Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has moved to fast-track the issuance of environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) by giving the authority to issue such permits back to the director and regional directors of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), a line bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


In DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2017-18 he issued on July 3, Cimatu suspended indefinitely a previous DAO issued in February, which limited the authority to issue ECCs for both environmentally critical projects (ECPs) and non-ECPs only to the DENR Secretary, upon recommendation of the EMB Director as concurred in by the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs.


"In the interest of service and in order to expedite the issuance of the ECC in regional level consistent with the directive of the President to fast track issuance of government permits and licenses, [DAO] No. 2017-04 is hereby suspended indefinitely," Cimatu's administrative order reads.


It will be recalled that during his first day in office last year, President Rodrigo Duterte gave marching orders to his Cabinet to cut red tape in the bureaucracy and make the entire government more responsive to the needs of the people.


Cimatu said the new DAO is not only in response to the President's directive, but also serves as the DENR's way of promoting the ease of doing business in the country.


"This is consistent with the President's directive to fast track the issuance of permits, licenses and other documents issued by government, and can also be viewed as our contribution to making the country more investor-friendly," Cimatu said.


The new DAO conforms to the DENR's Manual of Authorities on Technical Matters, which provides that the authority to issue environmental permits for ECPs is bestowed upon the DENR Secretary and/or the EMB Director.


The manual also provides that the authority to issue permits to non-ECPs within environmentally critical areas (ECAs) and certificate of non-coverage lies with the EMB Director and/or EMB regional directors.


ECPs refer to development projects that have high potential for significant negative environmental impact. These include heavy and resource-extractive industries, such as mining, and infrastructure projects.


ECAs, on the other hand, refer to national parks and sanctuaries, tourist spots, habitats of threatened wildlife species, tribal community areas, prime agricultural lands, and water bodies and other coastal and marine ecosystems.


An ECC is issued to certify that based on representations of the proponent, as reviewed and validated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Review Committee, the proposed project or undertaking will not cause a significant negative environmental impact.


It also certifies that the proponent has complied with all the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment system and is committed to implement its approved Environmental Management Plan. ###



        The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) V joined the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (PSEM) – Bicol Chapter and several stakeholders during the 2nd Bicol Mining Summit on July 19-21, 2017 in Legazpi City.

          To kick-start the event, a Zumba and Color Fun Run with the theme, “Color Fun Run: Mine for Life” started at the Bicol University Commencement Grounds at 6 o’clock in the morning of July 19, 2017. Mario Nolledo, a DENR V Employee bagged the first place during the said activity.

          The summit was highlighted by a Mine Exhibit at the Legazpi City Convention Center. Following the opening ceremonies, a bowling tournament at the Embarcadero de Legazpi, Mine Symposium, Mayor’s Night, Students’ Congress and City Tour, among others are some of the activities lined-up during this three-day event.

        DENR V Regional Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez, in her message, during the ribbon cutting ceremonies of the Mine Exhibit stressed the essence of sustainable and responsible mining.

         With this year’s Mining Summit theme, “An Approach towards Sustainable, Responsible and Environment-Friendly Mineral Development in Bicol”, DENR hopes for the enlightenment of the public on various mining issues and concerns, which are far from over.###

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