in the city. The city’s development should consider its many watersheds and existing landscape,” she added.
Claide Kenneth Saludar, a youth representative, said it appeared that the city council had “once again sided with the monetary interests of the developers instead of Mother Earth and climate change.”
City administrator Jesus Melchor Quitain said the amendment could still be vetoed if Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would see it would do more harm than good.
Quitain said the protesters could seek legal remedy as another option.
Abejaron said they have been weighing going to court, among other options, aside from making public their opposition to the amendment. SFM
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