Friday, June 22, 2007

Realty Bites

Prof. Cabanilla talks really s-l-o-w. I don't know if this is intentional since we have a Korean classmate, or he's really that way. I'm hoping that i will be able to learn a lot from this class (land use planning), because like he said, Plan 203 is one of the most crucial subjects in SURP.

What did I learn in class today? Prof. just discussed our syllabus, and he also told us a lot of stories about his previous jobs. He has a fairly impressive track record, serving both Presidents Aquino and Ramos. He was appointed as one of the commissioners of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (pcup), headed the planning department of MMDA, and also became its zoning administrator. The latter was the time when he almost lost all his hair. Prof. claims he was never charged in court for any wrongdoing while he was za. Does that mean he was accused, but nothing really held up in court so the charges were dropped?

He said he never got rich because of his job (unlike many others). The za is in charge of approving all land use and zoning permits applications. It is his responsibility to make sure that the zoning ordinance is complied with and strictly enforced. For this reason, he is a very powerful man. He can be a developer's worst nightmare, as he can break or make a certain development. He can end it even before it begins. Developers would prefer that the za is their best friend, of course. And this is where the magic begins. It would take a lot of willpower and moral integrity to be able to resist all the temptations. For that, hat's off to Prof. Cabanilla.

What's a zoning ordinance, anyway? More to come!

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