Legarda Calls for Strict Implementation of Env’t Laws, Says Env’t Sustainability to be Mainstreamed in 2017 Budget

September 21, 2016


Senator Loren Legarda said that the 2017 national budget will continue to mainstream provisions on environmental sustainability as she stressed that the Senate will continue to monitor the implementation of the country’s environmental laws.

Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, made the statement during the hearing for the proposed 2017 budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“The environmental laws that this institution enacted in the past decades must be vigilantly, passionately and proactively implemented by the local government units (LGUs) under the strict supervision of DENR,” she said.

Among the Philippine environmental laws, most of which were authored or sponsored by Legarda, are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Rainwater Collection Act, National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, and the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act, among others.

“We need to protect our environment and manage our natural resources in a sustainable manner to live, survive and develop. There is no tourism to speak of if our mountains are bald and our rivers and lakes are polluted; our children will not be able to study well if they are sick because of air pollution and our degraded environment; the destruction of our marine ecosystems will lead to the extinction of thousands of species and will be detrimental to food supply and affect the livelihood of many; the degradation of our protected areas, which are vital sources of freshwater, will affect agriculture and water supply,” Legarda explained.

The Senator said that as she calls on LGUs and government agencies to implement the laws, she will continue to mainstream environmental protection and sustainability in the 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA) as she did in this year’s national budget.

In the 2016 GAA, Legarda introduced several provisions that reiterate the implementation of environmental laws. Among the special provisions are the establishment of vegetable gardens, rainwater collection systems, and materials recovery facilities (MRF) in public schools; the integration and mainstreaming of biodiversity conservation in the development projects and programs of all LGUs and government agencies; and the practice of energy efficiency measures by all government agencies and LGUs.

State universities and colleges (SUCs) were also mandated to coordinate with the DENR for the establishment of nurseries including the clonal nurseries, the conduct of forest research, and mangrove reforestation activities, and other similar activities within the scope of the National Greening Program (NGP).

“Environmental protection is a gut issue because environmental issues matter to our own survival. I hope that under the new administration, we will see and feel real change in the protection of our environment and in the responsible and sustainable use of our natural resources,” said Legarda.