A member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has put forward a law that says new businesses that will affect the environment must get approval from the provincial board.
Board Member Roseller S. Pineda said being the highest policy-making body of the province, he saw the need for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s participation in the approval of permits for new business investments, particularly resorts that have a direct impact on the environment.
In his proposed ordinance, he said new establishments must go through the process of mandatory consultation as one of the requirements for their businesses to be approved.
He said that the custom used to be followed, but that is no longer the case.
“Nais natin itong maibalik. Dati na itong ginagawa ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan sapagkat ang nangyayari ngayon, halimbawa yung isang korporasyon ay mayroong investment sa isang lugar, hindi na dumadaan sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan at diretso na sa pagkuha ng SEP clearance sa Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) at iba pa yung requirements like the Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAgT) at iba pang tenurial instruments,” Pineda said.
“So pag dumaan sa atin, maaring magkaroon ng public hearing or ocular inspection ng area kung ito nga ba ay ok, hindi ba nakakasira or nakakaistorbo. In other words, environmentally friendly. Ito yung dati nang ginagawa at nawala bilang isang function o trabaho ng SP,” he explained.
He decried the fact that sometimes they find out about issues with some establishments too late. He also said that some of the complaints were about people coming onto the land of barangays and indigenous peoples (IPs).
“Malalaman na lang namin, may instances na kapag nagkaroon ng problema, saka pa bibigyang pansin ng SP para lutasin yung mga problema. So sabi ko, dapat from the very start doon sa layunin ng isang korporasyon o indibidwal sa planning and implementation, dapat makita na natin kung may dahilan na baka hindi maging maganda sa isang lugar,” he said.
“May mga natanggap tayong reklamo sa mga resorts kung saan may nasagasaan yung lugar ng mga katutubo, isang barangay. Katulad na lang halimbawa yung problema ng Ayala (Lio Estate) na naging magulo nitong nakaraan. So ito yung isa na dapat dumaan sa consultation,” he added.
He, however, stated that they cannot do anything anymore with businesses that are already established and that they will just look at the new applicants.
“Yung mga established na at naka-secure na ng kanilang documents, hindi na natin mapakialaman. yung mga bago pa lang mag-a-apply, yun yung hangad natin sapagkat hindi lang sana pag may problema na bago kami sinasangguni. Dapat, prior to planning and implementation, alam na natin,” he said.
Ikaw na lang ang inaantay.
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