Environmental Management Bureau

Preventive Air and Noise Pollution Programs in Small Communities: The Case of Palawan, Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 19 2009

Various programs that aim to minimize air and noise pollution from the transport sector are being implemented. These programs are usually conducted in areas with large and dense population or areas where flow of traffic and people are heavy. The aim is to improve air quality via the application of command and control schemes or market based instruments in the transport sector. Interventions could also involve introduction of alternative technologies (e.g. electric buses) or arrangements (e.g. limitation on number of vehicles via coding schemes).

Responsible Party: 
Regulated Community
I. Objectives or Impact: 

Various programs that aim to minimize air and noise pollution from the transport sector are being implemented. These programs are usually conducted in areas with large and dense population or areas where flow of traffic and people are heavy. The aim is to improve air quality via the application of command and control schemes or market based instruments in the transport sector. Interventions could also involve introduction of alternative technologies (e.g. electric buses) or arrangements (e.g. limitation on number of vehicles via coding schemes). However, there are few cases which showcase the promotion of air and noise pollution minimization in small communities. The common argument is that in small areas, air and noise pollution are relatively minimal. This notion tends to look at policies on pollution as curative rather than preventive. Also, if unchecked, the pace of growth has a greater tendency to overtake policy on pollution and environment. Thus, it becomes equally relevant for small communities and rural areas to undertake policies that would prevent air and noise pollution. The case of Palawan showcases possible preventive interventions that can be put into place. It also makes a point that preventive interventions are effective and could even be less costly to undertake. The objective of the effort is to promote awareness on the need to undertake preventive policies on air and noise pollution in small cities or rural communities.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The Asian Development Bank extended a technical assistance to Puerto Princesa, the city government of Palawan in the Philippines, for the identification of strategies that will reduce air and noise pollution from tricycles. The tricycles are targeted since this is the prime mode of transportation in the area. Also, if unchecked in terms of the number of vehicles, this sector can be a potential source of air and noise pollution in the city. The activities of the assistance involved the following components: (1) improving tricycle emissions by strengthening the operators’ and members’ technical and managerial knowledge base, (2) establishment of a fund that will be used for possible purchases of cleaner technologies by operators, and (3) enhancing the city government’s capacity in enforcing the Clean Air Act (e.g. roadside emission monitoring). A crucial activity undertaken by the project is soliciting the support of the stakeholders via consultations during the project’s implementation phase. In particular, a micro-finance institution is tapped to administer and manage the operators’ and drivers’ multi-purpose fund.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Interestingly, the project’s strength is increasing the know-how of those who actually operate and use the tricycles. From the point of view of operators, there is an incentive for this since it ultimately affects their day-to-day earnings. Through demonstration and training, drivers were taught how to give proper preventive maintenance or basic clean-up of tricycles. For the initial training, a total of 161 tricycle drivers benefited. Currently, other associations are requesting the same demonstration training. With regard to the air quality management training, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) was engaged to provide training on the handling, operating, and maintenance of the air samplers. The PNRI also oversaw the training on the collection of air samples and analysis of the collected samples for the presence and concentration of particulate matters. On roadside emission monitoring, the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) administered the training.

A. Policy Framework: 

The effort required various forms of arrangements given the channels undertaken by the project. In terms of the establishment of funds, a Letter of Engagement (LE) or a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) might be required. The MOA or LE is needed to lay down rules on how the fund will be established and disbursed. On the side of regulation, rules identifying who would eventually perform the task of monitoring air quality need to be determined. A legal delineation of duties of the relevant local government divisions is required. Also, the identification of the office or staff who would be the eventual enforcers would need clearance from other national agencies. In the case of Palawan, sanction from the Department of Transportation and Communication/Land Transportation Office was required.

B. Budgetary and Financial Requirements: 

(see materials and resources)

C. Human Resources: 

The program would involve upgrading of skills of operators. Training on proper engine maintenance for operators and drivers are required. On monitoring of emissions and air quality, existing personnel in the local government can be used. However, these personnel will need certification from national agencies tasked with handling the transport sector and monitoring air quality. For the case of Palawan, involvement from the EMB and the DOTC was critical. With the use of equipment for air sampling, the local government should also have a staff dedicated on the proper maintenance and use of the equipment. This would require training on the setting up and operation of the samplers, and the proper handling storing, and transporting of the air filters.

D. Material Resources: 

The program will require additional capital equipment that will be used for air quality monitoring and road emission testing. For Palawan, a high volume air sampler was required. Machines needed for the handling, storing, and analysis of air samples are also critical.

E. Institutional Support: 

The program is dependent on the support of both public and private institutions like non-government agencies, national agencies and offices, and local communities. For Palawan, the setting up of fund required the support of the Negros Women for Tomorrow’s Foundation. Support from the Department of Science and Technology was also solicited with regard to the provision of technologies on cleaner production.

V. Further Information: 

Air and Noise Pollution Strategies for the Tricycle sub-sector in Palawan, Philippines: Project Interim Report. www.adb.org www.povertyenvironment.net

The Clean Water Act Law of the Philippines: The Use of Incentives to Promote Investments

Date posted: 
Jan 26 2010

The Philippines is once known to be relatively abundant in water resources. However, the pressures of population growth, urbanization, and industrialization placed a toll on the resource. One of the most pressing concerns is the increased competition in the various uses of water. There is also serious concern regarding watershed degradation and unmonitored extraction of groundwater by illegal users. The Clean Water Act Law of the Philippines aims to promote and encourage the protection of the country’s water resources.

Responsible Party: 
Compliance
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The Philippines is once known to be relatively abundant in water resources. However, the pressures of population growth, urbanization, and industrialization placed a toll on the resource. One of the most pressing concerns is the increased competition in the various uses of water. There is also serious concern regarding watershed degradation and unmonitored extraction of groundwater by illegal users. At the same time, pressing issues on water pollution is present. From a World Bank study, 90% of the sewage generated in the country is not treated. Major rivers and waterways are also confronted with pollution and degradation due to the encroachment of settlers, especially in urban centers. The Clean Water Act Law of the Philippines aims to promote and encourage the protection of the country’s water resources. To fully encourage local governments, water districts, communities, and the private sector to partake in efforts on reducing water pollution, provisions on incentives are provided for in the law.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The Clean Water Act provides incentives to local government units, water districts, enterprises, private entities, and individuals to develop or undertake efforts that would result to effective water quality management and pollution abatement. Specifically, it encourages efforts on wastewater treatment, cleaner production, and adoption of technologies that minimizes waste. Incentives specifically mentioned in the law are tax and duty exemption on imported capital equipment and tax credit on domestic capital equipment.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The guidelines and procedures on availing the incentives provided by the Clean Water Act have just been recently formulated. However, from the consultations conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with various stakeholders (manufacturers, private sector, NGOs, and local government units), positive response on the incentives was generally elicited.

A. Policy Framework: 

An initial barrier that was encountered was the Clean Water Act’s harmonization with preceding laws on incentives and taxation. For instance, heavy discussions with respect to exemption from Value-Added Tax (VAT) occurred. Also, it was realized that other government agencies are tasked on evaluating the merits of an application for tax exemptions. In the case of the CWA, heavy coordination with other government agencies, specifically with the Bureau of Investments (BOI), was necessary. Another barrier encountered is that though the law mentions the involvement of private lending institutions, it was discovered that lending institutions do not have a regular source of funding for environment projects like waste water treatment and pollution abatement. The funds they are using for existing environment projects are dependent on support given by various international donor agencies.

B. Budgetary and Financial Requirements: 

Another input that was identified as necessary is the availability of personnel within the DENR who can assess whether an application merits the CWA incentives. Also, it was also important to have a unit or regular staff that will assess the performance (in terms of pollution control, discharge) of those who would avail of incentives.

C. Human Resources: 

A complete program on evaluation to monitoring of CWA-related investments and efforts would require funding for regular operations. It was identified that regional DENR office need to have resources in order to conduct evaluation and monitoring of those granted with CWA incentives. Also, additional staff needs to be hired in order to accommodate the administrative tasks related with accommodating applicants.

D. Material Resources: 

The additional administrative tasks related with evaluating the applications would require additional resources like vehicles for inspection and evaluation, and an information and data base system for keeping track of the performance of those granted with the incentives. At the same time, the Bureau of Investment would also require an information system that will aid whether the incentives given were really spend on CWA-related activities.

E. Institutional Support: 

Partnerships with the local government and other stakeholders (NGOs, civic groups) are required to ensure that performance actually improves due to the provision of incentives. Also, regular coordination with other agencies like the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Finance needs to be undertaken.

F. Planning, Scheduling or Sequencing of Activities: 

Typical programs that provide subsidies or incentives for environment programs have a gestation period. This provides an incentive to stakeholders to immediately implement their program their investment plans. In the case of the Clean Water Act, less than ten years is provided for the the provision of incentives.

V. Further Information: 

Bureau of Investment. www.boi.gov.ph Department of Environment and Natural Resources. www.denr.gov.ph

On-line Posting of the Transporter Capabilities in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The main objective is to drive out of business unscrupulous Toxic and Hazardous Wastes (THW) transporters with fake or expired licenses.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The main objective is to drive out of business unscrupulous Toxic and Hazardous Wastes (THW) transporters with fake or expired licenses.

Sector/subsector:

The good practice addresses the transport and movement of THW, minimize potential accidents from THW, and reduce the quantity of illegally dumped in the environment, and discourage illegal recovery and re-use of dumped THW.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

Transporters of THW are required to undergo training on the documentation, emergency procedures and impacts of various THW on human health and the environment. The trucks for hauling must be provided with first aid facilities, equipment and chemicals necessary for clean up in case of emergencies, and special signage identifying the type, quantity, nature , first aid and emergency procedures. Due to stringent licensing requirements, a number of THW transporters with fake or expired licenses proliferate in the market THW transporters with fake manifest are also common.

The capability of THW transporters, the expiration dates, truck fleet, licensed drivers and personnel are posted in the internet. The administrative procedure was also revised, putting on the THW the responsibility of consulting the Environment Management Bureau website to check the validity of the THW transporter license , the capabilities and limitations imposed on the license and the responsible person to contact to prevent third parties from using another transporter’s license. The THW generator is equally responsible with the illegal THW transporter.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Within 30 days after the new regulations and website was available, more than 100 new applications or renewal of THW transporter license were received and an unknown number of illegal transporter went out of business.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The Administrative Order governing the responsibility of the THW generator during transport was modified to make them equally responsible if the THW transporter is unlicensed. Prior to this amendment, the THW generator could claim that he had been tricked into believing that the THW transporter is duly licensed and even goes to provide a copy of the fake license provided by the transporter with the authority to transport the THW. An additional copy of theTHW transporter permit is submitted to the IT unit for posting in the webpage.

Human Resources and Skills

The main personnel skill required is knowledge to update the webpage periodically.
Material and Resources

Computer, webpage and server.

Institutional Support

The server was provided by a World Bank grant.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

Revised guidelines for the licensing of THW transporters
http://www.emb.gov.ph

Tracking of Toxic and Hazardous Waste (THW) Movement in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The movement of THW is controlled by a manifest system that was developed in 1993. This is the time when the information technology revolution was just starting. The objective of the practice is to upgrade the manifest system used in tracking the THW movement by means of the electronic mail system.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The movement of THW is controlled by a manifest system that was developed in 1993. This is the time when the information technology revolution was just starting. The objective of the practice is to upgrade the manifest system used in tracking the THW movement by means of the electronic mail system.

Sector/subsector:

The practice covers THW from the generation, transport and acceptance at the THW treatment and/or storage facility.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The previous practice requires the THW transporter to apply for authority to move the wastes from the generator to the THW storage and/or treatment facility. Manifest form is issued with the authority to transport; designating the route and approximate time it will pass a particular route and acceptance by the THW storage and/or treatment facility. The THW transporter mails the acceptance by the THW storage and/or treatment facility and declaration on the route used and time. Given the previous practice, the filled forms sometimes arrive at the regional office one month after posting, especially if the regional office and the THW storage and/or disposal facility is not served by regular air carrier. By the time it reaches the regional offices, the manifest has lost it purpose unless there was an accident or the THW facility was caught disposing improperly disposing the wastes.

With the new practice, the manifest is encoded electronically and the THW transporter submits the manifest electronically within 48 hours after the expected delivery of the THW. If the THW transporter does not report within 48 hours, its license is considered to be under review and properly reflected in the environmental management webpage for accredited THW transporter. Automatically, a message is transmitted for the THW storage and/or disposal facility to acknowledge having received the particular wastes and undertaking to notify the regional of its disposal, treatment, export or storage.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The electronic reporting provides timely tracking of the THW movement and prevents the illegal disposal by THW transporter of the wastes or diversion of the wastes to unauthorized THW storage and/or treatment facility especially for THW with potent reuse and recover value.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The administrative order governing the transport, manifest system and movement of THW has to be modified to incorporate the electronic reporting of the movement of THW as well as the penalty for late reporting, potential lose of customer when the license are considered under review for late reporting.

Human Resources and Skills

The practice requires a data encoder to update the status of the manifest and a website manager to authorize the posting of THW transporter license for late reporting.

Material and Resources

The practice requires a server, computers , internet connection, and software.

Institutional Support

The software was developed under a UNDP grant and the server was provided by the World Bank grant.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

Simplifying the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedures in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Dec 12 2009

The practice is an on-going and continuous process to stream line and simplify the conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The practice is an on-going and continuous process to stream line and simplify the conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures. Sector/subsector: The practice covers environmentally critical projects as well as non-environmentally critical projects located in environmentally critical areas.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The EIA is primarily a planning tool. On the other hand, the laws on water, air, solid wastes, toxic and hazardous wastes management are regulatory tools. Aside from the environmental laws, a number of environmental concerns have been traditionally and continues to be effectively addressed by a number of government departments other than the environmental management organizations. Environmental issues are crosscutting, covering various disciplines. The main purpose of the EIA process is to identify the environmental issues and highlight those issues for consideration and incorporation by the decision makers vested with legal authority and technical skills. Other departments such as the land use planning, water resources management, forestry, fisheries, and geosciences share on the task of supervising and addressing environment concerns. These agencies can utilize various tools in their respective expertise and disciplines to do so (e.g. social sciences, engineering). However, instead of the EIA being done as early as possible in the project cycle, the EIA is evaluated and makes room for the previous approvals and decisions of the other departments. As a result the EIA has become useless and in a number of instances. Worse, it often times serves as mere rubber stamp for environmentally destructive projects by confirming the decisions made by other agencies without proper consideration of the environmental issues. In the later case, the EIA process contributes to environmental degradation rather than acting as aid for mitigation. For example, a project may have serious environmental concern. For example, land use a reclassification should not have been granted by the land-use planning agency. However, it is often the case that reclassification comes prior to the EIA evaluation. In this particular case, the EIA merely concurs with earlier decisions made by allied agencies. The EIA agency is then placed in an indecisive position. At the same time, the EIA process is blamed for delayed implementation of important projects designed to address environmental problems such as the sitting of sanitary landfill, construction of sewage treatment plants. This practice realigned the EIA process in its appropriate function in the project cycle, strengthened its role in the decision making process by dictating and highlighting the environmental concerns that other decision makers have to consider rather than the other way around. At the same time, it improves the monitoring and enforcement of the environmental concerns especially those aspects where the burden and responsibility have been placed in other governmental agencies.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The other agencies take the responsibility of incorporating the findings of the EIA and in the process are made answerable to the public if they disregard the recommendations.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

In the case of the Philippines, the EIA authority is vested on the President of the Republic. The President issued Administrative Order 42 which  clarifies and instructs that the EIA is carried out as early as possible in the project cycle. Similarly, the EIA procedures and guideline were revised to reflect the intent of AO 42. Instead of the EIA requiring prior permits and clearances, the findings of the EIA process highlights and in some instances dictates to the other agencies the important environmental concerns that they have to consider in decision-making.

Human Resources and Skills

There were no additional human resources required. However, a number of seminars and training were carried out to reverse the old practices that made the EIA process irrelevant.

Material and Resources

A number of training materials, guidebooks and information materials were made and distributed to the project proponents.

Institutional Support

The project was carried out with the support of the Asian Development Bank.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications: AO 42 Revised EIA Guidelines

Simplified and Effective Air Monitoring Programs in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The practice aims to provide cost-effective air monitoring program, especially in the scenario of budget and resource constraint.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The practice aims to provide cost-effective air monitoring program, especially in the scenario of budget and resource constraint.

Sector/subsector:

Air pollution monitoring

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

Ambient air quality standards have averaging times of ranging, from one hour for carbon monoxide and ozone to one year for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. However, commercial manufacturers and distributors of air pollution monitoring equipment aim to sell expensive real-time monitoring equipment, linked to the Internet where people could see the trends of air quality. While the instantaneous presentations of the results could mesmerize the public and decision-makers unfamiliar with technical issues on air quality monitoring, the prohibitive cost of such system (US$300,000 to 700,000 per monitoring site) makes the usefulness of the monitoring data of little value to actual policy making. Also, the monitoring stations are limited in number and often sparsely located. The operating and maintenance cost of the monitoring stations is very expensive, ranging from $20,000 to 50,000 annually. Real time air quality monitors then often serve as promotional display, often located in the middle of parks and places of thick vegetation, negating its main and actual purpose.

However, with budget constraints, far more cost-effective options are available. In the last 20 years, passive samplers have been developed and used satisfactorily. Compared with real time monitors, passive samplers are cheap, costing from $5 to 10 per sample. Instead of one sample for one urban area, the air quality could be monitored at a hundred sites at a fraction of the annual and operating cost of an open path sampler. One drawback of passive samplers though is the frequent need to take, remove, and change the sampler depending on the averaging time of the pollutant.

Passive samplers were shown to be very effective. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank used the passive sampler in monitoring the sulfur dioxide concentration in its RAINS-ASIA program. The monitoring results were used to calibrate a complex acid rain regional model and development regional strategies. In the past, the cost of passive samplers and analysis was much higher, by as much as a factor of three as the equipment for analyzing the samples were in the early stages of development and very few laboratories in the world have the capability. The samplers were sent to Europe for analysis. Today the equipment for analysis could be purchased at around $50,000.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank used the passive samplers effectively in its acid rain studies in Asia. The monitoring results were used to calibrate the RAINS-ASIA model and develop mitigation measures.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

There is a need for the development of a strong and well-defined air pollution monitoring policy framework in order for the technical personnel to resist the strong pressure from expensive air pollution monitoring equipment salesmen. The monitoring stations locations have to be defined in terms of area, population density and economic activity. It should be realized that one or two sampling stations do not give any meaningful picture of the air pollution trend of the city.

Human Resources and Skills

In the World Bank and Asian Development Bank study, the nearby residents did the collection and replacement of the passive samplers.  They were given one hour training on the placement, removal and storage of the samplers. Laboratory equipment for analysis would be advantageous if there are more than a hundred samples to analyze every month. A skilled chemist is required to run the equipment.

Material and Resources

Supply of passive samplers and analytical equipment is needed. Otherwise the sampler could be mailed to the nearest laboratory with the proper equipment and analyst as done in the World Bank –Asian Development Bank study.

Institutional Support

Support from scientific community and NGO is needed in order for the environmental management agency to withstand the pressure from salesmen to buy expensive monitoring equipment.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

World Bank publications on Acid Rain

Monitoring Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

A number of persistent organic chemicals are used in industries. However, laboratories in developing countries normally do not have the facilities to analyze the pollutants created by these organic chemicals.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

A number of persistent organic chemicals are used in industries. However, laboratories in developing countries normally do not have the facilities to analyze the pollutants created by these organic chemicals.

Sector/subsector:

Monitoring of use of organic chemicals and enforcing compliance on rules governing created pollutants.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The number of persistent organic chemicals used in modern industries is quite numerous and often the concentration in the environment of concern is very low that is unrealistic for laboratories in most developing countries to be equipped with the appropriate laboratory facilities. The usage of those persistent organic chemicals and the generated pollutants could very small. However, those substances can accumulate in the environment and may reach critical levels. Once the chemicals have accumulated, it may take decades before the chemicals are neutralized, especially if the chemicals affect groundwater.

One of such chemical is Trichloroethylene, or TCE. TCE is widely used in industries, ranging from dry cleaners, machine shops, electronic and semi-conductors. It is even used by households as a degreasing and cleaning chemical. TCE is a potential carcinogenic substance and in most countries. Its use has been prohibited since the mid 1990s. TCE is a volatile substance but it is scrubbed from the atmosphere by rain and carried underground, often contaminating ground water resources.

TCE is just an example of an industrial chemical, whose impacts on the environment is persistent and potentially damaging even at parts per billion or parts per trillion range. Most countries have a reporting system or control on the entry of those chemicals on their border. However, once inside their territory the monitoring is patchy, since sophisticated laboratory required for monitoring is most often than not absent.

In this particular case, the presence of TCE in the ground water was voluntarily reported by a multi-national giant after it carried out clean up of its old factory site. The company stopped using TCE in 1992 in line with its parent company environmental policy and 2006 as part of its clean up procedures; it spent hundreds of thousand of dollars to sample and analyze the soil and groundwater. Due to the wide uses of TCE and the number of potential users it was difficult to pinpoint the source. However, the concentration was up to a hundred times higher than the recommended TCE levels on drinking water by the World Health Organization.

Based on this incident, the procedures for importation of some 30 chemicals were revised. Importers of chemicals in the “watch list” were required to submit the list of users and the quantity used prior to authorization to import. The users were required to report the concentration of those chemicals in the groundwater, surface and soil as part of their environmental permit.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The cost of analyzing one sample of a typical chemical in the “watch list” is $50 and measuring the downstream and upstream surface and ground water quality can reach $200 per year. The cost of analysis for soil sample is higher, at $80. The total cost for a user per chemical type in the “watch list” is $280 per year. Considering that there are more than 10,000 users, the annual cost is $2,800,000. Interestingly, these associated costs are much higher than the budget of laboratory agencies of a typical environment agency.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

Implementation of the practice called for revision of the administrative order controlling the importation of the chemicals in the “watch list”. The environmental management agency also encourages the private sector to open laboratory facilities to analyze the various chemicals in the “watch list” to lower the cost. It is estimated that more than 40 percent of the present cost is the special handling and shipping requirements of the samples for analysis in either Singapore, Tokyo or West coast USA.

Human Resources and Skills

The revision was integrated into the existing workload of the staff evaluating and authorizing the importation of the chemicals in the “watch list”

Material and Resources

The monitoring of the users, the quantity used and the importers were encoded in the environmental management database to facilitate compliance monitoring.

Institutional Support

Implementation of the procedure called for strong cooperation between the environmental management and customs, which is responsible for the controlling entry of the chemicals in the watch list. It also called for strong cooperation within the agency of the water quality division and the THW and the controlled chemical division.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

Original DAO for controlled chemical importation
Revised DAO for controlled chemical importation

On-line Application for Certificate of Non-Coverage in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

An on-line application process facilitates the evaluation and issuance of Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) from the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) System. A considerable amount of resources are saved, both by the applicant and the concerned agency.

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

An on-line application process facilitates the evaluation and issuance of Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) from the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) System. A considerable amount of resources are saved, both by the applicant and the concerned agency.

Sector/subsector:

Non-environmentally critical projects located in non- environmental critical areas, as defined by Presidential Decree 1586 (1978), are not covered by the environmental impact system and as such do not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement. However, a number of project lenders and businesses request for a certificate of non-coverage to establish with certainty that the project is exempted from the EIA process.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The standard practice was for the project proponent or his representative to secure the forms from the nearest Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) office, fill the forms, and submit it back to the office for evaluation. The EMB office evaluates the submission and informs the project proponent within five working days of the results of the evaluation. Upon receipt of the confirmation, the project proponent pays the applicable fees and collects the CNC.

The process is time consuming especially for applicants who are located far from the EMB regional offices. This is made difficult as well since there are only 13 regional offices serving more than seventy provinces. The project proponent has to go to the regional office three times, first to get the forms, then to submit the forms, and finally to collect the CNC. In fact, the travel time and cost of travel alone could be several times more expensive than the CNC fees. Most often, the project proponent also disturbs the EMB staff from more important workload.

With the improved system, the application form is posted on the Internet. On-line, the project proponent fills it, and submits it electronically. He also submits scanned or fax copies to the concerned EMB office. If he meets all the requirements, he is asked to submit to the EMB office a certified true copy of all the supporting documents, present to the responsible EMB officer the original documents, pay the processing fees, and finally collect the CNC. If the submission is insufficient to support the application, he is informed of the deficiency through electronic mail, rather taking a trip to the EMB regional office.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The practice reduced the cost of securing the CNC, allows more thorough evaluation of the documentation submitted by EMB staff as they are not under pressure by the presence of the project proponent or his representative who has travelled more than a 100km or so. Lastly, the electronic forms make the evaluation process more transparent, predictable, and consistent.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The Supreme Court of the Philippines clarified the coverage of the EIA system. Non-environmentally critical projects located in non-environmentally critical areas are exempted. As such the EIA guidelines were revised in August 2007 to reflect the Supreme Court Decision and streamline the implementation of the EIA system.

Human Resources and Skills

Personnel in the regional and central office were trained to retrieve and evaluate the submissions. If in doubt, the staff at the regional office could send an email and ask for assistance from the EIA central office personnel. The EIA central office staff may also refer the problem to the Director EMB for direction if clarifications on the submissions are required.

Material and Resources

A key component in the implementation is the availability of internet connection in the EMB regional offices, key municipalities and cities where most of the project proponents have their businesses. As the practice involves transmittal of scanned documents, internet dial up connection is often insufficient. For this reason, project proponents are given the option of sending the documentation through fax.

Institutional Support

The project was developed with financial support from the Asian Development Bank.

V. Further Information: 

References and Publications:

Presidential Decree 1586 (1978)
Supreme Court of the Philippines
EIA Guidelines of August 2007

Contact Persons and Address:

www.emb.gov.ph

Posting of Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) in the Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 13 2008

The aim of the practice is to provide transparency, consistency and predictability of the conditions imposed on the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

Responsible Party: 
Enforcement Agency
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The aim of the practice is to provide transparency, consistency and predictability of the conditions imposed on the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

Sector/subsector:

The sector covers environmentally critical projects and/or projects located in environmentally critical areas as defined by Presidential Decree No. 1586, 1978.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is primarily a planning tool. In the development and assessment of the EIA, mitigating measures beyond the requirements of existing environmental laws are identified and ideally, the project proponent agrees to implement those measures to reduce the project environmental impacts. As the project impacts are very site- and project-design specific, the conditions imposed on the ECC varies across projects.

The ECC conditions are also affected by the personal experience, background and perceptions of the evaluation committee. It is a common concern among project proponents however, that some projects carry more stringent conditions compared to similar project of larger scale or located in more environmentally critical areas. Some ECC have conditionality beyond the control of the project proponent or may sound inappropriate.

The practice involves the posting of the ECC in the Internet. This creates an awareness for the project proponent, and even for those preparing the EIA, on the main impacts of the project, the mitigating measures to address those impacts, the local environmental conditions affecting the selection of the mitigating measures and the selection of alternatives. An on-line posting also imposes discipline in the evaluation committee from placing conditions that are inappropriate. The evaluation committee is also be guided by precedence set by previous ECC of similar or comparable projects.

The posting of the ECC in the Internet will also allow NGOs to monitor more closely compliance of projects on ECC conditions. It also enables the following: (1) how the ECC conditions fare with past conditions set by ECC of similar projects, (2) analysis on the soundness of the evaluation process, and (3) the reason for non-inclusion. It also eliminates the proliferation of fake ECC, or projects covered by the EIA processes that are being executed without an ECC.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Initial analysis showed large variations of the ECC conditions and in a number of instances confirmed project proponent’s concern of conditions beyond the capacity of the project proponent to address or just simply silly. As a result the ECC were posted in the intranet to provide internal comparison and upgrade the evaluation process.

IV. Essential Elements for Success: 

Policy Framework: Enabling Policy, Regulation, Inter-agency/Multiparty Agreements

The practice did not require any amendment to the existing EIA guidelines. It only requires an office memorandum for the ECC from all regions to be sent to the IT unit at the central office for posting.

Human Resources and Skills

The practice requires one to two hours per day of the IT personnel to post the ECC fax or sent by email from the regional offices.

Material and Resources

The practice requires a computer, server, fax machine and telephone lines.

Institutional Support

The practice requires strong leadership and support from top management of the organization otherwise the regions are hesitant to submit the ECC they have issued on time.

V. Further Information: 
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