The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) conducted a spatial mapping workshop on May 31, 2022, as part of a series of activities to update the 2017-2019 BLISTT Action Agenda. Representatives from the BLISTT local government units (LGUs) and Regional Line Agencies participated in this workshop held at the Newtown Plaza Hotel, Baguio City.
The workshop focused on mapping the proposed BLISTT expansion areas for settlements, production areas, protection areas, and infrastructure development as initially identified during an earlier spatial planning workshop on April 29, 2022. The BLISTT Spatial Framework, a component of the BLISTT action agenda update, aims to establish physical and virtual connectivity between and among BLISTT growth centers and programs, projects, and activities (PPAs), effectively facilitating inclusive inter-local and cross-sector development. The BLISTT spatial development framework also seeks to harmonize the spatial development directions of the BLISTT LGUs, as indicated in their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs).
NEDA-CAR Assistant Regional Director Stephanie Christiansen welcomed the participants by emphasizing the importance of developing a comprehensive BLISTT Spatial Framework that takes into account the complementarity of the land uses of the different member LGUs. She also challenged the participants to “Think BLISTT, Think Systems, and Think Multi-Sectoral”, to go beyond their respective sectors and boundaries, and plan for better inter-local coordination within the BLISTT area.
Dr. Roscinto Ian C. Lumbres, Director of the Benguet State University Center for Geoinformatics, shared his expertise in using the Quantum Geographic Information System (QGIS), a software used by planners that presents and processes geographic data that can be used for evidence-based decision and policy-making. The participants used QGIS during the mapping workshop.
The workshop resulted to maps identifying the production, protection, and settlement areas of the BLISTT, and the location of available and proposed infrastructure and PPAs.
As one of the primary growth centers in the Cordillera, the BLISTT functions as the center for commerce, industry, education, and services in CAR, and is also the tourism gateway to the Cordilleras. The BLISTT inter-local cooperation was implemented through a memorandum of agreement signed on 17 January 2014. NEDA-CAR acts as the interim technical secretariat of the BLISTT Governing and Development Councils.
By Bob Lyndon B. Daroya, NEDA SPCAR