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REPUBLIC ACT 7611

AN ACT ADOPTING THE STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT PLAN FOR PALAWAN,
CREATING THE ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY TO ITS IMPLEMENTATION,
CONVERTING THE PALAWAN INTEGRATED AREA DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
OFFICE TO ITS SUPPORT STAFF, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR
OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress
assembled:
CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
SEC. I Titl - This Act shall be no!n as the "Strategic #nvironmental Plan $S#P% for Pala!an
Act&"
SEC. ! D"l#$#ti%& %' P%li"( - 't is hereby declared the policy of the State to protect( develop
and conserve its natural resources & To!ard this end( it shall assist and support the
implementation of plans( programs and pro)ects formulated to preserve and enhance the
environment( and at the same time pursue the socio-economic development goals of the country&
't shall support and promote the sustainable development goals for the provinces through proper
conservation( utili*ation and development of natural resources to provide optimum yields on a
continuing basis& +ith specific reference to forest resources( the State shall pursue and
implement forest conservation and protection through the imposition of a total commercial
logging ban as hereinafter provided&
't shall also adopt the necessary measures leading to the creation of an institutional machinery
including among others( fiscal and financial programs to ensure the effective and efficient
implementation of environmental plans( programs and pro)ects&
't shall also promote and encourage the involvement of all sectors of society and ma,imi*e
people participation $including tribal groups% in natural resource management( conservation and
protection&
SEC. ) D'i&iti%& %' T$*+. - As used in this Act( the follo!ing terms are defined as follo!s:
$-% "Pala!an" refers to the Philippine province composed of islands and islets located ./0.1 and
-2/1221 north latitude and --./1331 and --4/15-1 east longitude( generally bounded by the South
China Sea to the north!est and by the Sulu Sea to the east&
$2% "Sustainable development" means the improvement in the 6uality of life of the present and
future generations through the complementation of development and environmental protection
activities7
$8% "9atural resources" refers to life-support systems such as the sea( coral reefs( soil( laes(
rivers( and forest as !ell as useful products found therein such as animals( !ildlife( tress and
other plants( including the aesthetic attributes of scenic sites that are not manmade&
$0% "Tribal land areas" refers to the areas comprising both land and sea that are traditionally
occupied by the cultural minorities&
$5% "#nvironmentally critical areas" $#CA9% refers to terrestrial a6uatic and marine areas that
need special protection and conservation measures as they are ecologically fragile7
$:% "Participatory processes" means the involvement of all the ey sectors of development( from
the grassroots to the policy-maing bodies of the 9ational ;overnment( in providing the values
and ideas from !hich strategic development and environmental protection action can come
about7
$.% "Conservation" refers to the !ise use of natural resources that assures regeneration and
replenishment for continuous benefit7
$<% "#cology" refers to the life-sustaining interrelationships and interactions of organisms !ith
each other and !ith their physical surroundings7
$4% "Commercial logging" refers to the cutting( felling or destruction of tress from old gro!th
and residual forest for the purpose of selling or other!ise disposing of the cut or felled logs for
profit7
$-3% "S#P" refers to the Strategic #nvironmental Plan discussed in Section 0 of this Act7
$--% "#CA9" refers to the #nvironmentally Critical Areas 9et!or as provided in Section . of
this Act7 and
$-2% "#=#S" refers to the #nvironmental =onitoring and #valuation System provided in Section
-8 of this Act&
CHAPTER II
STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT PLAN, ADOPTION, PHILOSOPHY AND LEGAL
EFFECTS
SEC. - St$#t.i" E&/i$%&*&t#l Pl#&. - A comprehensive frame!or for the sustainable
development of Pala!an compatible !ith protecting and enhancing the natural resources and
endangered environment of the province is hereby adopted& Such frame!or shall be no!n as
the Strategic #nvironmental Plan for Pala!an( hereinafter referred to as S#P( and shall serve to
guide the local government of Pala!an and the government agencies concerned in the
formulation and implementation of plans( programs and pro)ects affecting said province&
SEC. 0 St$#t.i" E&/i$%&*&t#l Pl#& 1SEP2 P3il%+%43(. - The S#P shall have as its general
philosophy( the sustainable development of Pala!an( !hich is the improvement in the 6uality of
life of its people in the present and future generations through the use of complementary
activities of development and conservation that protect life-support ecosystem and rehabilitate
e,ploited areas to allo! upcoming generations to sustain development gro!th& 't shall have the
follo!ing features:
$-% #cological viability - The physical and biological cycles that maintain the productivity of
natural ecosystems must al!ays be ept intact&
$2% Social acceptability - The people themselves( through participatory process( should be fully
committed to support sustainable development activities by fostering e6uity in access to
resources and the benefits derived from them&
$8% 'ntegrated approach - This allo! for a holistic vie! of problems and issues obtaining in the
environment as !ell as opportunities for coordination and sharing that !ill eventually provide
the resources and political !ill to actually implement and sustain S#P activities&
SEC. 6 L.#l ''"t+. - The S#P shall serve as the frame!or to guide the government agencies
concerned in the formulation and implementation of plans( programs and pro)ects affecting the
environment and natural resources of Pala!an& 't shall therefore be incorporated in the Regional
>evelopment Plan of Region '? as part of said plan&
SEC. 7 E&/i$%&*&t#ll( C$iti"#l A$#+ Nt5%$6 1ECAN2 - The S#P shall establish a graded
system of protection and development control over the !hole of Pala!an( including its tribal
lands( forest( mines( agricultural areas( settlement areas( small islands mangroves( coral reefs(
seagrass beds and the surrounding sea& This shall be no!n as the #nvironmentally Critical
Areas 9et!or( hereinafter referred to as #CA9( and shall serve as the main strategy of the S#P&
The #CA9 shall ensure the follo!ing(
$-% @orest conservation and protection through the imposition of a total commercial logging ban
in all areas of ma,imum protection and in such other restricted use *ones as the Pala!an Council
for Sustainable >evelopment as hereinafter created may provide7
$2% Protection of +atersheds7
$8% Preservation of biological diversity7
$0% Protection of tribal people and the preservation of their culture7
$5% =aintenance of ma,imum sustainable yield7
$:% Protection of the rare and endangered species and their habitat7
$.% Provision of areas for environmental and ecological research( education and training7 and
$<% Provision of areas for tourist and recreation&
SEC. 7 M#i& C%*4%&&t+. - The areas covered by the #CA9 hall be classified into three $8%
main components7
$-% Terrestrial - the terrestrial component shall consist of the mountainous as !ell as ecologically
important lo! hills and lo!land areas of the !hole province& 't may be further subdivided into
smaller management components&
$2% CoastalAmarine area - this area includes the !hole coastline up to the open sea& This is
characteri*ed by active fisheries and tourism activities&
$8% Tribal Ancestral lands - These are the areas traditionally occupied by the cultural
communities&
SEC. 8 T$$+t$i#l C%*4%&&t, M#&#.*&t S"3* #&9 :%&#ti%&. - the terrestrial
component may be further subdivided into smaller management components for a more efficient
supervision& These management components( in turn( shall each be further subdivided into the
follo!ing *ones7
$-% Area of ma,imum protection or core *one -This *one shall be fully and strictly protected and
maintained free of human disruption& 'ncluded here are all types of natural forest !hich include
first gro!th forest( residual forest and edges of intact forest( areas above one thousand $-(333%
meters elevation( peas of mountains or other areas !ith very steep gradients( and endangered
habitats and habitats of endangered and rare species& #,ceptions( ho!ever( may be granted to
traditional uses of tribal communities of these areas for minimal and soft impact gathering of
forest species for ceremonial and medicinal purposes&
$2% Buffer *one - This area permits regulated use and may be further subdivided into three $8%
sub-*ones7
$a% Restricted use area& ;enerally surrounds the core *one and provides a protective barrier&
Bimited and nonconsumptive activities may be allo!ed in this area&
$ b% Controlled use area& #ncircles and provides the outer barrier to the core and restricted use
area& Controlled forest e,traction( lie the collecting of minor forest products( and strictly
controlled logging and mining may be allo!ed&
$c% Traditional use area& #dges of intact forests !here traditional land use is already stabili*ed is
being stabili*ed& =anagement and control shall be carried out !ith the other supporting
programs of the S#P&
$8% =ultipleAmanipulative use area - This is the area !here the landscape has been modified for
different forms of land use such as intensive timber e,traction( gra*ing and pastures( agriculture
and infrastructures development& Control and management shall be strictly integrated !ith the
other supporting programs of the S#P and other similar programs of the ;overnment&
SEC. 1; C%#+t#l<M#$i& :%&. - A different and simplified scheme of management *onation
shall be applied to this component due to its geographical characteristics( critical nature( and
patterns of resource use& #6uitable access to the resource and management responsibility by the
local community shall be the underlying management philosophy of this component&
$-% Core *one& - This area shall be designated free from any human activity& This includes
sanctuaries for rare and endangered species( selected coral reefs( seagrass and mangrove
ecosystem reserves&
$2% =ultiple use *one - Aside from being development area( this *one also serves as the buffer
*one !here fishery( mariculture( recreation( rehabilitation of small islands and mangrove
ecosystem education and research are allo!ed&
SEC. 11 T$i=#l A&"+t$#l L#&9+. - These areas( traditionally occupied by cultural minorities(
comprise both land and sea areas& These shall be treated in the same graded system of control
and prohibition as in the others abovementioned e,cept for strong emphasis in cultural
considerations& The S#P( therefore( shall define a special ind of *onation to fulfill the material
and cultural needs of the tribes using consultative processes and cultural mapping of the ancestral
lands&
CHAPTER III
MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES OUTSIDE OF THE ECOLOGICALLY CRITICAL
AREAS
SEC. 1! M#&#.*&t %' R+%>$"+ O>t+i9 %' t3 E"%l%.i"#ll( C$iti"#l A$#+. The S#P
shall provide for the management of resources outside of the #CA9 and shall include coastal
resources( resources of the catchment areas( timber and mines( development in the lo!lands( and
settlement areas& 't shall also provide for tourism planning&
CHAPTER IV
SUPPORT MECHANISM
SEC. 1) E&/i$%&*&t#l M%&it%$i&. #&9 E/#l>#ti%& S(+t* 1EMES2 - 'n order to monitor
achievement of its goals( S#P shall establish an #nvironmental =onitoring and #valuation
System $#=#S% !hich shall ensure a systematic and reliable means of data generation for the
various concerns of the S#P& 't shall measure changes in environmental status( identify adverse
environmental trends and crisis areas( recommend solutions( assess the implementation of the
S#P( and suggest measures to mae the S#P more responsible to the changing needs&
SEC. 1- E&/i$%&*&t#l R+#$"3 - The S#P shall provide for a system of research so that
additional information for accurate planning as !ell as data to solve ne! problems in the
implementation of the S#P shall be supplied& As such( the S#P1s researches shall not be confined
to the physical and biological features of the environment( achieved through surveys( monitoring(
resource assessments and research into processes( but shall also e,tend to policies and
socioeconomic 6uestions&
SEC. 10 E&/i$%&*&t#l E9>"#ti%& #&9 E?t&+i%& - The S#P shall design an environmental
information and education designed to gradually !ean the people a!ay from destructive
practices and shall recommend practical !ays as an alternative&
Training programs for the non-governmental organi*ations $9;C1s%( business sector
representatives and community leaders shall be organi*ed& This may establish linages bet!een
the 9;Cs( community leaders( sector representatives and the staff of line agencies development
communication or public information section and at the same time( be used to plan out a
comprehensive public information drive&
Simultaneously( community organi*ing shall be enhanced to reinforce non-formal approaches(
complementing regular environmentAscience courses in the school&
CHAPTER V
ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SEP
SEC. 16 P#l#5#& C%>&"il '%$ S>+t#i&#=l D/l%4*&t. - The governance( implementation
and policy direction of the Strategic #nvironmental Plan shall be e,ercised by the herein created
Pala!an Council for Sustainable >evelopment $PCS>%( hereinafter referred to as the Council(
!hich shall be under the Cffice of the President& 't shall be composed of the =embers of the
House of the Representatives representing the province of Pala!an( the >eputy >irector ;eneral
of the 9ational #conomic and >evelopment Authority( the Dndersecretary of #nvironment and
9atural Resources( the Dndersecretary for Special Concerns of the >epartment of Agriculture(
the ;overnor of Pala!an( the =ayor of Puerto Princesa City( the President of the =ayor1s
Beague of Pala!an( the President of the Provincial Chapter of the Biga ng mga Barangay( the
#,ecutive >irector of the Pala!an council for Sustainable >evelopment Staff as provided in
Section 23 of this Act( and such other members from the public or private sectors as the ma)ority
of the council may deem necessary&
The Council shall elect( from among its members( a Chairman and a ?ice-Chairman&
SEC. 17 @>%$>*. - A ma)ority of the members of the Council shall constitute a 6uorum for the
conduct of business&
SEC. 17 C%*4&+#ti%&. - The members of the council shall be entitled to per diems and
allo!ances in accordance !ith e,isting la!s in the performance of their duties and in carrying
out of the business of the Council& The per diems shall be in the amount of @ive hundred pesos
$p533% for every meeting: Provided( that the per diems collected do not e,ceed the e6uivalent of
per diems for four $0% meetings in a month&
SEC. 18 P%5$+ #&9 F>&"ti%&+. - 'n order to successfully implement the provisions of this Act(
the Council is hereby vested !ith the follo!ing po!ers and functions&
$-% @ormulate plans and policies as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act&
$2% Coordinate !ith the local governments to ensure that the latter1s plans( programs and pro)ects
are aligned !ith the plans( programs and policies of the S#P&
$8% Call on any department( bureau( office( agency or instrumentality of the ;overnment( and on
private entities and organi*ations for cooperation and assistance in the performance of its
functions&
$0% Arrange( negotiate for( accept donations( grants( gifts( loans( and other fundings from
domestic and foreign sources to carry out the activities and purposes of the S#P&
$5% Recommend to the Congress of the Philippines such matters that may re6uire legislation in
support of the ob)ectives of the S#P&
$:% >elegate any or all of its po!ers and functions to its support staff( as hereinafter provided(
e,cept those !hich by provisions of la! cannot be delegated7
$.% #stablish policies and guidelines for employment on the basis( of merit( technical competence
and moral character and prescribe a compensation and staffing pattern7
$<% Adopt( amend and rescind such rules and regulations and impose penalties therefore for the
effective implementation of the S#P and the other provisions of this Act&
$4% #nforce the provisions of this Act and other e,isting la!s& Rules and regulations similar to or
complementary !ith this Act7
$-3% Perform related functions !hich shall promote the development( conservation( management(
protection( and utili*ation of the natural resources of Pala!an7 and
$--% Perform such other po!ers and functions as may be necessary in carrying out its functions(
po!ers( and the provisions of this Act&
SEC. !; C%&/$+i%& %' P#l#5#& I&t.$#t9 A$# D/l%4*&t P$%A"t O''i" 1PIADPO2 t%
t3 P#l#5#& "%>&"il '%$ S>+t#i&#=l D/l%4*&t St#''. - The Pala!an 'ntegrated Area
>evelopment Pro)ect Cffice( hereinafter referred to as P'A>PC( is hereby converted to the
Pala!an Council for Sustainable >evelopment Staff !hich shall serve as the regular professional
support staff of the Council and shall provide the machinery to coordinate the policy and
functions( implement programs( and organi*e such services as may be re6uired by the Council in
the e,ercise of its functions& 't shall be independent of any other department or agency of the
;overnment other than the herein provided Council& All the applicable po!ers( functions(
personnel( complement staff( appropriations( records( e6uipment( property( funds( and other
assets of the P'A>PC( as !ell as all its obligations and liabilities( are hereby transferred to the
Pala!an Council for Sustainable >evelopment Staff& The incumbent >irector of the P'A>PC
shall be the #,ecutive >irector of the Pala!an Council for Sustainable >evelopment Staff and
shall lead all its operations& Thereafter( the #,ecutive >irector shall be appointed by the
members of the Council& He shall also be e, officio member of the Council&
CHAPTER VI
APPROPRIATION AND FINAL PROVISIONS
S". !1 A44$%4$i#ti%&+. - The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be
charged to the current fiscal year appropriation of the P'A>PC& Thereafter( such sums as may be
necessary shall be included in the annual ;eneral Appropriations Act&
SEC. !! B S4#$#=ilit( Cl#>+. - 'f any of the provisions of this Act shall be declared
unconstitutional( the other provisions of this Act shall remain valid&
SEC. !) R4#li&. Cl#>+. - All la!s7 decrees( orders( rules and regulations or parts thereof
contrary to or inconsistent !ith the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified
accordingly&
SEC. !- E''"ti/it( Cl#>+. - This Act shall tae effect upon its approval&
A44$%/9&
Signed:
NEPTALI A. GON:ALES
President of the Senate
Signed:
RAMON V. MITRA, JR.
Speaer of the House of Representatives
This Act which originated in the House of Representatives was finally passed by the House of
Representatives and the Senate on February 7, 199 and February !, 199, respectively"
Signed:
ANACLETO D. BADOY, JR.
Secretary of the Senate
House of Representatives
Signed:
CAMILO L. SABIO
Secretary ;eneral
Approved: June 19, 1992
Signed:
CORA:ON C. A@UINO
President of the Philippines