Land Conversion in the Philippines

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Land conversion has been present and rampant in the Philippines for the past few years especially in areas surrounding Metro Manila. To clarify the term land conversion, it is defined by the Department of Agrarian Reform as “the act of authorizing the change of the current use of a piece of land into some other use” (Nantes 130). In this context, it would be focus on the conversion of agricultural land into some other use.
A brief history of land conversion around the region could be traced to the various developments in the city of Manila. When the Philippines was handed over from the Spanish to the Americans, the City of Manila was made and was composed of the former Imperial City which itself consisted of Intramuros, the Arrabales, Tondo, and Sampaloc (Tolentino). In order for the city to grow, the Americans hired an architect named Daniel Burnham to create the plan for the city (Tolentino). Unluckily, the Second World War took place which resulted to the destruction of the plan and the city (Tolentino). After the war and gaining independence on July 4, 1946, the country experienced good growth until the late President Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972 (Tolentino). During this time, the president united the city of Manila and 16 other municipalities (Tolentino). Today, we know these municipalities as the cities that compose Metro Manila except for Pateros which has remained a municipality. Based on that, we could notice that a lot happened in just three decades to have 15 municipalities turn into cities.
Apart from Manila, several other areas, more specifically provinces, were also affected by the developments. These provinces which experienced the massive conversion from agricultural lands into “residential, commercial a...

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