Environmental Planning Act of 2012

February 28, 2012

In this era when the severity and frequency of natural hazards and extreme weather events are unpredictable, rural development and urban planning have become even more critical. We have witnessed whole villages being swept away by enormous floods and various infrastructure crumbling during strong earthquakes.
It is unfortunate that it is only after disasters strike that we realize how badly we have abused our natural resources; that we have failed to faithfully pursue sustainable, adaptable and resilient development.
The development activities we engage in should not take a toll on our environment. Our thirst for progress must not result in the drought of our natural resources. Communities and human structures should be complementary with nature. People should not reside in geographically hazardous areas like near volcanoes, fault lines, water basins and mountain sides.
If we fail to judiciously plan the development of communities vis-a-vis environmental preservation, it would not be too long before we experience its adverse effects. This situation highlights the significance of environmental planning.
Environmental planning has already played a vital role in urban planning and development through the passage of Presidential Decree No. 1308. It is important to note, however, that recent developments in the field have already rendered several provisions of this landmark legislation obsolete and irrelevant.
It is therefore imperative that this august body should come up with a more updated and pertinent measure that would define the practice of environmental planning in the Philippines, establishing safeguards and benchmarks as regards registration, licensing, education and scope of work of our environmental planners, which would boost their competence in the local and international arena.
For the aforementioned reasons, this representation wishes to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 3138, the Environmental Planning Act of 2012, under Committee Report No. 127.