The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently established an Environmental Compliance Assistance Center (ECAC) catering to local government units (LGUs) in the country. The center will provide fast and reliable technical assistance to local government authorities and officials for their environment- related concerns. The establishment of the ECAC for LGUs is the agency’s response to improve understanding and strengthen capacity of local agencies both as enforcers of environmental laws and also as operators of regulated establishments. A physical center and interactive website had been launched to directly assist LGUs.
In 2009, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), also under the DENR, piloted ECACs for selected sectors within the Laguna de Bay region. Mechanisms and systems developed, insights and learnings in running these ECACs contributed to the establishment of the new center. The ECO-Asia program, with support from USAID, and technical assistance from US EPA, facilitated exchanges and assisted LLDA in establishing the first ECACs under the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN).