Bill to Create Environmental Protection Agency to Be Filed
Byline: MELODY M. AGUIBA
A bill creating a Philippine Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) similar to those of developed countries which will act as a regulatory body in upholding and policing for environmental protection is proposed to be filed in Congress.
The bill, supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), will be certified as urgent by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo since government aims to put as preeminence environmental protection over economic development.
"The DENR will recommend to the president through the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office to certify it as urgent," according to a DENR report.
Moreover, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CMP) will support the bill with its aim of compelling mining companies, mostly foreign firms, to abide by Philippine laws and thus avoid the anti-mining clamor stigma due to deleterious abandonment of mines in the past.
DENR Secretary Angelo T. Reyes stressed government's policy for sustainable development.
"We'll never sacrifice the environment for development. If you proceed with development and fail to address environmental concerns, all developments will go to nought. …