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Top 17 Philippine Environmental Laws

Top 17 Philippine Environmental Laws

The Philippine environmental laws date back to the Pre-Spanish Code of Kalantiao. Philippine legislation in the environment and natural resources was recognised by the end of the 20th century as among the best of the developing world.

The national laws enacted by presidential fiat and by Congress aimed to conserve, use and protect the air, the waters, the land from pollution.

Table of Contents

What is an Environmental law in the Philippines?

Before we treat the subject matter “what is Environmental Law in the Philippines?”, let’s define what environmental law is.

According to Wikipedia,

“Environmental law is a collective term encompassing aspects of the law that provide protection to the environment. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now strongly influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the management of specific natural resources, such as forests, minerals, or fisheries.

Other areas, such as environmental impact assessment, may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important components of environmental law.”

Environmental Law is the collection of laws, regulations, principles, policies, directives and agreements enforced by local, national, or international bodies to govern and regulate the human treatment of the environment.

Environmental laws cover various areas of the environment from climate control to energy sources to pollution, etc.

Having known the meaning of Environmental Law, what are Philippine Environmental Laws?

Philippine Environmental Laws are simply the collection of laws, regulations, principles, policies, directives, and agreements enforced by the Philippines’ government and the environmentally related bodies to govern and regulate the human treatment of the environment.

Philippine environmental laws are covered by the constitution; statutes and local ordinances; regulations promulgated by the state and local regulatory agencies; and court decisions interpreting these laws and regulations.

Thus, all laws, regulations, and decisions designed to protect and enhance man’s environment are included, but so long as the impacts perceived as “environmental” are continuing to expand, the definition remains open-ended.

Laws on pollution control and sustainable use of natural resources are central subjects as are the laws on government organisations and population control.

In short, Philippine environmental laws concern not only man’s physical environment but his social and economic wellbeing as well.

Who Creates environmental Laws in the Philippines?

The Congress of the Republic of the Philippines and the Presidency are responsible for the creation of Philippines environmental laws but the Department of Environment and Natural Resources also creates some laws.

Top 17 Philippine Environmental Laws

Below are the top 17 Philippine Environmental Laws;

  • Executive Order No. 79
  • REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9154 “This Act shall be known as the Mt. Kanla-on Natural Park (MKNP) Act of 2001”
  • REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9147 “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.”
  • REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9072 “National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act”
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 247 “Prescribing guidelines And establishing a regulatory framework for the prospecting of biological and genetic resources, their by-products and Derivatives, for scientific and commercial purposes; and other purposes”
  • ACT No. 3572 “An act of Prohibit the Cutting of Tindalo, Akle or Molave Trees, under certain conditions, and to Penalise Violations Thereof”
  • Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) administrative order no. 03: “Implementing guidelines on the granting of preferential treatment to small fisher-folk relative to the 15-km Municipal water”
  • Presidential Decree No. 825: “Providing penalty for improper disposal of garbage and other forms of uncleanliness and for other purposes.”
  • Presidential Decree No. 856: “Code on Sanitation of the Philippines”
  • Presidential Decree No. 984: “Providing for the revision of Republic act no. 3931, commonly as the pollution control law, and for other purposes”.
  • Presidential Decree No. 1067: The Water Code of the Philippines
  • Presidential Decree No. 1152: “Philippine Environment Code”
  • Republic Act No. 3571
  • Republic Act No. 3931
  • Republic Act No. 8485
  • Republic Act No. 8749: “Philippine Clean Act of 1999”
  • Republic Act No. 9003: “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”

1. Executive Order No. 79

“Institutionalising and Implementing Reforms in the Philippines in the Mining Sector Providing Policies and Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Protection and Responsible Mining in the Utilisation of Mineral Resources”.

This is one of the Philippine environmental laws enacted by the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III in the City of Manila on the 6th day of July in the year 2012.

The law contains 22 sections on the reforms in the mining sector and they are;

  • SECTION 1. Areas Closed to Mining Applications.
  • SECTION 2. Full Enforcement of Environmental Standards in Mining.
  • SECTION 3. Review of the Performance of Existing Mining Operations and Cleansing of Non-Moving Mining Rights Holders.
  • SECTION 4. Grant of Mineral Agreements Pending New Legislation.
  • SECTION 5. Establishment of Mineral Reservations.
  • SECTION 6. Opening of Areas for Mining through Competitive Public Bidding.
  • SECTION 7. Disposition of Abandoned Ores and Valuable Metals in Mine Wastes and Mill Tailings.
  • SECTION 8. Value-Adding Activities and the Development of Downstream Industries for the Mineral Sector.
  • SECTION 9. Constituting the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Economic Development Cabinet Clusters as the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC).
  • SECTION 10. Powers and Functions of the Council.
  • SECTION 11. Measures to Improve Small-Scale Mining Activities.
  • SECTION 12. Consistency of Local Ordinances with the Constitution and National Laws/LGU Cooperation.
  • SECTION 13. Creating a One-stop Shop for all Mining Applications and Procedures.
  • SECTION 14. Improving Transparency in the Industry by Joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
  • SECTION 15. Creation of a Centralized Database for the Mining Industry.
  • SECTION 16. Integrated Map System to Include Mining Related Maps.
  • SECTION 17. Use of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • SECTION 18. Funding.
  • SECTION 19. Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRRs).
  • SECTION 20. Separability Clause.
  • SECTION 21. Repealing Clause.
  • SECTION 22. Effectivity.

2. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9154 “This Act shall be known as the Mt. Kanla-on Natural Park (MKNP) Act of 2001”

“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.”

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress on the 11th of August, 2011 and was assembled this act in 10 articles and 25 sections and are;

  • ARTICLE I: Title, Policies and Objectives
  • ARTICLE II: Management, Management Plan, and Zoning
  • ARTICLE III: Institutional Mechanisms, Roles, and Functions of Management\
  • ARTICLE IV: Ancestral Lands/Domains and Tenured Migrants
  • ARTICLE V: Prohibited Acts
  • ARTICLE VI: Proceeds and Fees
  • ARTICLE VII: Existing Facilities
  • ARTICLE VIII: Utilisation of Resources
  • ARTICLE X: Transitory and Miscellaneous Provisions

3. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9147 “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.”

An act providing for the conservation and protection of wildlife resources and their habitats, appropriating funds therefor and for other purposes.

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress on the 30th of July, 2001 and was assembled this act in 4 chapters (3 articles in the third chapter) and 41 sections and they are;

  • CHAPTER I: General Provisions
  • CHAPTER II: Definition of Terms
  • CHAPTER III: Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources

Article 1: General Provision

Article 2: Protection of Threatened Species

Article 3: Registration of Threatened and Exotic Species

  • CHAPTER IV: Illegal Acts
  • CHAPTER V: Fines and Penalties
  • CHAPTER VI: Miscellaneous Provisions

This act was approved by (Sgd) AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL JR. (President of the Senate), (Sgd) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR. Speaker of the House of Representatives.

This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill No. 10622 and Senate Bill No. 2128 was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on February 8, 2001, and March 20, 2001, respectively.

Consolidated by (Sgd) LUTGARDO B. BARBO (Secretary of the Senate), (Sgd) ROBERTO P. NAZARENO (Secretary-General, House of Representatives).

Approved by (Sgd) GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO (President of the Philippines).

4. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9072 “National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act”

This is an act to manage and protect caves and cave resources and for other purposes

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress approved on the 8th of April, 2001 and was assembled this act in 15 sections.

5. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 247 “Prescribing guidelines And establishing a regulatory framework for the prospecting of biological and genetic resources, their by-products and Derivatives, for scientific and commercial purposes; and other purposes”

This Executive order is being implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that is the primary government agency responsible for the conservation, management, development, and sustainable use of the country’s environment and natural resources;

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the primary agency mandated to promote local capability in science and technology to achieve technological self-reliance in selected areas vital to national development; the agriculture and aquatic resource development;

The Department of Health (DOH), the agency responsible for the formulation, planning, implementation, and coordination of policies and programs in the field of health, including the research, regulation, and development of drugs and medicine;

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the agency responsible for promoting international relations.

This is one of the Philippine environmental laws enacted by the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Fidel V. Ramos in the City of Manila on the 18th day of May in the year 1995.

The law contains 15 sections on the “Prescribing guidelines And establishing a regulatory framework for the prospecting of biological and genetic resources, their by-products and Derivatives, for scientific and commercial purposes; and other purposes” and they are;

  • Section 1: The policy of the State
  • Section 2: Consent of Indigenous Cultural Communities
  • Section 3: When Research Agreement is Necessary
  • Section 4: Application for Academic Research Agreement and Commercial Research Agreement
  • Section 5: Minimum terms of the Commercial Research Agreement and Academic Research Agreement
  • Section 6: Composition and Functions of the Inter-Agency Committee on Biological and Genetic Resources
  • Section 7: Powers and Functions of the Inter-Agency Committee
  • Section 8: Monitoring Implementation of the Research Agreement
  • Section 9: Appeals
  • Section 10: Sanctions and Penalties
  • Section 11: Existing Researches, Contracts, and Agreements
  • Section 12: Official Depository
  • Section 13: Funding
  • Section 14: Effectivity
  • Section 15: Implementing Rules and Regulations

6. ACT No. 3572 “An act of Prohibit the Cutting of Tindalo, Akle or Molave Trees, under certain conditions, and to Penalise Violations Thereof”

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws enacted by the Senate and House of Representative of the Philippines in Legislature and by the authority of the same on the 26th November 1929:

Sec. 1. The cutting in the public forests of tindalo, akle, or molave trees less than sixty centimeters in diameters measured at a height of four feet from the ground (breast-high) is hereby prohibited.

Sec. 2. Any person, company, or corporation violating the provisions of this Act shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty pesos or imprisonment for not more than fifteen days, or both, and to pay, besides, two times the amount of the tax on the timber cut:

Provided, That in the case of a company or corporation, the president or manager shall be directly responsible for the acts of his employees or labourers if it is proven that the latter acted with his knowledge; otherwise, the responsibility will extend only as far as fine is concerned:

Provided, Further, That all tindalo, akle, or molave timber cut in violation of this Act shall be forfeited to the Government.

Sec. 3. All acts and provisions of law inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

Sec. 4. This Act shall take effect on its approval.

7. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) administrative order no. 03: “Implementing guidelines on the granting of preferential treatment to small fisher-folk relative to the 15-km Municipal water”

The Philippine Constitution provides for the preferential option for the poorest of the poor sector of our society;

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was issued as a pursuant to the directive of the President of the Philippines issued to the Secretaries of the Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior and Local Government dated 15th of March, 1996 and in consonance with Section 149 (b) of the LGC of 1991.

This act is grouped into 4 sections and was issued on the 25th of April, 1996 in Quezon City, Philippines.

8. Presidential Decree No. 825: “Providing penalty for improper disposal of garbage and other forms of uncleanliness and for other purposes.”

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was created with an objective for citizens to take on the duty of keeping their environment or surroundings clean and wholesome;

This act is divided into six sections and was enacted by Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Philippines on the 7th of November, 1975.

9. Presidential Decree No. 856: “Code on Sanitation of the Philippines”

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted that all efforts of public services should be directed with the purpose of promoting and protecting health. And this is done by updating and codifying her sanitary laws to ensure the keeping of modern sanitation standards.

This act was enacted by Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Philippines at the city of Manila on the 23rd of December, 1975.

10. Presidential Decree No. 984: “Providing for the revision of Republic act no. 3931, commonly as the pollution control law, and for other purposes”.

This act was enacted to modify the organisational structure of the National Pollution Control Commission to make effective and efficient the discharge of its functions and responsive to the demands of the times occasioned by the accelerative phase of the country’s industrialisation program.

This act was also created to give relevance to the National Pollution Control Commission as the primary agency responsible for the prevention and control of environmental pollution.

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Philippines on the 18th of August, 1976 to prevent, abate, and control pollution of water, air, and land for the more effective utilisation of the resources of the country.

11. Presidential Decree No. 1067: The Water Code of the Philippines

A decree instituting a water code, thereby riving and consolidating the laws governing the ownership, appropriation, utilisation, exploitation, development, conservation, and protection of water resources.

Water is a vital national development and it has become increasingly necessary for the government to intervene actively in improving the management of water resources.

According to Article XIV, section 8 of the constitution of the Philippines provides, “inter alia”, all the water of the Philippines belongs to the state.

But the existing water regulations are not adequate to cope with the increasing scarcity of water and changing patterns of water use.

This has made it necessary for a water code based on the concepts of integrated and multi-purpose management of water resources and sufficiently flexible to adequately meet future developments.

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Philippines on the 31st of December, 1976.

12. Presidential Decree No. 1152: “Philippine Environment Code”

This act was enacted to address the broad spectrum of the environment.

This act was created to complement the National Environment Protection Council under Presidential Decree No. 1121 with the launching of a comprehensive program of environmental protection and management.

Such a program assumes significance only when specific environment management policies are established prescribing environment quality standards.

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Republic of the Philippines in the city of Manila on the 6th of June, 1977.

13. Republic Act No. 3571

This is an act to prohibit the cutting, destroying, or injuring of planted or growing trees, flowering plants and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, in plazas, parks, school premises, or in any other public ground.

This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress on the 21st of June, 1963.

14. Republic Act No. 3931

An act creating the National water and air pollution control commission. This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the Philippines in congress on the 18th of June of 1964.

15. Republic Act No. 8485

An act to promote animal welfare in the Philippines, otherwise known as “The Animal Welfare Act of 1998”. This is one of the Philippine Environmental Laws that was enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the Philippines in congress on the 11th of February, 1998.

16. Republic Act No. 8749: “Philippine Clean Act of 1999”

This act was created to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthy ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Thereby, promoting and protecting the global environment to attain sustainable development while recognising the primary responsibility of the local government units to deal with environmental problems.

By this, the state recognises that the responsibility of cleaning the habitat and environment is primarily area-based.

This act was enacted on the 19th of July, 1998.

17. Republic Act No. 9003: “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”

This is an act that helps to provide ecological solid waste management programs, creating the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, declaring certain acts prohibiting and providing penalties, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.

This act was enacted on the 26th of January, 2001.

FAQs

What is the Importance of Environmental Laws in the Philippines?

Philippine Environmental Laws are important because these laws help fight environmental related issues (global warming, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain, hunting of endangered species, deforestation, depletion of the natural resources, pollution of water, air, and soil)

And help conserve the natural resources in the Philippines. Environmental laws help to protect plants, animals and human health, and the environment

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