Green space ordinance in Davao approved

PROPERTY developers have no choice but to welcome Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's veto of the ordinance amending the City Land Use Plan (Clup), particularly on removing the 10 percent green space in subdivision development projects.

But in exchange, they are asking the City Government to provide tax incentives and perks to real estate companies that promote "green" in their development projects.

International property specialist and interim president of the Philippine Integrated Real Estate Service Dr. Maria Lourdes Monteverde told reporters that mechanisms like tax perks or incentives to be given to developers applying the 10 percent green space on top of the 30 percent open spaces "would work best for the real estate industry to thrive without passing the cost to the buyers or consumers."

"Sayang talaga, in a sense that hopefully, there are ways to soften the blow, like giving tax incentives or perks to green developers, we think that would work best for both the developers and the buyers, if there is tax incentives we will still be competitive and even better," Monteverde said at the sidelines of Monday's joint meeting session of the Ambassador Club Davao and the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc - Mindanao at the Marco Polo Hotel-Davao City.

She said if these perks are not to be given to the developers, consumers or buyers will be the most affected as cost will be passed on to them.

"Giving tax incentives will soften the blow, so we believe the implementation of this must be looked at," she said.

Earlier, Architect Daniel Lim, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) past president, now DCCCII housing and construction chairperson, said that for any future amendment, improvement, changes on the Clup, that has to be carefully studied deeper and consensus agreed by the developers, buyers and other stakeholders.

"For the benefit of both developers and buyers, some other mechanisms such as tax incentives or credit from the city have to come in," Lim said.

Monteverde added that there are still lots of green spaces that can still be developed outside the parameters of the subdivision developments.

"We are just looking at the subdivision development but how about the whole of Davao, there is still a lot of green spaces that can still be developed. The Clup that we are pertaining is only focusing on the subdivisions. I think it is the implementation of the developers and the homeowners association on how to use the 30 percent best," she said.

Last February 22, the last of the 10-day window for the local chief executive to veto the amendments, starting from the day it was forwarded to the executive branch on February 12, the veto was signed by the mayor saying the amended version was "vague and ambiguous, prejudicial to public interest and an exercise of legislative power in ultra veris (beyond the powers)."

In his three-page veto message, Duterte said that "the amended Ordinance is vague and ambiguous. It is not clear whether, in the development of green spaces, this shall be done within the allotted open space of the proponent, set back areas of home lots or sidewalk strips based on PD 957 or BP220 design standards."

"It is also prejudicial to public interest and an exercise of legislative power in 'ultra veris.' This is manifested by the use of the modal verb 'shall', connoting a mandatory requirement for the turnover of these green spaces to the homeowners association for proper maintenance. There is now the unwarranted burden of maintaining the green space, passed on to the homeowners association, which exceeds the requirement of PD 1216, (which states) only parks and playgrounds of the entire open space may be donated to homeowners associations," he added.

Last January 19, the City Council approved on third and final reading the amendment that was immediately slammed by Civic Society Organizations, including Interface Development Interventions and Green Davao Coalition who submitted position papers explaining the environmental concerns surrounding the revisions in the Clup.

Source: Sun Star

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