During today’s session where members of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development discussed, among other issues, DMCI’s application for a Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) Clearance for a diesel generator project at Tabon, Quezon, DENR Undersecretary Manuel Gerochi reminded his co-members to avoid suffering from an “identity crisis” and confusion of their roles.
Gerochi, who urged the Council to not get confused with their tasks regarding SEP Clearance issuances, made the remark following the exchange of commentaries between PCSD Executive Director Nelson Devanadera and Civil Society Organizations representative Sr. Xenia Mae Juanitas, wherein the latter expressed apprehension in approving DMCI’s SEP clearance over concerns on the project’s impact to the environment. Devanadera has earlier clarified that the clearance was merely for the project’s location, a stance that Gerochi echoed.
“If the location of the engine is suitable based on their policy, so ang issue lang naman dito, pwede ba maglagay ng gen set sa multiple use zone? ‘Yun lang. Yung issue ng pollution, hayaan na natin ang DENR, sa issue na ng ECC yun. Para hindi tayo magka identity crisis,” Gerochi explained.
Prior to Gerochi’s reminder, Juanitas sought to resolve first some clarifications from her sector before making a decision on the clearance. Director Devanadera, however, emphasized that the item is urgent thereby needing immediate approval, adding that the proponent has complied with all the requirements, from barangay to municipal level. In the end, all the council members, except for Juanitas, voted yes for the issuance of an SEP clearance to DMCI.
SEP Clearance is pre-requisite to the issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) by the DENR.