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Province of South Cotabato

Planning Office crafts EO on land use, environment policies

The Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) had crafted an Executive Order (EO) creating the Provincial Multi-partite Monitoring Team in Land Use and Environmental Policies Implementation and Compliance or PMMT-LEPIC.

Jennifer Bretana, Planning Officer III, presented the draft EO to the Chair and members of the Environment and Natural Resources Management (ENRM) Committee of the Provincial Development Council (PDC) which conducted a meeting recently.

Under the draft EO, the PMMT-LEPIC shall assist the PDC in formulating policies and measures relative to the sustainable and ecological management and implementation of economic and land using activities in the province.

Part of its mandate also is to conduct regular monitoring and evaluation of major economic activities in the province, particularly related to agriculture, agro-industrial, industrial and tourism activities, to ensure that environmental, land use and zoning policies, laws and guidelines are strictly adhered to in the implementation, management and operation of such undertakings.

The PMMT-LEPIC shall also conduct the regular monitoring of compliance of local government units (GUs) to existing land use policies and local zoning ordinances.

With such functions, PMMT-LEPIC shall prepare and present to the PDC and likewise recommend and present to PDC corresponding policies, strategic actions and measures relative to results and findings of the conduct of regular monitoring activities.

During the meeting, the body also decided on the composition of the council, which include, Board Member Ellen Grace Subere – Albios (Sannguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Environment Chair) as Chair, Siegfred Flaviano (Provincial Environment Management Office – Officer-in-Charge) as Co-Chair on Environmental Issues, Abner Navarro (Provincial Planning and Development Office – Coordinator-designate) as Co-Chair on Land Use Issues and Belen Fecundo (Executive Director of South Cotabato Foundation, Inc) as Co-Chair from the Private Sector.

The members were representatives from DENR-PENRO, DENR-EMB, DENR-MGB, FPA, OPAg, BSP and South Cotabato Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc.

Some questions were raised by the body, especially on the possible duplication of functions of the monitoring council with other existing councils, but Planning Officer Bretana was quick to respond that there will be no duplication, but only reinforcement of mandates or functions.

The body plans to meet in the second of week of June to further discuss environmental issues, particularly the issue of aerial spraying ban in the province as proposed by Board Member Romulo Solivio.

The PPDO was designated as the secretariat of PMMT-LEPIC that shall extend administrative and technical support services to the council.

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