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REVISED PCSD ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 06

Series of 2014

 

Subject:          REVISED GUIDELINES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SEP CLEARANCE SYSTEM

 

Pursuant to Sections 7 to 11 and 19 of Republic Act No. 7611 and with reference to Rule IV, particularly Section 20 of the Amended Rules and Regulations Implementing the Strategic Environment Plan (SEP) for Palawan Act, the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by and between DENR and PCSD on December 29, 1994, PCSD Resolution 05-250 and other pertinent laws and policies, the procedures in securing clearance from PCSD in relation to proposed projects for implementation in Palawan is hereby revised.

 

CHAPTER I

SCOPE AND DEFINITION OF TERMS

 

Section 1. Scope of Application. These guidelines shall apply to all projects, being or intended to be implemented in Palawan and shall serve as guide for all government instrumentalities mandated to issue permits, licenses, contracts, or agreements and other similar instruments. Likewise the same shall serve as guide to the general public.

 

Section 2. Definition of Terms. For the purpose of these guidelines, the following words and phrases shall have the following meaning.

 

  1. Allowable Area – refers to the area where a certain project may be allowed based on the ECAN zoning or the approved ECAN zones map. The allowable activities for each ECAN zone are stipulated in Section 10, Title 1, Chapter II and Section 12, Title 2, Chapter II all of PCSD Resolution No. 05-250 or the Revised ECAN Guidelines.

 

  1. Certificate of Non-Coverage – refers to the document issued by the DENR stating that the proposed project is not covered by the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System and, therefore, the proponent is not required to secure an ECC prior to commencement of operation.

 

  1. Compliance Monitoring – refers to the activity identified to ascertain the proponent’s compliance with the terms and conditions stipulated in the SEP Clearance issued by PCSD.

 

  1. 4. DMO – refers to the District Management Offices of the PCSDS.

 

  1. ECAN – refers to the Environmentally Critical Areas Network under Republic Act No. 7611 and PCSD Resolution No. 05-250.

 

  1. ECAN Board – a local multi-sectoral body created under PCSD Resolution No. 05-250 or the Revised ECAN Guidelines and defined under PCSD Admin Order No. 10, series of 2005.

 

  1. ECAN Zoning Certification – refers to the type of instrument under this Administrative Order that determines the location of the project based on the ECAN and certifies that the project is exempted or otherwise required to secure SEP Clearance.

 

  1. Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) – refers to the document issued by the DENR Secretary or the Regional Executive Director as defined under DENR AO No. 2003-30.

 

  1. Environmentally Critical Area (ECA) – refers to area classified as core zone and restricted use area of the terrestrial component of the ECAN based on the approved ECAN map of the LGU, and core zone of the coastal/marine component of the ECAN to include salvage/easement zones and foreshore areas as defined by law, and all critical small islands and such other areas as may hereinafter be identified by the PCSD.

 

  1. 10. Executive Director – refers to the head of PCSD Staff provided under Section 20 of RA 7611

 

  1. PCSD – refers to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development created under Section 16 of RA 7611.

 

  1. PCSDS – refers to the regular professional support staff of the PCSD provided under Section 20 of RA 7611.

 

  1. Permitting Agency (PA) – refers to any agency or instrumentality of the Government, which is mandated or authorized to issue clearance, permit, license or enter into lease agreement, stewardship contracts or other similar instruments for the development, exploitation, management and monitoring of Palawan´s natural resources, including issuance of permits for building and other physical structures .

 

  1. Project – refers to activities, programs and legal instruments which may have impact on the environment.

 

14.1. Extractive Project – Project that involves the taking of resources that may cause disturbance of the ecosystems or depletion of resources.

 

14.2. Pollutive Project Project that generates emissions, effluents, chemical substances or energy with risks of  breaching government standards resulting to pollution or degradation of the environment.

 

  1. Project Category – refers to the grouping of projects according to location or expected environmental impacts as defined and listed in Section 4.

 

  1. 16. Project Environmental Assessment Report (PEAR) – refers to a document containing project profile, financial and economic analysis or cost-benefit analysis (CBA), impacts and corresponding mitigating measures, and monitoring scheme.

 

  1. Proponent – refers to any person, natural or juridical, who is applying for SEP Clearance as defined under this Order.

 

  1. SEP Clearance – refers to the document issued by the PCSDS Executive Director or by the PCSD certifying that based on the representations of the proponent and/or the preparer as reviewed, evaluated and validated by the ECAN Board and PCSDS, the proposed project is in accordance with the SEP for Palawan Act or R.A. 7611.

 

 

CHAPTER II

GENERAL PROVISION AND CATEGORIES OF PROJECTS

 

Section 3. General Provision – Any person or proponent, natural or juridical, who intends to implement a project in Palawan shall be covered by this Order.

 

Section 4. Project Category. For purposes of this Administrative Order, projects shall be grouped into four categories, namely: Category A, Category B, Category C and Category D depending upon the location and expected environmental impact. All other projects not included in any of the categories herein below listed shall be considered as falling under Category A.

 

Section 4.1. Category A. Projects located outside of Environmentally Critical Areas that are pollutive and/or extractive as listed in Annex 1-A.

 

Section 4.2. Category B. Projects located outside of Environmentally Critical Areas that are non-pollutive or have minimal environmental impact and/or extractive as listed in Annex 1-B.

 

Section 4.3. Category C. Projects determined to have minimal environmental impacts that are considered non-pollutive and/or non-extractive as listed in Annex 1-C shall be exempted from securing SEP Clearance.

 

Section 4.4. Category D. Soft impact projects that are non-pollutive and non-extractive located in Restricted Zones as listed in Annex 1-D.

 

Section 5. Projects in Areas Declared as Tribal Ancestral Zone. Projects in areas declared by the PCSD as Tribal Ancestral Zone (TAZ) of the ECAN shall follow the same categorization process given in Sections 4.1 to 4.4.

 

 

CHAPTER III

REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURE

 

Section 6.        Issuance of ECAN Zoning Certification by the PCSDS. Prior to submission of application by the proponent to the ECAN Board concerned, the proponent shall first apply for the issuance of the ECAN Zoning Certification from the PCSDS. The latter shall, in turn, determine the corresponding ECAN zone where the project is to be located and the Category of the project, which shall be reflected in the Certification. For this purpose, the proponent shall submit the (a) Location Map, (b) Land Title or any tenural instrument, (c) Project Proposal/Description and (d) proof of payment of Certification Fee amounting to Php200.00.

 

For a project certified by the PCSDS Executive Director as falling under Categories A, B or D, the proponent shall proceed to secure the ECAN Board endorsement as provided under Sections 7 to 11 hereof.

 

For a project certified under Category C (exempted projects), no further evaluation shall be required. However, the proponent shall submit a copy of the ECAN Zoning Certification to the ECAN Board for information. In case the ECAN Board contests the certification of the PCSDS Executive Director the ECAN Board and the PCSDS shall exert all efforts to resolve the conflict. In case resolution is not possible at their level, the same shall be brought before the PCSD for final decision.  

 

Section 7. Submission to the ECAN Board of Applications and Requirements. For a project certified as category A, B or D under the ECAN Zoning Certification issued by the PCSDS Executive Director pursuant to Section 6 thereof, the proponent shall submit to the concerned ECAN Board the following:

 

Section 7.1. Category A:

 

  • ECAN Zoning Certification;
  • Project Environmental Assessment Report (PEAR); and,
  • Endorsement from any two of the following: Barangay, Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Provided, that the barangay endorsement shall be a mandatory requirement; Provided further, that for project proposed to be located outside municipal waters but within the environmental jurisdiction of PCSD, only the Sangguniang Panlalawigan endorsement is required.

 

Section 7.2. Category B:

 

  • ECAN Zoning Certification; and,
  • Endorsement from any two of the following: Barangay, Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Provided, that the barangay endorsement shall be a mandatory requirement; Provided further, that for project proposed to be located outside municipal waters but within the environmental jurisdiction of PCSD, only the Sangguniang Panlalawigan endorsement is required.

 

Section 7.3. Category D:

 

  • ECAN Zoning Certification
  • Project Environmental Assessment Report (PEAR); and,
  • Endorsement from any two of the following: Barangay, Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Provided, that the barangay endorsement shall be a mandatory requirement; Provided further, that for project proposed to be located outside municipal waters but within the environmental jurisdiction of PCSD, only the Sangguniang Panlalawigan endorsement is required.

 

Provided that, prior to the actual evaluation of the project by the ECAN Board as enshrined in the immediately succeeding section, the proponent shall first pay the corresponding evaluation fee. For this purpose, the procedure and schedule of fees shall be provided by the concerned ECAN Board in its procedural rules.

 

Section 8. Evaluation by ECAN Board. The ECAN Board, through the PCSDS-DMO as its secretariat and technical staff, shall proceed with the evaluation of the application and requirements. The ECAN Board may form a Technical Evaluation Team whenever it deems necessary in evaluating projects requiring technical knowledge.

 

In the evaluation of project, the minimum criteria shall include the ECAN Zoning of Palawan and the ecological viability, social acceptability and integrated approach of the project.

 

Section 9. Public Consultation/Hearing and Conflict Resolution. For projects under Categories A & D, the concerned ECAN Board may conduct public consultation or public hearing if deemed necessary in order to ascertain the acceptability of the project in the community and to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are considered.

 

Whenever any or all of the following circumstances are present, public consultation/hearing is necessary: i. The magnitude of the project is such that a great number of people are affected; ii. There is mounting public opposition against the proposed project; or iii. There is written request for the conduct of such public hearing from any of the stakeholders.

 

In case of conflict, no application for SEP Clearance shall be accepted unless all measures are taken to address or resolve the issues at hand.

 

Section 10. Evaluation Report. Upon completion of the evaluation of the project application, the ECAN Board secretariat, shall prepare an evaluation report which shall contain the results of the evaluation process, and the recommended terms and conditions. This evaluation report shall be submitted to the ECAN Board for deliberation and decision.

 

Section 11. ECAN Board Endorsement and Conflict Resolution. All decisions of the ECAN Board in evaluation of projects shall be issued in the form of an ECAN Board endorsement or denial of the application. All endorsements, together with the documents submitted and the evaluation reports, shall be forwarded to the PCSDS for appropriate action.

 

All contests arising from the issuance or non-issuance by the ECAN Board of endorsements shall first be resolved before the ECAN Board. If resolution cannot be arrived thereat, the contest shall be brought before the PCSD for decision. And in case the contest pertains to the alleged wrong issuance of ECAN Board endorsement, the subsequent proceedings before the PCSDS Executive Director shall, in the meantime, be held in abeyance until resolution by the ECAN Board or by the PCSD, as the case may be.

 

All contests provided in the preceding paragraph shall be filed within 10 days from issuance of endorsement or denial of application, which period shall be counted from the date of ECAN Board meeting where the decision to endorse or deny application was made.

 

Section 12. Action of the PCSDS Executive Director: Denial of the Application or Issuance of SEP Clearance. All endorsements issued by the ECAN Board shall be forwarded to the PCSDS Executive Director for action.

 

For ECAN Board endorsements involving Category B projects, and provided there is no contest pending before it or before the PCSD (Council), the evaluation and decision of the ECAN Board shall be considered as final. The PCSDS Executive Director shall, henceforth, issue the corresponding SEP Clearance without further evaluation and after payment of the SEP Clearance Fee of Php2,000.00.

 

On the other hand, for ECAN Board endorsements involving Category A and D projects, and provided there is no pending contest before it or before the PCSD (Council), the evaluation and decision of the ECAN Board is only preliminary but is a prerequisite before the PCSDS Executive Director takes further action on the application. The PCSDS Executive Director shall conduct a separate and independent evaluation taking into consideration the findings of the ECAN Board.

 

For Category D projects, if the Executive Director finds the requirements in order, he shall issue the corresponding SEP Clearance after payment of the SEP Clearance Fee of Php3,000.00. Otherwise, he shall communicate to the proponent the denial of the project, including the grounds thereof.

 

For Category A projects, the Executive Director shall submit his recommendation to the PCSD (Council), which, in turn, shall decide whether or not to approve the project application and issue the corresponding SEP Clearance upon payment of the SEP Clearance Fee of Php5,000.00.

 

All contests arising from the issuance or non-issuance by the PCSDS Executive Director of SEP Clearance shall be filed before and resolved by the PCSD (Council). However, if the grounds of the contest have already been passed upon by the PCSD (Council) when previously brought before it immediately after the ECAN Board as provided under Section 11 hereof, said contest on the same grounds shall no longer be entertained.

 

All contests provided in the preceding paragraph shall be filed within 10 days from issuance or denial of the SEP Clearance, which period shall be counted from the date of release of the SEP Clearance or from the date of receipt of the denial of the application.

 

Section 13. Release of SEP Clearance.  No SEP Clearance shall be released without the Proponent’s notarized conformity to the terms and conditions thereof.  The Proponent may authorize in writing his/her representative to acknowledge and sign such conformity to the terms and conditions stated in the SEP Clearance.

 

Section 14. Stand-by Power of the PCSD (Council). The PCSD shall be informed of all ECAN Zoning Certifications and SEP Clearance issued in accordance with the preceding sections. Provided that in all cases and at any time, the PCSD may take cognizance of applications already pending before the PCSDS Executive Director for issuance of SEP Clearance. And in cases where further evaluation is necessary as determined by PCSD it may refer the project application to its appropriate committee(s). The recommendation of said committee shall be submitted to the PCSD for its action and the decision of the latter shall bind the ECAN Board and the PCSDS Executive Director.

 

Section 15. Transferability. The SEP Clearance may be transferred as long as a document shall be submitted showing the transfer of ownership, operating agreements or rights over the project.

 

Section 16. Issuance of Permit, Licenses, ECC Lease Agreements and Other Similar Instruments by permitting agencies. The DENR shall not issue an ECC, CNC, license, permit and similar instruments without the SEP Clearance issued under this Order in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement between DENR and PCSD dated December 29, 1994 and DOJ Opinion Nos. 90 and 136, series of 1994. Other permitting entities are likewise enjoined to require the proponents to secure an SEP Clearance described under this Order prior to the issuance of permits, licenses and other similar instruments.

 

Moreover, proponent shall be required to secure the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the concerned indigenous people or indigenous cultural communities as provided for under the IPRA or R.A. 8371. Such requirement shall be indicated in the terms and conditions of the SEP Clearance, as may be necessary

 

Section 17. Copies of ECC, CNC, Permit, License and Other Similar Instruments. The proponents shall furnish PCSD with copies of the ECC, CNC, permits, licenses, or other similar instruments issued thereto by the concerned agencies or entities.

 

Section 18. Renewal of SEP Clearance. Renewal of licenses, permits and similar instruments shall require the corresponding renewal of SEP Clearance.

 

Provided that, in the case of Commercial Sand and Gravel Permit, the renewal of SEP Clearance shall be required upon the 4th renewal of such permit. Provided further, that in the annual renewal thereof, the permitting agency shall require the proponent a certification from the PCSDS stating that the subject proponent has complied with all the terms and conditions of the SEP Clearance and has no pending administrative case before the PCSD Adjudication Board. Provided finally, that the PCSD may impose additional requirements on the operations to safeguard the integrity of the environment based on new findings from technical studies on the quarry sites.

 

 

CHAPTER IV

MONITORING OF PROJECTS

 

Section 19. Creation, Composition and Function of SEP Monitoring Team. In every municipality or city, an SEP Monitoring Team (SMT) may be constituted within the ECAN Board. The SMT may include as its members relevant NGOs, POs and GOs. The SMT shall conduct its monitoring activities directly under the supervision of the ECAN Board. Provided, however, that the performance by the SMT of its monitoring function shall be without prejudice to the separate monitoring activities that may be undertaken by the PCSDS and LGU through the ECAN Board, respectively, whenever necessary.

 

Section 20. SEP Monitoring Fund (SMF). An SEP Monitoring Fund shall be established from monitoring fees of proponents who were issued SEP Clearance. This Fund does not cover or is distinct from the Monitoring Fund provided for under DENR Administrative Order 2003-30 and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7942 (the Mining Act of 1995). The establishment of this fund shall form part of the terms and conditions of the SEP Clearance.

 

Section 21.  Collection and Administration of SEP Monitoring Fund. The ECAN Board shall formulate its own policy as to the collection and use of the fund for monitoring activities subject to an approved work and financial plan.

 

The administration of the SEP monitoring fund shall be subject to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between and among the concerned project proponent, PCSDS and the concerned LGU through the ECAN Board.

 

CHAPTER V

PROHIBITED ACTS AND PENALTIES

 

Section 22.Prohibited Acts. The following acts are prohibited under this Order:

 

Section 22.1. Non-compliance or violation of any of the terms and conditions of the SEP Clearance.

 

Section 22.2. Construction of any structure or conduct of any activity without the required SEP Clearance in an area where such activity may be allowed under the ECAN.

 

Section 22.3. Construction of any structure or conduct of any activity without the required SEP Clearance in an area where such activity may not be allowed under the ECAN.

 

Section 22.4. Operating any project without the required SEP Clearance.

 

Section 22.5. Misrepresentation in the application for SEP Clearance/ECAN Zoning Certificate or in any report required under this Order or as required in the terms and conditions.

 

Section 22.6. Obstructing or hindering any monitoring activity conducted by the PCSDS or by the SMT.

 

Section 23. Penalty. The PCSD shall impose the following penalties when a project proponent is found to have committed any of the acts prohibited under Section 22 hereof.

 

Section 23.1. Suspension of Project Operation and Cancellation of Permits. For committing any of the prohibited acts defined under Section 22, the PCSD may call the attention of the permitting agency to suspend the operation of the project and recommend for the cancellation of permits issued to the project proponent.

 

Section 23.2. Cancellation of SEP Clearance. For committing any of the prohibited acts under Section 22.1, 22.5 and 22.6 the PCSD may cancel the SEP Clearance.

 

Section 23.3. Termination of Project Operation. For violation of Sections 22.3 and 22.4 the PCSD shall immediately terminate the project operation and file cases before the proper courts.

 

Section 23.4. Fine. In addition to the penalties under Sections 23.1 to 23.3, the PCSD shall impose the penalty of fine in the amount not less than FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50, 000) for every violation.

 

 

 

CHAPTER VI

ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION

 

Section 24. Adjudication of Cases for Violation of this Order. Cases involving violations of this Order shall be filed in accordance with the procedure provided for by the PCSD. Provided, that for purposes of initiating an administrative complaint, the monitoring report of the SMT or any official report of the PCSD Staff may be considered as a sufficient complaint.

 

 

CHAPTER VII

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

 

Section 25. All Annexes attached to this Administrative Order shall form an integral part thereof.

 

Section 26. Transitory Provision. Within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Order, all local government units in the province of Palawan shall ensure the constitution, reactivation and operationalization of ECAN Board. After the lapse of said period, the provision of this Order on mandatory ECAN Board endorsement prior to issuance of SEP Clearance shall be strictly implemented.

 

Section 27. Separability Clause. The provisions of this Order are hereby declared to be separable and, in the event one or more provisions are declared unconstitutional, the validity of the other provisions shall not be affected thereby.

 

Section 28. Repealing Clause. All orders, circulars, memoranda and other issuances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed and/or amended accordingly.

 

Section 29. Effectivity. This revised Order shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Province of Palawan and upon deposit to the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) at the UP Law Center, Diliman, Quezon City.

 

 

SO ORDERED.

 

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines this 28th day of October 2014.

 

 

 

                                                                                    APPROVED:

 

 

 

                                                                                    JOSE CH. ALVAREZ
Chairman, PCSD