Amidst growing concerns regarding rampant and continuous illegal activities and environmental violations in the province of Palawan, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, through its Committee on Security and Safety, spearheaded the reorganization of the Environmental Enforcement Program (EEP). This recommitment effort was initiated thru the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement held on the 3rd of March 2014.
The EEP will be implemented and will operate under the supervision and direction of the PCSD Committee on Security and Safety, chaired by the Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda, Commander of Western Command. The Committee shall also be regarded as the Environmental Enforcement Board (EEB). As such, the members of the PCSD Committee on Security and Safety shall also be the members of the EEB.
The EEB shall establish the immediate response team from among its members, specifically tasked to coordinate and implement enforcement and IEC related activities.
The members included in the enforcement team are: Western Command, Naval Forces West, 570th Composite Tactical Wing, PNP-Provincial Office, PNP Maritime – Special Boat Unit, Coast Guard District Palawan-PCG, CIDG-Palawan, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bantay Palawan, DENR-PENRO, BFAR-Palawan, PCSDS, NBI, and Customs.
As for the members included in the Information and Education Campaign Team are the following: PCSDS, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Rresources – Palawan, Bantay Palawan, Palawan NGO Network, Inc. and Environmental Legal Assistance Center.
“With the reestablishment of the Environmental Enforcement Program, there will be an institutionalization of the enforcement across the environmental battlefield. This provides for an enforcement network that will work closely in reducing if not totally eradicate environmental violations in the province” said Alex Marcaida, Division Chief of ECAN Environmental Extension and spokesperson of PCSDS.
The objectives of the program are as follows:
- To monitor the implementation of environmental laws initiated by the Local Government Units and concerned agencies and provide quick response on Apprehension matters;
- To provide, adopt and implement plans relative to the monitoring activities (cited in item 1) consistent with existing laws to carry out the purpose thereof;
- To show presence or “visibility” of environmental enforcement agencies in the area to possibly deter further illegal activities;
- To coordinate closely among members of the EEB in collaboration with concerned government agencies in monitoring all development and environmental activities in the province; and
- To promote and encourage the participation of all sectors, including community mobilization and empowerment, in the protection, conservation and sustainable management of resources in Palawan.
With the collective participation of the people, communities, national agencies, LGUs and NGOs, the program will provide immediate action on reported illegal activities involving violations of environmental laws, rules and regulations and information dissemination campaign.