Land is the single greatest significant resource in most countries particularly in a fast urbanizing society. Land tenure and land administration arrangements provide the basic infrastructure for development. Varied, and oftentimes, conflicting demands in the urbanizing world for land management, security of tenure, access to limited land resources and urban planning require a systematic and dynamic approach to improve land tenure and land administration. In this regard, the emergence of good governance principles in achieving development goals need to be extended in land tenure and land administration.
Governance, as defined, is the process of governing. It is how the society is managed and how the competing priorities and interests of different groups are reconciled including the formal institutions of government and informal arrangements, as well (FAO 2007). In fact, the absence of good governance is the reason why many countries continue to fail in their efforts at poverty reduction and in their quest for economic and human development (ADB 2005). Likewise, weak governance in land tenure and administration undermines efforts to secure tenure, restore rights, promote urban inclusiveness and enhance real property markets and transactions and in some cases, leads to further marginalization of the poor and disadvantaged groups. In fact, in the Philippines, it does not only undermine the role and potential of land tenure and land administration systems but already threatens the country's global competitiveness.
This paper is all about instituting good governance principles in land tenure and administration with a particular focus on urban development and social inclusiveness and cohesion. To emphasize the need, the author shall provide various examples of the impacts and consequences of weak governance. To stress the other side, the author shall enumerate some principles of good governance that can be applied to land tenure and land administration and the expected benefits from them. To further emphasize its viability and effectiveness, the author shall provide some good practices and the corresponding initial outcomes from global experience as well as from the Philippines' perspective. Finally, the author shall conclude with some insights on how to move forward and how to overcome likely challenges along the way.