Central Luzon’s total land cover of 2,117,099 hectares in 2015 was valued at PHP 2.3 trillion. Based from the land cover estimates taken by NAMRIA in 2010 and 2015, the region’s land remained to be dominated by crop land amidst the gradual conversions to other land classification. It also shows that several grasslands were converted to crop lands in 2015. While, portions of open forests in 2010 were converted to closed forests in 2015 which can be attributed in the tree-cutting moratorium imposed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 2011. Conversely, built-up areas were more evident in 2015 compared to that of 2010. In addition, some inland water bodies were converted to marshlands (Figure 1).
Throughout 2000 to 2015, an upward trend was observed in the built-up areas, perennial crop, mangroves, and marshland. On the other hand, the estimates for grassland, closed and open forest, and open/barren area were decreasing from 2000 to 2010 but started to increase from 2011 to 2015. Contrarily, other wooded land, and inland water bodies had an increasing trend from 2000 to 2010 while a downward trend was observed from 2011 to 2015; annual crop also exhibited the same trend but started decreasing in 2010 (Table 1).
In 2015, annual crop accounted for 31.9 percent of the total land cover of Central Luzon – the highest percent share among land cover classification. It was followed by brush/shrubs, open forest and closed forest with shares of 15.8 percent, 14.2 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively. Grassland comprised 9.2 percent, perennial crop contributed 6.2 percent and 5.6 percent for artificial surfaces. The remaining 6.0 percent was attributed by the combined share of mangrove forest, open/barren land, marshland/swamp, fishpond and inland water (Figure 2).
The total value of land in Central Luzon rose by 26.3 percent to PHP 2.3 trillion in 2015 from PHP 1.8 trillion in 2010. Built-up area has the highest contribution of 56.4 percent (PHP 1.3 trillion) followed by agriculture with 24.3 percent (PHP 560.2 billion). Forestry and land use for aquaculture attributed 16.5 percent (PHP 381.1 billion) and 2.8 percent (PHP 65.1 billion), respectively.