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PIA Press Release

Siquijor environment code nears final stage

By Rizalie Anding Calibo

Siquijor (17 February) -- In response to the global call for environmental concerns, Siquijor province is now putting the finishing touches before finally passing its Environment Code.

The Siquijor Environment Code of 2009, said to be "the first of its kind piece of legislation in the island in the midst of global crisis", was presented last week at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, Provincial Capitol where stakeholders had the chance to provide inputs to further improve it.

The proposed Environment Code will be submitted to the SP Plenary for approval and is set for deliberation on February 16 this year.

It intends to strengthen policies and measures to fully implement existing local legislations and national laws for the preservations and protection of the environment in the province.

Provincial Governor Orlando A. Fua Jr. said the passing of the environment code is significant as the province's direction is towards eco-tourism, an undertaking that aims to balance the needs of the community and the need to protect the environment.

The governor appeals for everyone's cooperation while hoping that the Code will "bring about visible difference from what presently has been a province of scarcity to a province of abundance."

The Code also serves as an answer to the present call of protecting and preserving the environment in view of the environmental challenges besetting the world.

Presently, government efforts has been focused on curbing the effects of climate change, the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today.

It can be noted that President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo has been calling on all government agencies and local government units to consolidate all government efforts to move in one direction so the country will have a cohesive and integrated action framework against climate change.

In January this year, the President Arroyo took over the chairmanship of the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change in a move to strengthen government's efforts to urgently respond to the far-reaching effects of climate change to the nation's food security, human health, water supply, and economic development.

Experts said just like anywhere in the world, the Philippines has been experiencing temperature spikes brought about by climate change.

Extreme weather conditions have occurred more frequently since 1980. These include deadly and damaging typhoons, floods, landslides, severe El Niņo and La Niņa phenomena, drought, and forest fires.

Adversely affected sectors include agriculture, and marine resources.

Under the scope of the proposed Siquijor Environment Code is the preservation and conservation of forest resources, mineral resources, water resources, and coastal and marine resources.

It also covers air and noise pollution management, ecotourism, environmental impact assessment and land use planning. (PIA) [top]

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