Principle 3: Inter-agency cooperation

Capacity Development Key to Stopping Illegal Trade in Hazardous and Electronic Waste

Date posted: 
Dec 7 2012

Building capacity among environmental and customs officials for detecting illegal transboundary shipments of hazardous and electronic wastes was the focus of the Second International Hazardous Waste Inspection Project. 11 countries participated in the Project, which was convened by the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) Seaport Environmental Security Network (SESN).

Preventive Air and Noise Pollution Programs in Small Communities: The Case of Palawan, Philippines

Date posted: 
Nov 19 2009

Various programs that aim to minimize air and noise pollution from the transport sector are being implemented. These programs are usually conducted in areas with large and dense population or areas where flow of traffic and people are heavy. The aim is to improve air quality via the application of command and control schemes or market based instruments in the transport sector. Interventions could also involve introduction of alternative technologies (e.g. electric buses) or arrangements (e.g. limitation on number of vehicles via coding schemes).

Responsible Party: 
Regulated Community
I. Objectives or Impact: 

Various programs that aim to minimize air and noise pollution from the transport sector are being implemented. These programs are usually conducted in areas with large and dense population or areas where flow of traffic and people are heavy. The aim is to improve air quality via the application of command and control schemes or market based instruments in the transport sector. Interventions could also involve introduction of alternative technologies (e.g. electric buses) or arrangements (e.g. limitation on number of vehicles via coding schemes). However, there are few cases which showcase the promotion of air and noise pollution minimization in small communities. The common argument is that in small areas, air and noise pollution are relatively minimal. This notion tends to look at policies on pollution as curative rather than preventive. Also, if unchecked, the pace of growth has a greater tendency to overtake policy on pollution and environment. Thus, it becomes equally relevant for small communities and rural areas to undertake policies that would prevent air and noise pollution. The case of Palawan showcases possible preventive interventions that can be put into place. It also makes a point that preventive interventions are effective and could even be less costly to undertake. The objective of the effort is to promote awareness on the need to undertake preventive policies on air and noise pollution in small cities or rural communities.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The Asian Development Bank extended a technical assistance to Puerto Princesa, the city government of Palawan in the Philippines, for the identification of strategies that will reduce air and noise pollution from tricycles. The tricycles are targeted since this is the prime mode of transportation in the area. Also, if unchecked in terms of the number of vehicles, this sector can be a potential source of air and noise pollution in the city. The activities of the assistance involved the following components: (1) improving tricycle emissions by strengthening the operators’ and members’ technical and managerial knowledge base, (2) establishment of a fund that will be used for possible purchases of cleaner technologies by operators, and (3) enhancing the city government’s capacity in enforcing the Clean Air Act (e.g. roadside emission monitoring). A crucial activity undertaken by the project is soliciting the support of the stakeholders via consultations during the project’s implementation phase. In particular, a micro-finance institution is tapped to administer and manage the operators’ and drivers’ multi-purpose fund.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

Interestingly, the project’s strength is increasing the know-how of those who actually operate and use the tricycles. From the point of view of operators, there is an incentive for this since it ultimately affects their day-to-day earnings. Through demonstration and training, drivers were taught how to give proper preventive maintenance or basic clean-up of tricycles. For the initial training, a total of 161 tricycle drivers benefited. Currently, other associations are requesting the same demonstration training. With regard to the air quality management training, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) was engaged to provide training on the handling, operating, and maintenance of the air samplers. The PNRI also oversaw the training on the collection of air samples and analysis of the collected samples for the presence and concentration of particulate matters. On roadside emission monitoring, the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) administered the training.

A. Policy Framework: 

The effort required various forms of arrangements given the channels undertaken by the project. In terms of the establishment of funds, a Letter of Engagement (LE) or a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) might be required. The MOA or LE is needed to lay down rules on how the fund will be established and disbursed. On the side of regulation, rules identifying who would eventually perform the task of monitoring air quality need to be determined. A legal delineation of duties of the relevant local government divisions is required. Also, the identification of the office or staff who would be the eventual enforcers would need clearance from other national agencies. In the case of Palawan, sanction from the Department of Transportation and Communication/Land Transportation Office was required.

B. Budgetary and Financial Requirements: 

(see materials and resources)

C. Human Resources: 

The program would involve upgrading of skills of operators. Training on proper engine maintenance for operators and drivers are required. On monitoring of emissions and air quality, existing personnel in the local government can be used. However, these personnel will need certification from national agencies tasked with handling the transport sector and monitoring air quality. For the case of Palawan, involvement from the EMB and the DOTC was critical. With the use of equipment for air sampling, the local government should also have a staff dedicated on the proper maintenance and use of the equipment. This would require training on the setting up and operation of the samplers, and the proper handling storing, and transporting of the air filters.

D. Material Resources: 

The program will require additional capital equipment that will be used for air quality monitoring and road emission testing. For Palawan, a high volume air sampler was required. Machines needed for the handling, storing, and analysis of air samples are also critical.

E. Institutional Support: 

The program is dependent on the support of both public and private institutions like non-government agencies, national agencies and offices, and local communities. For Palawan, the setting up of fund required the support of the Negros Women for Tomorrow’s Foundation. Support from the Department of Science and Technology was also solicited with regard to the provision of technologies on cleaner production.

V. Further Information: 

Air and Noise Pollution Strategies for the Tricycle sub-sector in Palawan, Philippines: Project Interim Report. www.adb.org www.povertyenvironment.net

The Clean Water Act Law of the Philippines: The Use of Incentives to Promote Investments

Date posted: 
Jan 26 2010

The Philippines is once known to be relatively abundant in water resources. However, the pressures of population growth, urbanization, and industrialization placed a toll on the resource. One of the most pressing concerns is the increased competition in the various uses of water. There is also serious concern regarding watershed degradation and unmonitored extraction of groundwater by illegal users. The Clean Water Act Law of the Philippines aims to promote and encourage the protection of the country’s water resources.

Responsible Party: 
Compliance
I. Objectives or Impact: 

The Philippines is once known to be relatively abundant in water resources. However, the pressures of population growth, urbanization, and industrialization placed a toll on the resource. One of the most pressing concerns is the increased competition in the various uses of water. There is also serious concern regarding watershed degradation and unmonitored extraction of groundwater by illegal users. At the same time, pressing issues on water pollution is present. From a World Bank study, 90% of the sewage generated in the country is not treated. Major rivers and waterways are also confronted with pollution and degradation due to the encroachment of settlers, especially in urban centers. The Clean Water Act Law of the Philippines aims to promote and encourage the protection of the country’s water resources. To fully encourage local governments, water districts, communities, and the private sector to partake in efforts on reducing water pollution, provisions on incentives are provided for in the law.

II. Description of the Good Practice (Outputs): 

The Clean Water Act provides incentives to local government units, water districts, enterprises, private entities, and individuals to develop or undertake efforts that would result to effective water quality management and pollution abatement. Specifically, it encourages efforts on wastewater treatment, cleaner production, and adoption of technologies that minimizes waste. Incentives specifically mentioned in the law are tax and duty exemption on imported capital equipment and tax credit on domestic capital equipment.

III. Outcomes or Results: 

The guidelines and procedures on availing the incentives provided by the Clean Water Act have just been recently formulated. However, from the consultations conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with various stakeholders (manufacturers, private sector, NGOs, and local government units), positive response on the incentives was generally elicited.

A. Policy Framework: 

An initial barrier that was encountered was the Clean Water Act’s harmonization with preceding laws on incentives and taxation. For instance, heavy discussions with respect to exemption from Value-Added Tax (VAT) occurred. Also, it was realized that other government agencies are tasked on evaluating the merits of an application for tax exemptions. In the case of the CWA, heavy coordination with other government agencies, specifically with the Bureau of Investments (BOI), was necessary. Another barrier encountered is that though the law mentions the involvement of private lending institutions, it was discovered that lending institutions do not have a regular source of funding for environment projects like waste water treatment and pollution abatement. The funds they are using for existing environment projects are dependent on support given by various international donor agencies.

B. Budgetary and Financial Requirements: 

Another input that was identified as necessary is the availability of personnel within the DENR who can assess whether an application merits the CWA incentives. Also, it was also important to have a unit or regular staff that will assess the performance (in terms of pollution control, discharge) of those who would avail of incentives.

C. Human Resources: 

A complete program on evaluation to monitoring of CWA-related investments and efforts would require funding for regular operations. It was identified that regional DENR office need to have resources in order to conduct evaluation and monitoring of those granted with CWA incentives. Also, additional staff needs to be hired in order to accommodate the administrative tasks related with accommodating applicants.

D. Material Resources: 

The additional administrative tasks related with evaluating the applications would require additional resources like vehicles for inspection and evaluation, and an information and data base system for keeping track of the performance of those granted with the incentives. At the same time, the Bureau of Investment would also require an information system that will aid whether the incentives given were really spend on CWA-related activities.

E. Institutional Support: 

Partnerships with the local government and other stakeholders (NGOs, civic groups) are required to ensure that performance actually improves due to the provision of incentives. Also, regular coordination with other agencies like the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Finance needs to be undertaken.

F. Planning, Scheduling or Sequencing of Activities: 

Typical programs that provide subsidies or incentives for environment programs have a gestation period. This provides an incentive to stakeholders to immediately implement their program their investment plans. In the case of the Clean Water Act, less than ten years is provided for the the provision of incentives.

V. Further Information: 

Bureau of Investment. www.boi.gov.ph Department of Environment and Natural Resources. www.denr.gov.ph

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