Part 1: The Environment Code of the Province of South Cotabato

Republic of the Philippines
Province of South Cotabato
City of Koronadal


Hon. Eliordo U. Ogena, Vice Governor - Presiding Officer
Hon. Franklin C. Bona, SP Member
Hon. Dardanilo N. Dar, SP Member
Hon. Cecile E. Diel, SP Member
Hon. Jose R. Falcon, SP Member
Hon. Rene B. Jumilla, SP Member
Hon. Samuel L. Ladot, SP Member
Hon. Jose M. Madanguit, SP Member
Hon. Romar A. Olivares, SP Member
Hon. Elmo B. Tolosa, SP Member
Hon. Relly A. Leysa, SP Member - Ex-Officio Member PCL President
Hon. Patricio M. dela Cruz, SP Member - Ex-Officio Member
FABC President
Hon. Jinky P. Avance, SP Member - Ex-Officio Member
SK President
Hon. Clemente C. Tubo, SP Member

Series of 2010

Hon. Eliordo U. Ogena Hon. Jose M. Madanguit Hon. Romar A. Olivares
Hon. Jose R. Falcon Hon. Clemente C. Tubo Hon. Elmo B. Tolosa
Hon. Rene B. Jumilla Hon. Dardanilo N. Dar Hon. Jinky P. Avance
Hon. Relly A. Leysa Hon. Patricio M. dela Cruz


WHEREAS, the number of decades of untrammeled use, misuse, abuse and exploitation of the existing mineral, forestry and other natural resources, encompassing the various habitats and ecosystems of South Cotabato, has degraded, if not practically destroyed its once upon a time lush and beautiful green forest and vegetation, polluted its cold and refreshing air, contaminated its water resource and thereupon causing the drying up of some of its clean and pristine river system;

WHEREAS, this environmental degradation has gravely contributed to the greenhouse effect causing undesirable climatic change that has adversely affected (1) the fertility and productivity of the soil (2) the health and lives of the people (3) as well as the quality of life of the people of South Cotabato;

WHEREAS, the matter of maintaining, protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment, as well as upholding its ecological integrity and biodiversity is no longer an exclusive responsibility of the state through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) but an obligation shared by the Local Government Units and its constituents pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, particularly Sections 2(a), 2(c), 3(d), 3(e), 3(f) up to 3(m), 5(a), 16, 17, 26, 27, 33, 34, 35, 36, 129,186,289, 389 (b) (9), 444(b)(3)(vii), 455(b)(3)(v), 465(b)(3)(v), 447(a)(1)(vi), and Section 468(a)(1)(vi) thereof;
WHEREAS, the provincial government, in its sincere desire to involve all stakeholders pursuant to the aforesaid legal mandate, has decided to take a lead in holding the Three-Day First Environmental Summit held in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato on January 26-27, 2006, which brought forth vital environmental issues and concerns imminently affecting not only South Cotabatenos but also the people of the entire country and its future generations;
WHEREAS, consolidating all vital inputs, issues and concerns on environment, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato has decided to come up with a reasonable and practicable measure that will ensure 1) the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the environment; 2) the judicious and equitable use of natural resources; 3) the enactment and strict enforcement of pertinent laws and issuances on environmental development related activities; 4) the active involvement of the people of South Cotabato in all environmental undertakings;
WHEREFORE, premises considered, on motion of the Hon. Jose M. Madanguit, duly seconded by the Hon. Rene B. Jumilla, the august Body, by a majority vote of nine (9) members , namely: Hon. Madanguit, Hon. Jumilla, Hon. Tolosa, Hon. Falcon, Hon. Avance, Hon. Leysa, Hon. dela Cruz, Hon. Dar and Hon. Olivares, with one (1) voting against, namely: Hon. Franklin C. Bona and with two (2) abstentions, namely: Hon. Cecile E. Diel and Hon. Samuel L. Ladot, the Body
RESOLVED, as it is hereby resolved, to enact the following ordinance:

Series of 2010


Be it ordained by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato that:


SECTION 1. TITLE. This code shall be known and cited as “THE SOUTH COTABATO ENVIRONMENT CODE” and shall hereinafter be referred to as THE CODE.

SECTION 2. DECLARATION OF POLICY. Pursuant to the powers granted by the 1987 Constitution, and in conjunction with the General Welfare clause of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, it is hereby declared the policy of the Provincial Government of South Cotabato to fully exercise genuine and meaningful local autonomy as an effective partner of the national government, its people and the civil society in the enhancement of the rights of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

SECTION 3. GENERAL OPERATIVE PRINCIPLES. The formulation and implementation of policies and measures for the protection of the environment, sustainable utilization of the natural resources, and the promotion of healthful ecology, shall be guided by the following general operative principles:

a.A local network that will promote and sustain relevant, efficient strategies and modern technologies for the protection of the environment and natural resources, primarily in the areas of research and management, shall be developed and enhanced;

b.There shall be formulated relevant and effective policies and strategies that will ensure proper implementation of environmental programs and projects as well as the strict enforcement of pertinent laws, rules and regulations;

c.An accountable, efficient and dynamic organizational structure and operating mechanism shall be established that will plan, implement, direct, assist, coordinate, monitor and/or evaluate all environmental laws, policies, programs and projects in South Cotabato;

d.The vesting of duties, responsibilities and accountabilities of personnel shall be accompanied with the provision for reasonably adequate resources to enable them to discharge their powers and functions;

e.The local government units and non-government organizations within the territorial jurisdiction of South Cotabato may group themselves for purposes most beneficial to them and their respective constituencies;

f.There shall be institutional mechanisms that will sustain or reinforce the implementation of this CODE, pertinent existing laws and issuances and promote proper and mutual consultation with the people on matters involving the utilization, development and conservation of natural resources;

g.The promotion, development and protection of human resources shall be the paramount consideration in the formulation and implementation of all environmental programs and activities; and

h. Adherence to the basic fundamentals of co-management approach allowing multi-sectoral participation in the discussion and resolution of environmental issues.

SECTION 4. DEFINITION OF TERMS. As used in this Code, the following terms shall mean or be construed as follows:

AFFECTED COMMUNITIES - the communities, regardless of proximity to the project site, where the existing or the potential adverse impact of a project affects said communities.

AGRICULTURAL WASTES - the wastes generated from planting or harvesting of crops, trimming or pruning of plants and wastes or run-off materials from farms or fields.

AQUATIC RESOURCES - include fish, all other aquatic flora and fauna and other living resources of the aquatic environment, including salt and corals.

BIODIVERSITY - a variety of life formed and found on earth; comprises all living things and the genes they contain, the ecosystem they build and the way they live and interact together.

BIOPIRACY - refers to the transfer of biological wealth and knowledge from indigenous communities to transnational corporations for the manufacture of commercial products with or without inadequate remuneration or acknowledgement of traditional users of the resources, such as the patenting of biological organisms.

BUFFER ZONES - identified areas outside the boundaries of and immediately adjacent to designated protected areas pursuant to Section 8 of Republic Act No. 7586 that need special development control to avoid or minimize harm to the protected area.

CARRYING CAPACITY - a capacity of natural and human environments to accommodate and absorb change without experiencing conditions of instability and attendant degradation.

CO-MANAGEMENT - a collaborative or joint management by two or more social actions. All actions negotiate a fair share of functions and responsibilities for a given development interest. It is a sharing of responsibilities, accountabilities and benefits achieved as result of an integrated and coordinated actions.

CRES – Conservation of Rare and Endangered Species.

CRITICAL WATERSHED - a drainage area for a river system supporting existing and proposed hydro-electric power and irrigation works needing immediate rehabilitation as it is being subjected to widespread denudation that cause erosion and flood.

CULTIVAR - a plant variety developed from a natural specie and maintained through cultivation.

“DE FACTO” OPEN ACCESS - a condition resulting from the inability of a resource owner or manager, such as the State, in the case of marine resource, to enforce its ownership and authority by way of effectively excluding or regulating non- owners from the use thereof, thereby rending the utilization of the resource under open and unregulated conditions as if there is no owner or manager. The failure of regulatory controls by resource owners or managers inevitably result in the destruction of the resources and the over all losses in public welfare. In the case of marine resource, “de facto” open access conditions lead to the eventual decline in marine productivity, particularly fish catches in the municipal waters.

DESIGNATED NON-ATTAINMENT AREAS - area that does not meet one or more of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for the criteria pollutants designated in the Clean Air Act.

DIPTEROCARP FOREST - a forest dominated by tree species with “two winged” seed that can reach a height of over 20 feet, such as red lawaan, tanguile, white lawaan, bagtikan, mayapis of Philippine mahogany group, apitong and yakal.

DISTRIBUTION UTILITY - any electric cooperative, private corporation, government-owned utility or existing local government unit with franchise to operate a distribution system.

ECOSYSTEM - an ecological community considered as a unit that consists of non-living factors and its environment.

ECO-TOURISM - a form of sustainable tourism aimed to converse and promote the sustainable use of biological and cultural biodiversity, that facilitates income generation, provides job and business opportunities and shares its benefits equitably with local communities and indigenous people by obtaining their informed consent and full participation in planning and management of ecotourism in a protected area.
EIA SYSTEM – a process which consists of identifying and predicting impacts of proposed projects and programs in the biophysical environment and on man’s health and well being. (DAO 03-30)

ENDEMIC - a situation peculiar to a particular locality.

ENDANGERED SPECIES - threatened or vanishing species of flora and fauna.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE (ECC) - a document issued by the DENR certifying that the project under consideration will not bring about an unacceptable environmental impact and that the proponent has complied with the requirements of the environmental impact statement system.

ENVIRONMENTAL GUARANTEE FUND (EGF) – a fund to be set up by a project proponent which shall be readily accessible and disbursable for the immediate clean-up or rehabilitation of areas affected by damages in the environment and the resulting deterioration of environmental quality as a direct consequences of a project’s construction, operation or abandonment. It shall likewise be used to compensate parties and communities affected by the negative impacts of the project, and to fund community-based environment related projects including, but not limited to, information, education and emergency preparedness programs. (DAO 03-30)

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA) - a process that involves evaluating and predicting the likely impacts of a project (including cumulative impacts) on the environment during construction, commissioning, operation and abandonment. It also includes designing appropriate preventive mitigation and enhancement measures and addressing these consequences to protect the environment and the community’s welfare. The process is undertaken by, among others, the project proponent and/or EIA Consultant, EMB, a Review Committee, affected communities and other stakeholders. (DAO 03-30)

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS) - a document of studies on the environmental impacts of a project including the discussions on direct and indirect consequences upon human welfare and ecological and environmental integrity. The EIS may vary from project to project but shall contain in every case all relevant information and details about the proposed project or undertaking, including the environmental impacts of the projects and the appropriate mitigating and enhancement measures. (RA 7942)

ENVIRONMENTALLY CRITICAL AREA (ECA) – refers to an area that is environmentally sensitive and is listed under Presidential Proclamation No. 2146, series of 1981 as well as other areas which the President of the Philippines may proclaim as environmentally critical in accordance with Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1586.
FISH SANCTUARIES - a natural area where fishes are hatched, bred and protected until they are fully-grown.

FISHERFOLKS’ COOPERATIVE - an organized group, association, federation, alliance of an institution or fisherfolks which has at least fifteen (15) members, a set of officers, a constitution and by-laws, an organizational structure and a program of action, registered with the Cooperative Development Authority.

FISHERIES - all activities relating to the business of fishing, culturing, processing, marketing, developing and managing of aquatic resources and fishery areas, with the privilege to fish or take aquatic resource thereof.

GRAVEL- particles of rock passing 75mm (3 in.) U.S. standard sieve mesh.

GENETIC ENGINEERING - shall be understood as the introduction of genes by laboratory techniques. (RA 9168 or the Philippine Plant Variety Protection Act of 2002)

HAZARDOUS WASTES - the combination of wastes which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics may pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise mismanaged.

ILLEGAL LOGGING – the cutting, removing, collecting, gathering, possessing and the transporting of forest products without license or permit issued by proper authorities. (PD 705)

INDEPENDENT POWER PRODUCER (IPP) – an existing private power generating entity not owned by the National Power Corporation.

INLAND FRESHWATER FISHERY - a freshwater fishery and brackish water fishpond.

IN-PLACE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - the technique used in utilizing the capacity of resources including manpower existing in the place covered by management.

KAINGIN – the clearing of a tract of land through the cutting/slashing/burning of trees, bushes and other plants, as in a forest, so that the area being cleared will be utilized for the planting of crops.

MANAGEMENT ZONE - is a relatively homogeneous unit of land, identifiable, locatable and whose inherent characteristics dictates that the response or effects of management will be relatively the same for all hectares within the area considering each suitable management prescription and the stated decision variables. (DENR Circular No. 93-04)

MINERAL RESOURCES - any concentration of metallic and non-metallic minerals/rocks.

MINERALS - the naturally occurring inorganic substance in solid, gas, liquid or any intermediate state, including energy materials such as coal, petroleum, natural and radioactive materials and geothermal energy.

MINING OPERATION - the mining activities involving exploration, feasibility, development, utilization and processing.

MUNICIPAL WATERS - are streams, inland bodies of water and tidal waters within the municipality which are not included within the protected areas as defined under Republic Act No. 7586. (The NIPAS Law)

NATURALLY GROWING TREES - any tree that grows naturally in any area (forest or private land) without human intervention.

OPEN DUMPS – the disposal areas wherein the solid wastes are indiscriminately thrown or disposed of without due planning and consideration for environmental and health standards.

OPEN-PIT MINING - a surface mining operation in which blocks of earth are dug from the surface to extract the ore contained therein. Open-pit mining also refers to a method of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit or burrow. The term is used to differentiate this form of mining from extractive methods that require tunneling into the earth.

OZONE DEPLETING SUBSTANCES – means those substances that significantly deplete or otherwise modify the ozone layer in a manner that is likely to result in adverse effects on human health and environment such as, but not limited to, chlorofluorocarbons, halons and the like.

POLLUTION - an addition of a chemical, physical or biological agent into the air, water or soil in an amount or rate that threatens human health, wildlife, plants or disrupt the orderly functioning of the environment; a contamination.

PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE - the 1990 Bergen Declaration which declares: “In order to achieve sustainable development, politics must be based on the precautionary principle. Environmental measures must anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of environmental degradation. Where there are threats of serious and irreversible damage, lack of scientific certainty, should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation”.

PRODUCTION FOREST - refers to forestlands designated as such for the sustainable production of timber and/or non-wood forest products. (DAO 99-53)

PROTECTION FOREST – refers to forestlands not the subject of commercial or industrial activities that include all areas under NIPAS and such other areas the DENR Secretary of may designate. (DAO 99-53)

QUARRY RESOURCES - any common rock or other mineral substances as the Director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau may declare as quarry resources, such as, andesite, basalt, conglomerate, coral sand, diatomaceous earth, diorite, decorative stones, gabbro, granite, limestone, marble, marl, red burning clays for potteries and bricks, rhyolite, rock phosphate, sandstone, serpentine, shale, tuff, volcanic glass, Provided, that such quarry resources do not contain metals or metallic constituents and/or other valuable minerals in economically workable quantities. Non-metallic minerals such as kaolin, feldspar, bull quartz or silica, sand and pebbles, bentonite, talc, asbestos, barite, gypsum, bauxite, magnetite, dolomite, mica, precious and semi-precious stones and other non-metallic minerals that may later be discovered and which the Director of Mines declares the same to be or economically workable quantities shall not be classified under the category of a quarry resource.

QUARRYING - a process of extracting, removing and disposing quarry resources found on or underneath the surface of private or public land.

RATIONALIZATION - refers to the action of an organization of a business or industry using scientific business management principles and simplified procedures to obtain greater efficiency of operation.

RECREATION FOREST - a track of public lands, forested or non-forested, which may contain production and protection forests, developed for additional or for the primary purpose of providing non-destructive recreational pursuits.

REPLEVIN - an action to recover possession of movable property.

RICH – Rescue Important Conservation Hotspots.

SANITARY LANDFILL - a waste disposal site designed, constructed, operated and maintained in a manner that exerts engineering control over significant potential environmental impacts arising from the development and operation of the facility.

SMALL-SCALE MINING - a single unit mining operation having an annual production not exceeding 50,000 metric tons of run-off-mine ore with the following requisites: (1) the working area is artisanal, either open cast or shallow underground mining, without the use of sophisticated mining equipment; (2) minimal investment on infrastructures and processing plant; and (3) heavy reliance on manual labor.

SEWAGE – means water-borne human or animal wastes, excluding oil or oil wastes, removed from residences, buildings, institutions, industrial and commercial establishments together with such groundwater, surface water and storm water as maybe present including such waste from vessels, offshore structures, other receptacles intended to receive or retain wastes, or other places or the combination thereof. (RA 9275 – Phil. Clean Water Act of 2004)

SOCIAL ACCEPTABILITY – the acceptability of a project by affected communities based on timely and informed participation in the EIA process particularly with regard to environmental impacts that are of their concern. (DAO 03-30)

SOLID WASTE - means all discarded household, commercial waste, non-hazardous institutional and industrial waste, street sweepings, construction debris, agricultural waste, and, other non-hazardous/non-toxic solid waste.

STAKEHOLDERS - are individuals, groups or communities, institutions and entities who are directly or indirectly affected by any undertaking or activity.

STRICT PROTECTION ZONE - an area possessing some outstanding ecosystem, features and/or species of flora and fauna of national scientific importance maintained to protect nature and maintain processes in an undisturbed state in order to have ecologically representative examples of natural environment available for scientific study, environmental monitoring, education, and for the maintenance of genetic resources in a dynamic and evolutionary state.

SUBSISTENCE FISHING - refers to the taking of fish through hook and line by municipal fisherfolks, using fishing vessels less than three (3) gross tons, or fishing not requiring the use of fishing vessels. (Joint DENR-DA-DILG-DND Memorandum Order No. 2000-01)

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - the harmonious integration of sound and viable economy, responsible governance, social cohesion/harmony and ecological integrity to ensure that development is a life-enhancing process for human beings for the present and future generations.

USUFRUCT PERMIT - gives a right to enjoy the property of another with the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the title constituting it or the law otherwise provides. (Civil Code)

WATERSHED - refers to a land area drained by a stream or a fixed body of water and its tributaries having common outlet for surface run-off which filters pollutants along the way and provide water to households, farms and industries. It also refers to the esoteric basin, barrel catching precipitation that falls on land and channeling the same to streams, rivers, aquifer and lakes. (Based on PD 705)

WATERSHED MANAGEMENT – shall mean as the process of guiding and organizing the management of land and other resources used to provide desired goods and services, without adversely affecting soil and water resources.

WILDLIFE SANCTUARY - an area which assures the natural conditions necessary to protect nationally significant species, groups of species, biotic communities or physical features of the environment where these may require specific human manipulation for their perpetuation.


SECTION 5. MANDATE. Pursuant to Section 16 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, the Provincial Government of South Cotabato “shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare of its constituents as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.” Within its territorial jurisdiction, the Provincial Government shall ensure and support among other things; programs, policies and measures geared towards the promotion of health and safety, the enhancement of the people’s lives in a balanced ecology, the encouragement and development of appropriate environment-friendly technologies, improvement of public morals and social justice and the preservation of the comfort and convenience of its inhabitants.

SECTION 6. OBJECTIVES. This Code is promulgated to provide the Provincial Government of South Cotabato policy direction in the planning and execution of programs and strategies, that will:

a.Ensure ecologically sound and sustainable development through collaborative efforts of concerned government agencies, non-government agencies, business communities and other concerned sectors;
b.Establish policies and mechanisms for the protection, preservation and management of the province’s natural resources and environment; and
c.Ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, policies and issuances; and consider socio-cultural interests and strengthen people’s participation. 

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