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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Marcos signs PENCAS law to boost Philippine ecological balance and resilience

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President Marcos has recently enacted a crucial piece of legislation aimed at enhancing the Philippines’ environmental management framework through the institutionalization of ecosystem and natural capital accounting.

On May 22, 2024, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, representing the President, signed Republic Act No. 11995, known as the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act, according to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

The new legislation seeks to boost the country’s ecological balance and resilience by adopting internationally recognized environmental and economic accounting frameworks.

PENCAS will formalize the documentation of various environmental statistics, including the depletion, degradation, and restoration of natural capital; expenditures on environmental protection; and the pollution and quality of land, air, and water.

The enactment of this law is considered a major step towards enhancing Philippine environmental laws, as it integrates environmental considerations into economic decision-making processes.

By doing so, it supports the development of informed government policies that address economic, environmental, and health issues.

To ensure the law’s effective implementation, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Board will oversee the process, with an interagency committee assisting in addressing sectoral concerns.

The PSA is mandated to form an interagency working group responsible for issuing the necessary rules and regulations within one year of the law’s effectivity.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will collaborate with the PSA to generate and provide information related to natural capital in agricultural and fisheries sectors.

Additionally, the DA will coordinate closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on matters related to associated ecosystems.

Other key agencies involved in implementing PENCAS include the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Education (DepEd), the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and the Department of Finance.

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