Rio in Retrospect:
THE PHILIPPINES AND GLOBAL AGENDA 21
1992 - 1996

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
       The Enabling Mechanisms
       Agenda for Action and Areas for Cooperation

INTRODUCTION

SOCIO-ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT, 1992-1996

COUNTRY INITIATIVES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21

      Dimensions of Sustainable Development
    • Social and Economic
      • Combating Poverty
      • Demoqraphic Dynamics and Sustainability
      • Protecting and Promotinq Human Health
    • Health
    • Nutrition
    • Population and Development
      • Sustainable Human Settlements
      • Sustainable Energy Production and Utilization
      • Inteqration of Environment in Socio-Economic Planninq and Decision-Makinq
    • Conservation and Management of Resources for Sustainable Development
      • Protecting the Atmosphere
      • Conservation and Protection of Biodiversity
      • Combatinq Deforestation
      • Sustainable Land Management
      • Protecting and Managing the Oceans
      • Protecting and Managing the Freshwater Resources
      • Handlinq Toxic and Hazardous Wastes
    • Strengthening the Role of Major Groups
      • Means of Implementation
        Institutional Mechanism

        Formulation of the Philippine Agenda 21
        Financing Arrangements
    • Assessment of Overall Performance

Best Practices

  • CRITERIA FOR THE SELECTION OF BEST SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES
  Review of Global Commitments on Financing Sustainable Development Initiatives
  • AGENDA FOR THE FUTURE

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Rio in Retrospect:
THE PHILIPPINES AND GLOBAL AGENDA 21
1992 - 1996
 

FOREWORD

 

In response to the commitments made by the Philippines in the 1992 Earth Summit, the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) was created on September 1, 1992 through Executive Order No. 15. The creation of the PCSD marked the beginning of the country's systematic pursuit of these national commitments. The PCSD also stands as among the first mechanisms in the world created for the purpose of following-up national commitments to the global Agenda 21.

Almost five years after it was established, the PCSD takes stock of the country's initiatives towards sustainable development through this assessment report. This report notes what have been done and remain to be done with regard to Philippine commitments in the UNCED as well as the national consensus built around the Philippine Agenda (PA)21.

PA 21 serves as the current national action agenda for sustainable development for the 21st century. It was adopted on 26 September 1996, with the issuance of Memorandum Order No. 399 by President Fidel V. Ramos which identified the roles of the PCSD and each sector in the operationalization of PA 21. The action agenda is based on the imperatives of the current national situation and emerging landscape for sustainable development. Sustainable development practices already flourishing in the country and some recommendations for future action are also included in this report.

This assessment report was prepared by the PCSD for the Rio + 5 Forum and UNCSD V. It is for sharing and learning, and the PSCD hopes that the mutuality in ends among the participants in these for a will transform this report into a dynamic framework document that will guide future cooperation towards the realization of Agenda 21. The PCSD also hopes that through this report, the Philippines will be able to contribute to the enrichment of the theory and practice of sustainable development at the global level.

Cielito F. Habito
Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning, and
Chairman, Philippine council for Sustainable Development

 

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

          The country has made significant strides in fulfilling its commitments to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Within three months after the UNCED, His Excellency President Fidel V. Ramos took crucial steps to concretize the country's commitment to sustainable development. The Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) was created by virtue of Executive Order (EO) No. 15 dated Sept. 15, 1992 in order to chart environment and sustainable development (SD) initiatives in the country. The PCSD is one of the few government bodies that have adopted the principles of counterparting and consensus-building in their structure. It institutionalized the participation of members of the civil society as counterparts of government representatives. On the occasion of the fourth year anniversary of the Council on Sept. 26 1996, the President issued EO 370 further strengthening the PCSD with fresh mandates and an expanded membership which now includes business and labor sector representatives. Through the leadership of the PCSD, the Philippines has been able to undertake more concrete steps in pursuit of the global vision for SD. Foremost among these is the formulation of Philippine Agenda 21 (PA 21 ) as the country's blueprint for sustainable development. Its launching on Sept. 26, 1996 marked a significant milestone for the PCSD, highlighted by the signing of a Peoples' Covenant Towards a Transition to Sustainable Development by all stakeholders. PA 21 "envisions a better quality of life for all Filipinos through the development of a just, moral, creative, spiritual, economically vibrant, caring, diverse yet cohesive society characterized by appropriate productivity, participatory and democratic processes, and living in harmony and within the limits of the carrying capacity of nature and the integrity of creation." The formulation of the PA 21 followed a distinct process characterized by multistakeholder cc Interparting, participatory decision-making and consensus-building between government and civil society. Thus, the PA 21 echoes the voice of the people in the depth of its substance, in the comprehensiveness of its vision, and in the set of principles it advocates to guide the nation towards a sustainable path into the future.

The Enabling Mechanisms

          The Philippines has implemented and supported initiatives for sustainable development by putting in place enabling mechanisms. These include the ratification of international conventions, rule-making and legislation, formulation of policies, and implementation of programs and projects that advance sustainable development.  In adhering to international agreements, the Philippines committed to formulate national policies that carry out international conventions and protocols. In response to the call for biodiversity conservation and in support of bioprospecting activities, the President signed EO 247 in 1995, "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 Purpose."  This sought to regulate the prospecting of biological and genetic resources to ensure their development and sustainable use for the national interest and benefit.  The Philippine Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation was also prepared and approved by the President on April 25, 1996. Its formulation manifests the country's commitment to the preservation of wild species and genetic diversity as a means to attain the goal of biological resources sustainability.  It likewise affirms the country's support for the Convention on Biodiversity of the UNCED.  To provide for an integrated management and sustainable development approach for the country's entire protected areas, Republic Act 7586 otherwise known as the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act was enacted.  It resulted in the identification of 18 integrated protected areas being managed by indigenous peoples and communities.  Pursuant to the country's ratification of the Montreal Protocol on March 21, 1991, which recognized the need to protect the ozone layer and address the broad issue of global warming and climate change, importation/use of equipment containing or utilizing ozone depleting substances (ODS) was banned.  Moreover, as a signatory to the Basel Convention, the Philippines continued to monitor the implementation of Republic Act 6969 or the Toxic and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.  This law bans the importation, storage or transport of toxic or nuclear wastes into or through the Philippines. On the need to regulate the movement of toxic and hazardous wastes from industrialized to developing countries, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued Administrative Order No. 28 which provides interim guidelines for the importation of recyclable materials containing hazardous substances.  In January 1996, the President signed EO 291 entitled "Improving the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System."  This system, established in 1978, aimed to facilitate and maintain a rational and orderly balance between socioeconomic growth and environmental protection in the implementation of programs and projects in the country.  The EO seeks to integrate the EIS system early into the project development cycle to promote its ultimate function as a planning tool for sustainable development and environmental planning and conservation.  It also encourages the establishment of environmental units (EUs) in all implementing agencies of government, including government-owned and controlled corporations and government financial institutions, particularly those whose mandates include the introduction of physical plants and infrastructure.  In line with the country's policy to ensure equitable access to, and sustainable development of forest resources, the President signed EO 263 in 1995 entitled "Adopting Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) as the National Strategy to Ensure the Sustainable Development of the Country's Forestland Resources and Providing Mechanisms for its Implementation."  The CBFM is anchored on responsible resource utilization by organized and empowered local communities to attain efficient and sustained management of the forest resources.  Accomplishments in the area of policy, plan and program development include the following:

  1. the adoption and implementation of an integrated and comprehensive agenda for poverty eradication, underpinned by a commitment to social reform and the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources;
  2. the development of a program on population within a Population Resources Environment framework;
  3. the development of a comprehensive action plan on sustainable human settlements;
  4. the development of resource accounts in the fishery, forestry, and mineral sectors, and an operational framework for a Philippine system of economic and environmental accounts;
  5. the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive master plan for forestry development; and
  6. the adoption of a National Marine Policy.

These policies, plans, and programs are in various stages of implementation. Overall, the development of policies, plans, and programs relating to sustainable development has seen a shift in the development framework toward a more people-focused and ecosystem-based strategy, consistent with the PA 21 framework.

Agenda for Action and Areas for Cooperation

          Philippine Agenda 21 lays out the priority activities intended to address sustainable development issues and other emerging concerns. Among these activities include: 1) development of a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and reporting system to assess the level of integration of PA 21 elements and guide all stakeholders to meaningfully participate in the process of operationalizing sustainable development; 2) the localization of the PA 21 which will mainstream sustainable development concerns into local planning and implementation of programs and projects; and 3) the translation of PA 21 into local dialects, as well as the formulation and implementation of a communication plan through improved information and communication systems and networking in order to hasten the people's acceptance and internalization of PA 21 principles.

          These activities call for the mobilization of ample resources to finance the implementation of the PA 21 and the country's commitment to the Global Agenda 21. This will require a political will to formulate and implement innovative approaches to finance SD initiatives. As additional official development assistance (ODA) to the Philippines will be difficult to achieve in the future, as reflected by the decreasing level of ODA commitments, there will be increased reliance on regional and international cooperation in resource sharing and mobilization and technology transfer.

 

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INTRODUCTION

 
          As the country stands witness to the unprecedented growth and change in the Asian region, the preservation of the environment and pursuit of sustainable development (SD) remain the primary guiding principles in the country's development agenda. With greater zeal and enthusiasm, the country continues to push for the advancement of its commitments made five years ago during the Earth Summit. Under the stewardship of the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), which has been tasked with the responsibility of monitoring commitments to UNCED, critical responses to SD challenges continue to be addressed. Strengthened and inspired by the strategic partnership and alliance with the civil society, the PCSD remains confident that emerging SD concerns can be squarely confronted. Philippine initiatives towards SD began even before the UNCED. The Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development (PSSD), which was initiated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 1987, guided the earlier initiatives particularly on the part of the Philippine government. In November 1989, the Philippine Cabinet approved the conceptual framework of the PSSD and directed all pertinent agencies to review their programs and projects for consistency with the PSSD framework.

          The strategies in the PSSD were formally integrated into the 1993-98 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP). This is in response to the strong clamor for the conservation of the country's ecological balance and in line with the country's pursuit of a truly broad-based development. Today, PA 21 guides the country's initiatives towards sustainable development. The process of drafting and finalizing the PA 21 paralleled the multistakeholder character and consensual approach employed by the PCSD in decision-making. Regional, sectoral, and national consultations involving government, non-government organizations (NGOs), people's organization (POs), and the business and labor sectors were facilitated by the PCSD for the formulation of PA 21. PA 21 is a consensus response by Philippine society to the following four questions:

  • What is sustainable development?
  • What is the situation with respect to sustainable development?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • How do we get there?

          PA 21 represents the Philippine national will to pursue a development approach that: 1) implies the balance of growth, equity, and ecological integrity; 2) requires the operationalization of SD parameters; and 3) is both people-oriented and ecosystem-based.  Its vision of sustainable development is not just about a quality of life, but a certain quality of living that is based on the following core values and principles:

Primacy of developing full human potential. People are at the core of development initiatives;

Holistic science and appropriate technology;

Cultural, moral and spiritual sensitivity. Nurturing the inherent strengths of local and indigenous knowledge, practices and beliefs while respecting the cultural diversity, moral norms and spiritual essence of Filipino society;

Self-determination. Respecting the right and relying on the inherent capacity of the country and of its peoples to decide on the course of their own development;

National sovereignty. Self-determination at the national level where the norms of society and the specifics of the local ecology inform national governance;

Gender sensitivity. Recognizing the important and complementary roles and the empowerment of both men and women in development;

Peace, order and national unity. Securing the right of all to a peaceful and secure existence;

Social justice, inter, intra-generational and spatial equity. Ensuring social cohesion and harmony through equitable distribution of resources and providing the various sectors of society with equal access to development opportunities and benefits today and in the future;

Participatory democracy. Ensuring the participation and empowerment of all sectors of society in development decision-making and processes and to operationalize intersectoral and multisectoral consensus;

  • Institutional viability. Recognizing that sustainable development is a shared, collective and indivisible responsibility which call for institutional structures that are built around the spirit of solidarity, convergence and partnership between and among different stakeholders;
  • Viable, sound and broad-based economic development. Development founded on a stable economy where the benefits of economic progress are equitably shared across ages, communities, gender, social classes, ethnicities, geographical units and across generations;
  • Sustainable population. Achieving a sustainable population level, structure and distribution while taking cognizance of the limited carrying capacity of nature and the interweaving forces of population, culture, resources, environment and development;
  • Ecological soundness. Recognizing nature as our common heritage and thus respecting the limited carrying capacity and integrity of nature in the development process to ensure the right of present and future generations to this heritage;
  • Biogeographical equity and community-based resource management; and
  • Global cooperation. Building upon and contributing to the diverse capacities of individual nations.

To attain this sweeping vision of sustainable development, PA 21 outlines an action agenda which emphasizes a scale of intervention that is primarily area-based, with people at the center of development, and ecosystems as a common ground for integrating the social, ecological, economic, and institutional dimensions of sustainable development. Concretely, this action agenda consists of program areas and strategies seeking to ensure the sustainable development of each ecosystem and across ecosystems within the next 30 years. The action agenda across ecosystems corresponds to the enabling socioeconomic environment for sustainable development.
   

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SOCIO-ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND
STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT, 1992-1996
   
          Philippines 2000 seeks a transformation of the Philippine economy from a largely agricultural to a newly industrializing one. Such transformation is sought to improve the quality of life of every Filipino. It recognizes, however, that economic growth and environmental conservation and protection should be pursued in an integrated manner. To realize the desired transformation in an environmentally sustainable manner, the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), 1993-98 lists the principle of sustainable development as espoused under the Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development (PSSD) which serves as the national program for environmental management. The MTPDP seeks sustained growth of output and employment, alleviation of poverty, and improvement in the distribution of income, with sustainable development underpinning all objectives. Philippines 2000, after over three years of implementation, has resulted in significant social and economic gains. These were made possible by the adoption and implementation of a structural policy reform program composed of two major components: short-run policies for macroeconomic stabilization; and long-run policies for broad-based growth and development. After reeling from a serious power crisis in 1993, the economy staged a recovery in 1994. This was sustained well into 1995 and further improved in 1996. The growth of Gross National Product (GNP), adjusted for inflation, grew from 2.6 percent in 1993 to 5.5 percent in 1995 and 6.8 percent in 1996. The economic policy reform program was carried out through increased reliance on the coordinative ability of markets guided by a price system. Several public enterprises, including the Philippine National Bank and Petron, were privatized. Many industries such as oil, telecommunications and inter-island shipping were deregulated. The private sector was encouraged to participate more actively in the provision of infrastructure through the passage of the Build-Operate Transfer (BOT) Law. The trade liberalization and tariff reduction program resulted in the growth of exports, averaging on an annual basis 21.27 percent during the period 1993-1995. To further boost exports, many international and regional trade agreements were forged. The Philippine Senate ratified accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Philippines also was a big player in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The economic improvements were manifested in the rise in per capita incomes, decline in poverty incidence, and in the capacity of the government to provide public goods and services, among other indicators. The US$1,000 target in per capita income was reached in 1995, three years ahead of schedule. Moreover, poverty incidence fell from about 40 percent in 1991 to nearly 36 percent in 1994. The target is to bring it further down to 30 percent by 1998. Improved access to and enhanced quality of basic education received high priority. Basic literacy rose from 93.5 percent in 1990 to 95.0 percent in 1995, while functional literacy remarkably improved from 75.6 percent in 1989 to 83.8 percent in 1995. This places the Philippines among the countries in the world with a very high literacy achievement. Basic health and nutrition initiatives have further lifted the life expectancy from 64.6 years in 1990 to 66.1 years in 1995.  Structural policy reforms were complemented by measures towards protection and management of the environment, and sustainable use of natural resources. Conservation of biological diversity, for instance, has become a focal point for environmental conservation efforts with the establishment of National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS). Nonetheless, there is evidence that environmental quality is fast deteriorating, as dramatized by the increased occurrence of environmental disasters.  Air and water quality problems have persisted alongside mounting pollution problems. The productivity of agriculture is, likewise, threatened by land degradation and conversion problems.  Forest resources are steadily shrinking.  The integrity of marine and coastal resources is also compromised by population pressure, pollution from industrial and agricultural sources, destructive fishing techniques and unregulated tourism activities, among other environmentally unsustainable practices.  This situation calls for more vigilant efforts to promote the integration of ecological, technological, sociocultural, political and economic concerns to mitigate as well as avert further environmental damages and attain further economic development.  Efforts to address this concern for environment-economy integration are elaborated in the succeeding sections.
  

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COUNTRY INITIATIVES IN THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21
 

          This section consists of three parts. The first part reviews accomplishments vis-a-vis commitments to the Global Agenda 21 along its four major areas of concern, namely: social and economic dimensions, conservation and management of resources for development, strengthening the role of major groups, and means of implementation. It also presents other SD- related accomplishments not necessarily falling under the country's commitments to Agenda 21. The second part presents some of the best SD practices in the country which were chosen following a defined set of criteria. Philippine assessment of global initiatives on financing SD is contained in the third part.

A.   Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Social and Economic

Combating Poverty.  The Philippines launched the Reform Agenda (SRA) on June 4, 1995 to enable people to have access to opportunities for undertaking sustainable livelihoods espoused under the agenda for change. The SRA is an integrated set of major reforms to enable the citizens to: 1) meet their basic human needs and live decent lives; 2) widen their share of resources from which they can earn a living or increase the fruits of their labor; and 3) enable them to effectively participate in the decision-making process that affects their rights, interests and their welfare. These reforms are perceived to enhance the democratic processes. The SRA is composed of social reform packages providing programs and services for the marginalized sectors of the society in the country's 20 poorest provinces. Two years into implementation, the SRA was enhanced with an ecosystem perspective, emphasizing four dimensions of poverty where reform can have the greatest impact:

  • On social equity, by providing the poorest of the poor with access to basic services for survival.
  • On economic prosperity, by ensuring that the basic sectors have access to productive assets that allow them to contribute to national growth.
  • On ecological security, by incorporating the parameters of sustainable development in the management and utilization of natural resources.
  • On responsible and responsive governance, by democratizing structures and processes to allow the meaningful participation of key stakeholders in policy and decision-making.

NINE FLAGSHIP PROGRAMS OF THE SRA

  1. Agricultural Development for the Farmers and Landless Rural Workers
  2. Fisheries Management and Development for the Fisherfolk
  3. Protection of Ancestral Domain for the Indigenous Peoples
  4. Workers Welfare and Protection
  5. Expansion of Credit
  6. Livelihood Programs
  7. Socialized Housing Delivery for the Poor
  8. Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services
  9. Institution Building and Effective Participation in Governance

          The enhancement of the SRA resulted in the sharper definition of the social equity, economic, ecological, and democratizing components of the various flagship programs. It also led to the integration of nine flagship programs having impact on all target sectors and ecosystems. This placed the country's anti-poverty initiatives within the framework of PA 21. The enhanced SRA was adopted in the National Anti-Poverty summit in March 1996 as the Integrated National Action Agenda on Anti-Poverty.

          The National Anti-Poverty Summit drew up poverty reduction targets at the regional level to achieve a national target of 30 percent by 1998. It also resolved to expand the coverage of the SRA from an initial concentration on 20 priority provinces to an additional 57 provinces and 65 cities.

          As of June 1996, majority of the 20 priority provinces have localized the SRA at the municipal and barangay (village) levels. This means that:

  1. the SRA has been adopted to local needs and priorities and is being implemented with clear poverty reduction targets and basic reform commitments;
  2. the Minimum Basic Needs approach has been installed and its data profiles form the basis for local situation analysis, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of local poverty issues and response mechanisms;
  3. the programs and resources of the national government agencies (NGAs) and the local government units (LGUs) have been synchronized for specific target areas and sectors in line with the convergence policy;
  4. local structures have been set up and are functional with clearly defined roles and accountabilities; and
  5. the system and process for monitoring the delivery of national and local SRA commitments on the ground are in place.

Demoqraphic Dynamics and Sustainability. To develop and disseminate knowledge on demographic trends and factors for sustainable development, the Philippine government prepared framework papers for local and sectoral planning. The Commission on Population (POPCOM), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) spearheaded a comprehensive population review, setting into motion activities that will provide an appropriate population policy climate for sustainable development. The Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) was likewise implemented in 1993 to serve as the government's program for maintaining a healthy balance between and among populations and resources. This program also serves as an instrument in ensuring the integration of environmental concerns into sustainable development and improving the welfare of all Filipino families. Under the PPMP, several research activities were conducted on the factors affecting demographic trends specifically on fertility, mortality, migration, and poverty. Poverty-related researches were primarily intended to improve the methodologies, tools and techniques for poverty and income distribution analysis. Research outputs include, among others, the Income Distribution Modeling, multidimensional approach to the measurement of poverty line and incidence, and methodologies for an integrated analysis of past and existing policies and programs directed at poverty alleviation and improving income distribution. Policy initiatives have been consistently supported by advocacy activities. In line with this, a significant accomplishment of the PPMP is the development of a heightened awareness among development planners, legislators, and government executives on the need to integrate the population perspective into development activities. Particularly instrumental in this was the holding of the Gathering for Human and Ecological Security (GHES) in June 1995. The GHES adopted a national policy agenda and local action plans for the integrated pursuit of population, environment, and peace. To implement the local plans, the President issued a policy directive to the LGUs to allocate 20 percent of their Internal Revenue Allocation to HES.

          A number of special/innovative projects that tested approaches and provided opportunities for marginalized groups like women, youth, elderly, low income groups to participate in planning, implementation and management of projects have also been pursued.  Among these are the Community Mobilization for Population project activities implemented in Regions 5, 10, the Cordillera Autonomous Region, and the National Capital Region.  A 10-year investment plan was formulated to cover the current priority programs of the government on protecting and promoting human health. These programs include early Child Survival and Development, Women's Health and Safe Motherhood and Family Planning/Reproductive Health, among others.  Studies on the state of poverty and inequity in the Philippines were also undertaken.  These include, among others, an overview of the state of poverty in the country and a household survey of the lowest income groups in the Philippines. Software packages for the application of improved methods for the analysis of poverty and income distribution issues in the country were also developed.

Protecting and Promotinq Human Health. Physical and social empowerment were promoted in the inter-related subsectors of health, nutrition, and population development. Towards this end, interventions have been achieved through program expansion, greater outreach to clientele, more emphasis on preventive measures, and advocacy.
  

Health

          Accomplishments in basic health services, disease prevention and health promotion were among the quantitative gains of the principal programs and projects, most which have been started in previous years.  These include: Expanded Program on Immunization; Maternal Care and Breast Feeding Program; Prevention of Blindness Program; Environmental Health Service; National Rabies Control Program; National TB Control Program; National AIDS-STD Prevention and Control Program; Malaria Control Service; Hospital Services; National Dengue Prevention and Control Program; National Filariasis Control Program; and Leprosy Elimination and Special Action Project.  The year 1996 saw the completion and approval of the National Health Plan, 1995-2000.  This plan is the country's perspective plan for health which provides the general directions and broad strategies for an effective and efficient health delivery system.  Initiatives to assess and manage hazards and risks brought about by environmental changes that impact on health were undertaken.  These include, among others, the creation of an Interagency Committee on Environmental Health, establishment of the Environmental Health Impact Assessment Division in the health department, and the launching of the People's Health Day to help indigent Filipinos avail of expensive surgical interventions and medical care.  An environmental health service was also created within the health department to formulate plans, programs, standards and techniques related to environmental health and sanitation.  It also provides consultative trainings and advisory services on environmental health to implementing agencies such as LGUs and other government agencies and conducts studies and researches related to environmental health.  A directional plan for the Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) program for 1997-2001 was developed, including the framework and guidelines for the integration of the EHIA into the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) system.   Also completed was the Philippine Environmental Health Assessment Study (PEHAS) which identified the following five exposure pathways of environmental risks: urban air pollution; water supply; pesticides, fertilizers, food and rural waterways; urban solid waste; and rural point source.  The PEHAS also identified five priority areas for the prevention or reduction of the impact of pollution on human health, namely: dust from industrial, transport, and household sources affecting respiratory diseases; lead exposure from transport and other sources affecting child development; contamination of drinking water and poor sanitation leading to diarrheal and skin diseases; pesticides exposure affecting the health of farmers and workers; and food contamination leading to diarrheal diseases.  Other notable accomplishments in the area of policy development during the year are the continued facilitation in the implementation of the Magna Carta for public health workers, capability building for devolved LGU health personnel, and the publication of the 1995 Field Health Information System statistics. Moreover, the government has formulated the implementing rules and regulations for RA 8203 "Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs" and issued the 1996 edition of the Philippine National Drug Policy. The latter aims to rationalize drug procurement, distribution and use. Some 1,000 schools and public places were provided sanitation facilities.  Sanitation manuals were developed for integration in the grade school curriculum.  The Water for Life Project, meanwhile, provided 300 water supply facilities to beneficiaries nationwide.  With respect to hospital waste management, 45 Department of Health (DOH)- retained hospitals/sanitaria and other provincial, district and private hospitals were monitored for adherence to the clinical/hospital waste management program.  Trainors' trainings were conducted for regional sanitary engineers, regional technical services chiefs, regional licensing officers, and hospital waste management program coordinators.

Nutrition

          The nutrition subsector accomplishments consist of quantitative and qualitative gains outreach and better program implementation in pursuit of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN). Accomplishments in this subsector counted on the inputs of concerned agencies like the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC). The government launched the Health Lifestyle and Health Diet Promotion (IWAS SAKIT DIET) project as a vigorous health promotion and disease prevention endeavor. A corollary effort at the national level which springs from PPAN implementation continued to focus on addressing micronutrient (Vitamin A, iodine, and iron) deficiency and protein-energy malnutrition. However, more activities were geared toward food fortification with the private sector playing a lead role. The DOH, in coordination with Helen Keller International, through its Child Growth Project focused on the establishment of weighing posts as a satellite of the barangay health stations. The weighing post also serves as a post for nutrition counselling depending on the observed change in the child's weight and weight status. At the local level, PPAN implementation involved the delivery of a mix of services along PPAN's impact program of Home and Community Food Production, Micronutrient Supplementation and Food Fortification, Nutrition Education, Credit Assistance for Livelihood, and Food Assistance. The mix of services delivered by LGUs was based on their assessment of the local nutrition situation as well as of the prevailing socio-economic-political environment. In the area of nutrition advocacy, the major accomplishment was the formulation of implementing rules and regulations of RA 8172 or the Act for Salt iodization Nationwide (ASIN) which was signed into law in 1995. As a result, more iodized salt was produced and marketed as salt iodization plants increased from 26 in 1995 to 36 in 1996.

Population and Development

          The population development subsector posted major gains in terms of the basic population services, advocacy measures, capability building, and working towards policy environments for the greater welfare of families, and more responsible parenthood of the Filipinos. The Family Planning Program was able to reach out to three million clients who are now practicing the family planning methods. Around 3,972 community volunteer health workers were trained on family planning and responsible parenthood. Moreover, 14,839 clinics (private and public) nationwide were provided with contraceptives. With regard to institutional capability building, the Population Commission (POPCOM), with the assistance of JICA, conducted an incountry training program on Gender and Development Towards Improvement of Women's Health and Family Welfare wherein individual action plans were formulated on mainstreaming gender into the various organizations and projects. Other capability building programs conducted in 1996 were: Training on Gender and Sensitivity and Reproductive Health; Seminar on the Program Awareness and Team building through Staff Development; Workshop/Writeshop on Local Population Planning; IEC Prototype Development Skills Training; Values Orientation Workshop for the RPO XI staff; Basic Demography Training for Technical Staff of RPO I, II, and VII; Interpersonal Communication Skills Training; and Monitoring and Evaluation Training. Various advocacy activities were undertaken in 1996 for the promotion of the population development program. Most notable of these is the 1996 LGU Award which gives national recognition and prominence to the outstanding province, city and municipality which contributed in a significant way in the promotion and implementation of local population management program activities in their respective localities. Other advocacy activities were conducted to get the support of various stakeholders such as the Senators, Congressmen, Regional Directors of DAR, media, church leaders, foreign guests, Sangguniang Kabataan (SKs), women leaders, volunteers, youth groups, other GOs/NGOs, and local government officials (LGUs) at the provincial city, municipal and barangay levels. These include

  1. orientation on the PPMP/PRE Balance;
  2. the conferring of the annual Salas Award:
  3. advocacy programs through radio programs, such as "Pag-uugnay:" Tao at Mundo" and "Kamalayan"; and
  4. commemoration of POPCOM's anniversary.

In terms of policy advocacy and planning, the work towards the early passage of Population bills (popbills) was done through the publication of information materials on the popbills, and holding of consultative meetings with legislators and other stakeholders. Meanwhile, the Philippine Population Management Program Advocacy Plan, an interagency undertaking, was formulated on 1996 to guide POPCOM in its role as the lead advocacy agency for population and development. Furthermore, the POPCOM prepared the Regional Population Program Plan for CY 1996- 1998. Planning Workshops with partner agencies and population structures in the LGUs were conducted to formulate/discuss the plan. In the same vein, a convergence group was convened by POPCOM and DILG to discuss possible efforts to integrate the concepts/framework of Human Ecological Security (HES), Social Reform Agenda (SRA), and Philippine Agenda 21.

Sustainable Human Settlements

          The Philippines promoted the development of sustainable human settlements primarily through the operationalization of the Global Strategy for Shelter, and more specifically, through the following initiatives:
  1. preparation of a revised national plan of action for 1994-1995;
  2. enhancing the roles of government, private sector, scientific community, and other NGOs;
  3. focusing on shelter-related issues, including urban management, energy, transport, poverty alleviation, health and the environment;
  4. expanding the role of women in shelter policies;
  5. establishing a national database on shelter and services;
  6. addressing constraints in shelter production; and
  7. improving overall performance of the shelter.

Various urban development initiatives, such as the passage of RA 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 which assist homeless citizens in acquiring house and lot packages, were pursued in support of sustainable human settlements. The Philippine Action Plan for HABITAT II was also formulated in 1995, to address problems in human settlement and development of cities. The overall strategy of the plan is the development of growth centers away from the traditional urban areas, and integrated development of urban and rural areas, including an increase in rural focus of programs and projects. The plan's specific strategies include the provision of infrastructures and social services in human settlements; environmental management; disaster prevention, mitigation, and management; promotion of cooperative housing; development of indigenous housing materials; and livelihood development programs. Issues that remain to be addressed by the Plan include:

  1. poor implementation of land and housing laws;
  2. legislative and information deficiencies; and
  3. lack of capability in planning and implementing local housing and development plans.

Sustainable human settlements was covered as a major topic of discussion during the APEC Senior Officials Meeting and Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development held on July 9 to 10 1996 and July 11 to 12, 1996, respectively. In these meetings, APEC economies, including the Philippines reiterated their commitment to implement the Habitat II Agenda adopted in the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul in June 1996 and agreed to advance efforts on sustainable cities in APEC. Private sector participation in the development of sustainable cities has also been demonstrated through the initiatives of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association (CREBA) with the launching of the "Search for a Sustainable City for the 21S' Century Project." This project aims to organize an APEC-wide, industry-led cooperative effort by similar organizations to develop a realizable and operational structural reference of an ecologically sustainable city for the next millennium. In terms of planning, the National Urban Development and Housing Framework provided the strategy for the development of environmentally sound and sustainable human settlements. For program implementation, the National Shelter Program adopted eight major housing policies: catalyst for economic activity; people-centered and aided self-help approaches; maximum multisectoral participation; easier land access for housing; development of regional growth poles; sustainability and matching of housing finance with beneficiaries' affordability; maintenance of ecological balance; and improvement of the housing delivery system. The key players of the shelter program were mobilized and their roles enhanced. The scientific community assisted in testing new construction materials and technologies. The NGOs have taken the lead in organizing and mobilizing communities for the Community Mortgage Program. The private sector now dominates housing production and as well as housing finance for economic housing. On the other hand, the government has shifted its role from the major provider of socialized housing to being the major source of housing finance. The improved overall performance of the shelter sector may be characterized by the following, among others: a) increasing access by the poor to land, finance, infrastructures and building materials; h) strengthening the capability of local authorities for improved management; c) regularizing and upgrading existing slums and squatter settlements; d) improving rural living conditions; and e) involving the private sector in shelter and service production for the middle and lower income groups.

Sustainable Energy Production and Utilization.

          The energy sector continues to play a vital role as the Philippines moves ahead in realizing its vision of becoming a Newly Industrializing Economy by the turn of the century. The energy situation significantly improved from the power crisis in 1993, with the implementation of fast-track power generation projects and programs and the development of a plan for the restructuring of the power sector, among others.

          The Department of Energy (DOE) continued to supervise the exploration and development, production of local energy sources and promotion and commercialization of new and renewable sources of energy (NRSE) to achieve the country's long-term self-sufficiency objective, while implementing environmental safety and protection measures in all development projects. With the great potential of new and renewable energy (NRE) as substitute for the conventional fuels, programs to pursue large-scale utilization of NRSE are being enhanced, e.g. manpower development, resource studies, information dissemination, among others. In addition, several promotional and related activities were conducted to encourage participation of the private sector in the widespread commercialization of NRE systems and their eventual adoption by potential users, as well as to educate the public on different ways by which they can use energy more efficiently. Efforts to improve and extend electricity services to rural and remote areas and ensure adequate and reliable supplies of oil and petroleum products nationwide were pursued. In addition to the above initiatives, the DOE has also ensured that environmental safety and protection measures are adequately addressed in the development of energy projects. It also took an active role in facilitating the timely issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) to ensure that all environmental concerns and impacts of energy projects are taken into account in their implementation. The NGO sector has been a source of novel and innovative projects on sustainable energy production and utilization. At least 2 NGOs, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and Sibat, have been cited by government science and technology planners as having successfully implemented and demonstrated alternative models in energy development. In addition to these initiatives, the Shell Philippines Exploration (SPEX) and Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) are currently undertaking a project entitled " Malampaya/Camago Indigenous Natural Gas." The project will study the potential of using natural gas to supply the gas requirement of the country without creating a negative impact on the environment.

Inteqration of Environment in Socio-Economic Planninq and Decision-Makinq

          Among the commitments to the UNCED in 1992 is the integration of Agenda 21 principles into the development plans, programs and budgets of the government at the national, regional and local levels. To address this concern, the PCSD coordinated the integration of a number of priority actions into the country's Medium Term Philippine Development Plan, 1993-1998. A memorandum order was likewise issued by the President to ensure the integration of sustainable development concerns in local plans and programs of the government. A resolution recognizing and advocating the participation of the NGOs/POs to assume lead roles in the implementation of development programs and projects was passed. The other major groups of society, e.g. women, youth, indigenous peoples and communities, among others, were likewise recognized as equal partners in shaping, crafting and implementing development programs and as participants in all stages of development. A development vision and framework for the 21st century was formulated under the Long-Term Philippine Development Plan (LTPDP), 2000-2025. The LTPDP framework recognizes that the new millennium shall increasingly call for economic development to become less ecologically destructive. A number of programs which aim to integrate environment and development in the decision-making process were also implemented, such as the Integrated Environmental Management for Sustainable Development (IEMSD) and Capacity Building in Support of the PCSD Project, among others. In particular, the IEMSD Programme sought to integrate environment concerns in decision-making through proper pricing of natural resources and strengthening of people's participation and constituency-building for environmental policy advocacy. The IEMSD has six subprogrammes, namely: (a) Environment and Natural Resources Accounting (ENRA); (b) Integration of Environmental and Socio-Economic Development Policies (SEI); (c) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); (d) Sustainable Development Models (SDM); (e) ENR Database (DBAS); and (fl Programme Management Support System (PMSS). Under the Programme, the following major activities have been undertaken:

  1. development of a comprehensive operational framework for the Philippine System of Economic and Environmental Accounts;
  2. formulation of sustainable development indicators;
  3. incorporation of environmental concerns in the project evaluation process;
  4. development of an action impact matrix which identifies priority areas of study on environment-economy integration;
  5. strengthening of the EIA system;
  6. reformulation of guidelines for the implementation of the Environmental Guarantee Fund;
  7. preparation of an EIA Procedural Handbook;
  8. development of environmental risk assessment software; and
  9. documentation of sustainable development projects, among others.

          The Capacity Building in Support of the PCSD Project, meanwhile, has been instrumental in the formulation of the Philippine Agenda 21 and in pursuing advocacy efforts on SD. Environmental conservation and protection activities were listed among the priority activities entitled to fiscal incentives under the 1995 and 1996 Investment Priorities Plans (IPPs). These include the establishment of forest plantations and integrated waste management facilities to service domestic industries. In addition, the Philippines implemented market-friendly trade and investment reforms. A number of EOs were issued from July 1995 to March 1996 providing for a phased reduction in the tariff rates of manufactures and agricultural products. Quantitative import restrictions on agricultural products were likewise lifted and replaced by tariffs. As early as 1978, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was established in the Philippines in order to facilitate and maintain a rational and orderly balance between socioeconomic growth and environmental protection. In January 1996, President Ramos signed the revised EO 291 entitled "Improving the Environmental Impact Statement System" (EIS). The EO seeks to integrate the EIS system early into the project development cycle to promote its ultimate function as a planning tool for sustainable development and environmental planning and conservation. An EO institutionalizing the ENRA in the Philippine System of Accounts has also been drafted for the consideration and approval of the President. The business sector has also engaged in a number of programs to ensure that environmental considerations are integrated in their activities. For instance, the Ten Knots Development Corporation is currently implementing an "Integrated Ecosystems Management Program" which focuses, among others, on sustainable environmental resource management; socioeconomic development; and local capability building and governance.

Conservation and Management of Resources for Sustainable Development

Protecting the Atmosphere. Bringing air pollution levels within acceptable standards and protecting the people's health and quality of life in the face of rapid population growth and industrialization provides the context for the country's current initiatives in protecting the atmosphere. In recent years, these initiatives consisted of new programs and measures developed and adopted to purposively bring down air pollution levels. The Philippines is signatory to the UN Framework on Climate Change which was ratified in 1994. Initiatives on climate change include researches, public awareness campaigns, and policy formulation activities conducted by the government, private and nongovernment sectors. The Interagency Committee on Climate Change (IACC) was established in 1991 to coordinate efforts by the government and nongovernment sectors and formulate positions to the Climate Change Convention negotiations. Since its establishment, the IACC was involved in the following: 1) the first comprehensive study made on Climate Change which was sponsored by the Asian Development Bank in 1992; 2) Country Study Program on Climate Change supported by the US government; and 3) Asia Least-Cost Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy (ALGAS) supported by the UNDP. Under this initiative, various government agencies have conducted greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions inventory by sources and sinks, developed GHG mitigation strategies, undertook climate change vulnerability and adaptation studies and drafted related policies. Other initiatives include the research conducted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on methane emissions from rice paddies, socieconomic impact studies initiated by the International Geosphere and Biosphere Program (IGBP), public awareness and policy studies by the Philippine Network on Climate Change (PNCC), and studies undertaken by the University of the Philippines' Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI)and the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM). A rational approach to garbage disposal was put in place through the implementation of the ecological waste management program. DENR entered into memoranda of agreement with 43 LGUs to promote ecological waste management. Pilot waste disposal projects were also started nationwide. Geological assessment of potential solid waste disposal sites were conducted in coordination with the DENR and LGUs to ensure the proper selection of these sites. An ecolabelling project was also implemented by the DENR and the LGUs to promote environmental consciousness among local governments. The project essentially provides a means for assessing LGU adherence to environmental protection. Moreover, while promoting consciousness, the project also identifies areas which need to be reinforced/strengthened in the area of environmental protection. Environmental laws were strictly enforced, resulting in the issuance of 68 cease-and-desist orders in 1995-1996 to different industrial establishments identified to be sources of pollution. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) System is continuously being strengthened. Efficiency in processing Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) applications was improved. One-stop shops are being established to support EO 291, which calls for the creation of environmental units in government agencies and corporations and implementation of a programmatic EIA approach. The country also began to shift to the use of market-based instruments to complement the command-and-control regulations in environmental protection. Two important improvements in the EIA system are the inclusion of environmental risk assessment which analyzes uncertain environmental impacts in a more rigorous manner, and the strengthening of the social consultation process in their activities. Measures to improve air quality was highlighted through the promotion of lead-free gasoline. Passage of the Environment Code which incorporates laws that will improve the quality of air and water resources was endorsed and adoption of appropriate pollution management schemes was pushed. The scheme provides for the granting of economic incentives to firms utilizing clean production technologies and pollution control devices or treatment plants, as well as firms which manufacture these facilities. Improvements in air quality monitoring were noted with the operationalization of four continuous air monitoring stations and two mobile stations. This brings the total air monitoring stations nationwide to 1 15 stations. Results of air monitoring in Metro Manila showed that only two out of 16 municipalities are clean in terms of air quality standards for total suspended particulates. A comprehensive antismoke belching program was implemented. The Philippine Association of Tertiary Level Educational Institutions in Environmental Protection and Management, which is composed of 200 colleges and universities, is envisioned to facilitate the intensification of environmental education in the country. Pending the passage of the Environment Code, an EO was issued mandating the production and use of low lead and unleaded gasoline. Prior to approval of the said EO, a study has been conducted to ascertain the economic cost of its implementation. An assessment is being pursued through the conduct of the following:

  1. a study that will look into the benefits of mandating the use of unleaded gasoline by the year 2000 (proposed for World Bank funding); and
  2. analysis of the experiences of other ASEAN countries on mandating the use of unleaded gasoline.

The establishment of the Metropolitan Environmental Improvement Program (MEIP) in Asia was pushed to help selected metropolitan regions in designing and implementing solutions to rapidly growing environmental problems which include, among others, deteriorating air and water quality, flooding and stagnation of water courses, pollution from solid wastes and traffic congestion. The MEIP, in collaboration with national government agencies, LGUs, industry and NGOs, developed the Environmental Management Strategy (EMS). The air quality management aspects of the EMS are being addressed through the Urban Air Project (URBAIR) which aims to develop an urban air management strategy for Metro Manila. The "Clean Air 2000" which is an action plan to improve the level of air quality by the year 2000 was likewise formulated. Equipment containing or utilizing ozone-depleting substances (ODS) were banned in accordance with the government's commitment to international agreements in the phase-out of ODS.

Conservation and Protection of Biodiversity. The National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, of June 1992 provides for the protection of outstandingly remarkable and biologically important public lands that are habitat of rare and endangered species of plants and animals. NIPAS areas also cover biogeographic zones and related ecosystems, whether terrestrial, wetland or marine. There are eight categories of protected areas recognized pursuant to the NIPAS Act. These are strict nature reserves, natural parks, natural monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, protected landscapes and seascapes, resource reserves, natural biotic areas, and other categories established by law, conventions or international agreements to which the Philippine government is signatory. The NIPAS consist of 216 sites as initial components covering 5.03 million hectares or 17 percent of the country's total land area. An additional nine are protected landscape/seascape while one natural park and one marine reserve were recently proclaimed as protected areas. The protected areas are the sites of the country's initiatives in biodiversity conservation and protection. About 170 maps of the initial components of NIPAS were completed and submitted to the legislature. Suitability assessment of 226 protected areas were done while resource profiling was completed for 122 protected areas. Some 82 interim Protected Area Management Boards (PAMBs) were created and approved to decentralize the management of the protected areas to the local level. Work is now being undertaken to develop and implement management plans for 18 priority protected areas. Philippine commitments under the Convention on Biodiversity Conservation are now being systematically pursued within the framework of the Philippine Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation (PSBC). The PSBC was approved by President Fidel V. Ramos in April 1994. It contains a comprehensive action plan using a multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach to biodiversity conservation. Strategies outlined in the PSBC include:

  1. expanding and improving knowledge on the characteristics, uses, and values of biological diversity;
  2. enhancing and integrating existing and planned biodiversity conservation efforts with emphasis on in-situ conservation;
  3. formulating an integrated policy and legislative framework for the conservation, sustainable use, and equitable sharing of the benefits of biological diversity;
  4. strengthening capacities for integrating and institutionalizing biodiversity conservation and management; IEC; and
  5. advocacy for a stronger international cooperation on biodiversity conservation and management.

The PSBC resulted from a Philippine Biodiversity Country Study undertaken in collaboration with the UNEP. The study made a comprehensive inventory and assessment of status of the existing biodiversity resources in the country. It also identified the gaps in existing programs on biodiversity of government and the NGOs. International cooperation in dealing with global environmental commons was reinforced through the forging of a bilateral agreement between the Philippine and Malaysian governments to declare the areas around the Turtle Island in the Southeastern part of the country as Transfrontier Marine Parks for the conservation of Marine Turtles. The Turtle Island Heritage Protected Area is an integrated and collaborative approach to conserve the only remaining major nesting population of green turtles in the ASEAN region which is shared by both countries. Efforts to regulate the prospecting of biological and genetic resources to ensure their development and sustainable use for the national interest and benefits was formalized with the issuance of EO 247, known as "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" in 1995.

Combatinq Deforestation.   The Master Plan for Forestry Development (MPFD) was adopted in 1990. It provides the framework for combating deforestation and is intended to guide the long-term development of the forestry sector in the Philippines. The Plan outlines strategies intended to, among others:

  1. enable the country to meet the demand for wood and other forest products by placing all of the country's production forest under sustainable management;
  2. contribute to the production of food, water, energy, and other needed commodities by properly managing the upland watersheds;
  3. protect land resources against degradation and ecological devastation through proper land management systems and practices;
  4. conserve the forest ecosystems and their diverse genetic resources;
  5. contribute to employment and growth of national and local economies through fully developed forest-based resources; and
  6. promote social justice and equity and the recognition of the rights of indigenous cultural communities in the management, conservation, and utilization of forest resources.

The plan has a total of 15 programs thematically clustered into: Man and the Environment Programs; Forest Management and Products Development Programs; and, Institutional Development Programs. The Plan targets the reforestation of 1.8 million hectares to meet the country's wood needs. Of the target, the DENR has established and developed 276,834 hectares of forest lands to date. On the urban regreening program, a total of 49.8 million seedlings were distributed to the public and 369 mini-forests were established in l995 to the first semester of 1996. About 517 potential sites for miniforests were identified. In line with the country's policy to ensure equitable access to, and sustainable development of forest resources, the President signed EO 263 entitled "Adopting Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) as the National Strategy to Ensure the Sustainable Development of the Country's Forestland Resources and Providing Mechanisms for its Implementation". The CBFM strategy is anchored on the responsible resource utilization by organized and empowered local communities towards the attainment of an efficient and sustained management of the forest resources. It likewise provides the integrating framework for unifying all people-oriented forestry programs being implemented by the government. A national program, the Integrated Social Forestry Program, is being implemented to promote a strong partnership between the forest occupants and the government in food production and forest rehabilitation. The government is also pursuing the establishment of industrial forest plantations as alternative resource base for forest-based export industries. The implementation of the Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) Program, however, was suspended in the light of reported irregularities in the selection and awarding of contract areas. The IFMA was reformulated into the business IFMA and the socialized IFMA to address the concerns of private corporations and small holder tree farmers, respectively. In the drive against illegal logging, the DENR identified 376 illegal logging hotspots in 1995-June 1996, of which 324 were neutralized. The following contributed to the drive against illegal logging:

  1. 267 checkpoints/chokepoints established in strategic locations;
  2. 62 Bantay Gubat barangays organized; and
  3. 229 multisectoral forest protection committees institutionalized and strengthened as partners in forest protection.

Log control monitoring systems in three pilot TLA areas in Regions 2,9, and 13 were likewise established as a bold step to minimize, if not totally stamp out illegal logging by both small and large perpetrators. A total of 126 Community Forestry projects were established and 50 Community Forestry Management Agreements and 575 Forest Land Management Agreements were awarded from 1990 to 1996. Some 75 Centers for People Empowerment in the Uplands (CPEUs) were identified and established. CPEUs cover all provinces and serve as training centers for upland farmers and community-based workers. To date, 53 Certificates of Ancestral Domain Claims (CADCs) have been issued. About 1.3 million hectares of ancestral domain claims were delineated, of the minimum target area of two million hectares under ancestral domain claims by 1998.

Sustainable Land Management.  A National Land Use Act was drafted to strengthen the existing process of identifying, determining, and evaluating alternative land use patterns to guide and enable appropriate land management and development. The Act was certified as priority environmental legislation and is currently being discussed in both houses of Congress. The Land Management Bureau (LMB) of the DENR came up with a National Master Plan on Land Resource Management which aims to provide an integrated approach to the planning and management of the country's land resources that will best suit the demands of the present times.  Specifically, the Plan proposes the following:

  1. establishment of a monolithic agency which will adopt key land-related functions;
  2. in view of our limited land resources, a gradual shift from freehold to leasehold systems of land disposition shall be adopted;
  3. adoption of the computerized Survey Verification System (SVS) and Land Records Management Information System;
  4. adoption of the Geographic Information System (GIS) Technology on a national scale and the acquisition of modern surveying equipment; and
  5. creation of a Land Management Fund wherein the management of the proceeds from the disposition of land shall be vested in the LMB.

The Land Management Fund will be a growth fund to be used in the purchase of lands for strategic inventories on land banking, development of A and D lands to improve land values, and investment in government securities. As of this date, the Master Plan is still pending approval at the DENR. Upon approval, the plan shall be translated into Regional Master Plans.  

Of the 1,607 cities and municipalities, only 74 cities and municipalities have not been cadastrally surveyed. The cadastral survey is being undertaken to support accelerated land distribution campaign and to provide complete land data for development studies and projects as well as aid in the determination of the internal revenue allotment of LGUs.

Protecting and Managing the Oceans. A National Marine Policy was adopted by the country to develop a comprehensive program to properly manage marine and coastal resources and ensure implementation of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The policy calls for an integrated coastal zone management framework and plan that takes into consideration the archipelagic nature of the Philippines, views coastal marine resources as loci of community ecology and resources, and ensures proper management of the maritime economy and technology and maritime security. It also calls for the adoption of a "polluters pay" principle in ensuring protection of the marine environment. Pioneering the application of this "polluters pay" principle, a system of pollution charges was prepared for the Laguna de Bay area. A Master Plan was also formulated that involves the reduction of fishpens in the Laguna de Bay region from 255,000 to 10,000 hectares. In consideration of the productive and natural carrying capacity of the Bay, about 1,107 hectares representing nine illegal fishpen structures were demolished in 1995 - June 1996. The Philippines is one of the founding partners in the establishment of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) to ensure the protection, conservation, and proper management of coral reefs. It hosted the ICRI workshop on May 29 - June 2, 1995 that resulted in the formulation of the ICRI Call for Action and the Framework for Action on the management of coral reefs and associated environments. The Call for Action and the Framework of Action provide the guidelines in the formulation of the Regional Action Plan for the East Asian Seas. As an ICRI Partner, the Philippines has established the Philippine Reef Database (Philreef} and has formulated a national program for the celebration of the International Year of the Reef in 1997. A national data center on coastal zone environment and resource management is currently being established under the auspices of the ASEAN-Australia Environment and Economic Program, Phase III. This project aims to create a metadatabase on coastal resource management which will be implemented through a network approach, i.e., a network, and development of a decision support system. The Coastal Environment Program (CEP) was started in 1993. Fifteen model sites were maintained by the CEP in 19931994. Another 21 sites were developed in 1995-1996. A total of 276 community core groups and 58 coastal environmental protection groups were organized in these sites to enhance people's awareness and level of participation in the protection and management of the CEP sites. Alternative livelihood projects were also established to ease the pressure on coastal resources. The project on "Broad-based Coastal Area Management Training Program in the Philippines" was implemented to develop the capability of the country to draw up training programs in order to develop a pool of coastal management practitioners in the Philippines from the government, academe, NGOs, POs, and other stakeholders. In consonance with the foregoing initiatives, the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) implemented the Community-Based Coastal Resource Management Project (CBCRMP) which promotes appropriate coastal resource management practices through participatory approaches as well as to develop the local capacity of coastal communities for alternative livelihood. Targeting three major bays (Tayabas Bay, Manila Bay, Lagonoy Gulf and seven other provinces in the country, project activities include the mobilization of Bantay-Dagat (Patrols) volunteers for enforcement of coastal protection policies, monitoring of fishing vessels and methods, mangrove and sea grass rehabilitation, artificial reef construction and deployment, and setting up of marine reserves and sanctuaries. Likewise, financial delivery systems and cooperatives for business ventures are being set up to minimize pressures on ecologically critical coastal resources.

Protecting and Managing the Freshwater Resources. To effectively address the alarming threat of declining water supply, the Philippine government mounted a National Water Summit. The forum brought together heads of agencies involved in water resources and sanitation development to discuss emerging issues and possible responses concerning water management. The Summit culminated in the adoption of a Water Summit Accord and the issuance of EO 222 which established the Committee on Water Conservation and Demand Management. The Committee is primarily responsible for the proper management of the nation's water resources to ensure that human and economic needs are provided in a sustainable manner. Efforts to improve the water pricing mechanism are being undertaken to ensure that pricing policies are directed towards the development of a more equitable pricing formula, legislation against water theft, information dissemination on the uses of water including its proposed inclusion in the grade school curriculum, and the possible taxation of groundwater to avoid over-extraction which encourages saline intrusion.

Handlinq Toxic and Hazardous Wastes. As signatory to the Basel Convention, the Philippines continues to monitor the implementation of RA 6969 on Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990. This law bans the importation, storage or transport of toxic or nuclear wastes into or through the Philippines. On the need to regulate the movement of hazardous wastes, the DENR issued Administrative Order No. 28 which bans the importation of Recyclable Materials Containing Hazardous Substances. In addition, waste management practices are underway to include the hospital waste management program of the government. Strict monitoring of government-owned and private hospitals are being undertaken to ensure adherence to the program. Rewards and recognition for outstanding sanitation performance are also being instituted.

 

Strengthening the Role of Major Groups

          Philippine initiatives in strengthening the role of major groups are framed within the concept of programs and policies seeking to enhance social equity and the participation of the basic sectors in governance and other development processes.  The latter is reinforced by the institutionalization of counterparting mechanisms for the pursuit of programs and policies and the passage of the Local Government Code (LGC) in 1991.  Between 1992-1996, the institutionalization of counterparting mechanisms and the implementation of the LGC strengthened the role of major groups in the country's development. The LGC legislated the devolution of certain powers from the national government to the LGUs: the barangays, municipalities, cities, and provinces. It provides for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization wherein LGUs are given more powers, authority, responsibility and resources.  Efforts to mainstream SD concerns in development planning and policy formulation were guided by the counterparting mechanism among various stakeholders of society.  The major groups, considered as stakeholders and key players in SD are the local governments, women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, NGOs, trade and labor unions, business and industry, scientists and technologists, farmers and fisherfolk, and the physically challenged.  In line with this, EO 15, which created the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development, was amended through EO 370 to strengthen its mandate and further expand its membership to ensure that all stakeholders are represented and involved in decision-making and implementation of SD initiatives.  EO 370 effected the inclusion of more NGOs/POs, and business and labor sectors in the Council. Devolution and the localization of many sustainable development initiatives have placed the LGUs in the forefront of development processes.  To assist the LGUs in this frontline role, a Local Government Academy (LGA) was established specifically for the purpose of training local government officials and developing them into a corps of competent and dedicated executives and functionaries supporting the thrusts of national government in poverty eradication, social reform, and sustainable development. A Memorandum Circular issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) enjoined DILG regional directors, local government officials and development coordinators to integrate and operationalize SD principles in local plans. Among others, this initiative primarily aims to designate a focal person in the local government offices to ensure that SD concerns are considered in local planning. To this end, the LGA was identified as a conduit in providing LGUs the necessary assistance in developing their capabilities to integrate SD concerns in the planning process and constitute a critical mass of SD advocates.  Consequently, the Academy included in their capability building programs a module on SD. Furthermore, the conduct in the country of the international conference entitled "The Gathering for Human and Ecological Security: A Conference on Population, Environment and Peace" (GHES) in June 15-17, 1995 provided a venue for country-sharing of experiences and developing a consensus on the new ethic for human and ecological security.  The GHES adopted a framework which defines inter-relationships of population management, environmental protection and peace.  The policy agenda and program of action resulting from the Conference served as guide to local government units in the implementation of this framework.  The participatory approach adopted in the drafting of the Philippine Agenda 21 (PA 21) emulates the multi-stakeholder consultation process envisioned to translate and mainstream sustainable development principles at the local level. Following the drafting of the national action agenda for the PA 21, participants embarked on the preparation of regional action agenda which would be the basis for further localizing SD principles. Each regional action agenda contains emerging issues and concerns in the region and their corresponding action plans. To support this initiative, existing structures (i.e. Regional Development Council, Provincial Development Council, Municipal Development Council) are being tapped. Alternatively, the establishment of a structure which will provide the mechanism for ensuring coordination and cooperation among the various stakeholders has been recommended.  Among others, these structures are tasked to take responsibility in:
  1. translating the national SD agenda espoused in the PA 21 document into programs, projects and specific local courses of action;
  2. mobilizing financial resources and exploring innovative financing mechanisms to support SD activities;
  3. undertaking capacity-building activities for local communities (i.e. planning for community-based resource management, integrated area/island development planning), and the use of the Geographic Information System (GIS), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and other planning tools in the decision-making process;
  4. improving the information and communication systems and networking to inform and educate the public on the PA 21; and
  5. installing the appropriate machinery for monitoring and reporting SD initiatives at the local level.

The Filipino youth also continued to be at the forefront of the sociopolitical arena and have played a very active role in environment and sustainable development activities. In line with the MTPDP, for example, the Youth Agenda KABATAAN 2000 was formulated to encourage the youth to participate in productive activities. Other accomplishments of the youth sector include:

  1. the creation of the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Philippine Youth Environmental Network;
  2. the appointment of a youth representative to the House of Representatives;
  3. the establishment of Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) in local communities;
  4. the conduct of environmental congresses, seminars, and fora for young legislators, student leaders and community youth leaders; and
  5. the institutionalization of a Youth Desk at the DENR to promote awareness on environmental concerns and participation in advocacy, environmental protection and conservation work.

The DENR and the National Movement of Young Legislators also conducted environmental trainings for community-based youth organizations. The NYC, likewise, provided training and financial support for entrepreneurship undertakings of the youth through the Youth Entrepreneurship Program. The involvement of the business sector in SD initiatives ensued with the formulation of the Philippine Business Charter and the launching of the bi-monthly news magazine Business and Environment in 1994. The sector participated in the consultation program for the Major Groups Committee supported by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 1995 and provided inputs to the Philippine Agenda 21 through its Business Agenda in 1996. Aside from these, the sector engaged in several activities related to the promotion of sustainable practices and the advancement of environmental awareness. These activities include, among others, the implementation of an Industrial Waste Exchange Program, the creation of an Environmental Information Center for Business and Industry, the conduct of environment-related campaigns (i.e. Campaign on Toxic and Hazardous Waste Management, Anti-Smoke Belching Campaign), the conduct of ENVIRONTECH '96, and the preparation of a business plan for the rehabilitation of the Pasig River. The business sector is among the signatories to the People's Covenant Towards a Transition to Sustainable Development which formalizes the commitment of all stakeholders in implementing the PA 21. Moreover, a Summit on Environmental Management sponsored by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) was held in December 1996 to identify future threats to the country's ecosystems as well as formulate doable programs to be undertaken by the private sector to address these problems. Furthermore, the Technology, Environmental and Risk Management Foundation has been involved in promoting and implementing sustainable development at the local level. In Marinduque, the Foundation is working with the local leaders in developing a Strategic Environmental Management Plan and to explore the ecotourism potential of the province. The Foundation is also involved in capability-building programs such as the provision of training to hospital administrators and workers nationwide on medical and hospital waste management. The Philippine Environmental Industry Association was likewise established in order to develop local capabilities in environmental management. Likewise, the labor sector, meanwhile, was involved in the series of consultations supported by the ILO. It was also actively involved in the activities of the Major Groups Committee and in the formulation of the Philippine Agenda 21.

 

Means of Implementation

Institutional Mechanism.  The PCSD is the country's institutional framework for follow-up work related to the commitments at UNCED and the implementation of Agenda 21. It was created on 1 September 1992 by virtue of Executive No. 15. The PCSD is chaired by the Secretary of SocioEconomic Planning, with the DENR Secretary as Vice-Chair. The PCSD has four committees corresponding to the four major areas of the global Agenda 21. These are the Committee on Social and Economic Dimensions, the Committee on Conservation and Management of Resources for Development, the Committee on Strengthening the Role of Major Groups, and the Committee on Means of Implementation. Aside from ensuring the implementation of the commitments made in UNCED and the realization of PA2 1, the PCSD also acts as the coordinating mechanism to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD).

Formulation of the Philippine Agenda 21.   Having created a national council for sustainable development, the country set out to operationalize its commitments and the elements of the Global Agenda 21 through the formulation of the Philippine Agenda 21 (PA ) 21. The PA 21 was endorsed by President Ramos as a national action agenda for sustainable development for the 21st century on September 26, 1996. The document serves as the blueprint for the country's development over the medium-and-long-term and shall become the basis for the formulation of policies, legislations and programs on sustainable development. Appropriate mechanisms for broad-based consultations and coordination of activities at both the national and local levels were established and strengthened. The implementation of the elements of PA 21 shall be monitored and evaluated to assess the level of its integration into government policies and programs. The PCSD is currently pursuing its plan to localize councils for sustainable development. To date, about five regions (Regions l, 8, 10, 11, and 12) have organized their regional councils for sustainable development or RCSDs while three provinces (Palawan, Bulacan, Marinduque) have their own CSDs. The RCSDs are composed of regional offices of line agencies, the provincial Local Chief Executives (LCEs), and NGOs and POs operating in the region. As a complementary initiative, the PCSD PO-NGO Counterpart has launched its "Localization of PCSD Mechanisms" project. The PO-NGO Counterpart, through five local secretariats with involvement in nine regions throughout the Philippines (i.e., regions 3, National Capital Region, 4,5,6,7,8,11, and 13) seek to operationalize sustainable development through, among others: (1) the establishment of local (regional and provincial) councils for sustainable development as key governance mechanisms for consensus multi-stakeholder decision-making; and (2) the formulation of local Agenda 21s, guided by the PA 21, which shall serve as the basis for emerging policies, legislation, and development plans, projects and programs for both the private and public sector. With the involvement of a wide range of Philippine PO and NGO networks, the project seeks to develop the necessary skills and expertise of civil society organizations in decision-making and project implementation, and broader involvement of these stakeholders in governance structures.

Financinq Arrangements. Means and strategies to support the financial requirements of sustainable development initiatives were identified under the PA 21. One of the strategies to mobilize funds to support PA 21 activities and to encourage changes in production and consumption behavior by promoting the internalization of environmental cost is the adoption of market-based instruments (MBIs) to complement command and control (CAC) measures. A number of legislative measures promoting the adoption of innovative financial instruments are being deliberated in Congress. These include:

  1. Revised Environmental Code, which seeks to codify and update all existing laws on environmental protection and espouses the less use of "command and control" and more of market-based mechanisms to encourage greater self-regulation and more efficient participation and compliance from the industries in the protection of the environment. A number of market-based instruments such as pollution charges, user fees, waste exchanges, financial responsibility measures are being proposed.
  2. The Pollution Charge Program. Plants and factories emiting and discharging effluents exceeding the prescribed environmental levels will be charged with annual effluent and emission fees to abate or minimize pollution.

Other measures being proposed include: (a) Environmental Hazard Fee; (b) Ecology Trust Fund; (c) Environmental Defense Fund; and (d) Environmental Guarantee Fund. An Integrated Protected Areas Fund (IPAF) has been established pursuant to RA No. 7586, or the National Integrated Protected Areas (NIPAS) Act, as a means of generating sustained financing for the System. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Act (DENR Administrative Order No. 25, s. of 1992) identifies the following potential IPAF income sources:

  1. taxes for the permitted sale and export of flora and fauna;
  2. proceeds from the lease of multiple use areas, including tourism concessions;
  3. contributions from industries directly benefiting from the protected area; and
  4. contributions, donations, endowments and grants from any source;
  5. fines and fees, including protected areas entry fees, collected and derived from operation of the protected area; and
  6. other revenues as may be derived from the operation of the protected area.

The fund is being administered by an IPAF Governing Board which is responsible for allocating funds among protected areas. As part of the implementation of the Environmental Impact Statement System, the Environmental Guarantee Fund (EGF) was created. Department Administrative Order No. 21 s. of 1992 known as "Amending the Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing " P. D. 1586 (EISS) paved the way for its creation. The EGF is formally defined as " a negotiated amount on a per project basis that cover expenses for information and communication activities, monitoring activities by multisectoral teams, any repair or rehabilitation works and compensation for damages attributable to the operation of the project". (Vasquez:1996) As of 1996, a total of 96 projects have been required by the DENR to establish an EGF. The number of projects required to put up an EGF is increasing with an average of 20 projects per year from 1992 to 1995. The government is initiating steps to strengthen the implementation of the EGF, particularly on the need provide a strong legal basis for the fund. The Foundation for Philippine Environment (FPE) is an NGO committed to provide financial resources needed to strengthen and support other NGOs, POs and communities to be proactive and capable agents of biological diversity conservation and sustainable development. The FPE administers and maintains an environmental endowment fund established through a debt-for-nature swap initiated in 1992 through the assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The endowment fund provides an independent and sustainable funding base for FPE operations. The FPE endowment is in the form of special series notes of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas where the interest earned is extended as grant assistance to support environmental activities of the NGOs and POs in the area of biodiversity conservation (FPE Annual Report). A Brown Environmental Management or the "Brown Fund", with grant assistance from the Institutional Development Fund of the World Bank was established to develop a viable and sustainable institutional mechanism, first in the Metro Manila area and later in the entire Philippines which will involve public and private sector organizations in the management of the urban environment. Other approaches of financing PA 21 activities include the exploration of a national level environment fund under the administration of a multisectoral body designated or authorized by legal instruments. The inclusion of PA 21 in the Investment Priorities Plan is, likewise, being explored to ensure that investments in environment-friendly equipment will be made eligible for fiscal incentives such as relaxation of import duties. The country participated in a number of international meetings on sustainable development finance to enhance local initiatives in this area.  Among the meetings attended include:

  1. Final Participants Meeting on the Replenishing and Restructuring of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) held in Geneva. This led to an agreement among the country participants on the Draft Instrument for Establishment of a Restructured GEF. Donor countries also agreed on their contribution to the Trust Fund under GEF 2 in the total amount of US$2.022 billion, an increase of approximately US$800 million over GEF; and
  2. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) Ad Hoc Intersessional Working Group on Finance. This meeting identified and reviewed innovative financing schemes to support sustainable development in view of an observed decline of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing countries.

Science and Technoloqy. The implementation of the Science and Technology Agenda for National Development (STAND) which operationalizes the broad objective of ensuring global excellence and people empowerment is a primary initiative undertaken to reinforce the role of S and T in sustainable development. Other activities include reinforcing the mutually supportive goal of science and technology in ensuring success of sustainable development efforts by assessing research needs and priorities and the development of tools for the implementation of SD initiatives. Research and development efforts were also directed towards the promotion of export winners and environmentally acceptable products. Basic human needs like food, health, housing, nutrition, disaster and hazard mitigation, energy and telecommunications received priority in research and technology development.

Information, Education and Communication. Information, education and communication advocacy is considered an indispensable strategy to mainstream and popularize the principles of PA 21 in the various development efforts of all stakeholders in the SD process. A series of meetings and consultations was conducted to align the IEC initiatives being undertaken by the different government agencies and NGOs in sustainable development. Outputs of the said consultation served as integral inputs to the proposed IEC Communication Plan for Sustainable Development of the Philippine Agenda 21. Specific communication strategies, key audiences, strategic messages and priority action agenda were identified and incorporated in the IEC plan. It must be noted, however, that the efficient implementation of the IEC plan for sustainable development primarily rests on the availability of financial resources, a recognition of the PCSD as a coordinating body; and the active participation of member institutions and the general public. The first Information Technology (IT) Summit was conducted on Sept. 4, 1995 as part of the National Information Technology Plan 2000. It promoted information technology which seeks to improve services both at the national and international levels through geographic information system (GIS) computerization program and the development of diplomacy information data banking system.

Regional and Global Cooperation on Sustainable Development. Consistent with the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Environmental Vision to support the protection of environment and encourage the APEC-wide support in integrating environmental considerations into relevant policy development and economic decisions throughout the region, the Philippines hosted a series of APEC related meetings on sustainable development in 1996. These meetings were aimed at advocating the wide-ranging concerns and forging APEC-wide consensus on the need for increased economic and technical cooperation on sustainable development. The APEC-Experts Meeting on Innovative Approaches Towards Environmentally Sustainable Development (June 6-7,1996, Quezon City, Philippines) resulted in consensus on the following areas:

  1. the need to promote innovative approaches for sustainable development;
  2. the need to collaborate on enhancing the capacity of the environment and natural resource issues towards innovative approaches; and
  3. the need for various APEC fora to consider the incorporation of innovative approaches in the following areas: a) introduction of Environment and Natural Resources Accounting (ENRA) into the system of National Income Accounts; b) utilization of MBIs; c) sourcing of information and expertises in promoting, adapting and adopting innovative approaches to sustainable development; and d) application of participatory approaches in planning.

The major outputs of the APEC Senior Officials' (July 9-10, 1996) and Ministerial Meetings (July 11-12, 1996) on Sustainable Development include the Ministerial declaration and Action Program on Sustainable Development. The documents essentially embody the need to advance cooperation on the following major sustainable development-related themes of the meeting: (a) sustainable cities/urban management; (b) clean production/clean technology; and (c) sustainability of the marine environment.

          The PCSD, in cooperation with the Earth Council, sponsored the Meeting of the National Councils for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific (APNCSD) on June 18-19, 1995. The conference, dubbed as "Weaving the Fabric of Asia's Future," was envisioned to strengthen respective national councils for sustainable development and establish creative mechanisms for regional and bilateral cooperation among countries in the region. A regional secretariat for the APNCSD was created afterwards to operationalize the recommendations made during the meeting. It also cohosted, with Earth Council, the Second Meeting of the APNCSD, with the theme "Beyond Boundaries: A Sustainable Asia-Pacific," on Dec. 12-14, 1996. This meeting primarily aimed to assess the resolutions made during the first APNCSD and prepare for multistakeholder's participation in the Rio + 5 Forum in March 1997.

The PCSD cohosted with the Government of Canada the International Experts Meeting on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Vancouver, Canada on June 5-8, 1995. It also cosponsored with the same government and the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) of Canada the hosting of the Meeting of Senior Environment and Economic Officials from APEC Economies on March 25-29, 1996 and "The Workshop on the Environment and the Economy in APEC: Realizing Convergence" on March 25, 1996, respectively. These initiatives were aimed to continue the process of integrating environmental considerations into economic development policies and programs.

The PCSD, together with the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, conducted a seminar-workshop for senior policymakers in Asia entitled "Economy-Wide Policies and the Environment" on June 3-7, 1996. This seeks to promote better understanding and cooperation, especially among senior environmental and economic decision-makers, in pursuing "win-win" initiatives; illustrating key economy-environment interactions from actual cases; and to demonstrate practical approaches for implementing coordinated environmental and economic planning.

The PCSD, being the country's focal point in sustainable development efforts, was instrumental in forging position papers for international gatherings and dialogues. Among its commitments is the preparation and coordination of country papers for the annual sessions of the UNCSD in New York. The Council also coordinated the preparation of the Philippine positions in the various agenda items of the Brussels Conference on "Taking Nature Into Account" held also in June 1995.

          The Philippines is also involved in the formulation of ISO14000. This wide-ranging set of international standards is envisioned to direct companies how to manage, measure, improve and communicate the environmental aspects of their operations in a systematic way.
  

Assessment of Overall Performance

          The country made significant strides in the development of policies, plans and programs to fulfill its commitments in the UNCED. Most significant of these strides are:

  1. the adoption and implementation of an integrated and comprehensive agenda for poverty eradication, underpinned by a commitment to social reform and the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources;
  2. the development of a program on population within a PRE framework;
  3. the development of a comprehensive action plan on sustainable human settlements;
  4. the development of resource accounts in the fishery, forestry, and mineral sectors, and the development of an operational framework for a Philippine system of economic and environmental accounts;
  5. the enactment of an integrated protected area system and the implementation of a program for this;
  6. the adoption of a biodiversity strategy;
  7. the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive master plan for forestry development; and,
  8. the adoption of a National Marine Policy.

These policies, plans, and programs are in various stages of application. All these, in sum, represent substantial work put into building the foundation for sustainable development in the country. On top of these initiatives, a framework plan and action agenda has been adopted by the Philippines to pursue its commitments to the Global Agenda 21 and related international agreements more consistently and systematically. The adoption of PA 21 after a long consensus process in the PCSD represents a milestone even at this stage. Current initiatives by the country in the development of policies, plans, and programs relating to sustainable development suggest a shifting of the development framework toward a more people-focused and ecosystem-based strategy. This is consistent with the PA 21 framework.
  

B.  Best Practices

          In the Philippines, the operationalization of sustainable development (SD) is anchored on the needs of the people which are inevitably linked to the state of their immediate environment and their life source. Sustainable development, in the Philippine context, is not a modern-day concept.  Many of the SD success stories can be traced even before the historic Earth Summit in 1992. This implies that sustainable development principles have already been incorporated in the various programs and projects implemented by local communities.  Depending on the geographic setting, sector, and the felt needs of the local community, SD practices are manifested in different contexts, e.g., sustainable agriculture, coastal and fisheries management, community-based resource management (CBRM), integrated area development (1AD) and integration of environmental issues in the collective bargaining agreement of some labor unions.  Effective governance, poverty alleviation, community and social development and environmental protection are among the general features of sustainable development practices in the Philippines.

  

CRITERIA FOR THE SELECTION OF BEST SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES

Design Criteria (60%)

  1. Adopts a multistakeholder, participatory approach in decision-making, planning, and monitoring and evaluation (10%).
  2. Integrates social, economic and environmental considerations (20%)
  3. Has a potential for adoption/adaptation in other areas (10%)

  4. Project properly documented
    Practice shared with other communities/institutions
    Activities actually replicated/adopted in other areas
  5. Promotes people empowerment, social welfare and equity (20%).

  6. Provides for regular consultations with stakeholders
    Concerted public action is displayed
    Training activities provided and conducted by the people themselves
    Stakeholders are able to access resources/services and benefits from the project
    Helps alleviate poverty, improves health conditions, decreases morbidity and meets minimum basic needs.

    Performance / Sustainability Criteria (40%)
     

  7. Has well-developed financing mechanism for capital build-up and sustenance (15%)

  8. Project operations sustained through regular budgetary appropriation, loans, grants or internal resource generation/mobilization
  9. Has survived for five years beyond project establishment/implementation (5%)
  10. Activities/practices mainstreamed, institutionalized, and adopted by the community (10%)
  11. Has created new structure/s or enhanced existing ones and has instituted a capability-building mechanism (10%)
 
The Ugnayang Magsasaka ng San Simon (UMSS)
Apalit, Pampanga

In Pampanga, a province north of Manila, empowerment is exhibited by strong farmers organizations.  As early as 1978, the Ugnayang Magsasaka ng San Simon (UMSS), a federation of farmers organizations, was established in response to the farmers' continuing struggle for self-reliance and emancipation through the active participation of local populace and their leaders. In collaboration with a nongovernment organization, the Mother Rosa Memorial Foundation (MRMF), the UMSS implemented a rural development program, the main components of which were aimed to encourage peoples participation and develop their problem-solving skills.  The program led to the formation of barrio-level associations/ cooperatives, and eventually the UMSS federation.  Trained and organized, the farmers of San Simon improved their productivity and gained control of irrigation systems in their barrios (community).  The UMSS also proved farmers' creditworthiness to financial institutions, enabling farmers to secure production loans. The farmers have put up their own warehouse and rice mill and established a farmers' training center.

Collecting Bargaining for Environmental Protection
Bacolod City

This case reflects the ability of two major sectors - business and labor - to jointly address a major public concern -i.e., the environment through the collective bargaining agreement.  In recognition of labor's key role in realizing and sustaining its environment goals and objectives, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the Philippines largest publicly-listed food, beverage, agribusiness and packaging company, chose the collective bargaining process to bind labor and management to the process.  Per Chapter 29 of the Agenda 21, collective bargaining provides a logical starting point for labor-management cooperation on environmental action since it is an established mechanism recognized by all actors in the workplace.  In the three bargaining units at SMC Greater Manila Area (GMA), SMC Bacolod and SMC Stock Transfer Services Corp., environmental provisions essentially provide responsibilities and powers to the Labor Management Committees to design and implement environmental programs.

Bantay Puerto Program
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

The Bantay Puerto Program (Safeguarding the Puerto Princesa Bay Program) was launched to ensure the protection, conservation and rational utilization of the city's marine and forest resources. The program consists of six components, namely:

  1. Bantay Gubat {Safeguarding the Forest) which aims to stop illegal logging and destructive practices such as slush-and-burn farming and the indiscriminate use of inorganic fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides
  2. Coastal Areas Protection Program which seeks to preserve the coastal areas of the city in their productive state;
  3. Bantay Dagat (Safeguarding the Sea/Bay) which aims to protect fishing areas, mangrove swamps, marine sanctuaries, bays, coves, estuarine waters and other aquamarine resources from illegal and destructive exploitation;
  4. Special Monitoring Group which gathers data and documents concerning activities that tend to disrupt and destroy lifelines of the city;
  5. Civilian Task Force which enforces the environmental law in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP); and
  6. the Cyanide Detection Test Group which firms up evidence on the use of cyanide, TNT and other poisonous and harmful chemicals, providing the basis for legal action.

The program's beneficiaries include the 110,000 or so residents of the city with special attention on the marginal fishermen, upland farmers and tribal minorities. It also aims to punish and stop drug traffickers, poachers, illegal loggers, kaingineros (slash-and-burn farmers), blast-and-poison fishermen and other lawbreakers. Virtually all residents are involved in the implementation of the project, from the city mayor down to the ordinary resident with strong partnership with NGOs, government agencies and the private sector. The program is funded solely by the city government and represents 20 percent of its Annual Development Fund.

Metro Naga Development Council
Naga City

Forging of a partnership among the City of Naga and its 12 neighboring municipalities is among the key features of this project. Naga City, being much better off than its neighbors, initiated the alliance to sustain its economic growth and expansion.  The programs of the council were undertaken by nine task forces, each performing their assigned task. Among its programs include:

  1. pooling of heavy equipment for road repair and infrastructure building to provide assistance to the poorest LGU;
  2. provision of fire protection and ambulance service;
  3. provision of basic water systems to far-flung communities;
  4. pooling technical and financial assistance package of various government agencies;
  5. provision of liberal credit program;
  6. human resource development and holding of job fairs; and
  7. organizing senior citizens.

Environmental activities are also undertaken such as the Isang Irog Movement, a reforestation and river protection project, aimed at preventing further destruction of the city's watershed, Mt. Isarog.  These projects address short- and long-term objectives.  Moreover, local chief executives have been able to draw from formerly unavailable resources to answer the most pressing needs of their respective constituencies.

B'laan-T'boli Agrotechnology Program
T'boli, South Cotabato

The B'laan-T'boli Agrotechnology Program was initiated in 1985 to address the problems besetting some 432 T'boli and B'laan poor families through the development of 130 hectares of T'boli farms using the modified version of Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT). The project has three components, namely:

  1. farming through the modified SALT methods or grass barrier technique using intercropping methods;
  2. livestock and poultry production; and
  3. marketing.

Specific activities include an information campaign, indigenous resource management workshop, an integrated upland development skills training, technical assistance, linkages with government agencies, marketing and cooperative development. With assistance from the South Cotabato Foundation (SCF), a local NGO, and other government agencies (Bureau of Forest Development, Bureau of Animal Industry, Bureau of Plant Industry and the DOH, the target of developing the 130 hectares was surpassed by 20 more hectares. Wide trails (8 km.) were built by beneficiaries themselves. The project not only helped the targeted families/ communities to be self-reliant but also enhanced tribal communities' participation in developing their area.

Dur-as Ti Barangay Program
Solsona, Ilocos Norte

The Dur-as Ti Barangay Program (Progress for the Community Program) of the municipal government of Solsona, Ilocos Norte was initiated in 1989 to help bring the government closer to the people and become more accessible to ensure better and faster service.  The project mainly facilitates local government and interagency projects for barangays, such as infrastructure (multipurpose pavements, waiting sheds and river control projects); livelihood projects (animal dispersal, seedling distribution of fruitbearing trees and bamboo); health and sanitation; skills training; real property tax collection campaign, and the peace and order campaign.  Among the strengths of the project is improved people's participation as well as interagency cooperation and the commitment of the LGU to implement the project.  Annually, the local government allots P 1 million for the project, sourced from the municipal development fund.  Project beneficiaries are depressed and underdeveloped sitios (small villages} of 22 barangays. In 1994 and 1995, Solsona was awarded the cleanest and greenest municipality of Ilocos Norte and of the entire region and is among the national contenders for the Presidential Award.  Other LGUs have emulated the existing program and policies of the municipality of Solsona.

Nueva Ecija Sustainable Rural District Development Program
Nueva Ecija Province

The Nueva Ecija Sustainable Rural District Development Program revolves around the promotion of sustainable rice industry development and is complemented by the demonstration of models for community-based watershed management. Through the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), an NGO, the project promoted sustainable rice industry, an alternative pattern for rice production which aims to achieve the following:

  1. shift to organic farming using and producing locally-sourced organic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Costly high-yielding rice varieties are also replaced by improved traditional rice varieties;
  2. the increase of value-added products sold by farmers by establishing farmer-controlled and managed rice mills and postharvest facilities;
  3. the increase in farmers income and provision of quality toxin-free grains to consumers;
  4. the development of alternative sources of rural finance to reduce dependence on usurious sources of credit;
  5. the regeneration of the soil and reduced contamination of ground water; and
  6. the heightened advocacy for food security and preservation of productive lands.

Sustainable Tourism Development
El Nido, Palawan

Ten Knots Development Corporation is the owner and operator of the two E1 Nido Resorts in Pangulasian and Miniloc Islands in E1 Nido, Palawan which is famous for its limestone cliffs, diverse marine life, white sand beaches and unique flora and fauna. It is a joint venture between A. Soriano Corporation and Nissin Sugar Mfg. Co., Ltd. Its vision is to develop E1 Nido into a world class tourism destination with emphasis on involving resort guests, staff and the members of the E1 Nido community in the conservation and protection of the area's natural resources.  The company veers away from the traditional tourism practices and integrates sustainable resource management and community participation in their undertakings. It makes use of ecotourism, where the local communities are provided alternatives to resource extraction, as a vehicle for conservation.  Recognizing the pitfalls of ecotourism, an Integrated Ecosystems Management Program was drawn up and implemented.  The three-pronged program addresses the following: 1) sustainable environmental resource management to address the possibility of environmental degradation; 2) socioeconomic development to address the problem of overdependence on a single industry; and 3) local capability-building and governance or people empowerment to address the possible negative socio-cultural impact of tourism on the local community of E1 Nido. Among the projects implemented so far include seminars and environmental information and education campaigns on sustainable resource management, zero-waste management, El Nido Mooring Buoy Project, Bebeladan Community Water System Project and Community Organizing Project.

Bataan Sustainable Rural District Development Program
Bataan Province

The Bataan Sustainable Rural District Development Program (SRDDP) is a program whose primary focus is anchored on two major concerns: coastal resource management (CRM); and inland development. CRM activities are aimed at regenerating and rehabilitating coastal resources and at increasing the income of the fisherfolk through more resource control, value added activities and alternative enterprises. Similarly, inland development activities are implemented to increase farmer household income through sustainable agriculture and forest protection and regeneration. Other project components include mainstreaming an alternative industrialization strategy, improving quality of life and continued social infrastructure building. The project involves some 106 peoples organizations (POs) which coordinate with the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and other government agencies. Through this project, the communities are gaining control over their municipal resources and access to local decision-making process.

Marine-Ecosystem Protection Program of Danao Bay
Misom Sea Sanctuary
Misamis Occidental

The Misom Sea Sanctuary is an ecosystem protection project initiated in the 1990s by the Pipuli Foundation, an NGO, in response to the problem confronting Danao Bay.  The Foundation, together with a fisher/lay leader and the local parish priest started the project to protect the unique mangrove forest in Barangay Misom from small-scale logging.  The area could become a major source of seedlings for deforested mangrove areas in the region.  They also sought to restore the reef flat and coral reef as sources of life.  The committed leadership of the people in charge of the sanctuary and the strong support of the LGUs in terms of law enforcement contributed to the success of the project.  However, there is still a need to encourage further people participation and community acceptance of the project as marine sanctuary.  In coordination with the DENR, the sanctuary is being proposed for inclusion in the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS).

Kabalikat Rubber Development Project
North Cotabato

North Cotabato is among the provinces in the southern part of the Philippines. For farmers working in the rubber plantation owned by the Makilala Rubber Development Corporation (Makrubber), the question of land ownership was resolved in a most novel way. When the corporation decided to phase out its operation, the landed estates of the corporation were sold to the laid-off employees in accordance with the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government. The provincial government of Cotabato collaborated with the corporation to set-up a mechanism to coordinate all efforts to assist the farmer-beneficiaries. This led to the launching of the Kabalikat Rubber Development Project. The farmer-beneficiaries were organized into a cooperative which later on also included farmers in other barangays. The cooperative established two seedling nurseries for planting new rubber trees and purchased some heavy equipment for the transport and hauling of their products. The farmer beneficiaries also practiced intercropping. Another project of the program is the acquisition of more lands for distribution under CARP to increase the number of farmers-landowners. The program proves thus far that public-private sector initiative to address the needs of impoverished communities is not only practicable but an efficient way of harnessing the resources the partners command.

C.   Review of Global Commitments on
       Financing Sustainable Development Initiatives

          External financial sources such as official development assistance (ODA) concessional loans and grants are utilized to finance sustainable development programs and projects. Grant assistance extended include, among others, the following initiatives: 1) UNDP's Capacitv 21 Facility which funded the "Capability Building in Support of the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development" Project; 2) UNDP Fifth Country Program for the Integrated Environmental Management for Sustainable Development (IEMSD) Programme; and 3) Global Environment Fund (GEF) grant assistance which has funded national government projects in the areas of biodiversity and climate change.

          While the country has already articulated its sustainable development priorities through the Philippine Agenda 21, its implementation is seriously hampered by the lack of funding.  The dearth of financing sources and options to finance SD is a dilemma shared by most developing countries faced with the need to harmonize development aspirations with sustainable development imperatives. The country calls on developed countries to meet the United Nations target of allocating 0.7 percent of their Gross National Product (GNP) for Official Development Assistance (ODA).  This position has consistently been verbalized by the Philippine Delegation including the G-77 and China during the past sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). It appears, however, that the target is far from being achieved. It is noted that levels of ODA commitments to the country have been decreasing, reflective of the global ODA trends (Inocentes; 1996).  As it currently stands, financial assistance to operationalize sustainable development, in the form of ODA, may not be forthcoming.  Given this and the worsening environmental threats, the PCSD continually explores and remains open to a host of sustainable development financing options/mechanisms which could provide the needed impetus for translating sustainable development, particularly the PA 21 into doable strategies.  Specifically, the introduction of economic instruments/market-based instruments (MBIs) as means of resource mobilization is being explored.  Moreover, private sector participation in sustainable development activities is also being promoted and encouraged.  The Philippines fully subscribes to the need for global partnership on sustainable development.  The country's participation in international conventions which are host to a number of multilateral agreements on the environment affirms its commitment to address environmental issues transcending boundaries. Full compliance to these agreements, however, is hampered to a significant extent by the lack of financing and access to technology, among others.  Compliance to the provision of the Montreal Protocol which advocates the phase-out of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS), for instance, may not yet materialise in the absence of financial assistance and alternative technologies to ODS. These issues are expected to threaten global cooperation and undermine efforts at sustainable development.

   

AGENDA FOR THE FUTURE

          The initiatives that the country has undertaken so far may be considered a minute stride as far as global struggle against environmental degradation and poverty is concerned.  There is still a need to strengthen the concerted effort of all stakeholders in the furtherance of a common goal of sustainable development.  With the approval of EO 370 entitled "Strengthening the PCSD", there is a renewed confidence that the Council would be better equipped to deal with emerging sustainable development concerns.  The Philippine Agenda 21 has laid out the set of priority activities to address sustainable development issues and other emerging concerns.  A comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and reporting system needs to be developed to assess the level of integration of the PA 21 elements and guide all stakeholders to meaningfully participate in the process of operationalizing sustainable development.  The EIA system for reviewing agency budgets shall also be developed and implemented starting with the 1998 budget.  The integration of SD principles in governance shall also be pursued through the establishment of environmental units in all agencies, strengthening of a multisectoral and multidisciplinary character of planning units at all levels and agencies, and the integration of "Environment Intelligence Quotient" tests for career service officers and other government personnel, among others.  The localization of the PA 21 is vital in mainstreaming sustainable development concerns in local planning and implementation of programs and projects.  The adoption of a mechanism at the local level will be pursued to provide a mechanism to ensure coordination and cooperation among the various actors.  This local structure shall also be responsible for resource mobilization, capability building, information, education and communication (IEC), monitoring/evaluation and reporting, and linkaging and networking for SD initiatives in its area of concern. In addition, the conduct of awareness-raising programs for national and local government executives as well as the provision of technical assistance to LGUs in the formulation of their respective local Agenda 21 shall also receive priority attention.  Advocacy programs shall likewise be pursued through the conduct of policy studies, policy fora, lobbying, ecological labeling, and exchange visits-cum-seminars as part of communication strategies on sustainable development.


  

PCSD Coordinating Secretariat

c/o Agriculture Staff, 3rd Floor, NEDA sa Pasig Building, Amber Avenue
1600 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.Nos.: (63)(2) 631-3745 / (63)(2) 631-3714 / Fax. No: (63)(2) 633-6015 
www.neda.gov.ph

 

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