Time to be humane 1st : series 2 : the green revolution
What is green? Is it just a color? A mindset? How does it correlate to the environment? So what is green governance? is it the environmentalist governing? How about environmentalist? Is it a person that pushes for environmental laws? So many green questions but it only relates to one. No matter how you perceived it to be, it shall relate to the environment.
During the 90’s where the environmental laws have been strengthened, supposedly, to protect the Philippine biodiversity, now it is becoming non-existent or is not gaining momentum as it should.
Our forest alone has dropped considerably from 70% to 20% from 1934 to 1988. Looking alone in the studies of the environmentalist only 3.2% have been left and this is due to several factors of how land use is being implemented.
An American peace activist , considered as foreign policy think tank of Washington and former president of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Jessica Tuchman Matthews stated in her book, Redefining Security Vol.68, No.2 (Spring, 1989), pp.162-177 :
“The government regularly granted logging concessions of less than ten years. Since it takes 30–35 years for a second-growth forest to mature, loggers had no incentive to replant. Compounding the error, flat royalties encouraged the loggers to remove only the most valuable species. A horrendous 40 percent of the harvestable lumber never left the forests but, having been damaged in the logging, rotted or was burned in place. The unsurprising result of these and related policies is that out of 17 million hectares of closed forests that flourished early in the century only 1.2 million remain today.”
That book was published late 80’s and it has not changed how our government have assailed the issues of protecting our environment. We have beautifully crafted laws but the implementation is lacking and its enforcement dismal. We remain to be very political, local government units are still very dependent on its political decision rather than green governance.
Philippine biodiversity can only survive if and only if, we elect in the office a very conscientious leader that sees the future 100 years ahead than the businessmen’s and scrupulous individuals whose only goals is to line their coffers with wealth taken from the future generations. It is scary to think that our future generation has very bleak resources if we do not act now. Collectively, as a nation we should stopped any infrastructure that shall damage and kill our remaining forest.
We have signed as a country to protect our coastal communities and practice environmental sustainability programs during Earth Summit 1992 but it is 2019 now we are still seeking the correct implementation of our programs and strengthening the laws to protect our environment. For more environmental enlightenment on sustainable programs, click this links : https://www.bulatlat.com/archive2/042wssd.html and http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTURBANDEVELOPMENT/Resources/336387-1256566800920/6505269-1268260567624/Yuen.pdf
Philippine environmental laws are abundant what we seems to lack is the enforcement of such laws.
- EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 79 – (INSTITUTIONALIZING AND IMPLEMENTING REFORMS IN THE PHILIPPINE MINING SECTOR PROVIDING POLICIES AND GUIDELINES TO ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND RESPONSIBLE MINING IN THE UTILIZATION OF MINERAL RESOURCES) – if this is properly enforced then we will not have a deadly landslide in the mining community of Ucab, Itogon, Benguet when Ompong hit Luzon or our natural body of water is not dying in Surigao.
- Chain Saw Act (Republic Act No. 9175) – (AN ACT REGULATING THE OWNERSHIP, POSSESSION, SALE, IMPORTATION AND USE OF CHAIN SAWS, PENALIZING VIOLATIONS THEREOF AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES) – if this is regulated then our trees is still standing all 1000 of them inside CSEZ or our Rainforest will not be depleted of its endemic trees.
- Philippine Plant Variety Protection Act of 2002 (Republic Act No. 9168)- (AN ACT TO PROVIDE PROTECTION TO NEW PLANT VARIETIES, ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION BOARD AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES) – if this is true then I would not have a hard time getting seedlings for reforestation. From agency to agency you will be asked to formally request to get seedlings to plant. It is much better to save those seeds from fruits and plant it yourself or better yet buy from a private plant nursery.
- Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (Republic Act No. 9003) – (AN ACT PROVIDING FOR AN ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, CREATING THE NECESSARY INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS AND INCENTIVES, DECLARING CERTAIN ACTS PROHIBITED AND PROVIDING PENALTIES, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES) – just recently, resorts, factories and malls near bodies of water have been penalized and ordered closed until they have fixed their waste management system. 19 years have passed since its inception and the only waste management facilities that I know of, who’s serious and continuously evolving is the one in Trece Martires, Cavite. It can be replicated if the leader of the community is serious in protecting his entire community and its people.
Articles about the impact of climate change and the ecological waste, https://theaseanpost.com/article/philippine-cities-facing-slow-motion-disaster, https://theaseanpost.com/article/will-asean-get-serious-about-plastic-waste, https://theaseanpost.com/article/philippines-has-massive-plastic-waste-woes, https://theaseanpost.com/article/world-heritage-sites-under-climate-siege,
- Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 (Republic Act No. 8749) – (This Act shall be known as the “Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.”) – Department of Transportation is making grounds in implementing Good Transportation Practices such as apprehending smoke belchers and implementing the smoke emission test in all registrants of motor vehicles. Hopefully, DENR is doing the same with the biogas emission of factories.
- Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (Republic Act No. 8550)- (AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF THE FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES, INTEGRATING ALL LAWS PERTINENT THERETO, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES) – we have to strengthen our resolve to protect our seas against foreign usurpation. West Philippine Sea, Reed Reef and all our shores must be protected. For further reading check https://theaseanpost.com/article/coral-reefs-are-facing-extinction,
- Agriculture & Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8435) – (An Act Prescribing Urgent Related Measures to Modernize the Agriculture and Fisheries Sectors of the Country in Order to Enhance Their Profitability, and Prepare Said Sectors for the Challenges of the Globalization Through an Adequate, Focused and Rational Delivery of Necessary Support Services, Appropriating Funds Therefor and For Other Purposes) – this is 22 years old law and our agrarian land has been converted into commercial land and it shall remain so unless this law is implemented properly. We have to empower our farmers and fishermen so that they can provide our food thus uplifting their economic way of life as well. Check this article, https://theaseanpost.com/article/oceans-under-increasing-stress, https://theaseanpost.com/article/building-sustainable-food-future, https://theaseanpost.com/article/protecting-our-food-protecting-our-farmers,
- The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8371) – (AN ACT TO RECOGNIZE, PROTECT AND PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMUNITIES/INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, CREATING A NATIONAL COMMISSION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, ESTABLISHING IMPLEMENTING MECHANISMS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES) – how I wish that this is true. For those that personally know the situations of indigenous people particularly the AETA’s of Central Luzon can certainly say that this law have been ignored upon by big corporations and taking away that right from the AETA’s. You have Alvierra of Ayala Land, denying the Porac Aeta the right of way, then there is the MIREJ and Sun Valley Corporation building their casino resorts MIDORI, AQUA PLANET, HILTON hotels denying the AETA’s the right over their land. They will say that they paid the AETA’s as mandated by Clark Development Corporation (CDC) but in reality all of them knew that they cannot own that land being part of the Ancestral Domain. The very government that is mandated to protect its people are the one circumventing the law for their monetary end. Read how indigenous people are currently being treated and discern if these laws are being enforced properly, https://theaseanpost.com/article/martial-law-mindanao-extended, https://theaseanpost.com/article/dutertes-war-activists, https://theaseanpost.com/article/can-asean-safeguard-its-islands, https://theaseanpost.com/article/deforestation-modern-day-plague-southeast-asia,
- The Water Crisis Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 8041) – (AN ACT TO ADDRESS THE NATIONAL WATER CRISIS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES) – everybody has the responsibility to save water. The law is there to strengthen and protect the people against the crisis, but individually we must learn how to save water by simply making sure that our taps and tanks are free from leaks. Even the simple way of using the glass every time you brushed your teeth can help.
- Prohibition Against Cutting of Trees in Public Roads, Plazas, etc. (Republic Act No. 3571) – how I wish that this is true. If it was really implemented then SM BAGUIO would not have the audacity to cut 1800 Pine trees to give way to their SKY RANCH, or the stretch of McArthur hi-way will not be as bare as it is now. Before, that stretch is very lovely to drive to as the shade from those big acacia tree will protect you from the heat emanating from the vehicles.
- Seed Industry Development Act of 1992 (Republic Act No. 7308) – yeah right, and people who wanted to get seed from Department of Agriculture has to know the right people just to get a simple seed.
For further readings and environmental law awareness, you can look up the following.
- Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7942) – (AN ACT INSTITUTING A NEW SYSTEM OF MINERAL RESOURCES EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION, AND CONSERVATION)
- Amendment to the Agrarian Reform Code (Republic Act No. 7907)-(AN ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED THIRTY-EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-FOUR, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “CODE OF AGRARIAN REFORM IN THE PHILIPPINES)
- High-Value Crops Development Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7900)
- Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan Act (Republic Act No. 7611)
- National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992 (Republic Act No. 7586)
- Tax Laws Incorporated in the Revised Forestry Code (Republic Act No. 7161)
- People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7076)
- Toxic Substances & Hazardous & Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990 (Republic Act No. 6969)
- An Act Creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA)(Republic Act No. 4850)
- EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 927 (FURTHER DEFINING CERTAIN FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)
- LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY RESOLUTION NO. 33 Series of 1996 – (APPROVING THE RULES AND REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE ENVIRONMENTAL USER FEE SYSTEM IN THE LAGUNA DE BAY REGION)
- Lanao del Sur National Parks (Republic Act No. 4190)
- National Water & Air Pollution Control Commission Act (Republic Act No. 3931)- An Act Amending Section Thirty-Six of P. D. No. 705, Otherwise Known as “The Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines” (Batas Pambansa Bilang 701)
- An Act Amending R. A. No. 5474, As Amended by R. A. No. 6145 (Re: Prohibiting the Catching, Selling, Offering to Sell, Purchasing any of the Fish Species Called “Gobiidae” or “Ipon”). (Batas Pambansa Bilang 58)
- Withdrawal of Lead in Gasoline (Presidential Decree No. 2001)
- Small-Scale Mining Law (Presidential Decree No. 1899)
- Amendment to the Revised Forestry Code (Presidential Decree No. 1775)
- Environmental Impact Statement System (Presidential Decree No. 1586)
- Plant Quarantine Law of 1978 (Presidential Decree No. 1433)
- The Coral Resources Development & Conservation Decree (Presidential Decree No. 1219)
- Philippine Environment Code (Presidential Decree No. 1152)
- Philippine Environmental Policy (Presidential Decree No. 1151)
- The Water Code of the Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 1067)
- National Pollution Control Commission (Presidential Decree No. 984)
- Marine Pollution Decree of 1976 (Presidential Decree No. 979)
- Code on Sanitation of the Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 856)
- Penalty for Improper Garbage Disposal (Presidential Decree No. 825)
- Amending Certain Sections of (R.A. 4850), Otherwise Known as the “Laguna Lake Development Authority Act of 1966.” (Presidential Decree No. 813)
- Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 705)
- Philippine Fisheries Code of 1975 (Presidential Decree No. 704)
- Revised Coast Guard Law (Presidential Decree No. 601)
- Pertaining to the Preservation, Beautification, Improvement and Gainful Utilization of the Pasig River, Providing for the Regulation and Control of Pollution of the River and Its Banks in Order to Enhance Its Development, Thereby Maximizing Its Utilization for Socio-Economic Purposes.(Presidential Decree No. 274)
- EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 54 (CREATING THE PASIG RIVER REHABILITATION COMMISSION)
- EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 65 (AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 54, SERIES OF 1999)- An Act to Reserve to the Philippine Legislature the Disposition of the Waters of the Public Domain for the Utilization and Development of Hydraulic Power. (Act No. 4062)
- The Fisheries Act (Act No. 4003)- An Act to Protect Wild Flowers and Plants in the Philippine Islands and to Prescribe Conditions Under Which They May be Collected, Kept, Sold, Exported, and for Other Purposes. (Act No. 3983)
- Prohibition Against Cutting of Tindalo, Akli & Molave Trees (Act No. 3572)
- Guidelines on Biological & Genetic Resources (Executive Order No. 247 ) – President Fidel V. Ramos)
- Task Force Pawikan (Executive Order No. 542 (President Ferdinand E. Marcos))
- Environmental Impact Statement System – Areas/Types of Projects (Proclamation No. 2146)
- Subic Watershed Forest Reserve Law (Proclamation No. 926 (President Corazon C. Aquino))
- Quezon National Park – Proc. No. 740|Proc. No. 594|Proc. No. 2 (Preferential Treatment of Small Fisherfolks [15-km.Mun. Water] ) DENR Administrative Order No. 03
- Regulations for the Conservation of Marine Turtles (Bureau of Forest Development Circular No. 08)
- DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES (Reorganization Act of the DENR (E. O. 192 ))
- Kanla-on Natural Park (MKNP) Act of 2001 (Republic Act No. 9154)- (AN ACT ESTABLISHING MT. KANLA-ON LOCATED IN THE CITIES OF BAGO, LA CARLOTA, AND SAN CARLOS AND IN THE MUNICIPALITIES OF LA CASTELLANA AND MURCIA, ALL IN THE PROVINCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, AND IN THE CITY OF CANLAON AND MUNICIPALITY OF VALLEHERMOSO, BOTH IN THE PROVINCE OF NEGROS ORIENTAL, AS A PROTECTED AREA AND A PERIPHERAL AREA AS BUFFER ZONE PROVIDING FOR ITS MANAGEMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES) –
- Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (Republic Act No. 9147) – (AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE RESOURCES AND THEIR HABITATS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES)
- National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act (Republic Act No. 9072) – (AN ACT TO MANAGE AND PROTECT CAVES AND CAVE RESOURCES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES)
- Animal Welfare Act of 1998 (Republic Act No. 8485) – (AN ACT TO PROMOTE ANIMAL WELFARE IN THE PHILIPPINES, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT OF 1998”)
- An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide (ASIN) (Republic Act No. 8172) – (AN ACT PROMOTING SALT IODIZATION NATIONWIDE AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES)
- Coconut Preservation Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 8048) – (AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE REGULATION OF THE CUTTING OF COCONUT TREES, ITS REPLENISHMENT, PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES)
As a country we do not need to propagate laws, what we need is to understand that we are global citizens and each one of us has the responsibility to be respectful of each species around us and be aware how our actions make irreparable scars to Mother Earth.
It is not about the law but the people who implements and enforcers it. Being aware of the law is not enough; ignoring the problem is not acceptable. Each one of us has to be part of the solution. Act now while there is time.