Republic of the Philippines
(R.A. 7611)
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan



WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 7611 otherwise known as the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan Act was enacted and took effect on 19 June 1992 and Section 4 thereof provides for the adoption of the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan, a comprehensive framework for the sustainable development of Palawan compatible with protecting the natural resources and endangered environment of the province;

WHEREAS, Section 16 of Republic Act No. 7611 provides that the governance, implementation and policy direction of the SEP shall be exercised by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and Section 19 provides that PCSD has the power to call on any department, bureau, office, agency or any instrumentality of the Government, and on private entities and organizations for cooperation and assistance in the performance of its functions and that it can perform related functions which shall promote the development, conservation, management, protection and utilization of the natural resources of Palawan;

WHEREAS, the DENR exercises supervision and control over forest lands, alienable and disposable lands and mineral resources in the country in general, while PCSD exercises the same with respect to the Province of Palawan;

WHEREAS, both the DENR and PCSD recognize the complementation in their goals and functions, particularly and specifically those that relate to Palawan and accordingly have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement on 29 December 1994, Section 1.1 of said MOA provides for the creation of a committee/board with membership from PCSD and DENR staff to review and evaluate plans, programs and projects, and applications for issuance of contracts, licenses, permits, leases, etc. prior to endorsement for PCSD approval/clearance and subsequent implementation by DENR;

WHEREAS, in the implementation of said provision there is a need to formulate the detailed guidelines in securing approval/clearance from PCSD;

WHEREAS, during the 66th PCSD regular meeting on July 30, 1999, the draft guidelines was presented and duly adopted by the members present and during the 68th PCSD regular meeting on September 24, 1999 the approval was confirmed by the members present;

NOW, THEREFORE, on motion of Gov. Salvador P. Socrates, duly seconded, be it RESOLVED, as it is hereby RESOLVED, to adopt as it is hereby ADOPTED, the “GUIDELINES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SEP CLEARANCE SYSTEM” to read as follows:

Chapter I

Basic Policy, Objectives and Scope of Application

Section 1. Basic Policy. It is the policy of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development to promote sustainable development in Palawan through proper conservation, utilization and development of its natural resources. Towards this end, all development projects and undertakings in Palawan must conform with the framework of the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan, as provided in Republic Act 7611 and with the provisions of Presidential Decree (PD) 1586 establishing the Philippine EIS System and its implementing rules and regulations, as amended.

Section 2. Objectives. Pursuant to Republic Act 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, Presidential Decree 1586 and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations embodied in DENR Department Administrative Order 96-37, the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by and between DENR and PCSD on December 29, 1994, and other pertinent laws, these guidelines shall prescribe the procedures in securing clearance from PCSD in relation to proposed projects and undertakings for implementation in Palawan.

Section 3. Scope of Application. These guidelines shall apply to all projects and undertakings 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.

Chapter II

Definition of Terms

Section 4. Definition of terms. For purposes of these guidelines, the following words and phrases shall have the following meaning:

  1. Certificate of Non-Coverage – refers to the document issued by DENR stating that the proposed project is not covered by the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System, therefore, the proponent is not required to secure an ECC prior to commencement of operation.
  2. Compliance Monitoring – refers to the activity identified to gauge the proponent’s level of compliance with the conditions stipulated in the ECC, the authorization issued by PCSD and the submitted EIS or IEE.
  3. DAO 96-37 – refers to the DENR Administrative Order revising DAO No. 21, series of 1992 and strengthening the implementation of the Philippine EIS System established under Presidential Decree (PD) 1586.
  4. DENR – refers to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, an executive department of the Philippine Government tasked to implement environmental and natural resources laws and policies and to supervise related projects as mandated under Executive Order 192, series of 1987.
  5. ECAN – refers to the Environmentally Critical Areas Network, a graded system of protection and development control over the whole of Palawan, including its tribal lands, forests, mines, agricultural areas, settlement areas, small islands, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and the surrounding sea which serves as the main strategy of the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan.
  6. ECAN Board – a local multisectoral body created as an advisory body to the local government unit, purposely to assist in: developing plans and programs to implement the ECAN at the municipal level; protecting the environment and managing the sustainable utilization of natural resources in the local areas; ensuring compatibility of development projects with ECAN zones and local environmental conditions through project screening and monitoring; facilitating the flow of activities, documents and decision-making processes related to the efficient and effective implementation of ECAN.
  7. Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) – refers to the document issued by the DENR Secretary or the Regional Executive Director certifying that based on the representations of the proponent and the preparers, as reviewed and validated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Review Committee (EIARC), the proposed project or undertaking will not cause a significant negative environmental impact; that the proponent has complied with all the requirements of the EIS System; and that the proponent is committed to implement its approved Environmental Management Plan in the Environmental Impact Statement or mitigation measures in the Initial Environmental Examination.
  8. Environmentally Critical Area – refers to an area that is environmentally sensitive and is listed under Presidential Proclamation No. 2146 Series of 1981, as well as other areas which the President of the Philippines may proclaim as environmentally critical in accordance with Section 4 of PD1586.
  9. Environmentally Critical Project – refers to a project that has a high potential for significant negative environmental impact and is listed as such under Presidential Proclamation No. 2146 series of 1981, Presidential Proclamation No. 803, series of 1996, as well as other projects which the President may proclaim as environmentally critical in accordance with Section 4 of PD 1586.
  10. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – refers to the process of predicting the likely environmental consequences of implementing project or undertaking, and designing appropriate preventive, mitigating and enhancement measures.
  11. Environmental Impact Statement/Study (EIS) – refers to the document required to be submitted by the project proponent whose proposed project or undertaking is classified as an Environmentally Critical Project (ECP). The contents of the EIS shall conform with the requirements of Section 9.0, Article III of DAO 96-37.
  12. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System – refers to the entire process of organization, administration and procedures institutionalized for the purpose of assessing the effects of any project or undertaking on the quality of the physical, biological and socio-economic environment, and designing appropriate preventive, mitigating and enhancement measures pursuant to Presidential Decree 1586.
  13. Evaluation Committee – refers to the body of experts from various fields, to be created by PCSD, whose main task is to assist PCSD in evaluating EIS and other documents.
  14. Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) – refers to the document generally required to be submitted by the proponent whose project or undertaking is located within an ECA. The contents of the IEE should conform to the requirements of Section 19.0, Article III of DAO 96-37.
  15. Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) Checklist Report – refers to a simplified form developed by the DENR to assist proponent/s of small project/s in complying with the EIS System. The Report, to be accomplished and submitted before undertaking a project, consists of a series of questions that deals with issues and concerns under the EIS System.
  16. Non-government Organization (NGO) – a private, non-profit voluntary organization that has been organized primarily for the delivery of various services to the communities and has an established tract record for effectiveness and acceptability in the community where it is serving.
  17. PCSD – refers to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, the administrative body responsible for the governance, implementation and policy direction of the SEP, as provided in Section 16, Chapter V of RA 7611.
  18. PCSDS – refers to the PCSD Staff, the regular professional support staff of PCSD as provided in Section 20, Chapter V of RA 7611.
  19. Peoples Organization (PO) – a bonafide association of citizens with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and with identifiable leadership, membership and structure. Its members belong to a sector/s who voluntarily band themselves together to work by themselves for their own upliftment, development and greater good.
  20. Permitting Agency (PA) – refers to any agency or instrumentality of the Government, such as (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, DENR, LGU, etc.) which is mandated or authorized to issue 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.
  21. Project – refers to activities, including actions, programs, policy or undertaking, regardless of scale or magnitude, which may have significant impact on the environment.
  22. Project Proponent – refers to any entity, private or government organizations, persons or owners/agents, planning or intending to undertake a project.
  23. Public Hearing/Public Consultation – refers to the activity undertaken by PCSD to gather facts and thresh out all issues, concerns and apprehensions and at the same time provide the project proponent with the opportunity to present the project to the affected community.

Chapter III

Screening Process

Section 5. Screening Process. The proponent who intends to implement a project in Palawan shall secure a clearance from the PCSD in the form of an Authorization, Letter of Accreditation on Prior Informed Consent certificate and file this application with the PCSDS. Upon filing, the proponent shall submit a brief project description, consisting of one or two pages with the following information

  1. type of project
  2. location and description of the proposed project site
  3. processes and activities to be undertaken under the project

Based on the submitted brief project description, the PCSDS shall initially determine the necessary documents for securing PCSD clearance based on the herein attached list of requirements for each type of project. Thereafter, the PCSDS shall inform the proponent to submit thereof the required documents.

Chapter IV

Evaluation Process

Section 6. Initial Evaluation Procedure. Upon receipt of the required document the PCSDS shall review the contents thereof in terms of data sufficiency and accuracy. In cases where the documents are complete and the information contained there in are adequate, field validation shall be undertaken accordingly. However, in cases where the data embodied in the documents a substantially inadequate, the proponent shall be required to submit additional information before field evaluation shall be undertaken.

Section 7. Evaluation Criteria. Evaluation of the proponent’s application by the PCSDS shall be based on the ECAN Zoning of Palawan and the ecological sustainability, social acceptability and economic viability of the project.

Section 8. Public Consultation/Hearing. For projects or undertakings requiring an EIS, the PCSDS 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:

The magnitude of the project is such that a great number of people are affected. There is mounting public opposition against the proposed project; or There is written request for the conduct of such public hearing from any of the stakeholders

Section 9. Report Preparation. After the field validation, the PREC shall prepare an evaluation report which shall contain the results of the evaluation process and the recommendations regarding possible endorsement or denial of the proposed project. The report shall be submitted to the PCSD for review.

Section 10. Further Evaluation. In cases where further evaluation is necessary as determined by PCSD, it may refer the project to an Evaluation Committee. The recommendation of said committee shall be submitted to the PCSD for its review.

Section 11. Independent Evaluation by DENR. The evaluation undertaken by PCSD shall not in any way prejudice the independent evaluation that the DENR may undertake of the project. The PCSDS evaluation shall become a support mechanism that shall be integrated with the DENR procedures in the implementation of the Philippine EIS System in Palawan.

Chapter V

Review Process

Section 12. Review of PCSD. The PCSD during meetings shall judiciously review the evaluation report and the recommendations and subsequently come up with a consensus regarding the status of the project.

Section 13. Issuance of Clearance by the PCSD. Subject to the final review of the PCSD, the recommendations of the PCSDS may be affirmed or controverted. In any case, the PCSD thru its Chairman shall issue either of the following form of clearance depending upon the type of project: (1) an authorization for the DENR to proceed with the ECC, processing of the certificate of non-coverage, permits, licenses, lease agreements and other similar instruments being issued by DENR; (2) a letter of accreditation and prior informed consent certification; or (3) letter of denial. The authorizations together with the evaluation reports shall be submitted to the DENR (through the PENRO) as bases for the latter’s subsequent processing of the aforementioned issuances. On the other hand, the accreditation and prior informed consent certificate shall be given to the proponent. If the project is denied, a letter of denial shall be sent to the proponent informing him of the reason for denial. The proponent may submit to PCSD a written appeal for reconsideration. If the appeal in reversed, the PCSD shall issue either the aforementioned authorization or letter accreditation and prior informed consent. The decision of the PCSD on appeal shall be considered final and executory.

Section 14. Issuance of Permits, Licenses, ECC’s, Lease Agreements, and Other Similar Instruments. Upon receipt of the authorization issued by the PCSD, the DENR shall issue an ECC, a certification of non-coverage, a permit, a license, a lease agreements or other similar instruments depending upon the instrument being secured by the proponent.

For projects requiring an ECC prior to the issuance of a permit, the concerned permitting agency shall not issue a permit without the required ECC. Similarly, the DENR shall not issue an ECC without the authorization issued by PCSD.

Section 15. Copies of Permit/License/ECC/Lease Agreement and Other Similar Instruments. The PCSD shall be furnished with copies of the ECCs certificate of non-coverage, permits, licenses, lease agreements or other similar instruments issued by concerned agencies.

Chapter VI

Compliance Monitoring

Section 16. Creation of Monitoring Team. In every municipality, a Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT) shall be organized by the LGU, with the assistance of PCSDS to monitor compliance of project proponents to the terms and conditions of the ECC, the authorization issued by the PCSD, as well as the mitigating measures embodied in the submitted EIS or IEE. In areas where similar bodies have been organized, such group shall be strengthened to perform the functions of the MMT.

Section 17. Composition of MMT. The MMT’s shall be composed of representatives from DENR, LGU, POs, NGO’s and other entities whose functions relate to the development, protection, conservation, management and monitoring of Palawan’s natural resources. Said MMTs shall operate under the supervision of the ECAN Board or similar body accredited by the PCSD.

Section 18. Responsibility of MMT. Aside from conducting monitoring activities in accordance with Section 16 of this guidelines, the MMT shall submit to PCSDS regular monitoring reports regarding the outcome of its monitoring activities, which will be the bases of the latter’s action.

Section 19. Action of PCSD. The PCSD shall call the attention of the permitting agency to suspend the operation of the project or cancel the issued permit or may directly suspend or terminate the project when after due investigation and hearing by the PCSD, the proponent is found to have violated the terms and conditions of the ECC and the authorization issued by the PCSD.

Chapter VII

General Provisions

Section 20. Period of Evaluation, Review and Approval. The period of evaluation, review and approval process of the proposed project under this guidelines, shall not exceed 45 days, for projects requiring an IEE, or 75 days, for projects requiring EIS, from receipt of the complete set of required documents containing sufficient information necessary for evaluation, as determined by PCSDS. Proposals with insufficient requirements shall not be accepted.

Section 21. Amendment. These guidelines may be amended wholly or in part by the Council through public notification.

Section 22. Repealing Clause. These guidelines shall supersede all Rules and Resolutions of the Council inconsistent herewith.

Section 23. Effectivity. These guidelines shall take effect immediately upon approval.

I certify to the correctness and accuracy of the foregoing minutes.



Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives

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