(Photos in counterclockwise order): Housing subcommittee representatives reporting on the Forest Land Project; PSR Arnel Cabanisas, RSDC Co-Chairperson, presiding over the meeting; Dir. Susan A. Sumbeling, RDC Vice-Chairperson and NEDA Regional Director, listening and commenting on the agenda.  Other photos show subcommittee representatives from social protection and health and nutrition, awaiting their turn to report.

The Regional Development Council (RDC)-CAR Housing Subcommittee presented the status of the Forestland Development Project during the Second Quarter Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) on May 26, 2022, at the RDC Hall, Baguio City.

While the subcommittee pushes for the full implementation of the 104,621.12 hectares determined as non-conforming, it nonetheless supports the reduced 17, 651.81 hectares of forestland to be reclassified as Alienable and Disposable (A&D) lands. These parcels of land are considered non-conforming areas because their land uses under the forest land are now residential, rice fields, and government structures.

This number accounted for 16.87 percent of the total proposal as recommended by the National Assessment and Delineation Committee (NADC).  The low percentage was due to the following reasons, namely: some areas remain covered by Proclamations; under geohazard (prone to landslide and flooding); location with a topography of above 18% in slope; and less than 250 hectares. 

“The proposed declaration of A&D areas is advantageous to the region, and beneficial to the greater number of Cordillerans, especially since the region is in dire need of land to address housing needs,” DHSUD Assistant Regional Director Michelline Inay said.   

Other RSDC subcommittees are Social Protection (SP), Education and Manpower Development (EMD), and Regional Implementation and Coordination Team (RICT) for Health, Nutrition, and Reproductive Health.

The RSDC is chaired by Dir. Arnel Garcia of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and co-chaired by PSR Arnel Cabanisas.  Dir. Susan A. Sumbeling, RDC Vice-Chairperson and NEDA-CAR Regional Director serves as the Secretariat of the committee.