The core issue which concerns the City Government is the high incidence of poverty, presently placed at around 88.14 percent of households. The contributory issues that have to be addressed within the context of land use and development include the following:
Low household income
The land use plan shall create opportunities to maximize the income generating potentials of the various locations in the City. Land use policies and strategies shall be oriented towards strengthening the economic sectors to include agriculture, fishery, trade, services and industry.
Vulnerability to disasters and calamities
Frequent typhoons, volcanic and volcanic-related events take their toll on lives and properties. Appropriate strategies to mitigate the effects of these negative events shall be developed in the land use plan. For instance, the land use plan shall pay close attention to critically constrained areas to ensure that effects of disasters and calamities are minimized.
Inadequate social service facilities
The City is faced with inadequacies in the provision of social, health and education facilities. The land use plan shall consider the strategic placement of these and related measures on how they can be strengthened shall be put forward.
Insufficient infrastructure facilities
The City has to provide adequate infrastructure to further service the far-flung sitios. The land use plan shall pay particular attention to laying the groundwork for a City-wide road network master layout plan. It will likewise consider the proper infrastructure layout for identified urban expansion areas to ensure effective growth.
Urban – agricultural land use conflicts
The most logical urban expansion areas are also part of the City’s prime agricultural lands. The land use plan shall examine means to properly accommodate urban growth, within the short and long terms, to ensure that a balance with future agricultural requirements is achieved.
Weak urban character
The City’s urban core has many interesting landmarks that have unfortunately been left bereft of a proper urban setting. Strategies to improve the overall urban character of the City shall be developed in order to improve the urban cores livability and thus evoke civic pride among residents.
Traffic and congestion heighten noise level and with emissions from vehicles, urban air quality is affected. These situations degrade the urban ambiance of an area making it unfit for people, resulting to illness. In addition, the unsanitary condition along the streets and market alleys contribute to overall environmental degradation of urban living. The traffic situation and congestion along the busy streets in Ligao should be mitigated in order to provide relief to those residing and working in those areas.
Environmental Issues in Rivers
Just like most cities and towns, Ligao City has no sewerage system facilities. Domestic and commercial wastes are usually disposed in individual septic tanks. In the urban areas, especially those near the Matanglad River at the market area, solid debris and fetid smell are evidences that solid and liquid wastes are directly discharged into the creek. This has great impact on the water quality of the river and thereby transmitting contamination in the downstream areas. Garbage debris impedes the flow of water thus resulting to siltation, lowering flow capacities of natural channels and flashflood. Furthermore, legal easement along waterways is not being implemented, causing encroachment into waterways by protruding structures. Cases such as this are quite predominant in the urban areas, where any possible living space is being exploited.
Upland Environmental Issues
In the upland areas, among the reported environmental issues are denudation of forest covers, landslides, loss of soil productivity, and flashflood . The over-extraction of forest resources had resulted to denudation of the upland areas. This is evident as one travels along the national road to Pio Duran where hills and mountains are observably deforested. Upland agriculture and kaingin farming contributed much to this situation. With the soil exposed, surficial erosion ensues, thus bringing down fertile deposits until the land loss its productivity. This condition contributes to landslides, siltation in rivers and flashflood .
Coastal Environmental Issues
In the three coastal barangays (Maonon, Cabarian and Catburawan), the prevalent environmental issues gathered consisted of coastal sedimentation, coastal flooding, degrading water quality and sanitation, destruction of marine and fishery habitats, destruction of mangroves, and encroachment of commercial fishing vessels. Coastal sedimentation is caused by deposition of materials brought down by creek and river discharges to coastal areas. During storm periods, the swelling of coastal water cause flooding and inundation at low elevations along the shore. Water quality caused by discharges due to poor sanitation from residential areas can cause contamination of coastal waters and thereby degrade their quality levels. The use of unsustainable fishing practices by residents along the shore result in destruction of marine habitats. Clearing and harvesting of mangroves also harm habitats of marine organisms. Finally, the encroachment of commercial fishers in municipal waters results in over-fishing and deprivation of the livelihood of fisher folks in the coastal barangays.