Philippines: Raps filed vs. former mayor, actors

FORMER Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe of Parañaque City and four showbiz personalities-turned city councilors are facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for approving a proposal to develop more than 100 hectares of reclaimed land in Manila Bay.
Now in hot water are councilors Venesa Alma Moreno-Salic, Jason Webb, Val Sotto and Roselle Nava after a group of residents of the city filed a letter-complaint assailing the agreement with Avesco Marketing Corp. for the implementation of a project that might allegedly cause irreparable damage to the environment.

Bontoc execs defy writ of Kalikasan; keep dumpsite open

Local officials of Bontoc town have allegedly ignored an order issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) to shut down and rehabilitate its illegal dumpsite which has been polluting the Chico River.

A team from the Kalinga Anti-pollution Action Group (KAPAG), which lodged the complaint against Bontoc officials last year, claimed that the local government of the province’s capital town has not been following the CA’s order to close and rehabilitate its dump site six months after the Court’s issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan order on February 22.

Philippines: Open coal yard in Naga not part of ECC

An open coal yard in the premises of the Korean Electric Power Corp.-Salcon Power Corp. (Kepco-SPC) in Naga was the source of the coal dust pollution that bothered several households.

Only a closed, tight storage for coal deliveries was approved in the company’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), said Engr. William Cuñado, environmental impact assessment management division chief of the Environmental Management Bureau in Central Visyas.

Last Tuesday, EMB-7 staff inspected the company’s coal yard . Results have yet to be released.

Philippines: ‘Green’ groups gathering evidence against Philex

ENVIRONMENTAL groups are gathering evidence in preparation for filing charges against Philex Mining Corp. for the accidental discharge of wastewater from its Padcal mine in Tuba, Benguet, that contaminated nearby water bodies in Benguet and Pangasinan last August.

The evidence being gathered will back complaints against the company to be filed before the environmental court specifically tasked by the Supreme Court to try environmental cases, said Clemente Bautista of the Kalikasan - People’s Network for Environment (Kalikasan – PNE).

Philippines govt may fine Philex for mine leaks - minister

The government may fine the Philippine's biggest miner Philex Mining Corp at least 1 billion pesos ($24 million) for leaks out of its now shut Padcal gold and copper mine, the environment minister said on Tuesday.

Water and sediment from the mine are flowing to a river supplying water to a major power plant on the main Luzon island and the company, the country's top gold and copper miner, is struggling to contain the leaks which began last month, said Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje.

DENR releases new mining policy’s implementing rules

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Tuesday released the implementing rules of Executive Order 79, exactly two months after the new mining policy was signed by President Aquino on July 6.

The rules will take effect 15 days after their publication in a newspaper of general circulation and 15 days after they are registered in the Office of the National Administrative Register.

Copies were distributed to reporters during a news briefing held by Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City on Tuesday.

Philippines Replicates New Environmental Compliance Assistance Center

The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently established an Environmental Compliance Assistance Center (ECAC) catering to local government units (LGUs) in the country. The center will provide fast and reliable technical assistance to local government authorities and officials for their environment- related concerns. The establishment of the ECAC for LGUs is the agency’s response to improve understanding and strengthen capacity of local agencies both as enforcers of environmental laws and also as operators of regulated establishments.

AECEN Task Force on Environmental Compliance Assistance Centers Meets to Develop Toolkit

During May 24-27, 2011, the AECEN Environmental Compliance Assistance Center Task Force composed of officials from India, Thailand and the Philippines met in Hong Kong and Bangkok to develop a toolkit on establishing environmental compliance assistance centers. During a meeting in Hong Kong, the Task Force met with officials from the Government of Hong Kong to exchange discussions related to establishment, operation and management of compliance assistance centers.

Supreme Courts of Philippines and Indonesia Share Experience on Environmental Adjudication

On May 25-28, 2011, the Philippine Supreme Court and the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) hosted officials of the Indonesian Supreme Court and other relevant institutions for an observational program in Manila and Pampanga aimed at strengthening judicial capacity and court systems for handling environmental cases in Indonesia.