The implementation of Philippine Agenda 21 must be anchored on the basic principle of
collective choices and responsibility. Its mechanisms, therefore, must facilitate coherent and
cooperative human endeavor from all sectors of society. Strengthening the role of major groups
becomes a critical component of implementing the agenda. Forging new partnerships (both
domestically and internationally), identification of common ground and finding areas for
collaborative action are central to the process as well as building and upgrading the capacities of
all stakeholders. To be able to build internal consensus on the sustainable development agenda
requires no less than a consolidated and well coordinated effort at information, education, and
communications advocacy for the Philippine Agenda 21.
Philippine Agenda 21 proposes a scale and level of intervention that is area-based.
Hence, it requires a plan that is designed, owned and implemented at the local levels. Localization
efforts shall therefore be at the core of implementing the action agenda. Simultaneously, the
spirit of international cooperation shall be upheld in the areas of mutually beneficial exchange
of information and technology as well as in generating finance and financing mechanisms. The
country shall also remain steadfast in fulfilling its commitments in relevant global agreements.
Resource mobilization efforts are a critical part of sustaining efforts in sustainable
development. As traditional sources of finance are increasingly becoming limited, generating
innovative/creative financing options will form a critical part of the implementation
Overall, assessing the progress of PA 21 should be made within the context of a
comprehensive and effective monitoring system with a defined set of sustainable development
3.1 STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF MAJOR GROUPS
Operationalizing sustainable development involves the interlocking components
of an ecosystem and how these interrelate towards defining specific roles and addressing specific
needs of individual sectors and aggrupation of sectors. The identification of key players and their
interaction provide a basis for deepening our analysis and treatment of the ecosystem, as well as
the definition of the varying roles that various stakeholders are expected to play for achieving
3.1.1 Categories of Major Stakeholders
In the Philippines, the basic sectors comprise the major poverty
groups. The activities of these poverty groups have taken impact on the socio-economic and
ecological base of society. In 1994, 35.7 per cent of the total Filipino population are living below
the poverty threshold. To put a human face to these statistics, the poverty groups include the
farmers and landless rural workers, marginalized fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, urban poor and other disadvantaged groups.
These groups generally live in conditions characterized by lack of basic services such as health
and education, lack of access to economic opportunities and lack of participation in decision-
Basic sectors comprise the first group of stakeholders. These sectors are considered
at the core of the socio-economic and ecological arena, and the targets of major interventions.
More importantly, they play a key role in establishing the building blocks for the improvement of
the quality of their lives and the protection and conservation of the environment.
Specifically, the farmers and landless rural workers suffer from limited rural
service facilities and infrastructure that hamper their productive capacity; uncertain land tenure
that threaten their livelihood security; and limited access to appropriate technology and marketing
opportunities that constrain their economic stability and competitive edge.
The fisherfolk, on the other hand, suffer from the continuing over-exploitation and
destruction of coastal resources and fishing grounds, leading to declining catch; encroachment into
municipal waters by local and foreign commercial fishing vessels against which they cannot
compete; and, the further reduction of freshwater fishing grounds caused by illegal
The indigenous peoples (IPs) suffer from the non-recognition of ancestral
domains; violation of cultural integrity; and lack of infrastructure and support services,
especially in education, health and dispensation of justice.
The urban poor suffer from lack of access to security and basic facilities and
services that include housing and land; and lack of opportunities for increased incomes and
Other disadvantaged groups such as workers in the informal sector, women, children
and youth, persons with disabilities, elderly, disaster victims and overseas contract workers
have various needs caused by the interplay of socio-economic and cultural factors.
Intermediaries serve as the fulcrum upon which socio-
economic, cultural and political interventions towards sustainable development depend. These are
formal institutions that include the national and local government units ( LGUs); the business
and private sectors, non-government organizations (NGOs); church-based organizations, civic
groups and professional associations; mass media; and the international community.
3.1.2 Roles of the Major Groups in Sustainable Development
The key roles of the major stakeholders in sustainable development are defined according
to sectoral needs, motivation, or interest and perspectives.
There are basic key roles that are considered "common" among the basic sectors and the
intermediaries. These are anchored on basic principles that should ensure a dynamic, balanced
perspective on equity, social justice and development. This dynamic balance must be established
in all areas -- ecological, political, economic, social, cultural and spiritual.
Along this context, every stakeholder must be a steward of the environment. In the
performance of this role, its interventions must go beyond the protection of the environment. It
implies a responsibility to effect a balance between development and ecological dimensions.
Equity and social justice are primary goals that should also be achieved. Such activities as
participation in decision-making, information flow, and building leadership must be promoted to
facilitate the provisions for enhancing the capability of sectors to participate and benefit from
A key player should also be an effective advocate and practitioner of sustainable
development. Attitudes, values, knowledge and skills should conform to basic requirements
towards a transformed lifestyle based on a balanced perspective of development.
To adopt a balanced perspective of development, concerned stakeholders should define
among themselves a common framework of development. Certain amounts of skill and knowledge
are necessary inputs at arriving at common parameters. Consensus-building approaches should
be used to allow all the key players to participate and contribute to shaping a common
These require a certain amount of openness or transparency as well as the skills and
knowledge to put forth priority issues that can affect or have an impact on the specific sectors,
individually and collectively.
3.1.3 Sectoral Roles and Accountabilities
Specific sectoral stakeholders in sustainable development are characterized according
to what they need, what they have at stake, and how they can enhance or maintain their interests
As Intermediary Organizations.
A sustainable system consists of various
aspects such as time, energy, knowledge, information, appropriate technology, perspectives,
cultures and other multi-functional facets. These elements define the interlocking dimensions that
can create the conditions for injecting palpable changes in the processes of development.
Harnessing these elements create and hasten the desired results that would enable a system to
control, influence or impact on the environment.
On this basis, an intermediary, as defined, can serve the following roles:
|Broker of Information and Appropriate Technologies
Institutions and organizations such as media, educational institutions, and other
information centers, by their very nature, play critical roles in harnessing the potentials for
sustainable development. Across sectors, these specific groups are able to hasten the translation
of content and processes into values, behaviors, attitudes and lifestyles.
||Mobilizers of Resources
Intermediaries like business and industry groups that deal with the gathering of raw
materials and inputs, their processing, production and distribution serve as mobilizers of
resources. As such, this group of stakeholders become major channels that can initiate and
control possible trends and open opportunities towards proper management and utilization of
resources. On the other hand, they can upset the smooth flow of resources, thus impede the
process towards the desired goals.
||Networkers to Strengthen Institutional Linkages
Being part of a macro-system, intermediaries can build a network using existing
structures and processes. Among networkers, they are able to link and interphase among
themselves. Through these linkages, complementary and/or supplementary functions are
enhanced. For instance, information flow, technology transfer, resource sharing and exchange
can establish strong partnership among concerned institutions. The development of a dynamic
and balanced perspective on sustainable development is hastened through these
||Trainers and Product Enhancers
Intermediaries play a strategic role as trainers and product enhancers using their
expertise and the available technologies that, from time to time, are upgraded to effectively
respond to the changing trends and demands. Via training designs, tools and methodologies,
and product development, this group serves as conduit of information, approaches and
perspectives on development that can create the evolution of innovative designs and
The Basic Sectors: Users, Producers and Consumers.
In recognizing the
specific roles of the Basic Sectors, certain parameters have to be considered towards promoting
constructive multilateralism in the interest of their needs, concerns, well-being and advancement.
This is required to address an array of sectoral issues affecting them on a daily basis. These
issues include: protection of the atmosphere, fresh water and land resources; prevention of
deforestation, desertification, and drought; promotion of forest development; sustainable
agriculture, and sustainable rural development; conservation of biological diversity; promotion of
the safe use of biological diversity; promotion of the safe use of biotechnology; protection of
oceans and seas; prevention of the spread of toxic chemicals; and the halting of illegal dumping
of hazardous wastes and dangerous products.
Increased participation of basic sectors can be done through provision of access to and
management of land and other natural resources; involvement in research and awareness raising
activities; promotion and adoption of environmentally sound knowledge, technology, and
lifestyles; and development of their full potentials in the promotion of sustainable
Cross-cutting issues such as poverty alleviation, consumption patterns, demographic
dynamics, economic relations, health conditions and housing, and the integration of environment
and development issues in decision-making, also define sectoral roles. Other activities include
the promotion of attitudinal change and values reinforcement through education, consciousness-
raising, and other means.
||Advocates of Specific Sectoral Issues and Concerns
Communities of basic sectors must focus on arresting socio-economic and political
forces that threaten the very survival of their particular sector. Shifts in thinking and lifestyles,
including basic shifts in perceptions and priorities, must be adopted.
Sectoral reforms promoting an integrated approach and which include innovation in
procedures, attitudes and behavior should characterize the methods to be used in the advocacy
and promotion of sustainable development.
||Organizers and Mobilizers of Community Resources
To build a strong constituency that can promote and adopt sustainable development
principles require that concerned sectors are mobilized, organized and strengthened. Capability
building and leadership measures are necessary steps to organizing and mobilizing community
resources upon which the life of communities may depend. Sectoral-based perspectives must be
linked to socio-economic views of sustainable development to find greater meaning in
consolidating and harnessing community resources to the optimum.
Being at the forefront of local realities and conditions, changing lifestyles, values,
perspectives and behaviors, concerned sectors are much adept in terms of socio-cultural
dynamics. On the premise that basic sector groups have adopted the basic principles of
sustainable development, they can serve as culture-bearers, and change agents in their
||Innovators of Indigenous Approaches and Systems
In the same vein, innovative approaches can be established to sustain indigenous
knowledge and skills among the sectoral constituencies. Further refinements and creative
interventions on existing processes indigenous to communities can widen the array of
opportunities that may be available and accessible to the sector group for survival and the
conservation of indigenous resources for their own benefit.
||Managers and Controllers of Community Resources
As resource managers and controllers, the basic sectors have direct relation to the
physical environment. Their priority is to protect and conserve the ecosystem within which they
operate and from where life resources are derived.
All too often, however, multiple domestic roles encumber them with a double burden
in confronting deteriorating environment in the context of poverty, lack of access to land use,
unfavorable economic status, etc. These conditions somehow impede on their basic
responsibilities as managers and controllers of community resources. In most cases, this is
exacerbated by depleted or ever-diminishing resources at the resource base.
To arrest these situations, strategic interventions or coping mechanisms must be
established. Education and training are deeply felt needs. Participatory management of resources
must be encouraged in the light of the multi-dimensional roles that basic sectors perform.
Clearly, traditional knowledge and technology are inadequate in meeting new
qualitative and quantitative demands on land, water and marine resources. For instance,
development and modernization have brought new approaches of resource management,
including high-technology inputs.
Specific action-oriented mechanisms have to be introduced to allow them to attain a
certain level of capacity to manage these new forms of resources.
Processes for consultations, training and orientations are necessary steps to make
the core managers and controllers of community resources central actors in any new development
strategies, and to ensure that traditional accountability of the resource base is revived.
3.1.4 Sustainable Development: The Arena for Common Ground
The contribution of basic sectors and intermediary institutions starts from their
distinct capacities and their engagements in government, civil society and the market.
Government provides the statutory parameters and regulatory mechanisms for common
ground. It also mobilizes resources and organizes different agencies for the implementation of the
ecosystem-based action agenda.
Civil society directly enhances the capacities of communities and social formations for
meaningful intervention in the various ecosystem processes. Civil society builds on the countless
formal and informal relationships that structure the day-to-day activities of Filipinos. But it is also
the site for new networks and innovative empowerment approaches.
The business community dynamizes the economic process of the market for the creation
of economic wealth.
The government, civil society and business each have their distinct role in Philippine
development. Hence, sustainable development needs to be the product of collaborative action
that can be built around the various interventions.
3.2 INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (IEC)
PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The pursuit of sustainable development (SD) involves a paradigm shift.
Thus, it is imperative that a re-orientation in the fundamental values of the society is undertaken.
Responding to this urgent challenge, the PCSD considers comprehensive information, education
and communication advocacy as an indispensable part of the efforts to mainstream the principles
of PA21 in the various development efforts of all stakeholders in the SD process.
This section presents a plan to create awareness on SD principles and catalyze broad-
based operationalization of sustainable development interventions.
- Promotion of awareness of living in harmony with nature;
- Recognition and adoption of SD as the new development paradigm which recognizes the
synergy and reconciliation of environmental management and economic development;
- Broadening and mobilization of an active SD constituency from various sectors and all levels
of society; and
- Institutionalization of environmental management and sustainable development concerns
in development structures, policies and programs in all sectors - national and local government
instrumentalities, business and industry, civil society, and media organizations, among others.
3.2.2 Specific Objectives
- To showcase sustainable development as the focus of the national development
- To promote, catalyze and effect the systematic integration of sustainable development
concepts into national and local planning processes, programming and project implementation,
and all levels of education;
- To create greater awareness and understanding among stakeholders and build their capacities
to institutionalize sustainable development principles and concerns in their decision-making
- To encourage the use of multi-media approaches in the documentation and communication of
successful, innovative and indigenous sustainable development strategies and measures;
- To mobilize multisectoral support for and participation in sustainable development initiatives.
3.2.3 Communication Strategies
- Social mobilization - total, active and sustained involvement and participation of all sectors of society to attain sustainable development covering approaches such as: interpersonal communication; use of influential or opinion leaders in the community; assembly meetings; formal and non-formal classes; traditional and folk media; and innovative and indigenous channels (e.g. contests, community film or video showing, etc.).
- Advocacy - creating an enabling environment through the conduct of policy studies, policy fora, lobbying, ecological labeling, and exchange visits-cum-seminars; and a sensitivity to creative opportunities in social mobilization and advocacy (e.g. crisis situations, visits by "Very Important Persons" to programs/project sites, informal and social gatherings).
- Social marketing - providing a support strategy for social mobilization using traditional modes of communication involving mass media.
- Networking - utilizing information technology to effectively reach the intended audiences/sectors through institutional linkages and electronic means.
- Visioning - inculcating shared values, beliefs and practices on sustainable development through role modeling, values clarification, and environmental scanning.
3.2.4 Audience and Messages
The development of strategic messages require a recognition of the unique requirements
of the following key audiences.
Key Audiences (Stakeholders)
Policy makers in the legislative branch (senators and representatives) and the executive
branch (cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries, directors) - Consciousness/awareness raising
on basic sustainable development concerns.
Local Government Units - Awareness raising for Local Government Executives and
upgrading of technical capabilities for LGU personnel.
Media (broadcast, print, film) and Advertising - Highlighting the role of media in shaping
public perceptions in an age of rapid communications and technology development.
Business and Industry - Understanding economic-environment linkages to resolve
the "profit vs. environment" misconception.
Educators - Incorporating SD concerns in curriculum development, teaching, training
and instructional materials design and development at all levels of education.
Youth - Harnessing their interests and distinct capacities to move sustainable
Communities Across Ecosystems (urban, upland and coastal) - Educating the
concerned communities, with specific focus on the peculiar characteristics of the ecosystems.
Indigenous Communities - Strengthening traditional practices.
Women - Highlighting the role of women in sustainable development.
Religious/Church Sector - Advocating values and lifestyles for SD.
- Sustainable development is a matter of survival.
- The only true development is sustainable development.
- The pursuit of development must be balanced with the protection of the environment.
- Sustainable development recognizes your efforts over the constituents in your district.
- It is for the interest of the local governments to support sustainable development programs.
- Avoiding pollution is not necessarily avoiding profit.
- Pollution does not pay; Managing pollution pays.
- Pollution kills business too ( not just humans ).
- Environmental protection is a corporate responsibility.
- Sustainable development is profitable for business and industry.
- Sustainable development begins and ends with you.
- Sustainable development will secure your future.
- Stop loading our waters with wastes.
- Trash is cash when it is managed.
- The pursuit of development must recognize the rights to self-determination of indigenous communities.
- Women have key roles to play in sustainable development.
- The church plays a major role in sustainable development advocacy.
3.2.5 The Implementation Scheme
The efficient implementation of the IEC Plan for Sustainable Development will depend
- the availability of resources, particularly financial, from the PCSD and other sources;
- a recognition of the PCSD as a coordinating and networking body; and
- on the active participation of member-institutions and the general public.
Planning, monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken by the PCSD particularly the
Sub-Committee on Information and Education, but implementation must be done by the respective
government, civil society and business partners.
3.2.6 Priority Agenda for Action
- Materials development for the popularization of Philippine Agenda 21;
- Scanning of related IEC initiatives to produce a compendium;
- Establishing linkages with other IEC providers involved in sustainable development;
- Conduct of awareness-raising program for national and local government executives;
- Provision of technical assistance to local government units in the formulation of their respective local Agenda 21;
- Setting up of a speakers bureau for Philippine Agenda 21 and sustainable development;
- Creation of a clearing house of information/communications to improve data access to sustainable development;
- Conduct of a needs assessment survey to determine hardware requirements of the IEC plan; and
- Integration of environment and sustainable development in various curricula.
3.3 FINANCING MEANS AND STRATEGIES
A mixture of market-based instruments and command-and-control measures should be
adopted to set into motion financial flows that would help achieve the goals of Philippine Agenda
21 (PA 21). The strategy aims not only to mobilize funds to support PA 21 activities, but more
importantly, it aims to help induce changes in production and consumption behavior in favor of
sustainable management of the earth's resources.
are incentives for companies to increase
environmental investments. These can take the form of user charges and pollution charges that
will make the costing of production inputs account for negative environmental impact. The proper
pricing of goods, in turn, creates profit incentives for investing in technology that uses less of the
scarce or depleting resources and eliminates wasteful consumption of goods that have high
are various ways that the State forces
compliance with environmental laws. They accompany the regulatory function of a government unit,
especially for localities where environmental conditions are seriously degraded or under threat of
degradation. It is an important financing strategy for sustainable development since it induces
companies to invest in environmental technology for purposes of compliance and it can also
generate funds from fines and penalties that can go into an environmental fund for PA 21
PA 21 financing strategies should be premised on the principle that sustainable
development generates sustainable financing. Having funds for PA 21 activities is a most
desirable outcome of financing strategies. The right mix of financing strategies can also generate
non-financial outcomes that are just as important for PA 21 purposes--i.e. government agencies
performing more effectively their regulatory functions and the economic sectors internalizing the
costs of sustainable use of environmental resources.
Financing is part and parcel of one's basic responsibility for PA 21 activities and
investments. The following section suggests financing options in accordance with the nature of
PA 21 activities and the institutions responsible for them.
1. Local Government Units
LGUs are considered as having the greatest potential for using PA 21 financing
strategies for improving their regulatory functions and for funds mobilization for local
environmental management. To set the stage for the application of the strategy, LGUs need to
have developed and adopted local integrated area management plans that can define the desired
expansion of economic sectors in accordance with the environmental conditions that the local
community wants to achieve or maintain. Such plans can be organized by LGU jurisdiction or by
ecological zone such as a watershed, metropolitan area or a river basin. Such plans can also be
based on the land use plans and their local development plans. The important thing is that the
area management plans constitute a consensus that is solid enough to form the most important
basis for the regulation of business activity by the LGU.
Financing needs of the LGUs are indicated by the requirements of an effective
regulatory mechanism. Normally, such investments should be provided in the LGU operating
budget which should ideally be coming from those who are accessing environmental resources
(through user charges) and those who enjoy improved environmental conditions (through real
property taxes). Extra-budgetary flows under the administration of a local LGU-PO-NGO Council
for Sustainable Development can be made possible by the setting up of a local environment fund
which can receive proceeds from pollution charges and environmental guarantee funds. In some
economically depressed areas, national government may have to provide temporary subsidies for
LGUs that have urgent need to establish regulatory systems.
LGUs are also known to engage in economic activities themselves which may and do
include site-specific, sustainable development activities. For environmental enterprises such as
sanitary landfill and wastewater treatment facilities, LGU credit windows that are being operated
by Land Bank, the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Philippine National Bank can be
In the area of protection of natural habitats, the role of government is called for as
such investments cannot be supported by the beneficiary community (and perhaps not even by
the local government, in which case national government intervention is needed). PA 21 should
advocate community-based resource management schemes that provide for alternative sustainable
livelihoods along with effective incentives for resource protection or conservation. Presently, such
schemes get a lot of technical and financial support form ODA sources.
The role that local governments can play in enforcement of environmental standards--
and corrollarily in financing of PA 21--hinges on the full devolution of environmental management.
Capacity building of LGUs is also a concern given the uneven resources of LGUs and technical
competence for the administration of environmental protection. These needs can be given
consideration in the ongoing review of the Local Government Code which is being spearheaded
by the DILG. As an interim measure, DENR can provide the resources needed to address LGU
gaps through ODA resources at its disposal or through its internal stock of resources for
2. National Government
The role of national government is in (a) the development of national standards of
environmental quality, (b) legal and legislative arrangements for assignment of property rights,
(c) information and educational campaigns, and (d) capacity building of LGUs, where needed.
These activities are deemed regular activities of central line agencies such as the DENR and,
as such, have to be provided the needed resources through the agency budget.
In activities where there is a large deficiency in the DENR's technical capacity to
perform said functions of national government, funding needs can be "projectized" and lined up
for ODA requests or local funding under the national budget. Presently, research activities leading
to more appropriate environmental standards and simplified monitoring systems are high in the
investment programming priorities.
Information, education and communication (IEC) programs are likewise important in
orienting the public towards an environmentally friendly way of living, as well as production and
consumption patterns and practices. Disseminating ideas, experiences and technologies is critical
to the adherence of economic sectors to sustainable development principles and practices. IEC
initiatives become particularly helpful for LGU regulatory functions and for empowering
communities to take an active role in environmental management and protection.
There is also a need to initiate funding strategies for ensuring the continuity of
activities undertaken by the PCSD. A national level environment fund under the administration
of a multisectoral body (such as the PCSD) so designated or authorized by a legal instrument
can be explored. It can be designed as an extra-budgetary fund that can be sourced from
endowments from philantrophic organizations and maybe from a small share of pollution fines
and penalties collected by regulatory agencies and LGUs. A joint facility may realize the potentials
of collaborative private (featuring transparency and efficiency) and public ( wide coverage and
legal basis) resource mobilization.
Inasmuch as national government administers investment incentives, PA 21 may be
considered for inclusion in the Investment Priorities Plan in order that investments in environment-
friendly equipment may be made eligible for fiscal incentives such as relaxation of import duties.
This may require the establishment of a "clean-and-safe-technology accreditation system"
spearheaded by the academe and/or research institutions (S&T Sector).
3. Economic Sectors
Proponents of public and private investment ventures are primarily responsible for
making the needed investments for environmental rehabilitation and/or mitigation in compliance
with environmental standards. Incorporating such investments in a public sector project can be
automatically ensured through government's project appraisal procedures. In the private sector,
compliance is deemed to be a function of available business incentives for making such
investments in environmental technologies.
Financing of PA 21 will have to rely heavily on the economic sector's ability and
willingness to incorporate sustainable development principles in the design of their production
systems. Market-based instruments working in tandem with the application of good and realistic
environmental standards through credible enforcement of regulations and sanctions could
encourage companies to make needed investments in abatement equipment. Credit resources
for such investments are coming up as the financial sector realizes the mandatory nature of
compliance and the business risk associated with non-compliance by their client companies.
The DBP leads other financial institutions in this regard with the recent opening of its
Environmental Infrastructure Support
Program which is exclusively dedicated to the financing needs of specific industries for
Mechanisms for mobilizing funds fiom the private sector to go to a local or national
environment fund have been discussed in earlier sections. Companies that support philantrophic
activities can be tapped by PA 21 to channel an increasing share for sustainable development
initiatives under such an environment fund. Pollution charges and other forms of fines and
penalties can be collected from the economic sectors but should avoid a situation where such
payments are set so low that they turn into a license to pollute some more. The economic sectors
are also expected to carry most of the financial burden for environmental guarantee funds which
are part of conditions for obtaining an environmental clearance from government and from the
host community. With pooled resources from any or all of these mechanisms, resources can be
made available for environmental monitoring and compensation of environmental damage as
well as for productive investments, e.g. retrofitting industries with clean and safe
3.4 TOWARDS A LOCAL ACTION AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
A participatory approach, involving various multi- stakeholders at the national and local
levels, was adopted in the formulation of the Philippine Agenda (PA) 21. Consultations were held
at the regional level to identify issues and develop strategies and action agenda towards
sustainable development. These consultations, which involved government, civil society and
other major groups, strengthened the foundation for the operationalization of the national action
agenda for sustainable development.
This section contains the regional action agenda for each region; and the
emerging mechanism for localizing Agenda 21.
3.4.1 Proposed Regional Action Agenda
While the consultation process in the region focused mainly on the national action agenda,
participants also embarked on the formulation of their respective regional action agenda. This not
only speaks of their commitment to make the national action agenda an operational reality, but
more importantly, in ensuring that sustainable development takes root in their respective localities.
The regional action agenda contained in the matrices that will follow articulates the emerging
issues and concerns in the various regions and can serve as a first step in translating further the
national action agenda into local action agenda for each region, province, city, and municipality.
These are by no means a complete and comprehensive action agenda for each region. It is,
however, a first attempt towards localizing PA 21 and can serve as a basis in firming up a more
thorough and comprehensive "Local Agenda 21" in the near future.
Mechanism for Localizing the PA 21
The process of localizing the PA 21 is a vital element in mainstreaming the action agenda
at the local level. In principle, localization shall seek to emulate the following key concepts that
were adopted in the formulation of the PA 21, namely: integration, multi-stakeholdership and
consensus building, and operationalization. It will also respect distinct capacities and needs of
In the process of localizing, there is a need for a structure that will
provide the mechanism for ensuring coordination and cooperation among the various actors. The
specific kind of structure that will be adopted shall, however, be left to the local levels. At best,
two possible options were identified, as follows:
1) tap existing structures at the local level such as the Regional Development Council at
the regional level, the Provincial Development Council at the provincial level, and the Municipal
Development Council at the municipal level. Other structural mechanisms already in place in the
province, city, municipal, and barangay level can also be utilized as potential instruments in
executing the various localized courses of action; and
2) create a separate structure which is a mirror-image of the PCSD. For this purpose,
existing regional councils for sustainable development and local councils for sustainable
development such as the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and Davao Council
for Sustainable Development can be used as models.
The local structure for PA 21 implementation could have the
following major tasks, among others:
a. Integration of SD concerns in the
formulation of the
Master Development Plan
The principal task of the local "council" is the formulation of specific local courses of
action using sustainable development as the reference framework. This requires building up the
capabilities of communities to enable them to translate the sustainable development agenda into
specific programs and projects, in line with the strategies espoused in the PA 21 document. A
series of reviews may be undertaken to firm up the list of actionable measures.
b. Resource Mobilization
Implementation of the SD strategy calls for a mechanism that will hasten the flow of
financial resources to support activities at the local levels, particularly those that have less
access to the financial system. In this respect, the "council" may explore innovative and potent
financing mechanisms that will directly benefit the local stakeholders. The "council" could also
venture into attracting private capital to invest in enterprises which incorporate SD.
c. Capability Building
The success of implementing the various action agenda substantially lies on the capability
of the local actors to undertake and monitor their respective programs and projects. The local
"council" should promote the provision of financial and technical assistance in areas such as
community-based resource management, integrated area/island development planning, among
others. In addition, training should be provided to strengthen the capability of the local people
on the use of Geographic Information System, Environmental Impact Assessment, and others as
planning tools in the decision-making process. Equally important is the need for the communities
to slowly develop capacities that will facilitate the evolution of PA 21 in their values, tradition and
d. Information, Education and Communication
The first logical step to take in the process of localization is to inform and educate the
public on the PA 21. This entails the following: a) translating the PA 21 into the local dialects;
b) formulation and implementation of a communication plan; and c) improved information and
communication systems and networking at the local levels to forge collaboration among sectors
and to share successes/breakthroughs.
e. Monitoring/Evaluation and Reporting
A large responsibility for following up on the Rio commitments rests with the capability of
the local "councils" to monitor and report developments to the PCSD. This calls for the installation
of an appropriate machinery at the local levels. The monitoring and reporting activities involve the
provision and use of information that will enable the PCSD to assess progress and to take timely
decisions to ensure progress. Effective monitoring and early reporting will aid the PCSD in
submitting progress reports to the UN and other appropriate bodies. Monitoring should also take
into account an assessment of the implementation of existing legal instruments at the national and
local levels and the formulation and enactment of new laws, as necessary.
f. Linkaging and Networking
Linkages with the international, national and local prime movers of SD need to be forged
and harnessed to establish cooperation among partners. This will promote sharing of resources,
information and technologies, among others, to build an enabling environment for SD.
3.5 MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
To effectively assess the implementation of Philippine Agenda 21, a comprehensive
monitoring, evaluation and reporting system needs to be established to guide all stakeholders to
meaningfully participate in the process of operationalizing sustainable development. Such a
system will also help institute broad-based accountabilities and responsibility for sustainable
development among members of society.
This system may include the following elements:
- A system to coordinate and evaluate the extent to which the Philippine Agenda 21 has been
adopted and implemented by all stakeholders.
- A system to coordinate, support and enhance existing national and local multisectoral as well
as sectoral monitoring, evaluation and information exchange on the implementation of initiatives
related to Philippine Agenda 21.
- A system that is able to identify, among others:
||Policies, plans, programs and institutional structures and processes that have
been rectified, enhanced and/or developed based on Philippine Agenda 21;
||Institutional and programmatic issues related to the adoption of the Agenda,
corresponding resolutions passed as well as processes/mechanisms undertaken to resolve such
||Capacity and capability building initiatives, including localization and institutional
development programmes, undertaken to facilitate adoption and implementation of the Agenda.
- A system for reporting, feedbacking and utilizing the monitoring and evaluation results on
PA21 for international, national and local stakeholder communities, to include the following:
||National and local coordinating strategies, mechanisms and tools/instruments
(including a comprehensive set of sustainable development indicators and the development of a
sustainable development database) for reporting the monitoring and evaluation results;
||National and local feedback schemes for information on actions emanating or
resulting from the use of such reports; and
||Information dissemination support plan for mass consumption of monitoring and
evaluation results through multi-media schemes.