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Comprehensive Development Plans 101

The Comprehensive Development Plan is a medium-term sectoral plan of the local government.

Do you know what comprehensive development plans are?

Read more about what you need to know about comprehensive development plans.

What is a comprehensive development plan?

The Comprehensive Development Plan is a medium-term sectoral plan of the local government.

Covering six years, the CDP outlines “how” the local government will develop the land allocated for different uses through priority programs, projects and activities.

The CDP covers five development sectors: physical (or environmental), institutional, economic, social and infrastructure.

 flower and fruit analogy
Prof. Ernesto Serote uses the flower and fruit analogy to illustrate development as process and as product. DILG (2008.)

How is a comprehensive development plan different from a comprehensive land use plan?

The CLUP and the CDP are two distinct documents.

CLUP and CDP are mandated LGU plans

In simple terms, the Comprehensive Development Plan is a sectoral plan while the Comprehensive Land Use Plan is a spatial plan.

The CDP is the action plan that contains priority cross-sectoral programs and projects for the land uses allocated in the CLUP.

Also, the responsibility of updating the CLUP and the CDP are given to separate bodies.

  • The CDP is the responsibility of the Local Development Council.
  • The CLUP is assigned to the Local Sanggunian.

The Local Government Code requires that the CLUP be reviewed by respective land use committees:

  • the Provincial Land Use Committee for component cities and municipalities
  • the Regional Land Use Committee for highly urbanized cities and independent cities.

The CDP is only reviewed by the Provincial Development Council to assess alignment with higher-level development plans. These development plans include:

  • the Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan,
  • the Regional Development Plan, and
  • the Philippine Development Plan.

Why does a local government unit need a comprehensive development plan?

A comprehensive development plan operationalizes the land use plan.

With an updated and operational comprehensive development plan, the local government unit has a long list of priority programs, projects and activities for the next six to nine years.

For example, the Quezon City Comprehensive Development Plan contains strategies and priority activities for solid waste management.

LISTEN: Waste Management Planning in Philippine LGUs

Annual and term-based instruments should be derived from the comprehensive development plan.

Term-based instruments include the Local Development Investment Program and the Executive-Legislative Agenda. An important annual instrument is the Annual Investment Program.

Relations among local plans (DILG 2017).

Doing so, the goals of the local government unit (as outlined in the Comprehensive Development Plan and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan) are attained.

An updated comprehensive development plan also helps LGUs access funds from the National Government.

Sample activities from the Comprehensive Development Plan of Iloilo City (2020-2025).

How many years does a comprehensive development plan cover?

Existing CDPs cover different timeframes.

This may be caused by different technical and financial capability of LGUs to complete their planning processes.

DILG prescribes that CDPs cover 6 years. The Municipality of Irosin (Sorsogon, 2017-2022) and Iloilo City (2020-2025) are examples of LGUs with timeframes close to 6 years.

Prof. Serote suggested that the CDP time frame “only cover the tenure of local officials,” which is 3 years. Quezon City (2017-2020) and Cagayan de Oro City (2017-2019) are examples of LGUs with 3-year CDPs.

How can LGUs complete a comprehensive development plan?

Here are my past projects in local government planning…

With the mandate of the Comprehensive Development Plan on the Local Development Council, the Mayor is the driver of the development planning process.

DILG prescribes five steps in the preparation of the comprehensive development plan.

  1. Organization and Mobilization of the Planning Team
  2. Review of LGU Vision and Existing Plans
  3. Preparation of Ecological Profile and Structured List of Program, Projects and Activities (PPAs)
  4. Preparation of the Local Development Investment Program
  5. Preparation of Implementation Instruments

Steps 3 and 4 are the bulk of workload, as these steps generate the Ecological Profile and the Local Development Investment Program, respectively.

The Enhanced Comprehensive Development Planning Cycle (DILG 2017)

Like the CLUP process, the CDP process is an iterative process. Monitoring and evaluation of the current CDP (and the CLUP) should inform the goals, objectives and programming of the updated CDP.

What hinders LGUs from updating comprehensive development plans?

A 2018 study of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) found that only 40% of Philippine municipalities have updated and valid Comprehensive Development Plans.

DILG identifies technical complexity as a barrier for completing local plans like the CDP.

The 2008 guide for CDP preparation, which is “difficult to digest” has been enhanced by the 2017 Illustrative Guide that presents the planning process simpler.

The technical barrier can also be overcome by accessing data from the various web-based platforms of government agencies.

A sustainable strategy for technical assistance to LGUs that has emerged in recent years is partnership with local universities.

I have been involved in similar extension projects: for the CLUP of Tiwi and for the Ecological Profile of Bacacay.

With online courses in environmental planning available, local planners also have more ways to raise their knowledge and skills in science-based planning.

EnP. Lucino also wrote how LGUs can formulate Comprehensive Development Plans without external consultants.

How can LGUs implement the comprehensive development plan more effectively?

The direct implementing instrument of the CDP is the Local Development Investment Program.

The LDIP ranks and funds the priority programs, projects and activities listed in the Comprehensive Development Plan.

The 3-year LDIP is ideally sliced into the Annual Investment Programs towards inclusion in the Annual Budget, basically asking, “Which programs and projects need to be funded this year?”

Legislative requirements (like ordinances) and strategic instruments (like a monitoring and evaluation system) also strengthen the capacity of the LGU to implement programs and projects timely and effectively.

Resources for Environmental Planners!

What are priority references for completing a comprehensive development plan?

What other questions do you have about comprehensive development plans?

Here are my past projects in local government planning…

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