The municipalities and cities in Negros Oriental are expected to convert portions of agricultural lands for housing or industrial use. Conversions of lands, however, cause delay in the implementation of land use plans and enactment of zoning ordinances of LGUs due to bureaucratic requirements for land conversion.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is the sole national government agency which has the power and authority to approve conversion of agricultural lands for non-agricultural purposes as embodied in Sec. 69 (a) subject however to the provision of the National Land Use of the Philippines and other laws.
Reclassification of non-agricultural lands for other non-agricultural purposes is however within the power and authority of the city or municipal government, through their respective legislative councils (Sanggunian).
Land Use and Zoning
National Land Use Code. Land resources is one of the key elements in the land use plan, and the national land use code provides that prioritization for land use must adhere to the national land use code whereby the state shall define, through the national, regional and local development plans, the indicative priorities for land.
Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)
Under the law, all projects that are considered environmentally-critical (example: pollutive processing) or are to be located in environmentally-critical areas are required to first secure an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to be issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).