Monday, June 6, 2011

Bulacan’s greening actions

Bulacan’s governor Wilhelmino Alvarado
A day after the World Environment Day, Bulacan’s governor Wilhelmino Alvarado arranged to sign the province first Environmental Code. According to Lawyer Rustico de Belen, the head of the provincial environment and natural resources, the signing of the code into law is a commemoration of the Environment Month in the province.

The 2011 Environment Code covers national legislation on the protection and conservation of the environment. It includes provisions on solid waste management, clean air, management of toxic waste, forestry, coastal resource management, establishment of sanitary landfill, and even mining regulations.

De Belen said that the most notable provisions in the code are the ones on coastal resource management and mining and the provincial government does not have an office that focuses on coastal resource management.

He also added: “The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has a division on coastal resource management, but we need our own men who will look into it.”

The code requires location clearance from the governor’s office on sanitary landfills and mining. “There is no law that regulates the establishment of sanitary landfills in Bulacan and the province usually ends up legitimizing landfills (that are) constructed,” De Belen said.

On mining, he said the code requires free prior informed concerned (FPIC) and provincial environment compliance certificate, especially for small mining firms.

In the past, he said small mining firms merely secured permits from barangay heads.

(Source: Dino Balabo of PhilStar)

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