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Republic of the Philippines


Cauayan Campus
Cauayan City, Isabela


Report on Laws in relation to Pollution

Submitted to:

Atty. Leonora Bartolome, CPA

Submitted by:

Maria Teresa Alberto Anjelina Madduma Garcia

John Alen Talimongay Aggabao
Wally Caculitan Aranas

Environmental Justice: General Concept

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless
of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and
enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

It is the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology and the correlative duty to refrain
from impairing the environment.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE is the fusion of environmental law & social justice.

Constitutional Provisions on Environmental Law

Article II: Declaration of Principles and State Policies

• Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and
instill health consciousness among them.
• Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Rules of Procedure of Environmental Cases

(AM No. 09-6-8-SC)

Despite the enactment of new environmental laws and the existence of a number of government
agencies tasked under these laws, the effective enforcement of these laws is yet to be seen. Rules
of Procedure of Environmental Cases were then promulgated by the Supreme Court.

Since then, the Court has been continuously training judges, clerks of court, prosecutors,
NGO’s and law enforcement officials in the handling of environmental cases. In 2008, it had
already designated 117 trial courts, in addition to a few hundred single sala courts, as “green”
courts where environmental cases can be heard.
‘Pollution’, as defined by PD 984, means any alteration of the physical, chemical, and
biological properties of any water, air, and/or land resources of the Philippines, or any
discharge thereto of any liquid, gaseous, or solid wastes as will or is likely to create or render
such water, air, and land resources harmful, detrimental or injurious to public health, safety,
or welfare or which will adversely affect their utilization for domestic, commercial, industrial,
agricultural, recreational, or other legitimate purposes.


The Philippines is plagued by worsening pollution of all types-- LAND, WATER, AIR, AND
NOISE being the most problematic. In 2017, Greenpeace ranked the Philippines as the “third-
worst polluter” of the world’s oceans after China and Indonesia. Last May, the World Health
Organization (WHO) declared the Philippines to be the third deadliest country in the Asia Pacific
Region for outdoor air pollution and the second deadliest country for indoor air pollution. 2

Presidential Decree No. 984: National Pollution Control Decree of 1976

Section 1. Statement of Policy. It is hereby declared a national policy to prevent, abate, and
control pollution of water, air, and land for the more effective utilization of the resources of this

Among other things, this provided for the revision of Republic Act No. 3931, commonly known
as the Pollution Control Law. In response to the country’s industrialization program, the decree
sought to make the National Pollution Control Commission more effective and efficient in the
discharge of its functions by modifying its organizational structure.

The National Pollution Control Decree prohibited the disposal into any of the water, air, and/or
land resources of the Philippines any organic or inorganic matter or any substance in gaseous or
liquid form that shall cause pollution thereof. It also disallowed the discharge of all industrial
wastes and other wastes which could cause pollution without first securing a permit from the
Commission. (PD No. 984, Section 8.)

Land Pollution

Haphazard disposal of urban and industrial wastes, exploitation of minerals, and improper use of
soil by inadequate agricultural practices are a few of the contributing factors.
Residents of Metro Manila generate so much garbage that they are responsible for one-fourth of
the country’s daily output of solid waste, according to the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR).

The following are some of the major causes of land pollution:

1. Municipal Waste
2. Agricultural Waste
3. Mining Waste
4. Hazardous Waste
5. Plastic Waste


Republic Act No. 9003: Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000

This was the State’s attempt to adopt a systematic, comprehensive, and ecological solid waste
management program for the protection of public health and the environment. The law sets
guidelines and targets for solid waste avoidance and volume reduction and aims to ensure
proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment, and disposal of solid waste.

Kinds of Wastes
1. Solid Waste
2. Municipal Waste
3. Agricultural Waste
4. Hazardous Waste

Role of LGU in Solid Waste Management

The LGU are primarily responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the
provisions of RA 9003 within their respective jurisdictions.

“Segregation and collection of solid waste shall be conducted at the barangay level
specifically for biodegradable, compostable, and reusable wastes; Provided, that the collection
of non-recyclable materials and special wastes shall be the responsibility of the municipality or

Mandatory Segregation of Solid Wastes

1. There shall be a separate container for each type of waste from all sources.
2. The solid waste container depending on its use shall be properly marked or identified for
on-site collection as “compostable”, “non-recyclable”, “recyclable”, or “special waste”, or
any other classification.
3. Recycling Program
The law provided for the establishment of a recycling program that focuses on the
production of products containing post-consumer and recovered materials.

Prohibition on the Use of Non-Environmentally Acceptable Packaging

No person owning, operating or conducting a commercial establishment in the country

shall sell or convey at retail any products that are placed, wrapped or packaged in or on
packaging which is not environmentally acceptable packaging.

Prohibition Against the Use of Open Dumps for Solid Waste

No open dumps shall be established and operated, nor any practice or disposal of solid
waste by any person, including LGU’s, which constitutes the use of open dumps for solid wastes,
be allowed….

Presidential Decree No. 825: Providing Penalty for Improper Disposal of Garbage and
Other Forms of Uncleanliness (1975)

This penalized any person who litters or throws garbage, filth, or other waste matters in public
places, such as roads, canals, or parks, with a fine or imprisonment or both.

Water Pollution
The Philippines is endowed with 18 major river basins, 421 principal rivers, 79 natural lakes, and
an extensive coastline of 36,298 kilometres. Unfortunately, most of these bodies of water have
been neglected and continue to be polluted.

• Data from the Environmental Management Bureau of the Philippines showed that as of
2010, out of the 127 freshwater bodies that they sampled, 47% percent were found to
have good water quality. However, 40% of those sampled were found to have only fair
water quality, while 13% showed poor water quality. As many as 50 of the 421 rivers in
the Philippines are already considered “biologically dead.” Biologically dead rivers no
longer contain any oxygen and cannot support any but the hardiest kinds of species.


• The major sources of water pollution in the country are inadequately treated domestic
wastewater or sewage, agricultural wastewater, industrial wastewater, and non-point
sources such as rain- and groundwater runoff from solid waste or garbage deposits.


1. Industrial Waste
2. Agricultural Waste
3. Domestic Waste/Sewage
4. Mining Waste
5. Plastic Waste
6. Oil and Chemical Spills

 Water supply contamination:

• Fish Kills:
• Red Tide:


• Other Effect

 Diarrhea Outbreak – In 2017, a diarrhea outbreak at the New Bilibid Prison that
downed 1,212 inmates was caused by contaminated water supply. Some of the
inmates tested positive for shigella, a bacteria that can be acquired from
contaminated water.

Presidential Decree No. 979: Marine Pollution Decree of 1976

This decree was issued in recognition of the vital importance of the marine environment by
penalizing certain acts that cause marine pollution, such as dumping and discharging to rivers,
brooks, and springs.

Presidential Decree No. 1067: Water Code of the Philippines (1976)

The Code prohibited any person, without prior permission from the National Pollution Control
Commission, from building any works that may produce dangerous or noxious substances or
performing any act which may result in the introduction of sewage, industrial waste, or any
pollutant into any source of water supply. It also defined pollution as “the impairment of the
quality of water beyond a certain standard”, which varies according to the use of the water.

Republic Act No. 9275: Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004

This act aims to preserve, and revive the quality of the country’s fresh, brackish, and marine
waters by promoting environmental strategies geared towards the protection of water resources.
It also formulates an integrated water quality management framework for the utilization and
development of the country’s water supply and for the prevention of water pollution.


The Philippine Clean Water Act defined pollutant as “any substance, wether solid, liquid,
gaseous, or radioactive alters the quality of any segment of the water or its use, imparts adverse
odor, temperature change or physical, chemical or biological change to any segments of the
water body and in excess of the allowable limits, concentrations, or quality standards specified,
or in contravention of the condition, limitation or restriction prescribed in this Act.

Water Quality Management Area

The Act called for the constitution of water quality management areas that will establish
and affect water quality surveillance and monitoring network.

Non-attainment Areas

The Act also called for the designation of water bodies, or portions thereof, where
specific pollutants from either natural or man-made source have already exceeded water quality
guidelines as non-attainment areas for the exceeded pollutants.

The DENR, in coordination with other concerned government agencies, shall take
measures to upgrade the quality of waters in the non-attainment areas.

Domestic Sewage Collection, Treatment and Disposal

The Act required the Department of Health, in coordination with other government agencies, to
formulate guidelines and standards for the collection, treatment and disposal of sewage including
guidelines for the establishment and operation of a centralized sewage treatment system.

Wastewater Charge System

A wastewater charge system shall be implemented in all management areas through the
collection of fees as payment to the government for discharging wastewater into the water

Discharge Permits

Owners or operators of facilities that discharge regulated wastewaters are required to secure a
permit to discharge that specifies among others, the quantity or quality of wastewater that said
facilities are allowed to discharge into a particular water body, compliance schedule, and
monitoring requirement.

Clean Up Operations

Any person who pollutes water bodies in excess of the applicable and prevailing
standards shall be responsible to contain, remove, and clean up any pollution incident at his own

Laguna Lake

Laguna de Bay is the Philippines’ largest lake, and supplies Metro Manila’s 16 million people
with a third of their fish. It also supports agriculture, industry and hydro-power generation.
Millions more live around its 285-kilometre shoreline. But the lake’s importance has placed it in
peril from a host of problems, including pollution from untreated sewage and industrial waste,
overfishing and the sedimentation and illegal reclamation that are eroding its capacity.


Republic Act No. 4850: Laguna Lake Development Authority Act

This created the LLDA, which was mandated to attain sustainable ecological management within
the Laguna de Bay Region. Several special projects of LLDA on water quality management
include the following:

Shoreland Management Program

Back in the day, the Pasig River used to be a potable source of water. Since it connects Manila
Bay to Laguna de Bay, it was once an active traveling route for residents. But after massive
industrial development, it became heavily polluted. Treated like a septic tank, sewage and
garbage were disposed there. The Pasig River has been considered dead with no more aquatic
life since 1994.

Executive Order No. 54: Creating the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (1999)

This Order created the PRRC to spearhead the rehabilitation of Pasig River to its historically
pristine condition, conducive for the propagation of fishes and other aquatic resources, transport,
recreation, and tourism.

Since the full implementation of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Program, it has made significant
contributions. In particular, improvements in river water quality is attributed to the program’s
various efforts to reduce pollution at source by involving companies in waste minimization
projects which resulted in the reduction of organic pollution. Notably, a reduction on domestic
liquid waste is the biggest challenge of the program which accounted for at least 60 percent
of the river’s organic pollution due to inadequate sewerage system in Metro Manila.

Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) vs. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay

- Citizens of Manila Bay filed a complaint against government agencies for neglect of duty
to follow & implement environmental laws

- RTC, CA & SC unanimously ruled in favor of the citizens of Manila and file a
continuing mandamus for government agencies (DENR, MWSS, LWUA, DA, DPWH,
MMDA, PNP Maritime Group, PPA, DOH, DepEd, DBM) to fulfil its duty to the

Boracay Shutdown and Rehabilitation

The government has closed the island of Boracay to tourists for six months in order to clean it up
after concerns that rapid development and pollution was threatening its shores.

Photos and a video of a drainage pipe in Bolabog Beach, one of the tourist spots on Boracay
Island, was circulated online earlier this year and showed how dirty water from the pipe made its
way into the sea

Video: .
Oil Pollution

Due to maritime disasters, the Philippines is often a victim of oil and chemical spills. These
spills cause problems on three fronts, as it contaminated seashores, the mangroves, and the

In 2006, a cargo ship carrying 2.4 Million liters of oil went down off Guimaras Island. The
incident threatened the surrounding marine waters with contamination.

Republic Act No. 9483: Oil Pollution Compensation Act of 2007

This law recognizes the need to protect the country’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters,
territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone. It adopts internationally accepted measures which
impose strict liability for oil pollution damage and provides for a system of accessing an
international fund which was established to compensate those who suffer damage caused by a
tanker spill of cargo oil.

Can be defined as dirty air which damages human health, plant and animal life or property. The
World Health Organisation defines air pollution as "substances put into the air by the activity of
mankind into concentration sufficient to cause harmful effects to health, property, crop yield or
to interfere with the enjoyment of property."

Air pollution can further be classified into two sections- Visible air pollution and invisible air
pollution. Another way of looking at Air pollution could be any substance that holds the potential
to hinder the atmosphere or the well-being of the living beings surviving in it. The sustainment
of all things living is due to a combination of gases that collectively form the atmosphere; the
imbalance caused by the increase or decrease of the percentage of these gases can be harmful for


 Burning of Fossil Fuels:
 Agricultural Activities:
• Exhaust from factories and industries:
• Mining Operations:


• Air pollution causes irritation in the throat, nose, lungs and eyes.

Mosquedo vs. Pilipino Banana Crop Growers and Exporters Association Inc.

- Ordinance banning the use of aerial spraying as an agricultural practice in Davao City

- SC sustained the validity of the ordinance and ruled under “precautionary principle” of
protecting the rights of the people including those environment & health living, which it
recognized in the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases

Republic Act No. 8749: Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999

In recognition of the dangers of air pollution and the need for a clean habitat and environment,
the law provides for an integrated air quality improvement framework designed to implement a
management and control program to reduce emissions and prevent air pollution. It also provides
for an air quality control action plan that shall be implemented to enforce appropriate devices,
methods, systems, and measures to ensure air quality control.

Air Pollutant

The Act defines “air pollutant” as “any matter found in the atmosphere other than oxygen,
nitrogen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and the inert gases in their natural or normal
concentrations, that is detrimental to health or the environment, which includes but not limited to
smoke, dust, soot, cinders, fly ash, solid particles of any kind, gases, fumes, chemical mists,
steam, and radioactive substances.”

Air Quality Control Action Plan

The Act provided for the establishment of an air quality control action plan that includes, among
others, enforceable emission limitations, appropriate methods and systems necessary to monitor
and analyze data on ambient air quality, and the prohibition of any source or other types of
emissions activity within the country from emitting any air pollutant in amounts which will
significantly interfere with the maintenance of the ambient air quality standard.

Management of Non-attainment Areas

The Act called for the designation of areas where specific pollutants have already exceeded
ambient standards as non-attainment areas and the implementation a program and other measures
including relocation, whenever necessary, to protect the health and welfare of residents in the
Ambient Air Quality Guideline Values and Standards

A list of hazardous air pollutants with corresponding ambient guideline values and/or standard is
published annually by the DENR to protect health, safety, and general welfare.

Air Pollution Research and Development Program

The Act provided for the establishment of a National Research and Development Program for the
prevention and control of air pollution. The program is in charge of developing air quality
guideline values and standards in addition to internationally-accepted standards.


The DENR has the authority to issue permits as it may deem necessary for the prevention and
abatement of air pollution. Such permit covers emission limitations for the regulated air
pollutants to help attain and maintain the ambient air quality standards.

Emission Quotas

The DENR may also allow each regional industrial center that is designated as special airshed to
allocate emission quotas to pollution sources within its jurisdiction.

Ban on Incineration

Incineration, defined as the burning of municipal, biomedical, and hazardous waste, which
process emits poisonous and toxic fumes, is prohibited. However, the prohibition does not apply
to traditional small-scale method of community/neighborhood sanitation “siga”, traditional,
agricultural, cultural, health, and food preparation or crematoria.

Pollution from Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicles must follow certain emission standards depending on what type they are,
otherwise they shall not be registered.


VEHICLES - The test is a smoke opacity measurement for in-use motor vehicles equipped with
compression-ignition (diesel) engines, using the free acceleration from low idle speed method.

The test procedure is for the determination of the concentration of exhaust carbon monoxide
(CO) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions from in-use motor vehicles equipped with spark-ignition
engines running at idle speed.



Pollution from Smoking

Smoking inside a public building or an enclosed public space including public vehicles and other
means of transport or in any enclosed area outside of one's private residence, private place of
work or any duly designated smoking area is prohibited.

Prohibition of the Use of Leaded Gasoline

The Act prohibits the introduction of leaded gasoline into any motor vehicle equipped with a
gasoline tank filler inlet and labeled “unleaded gas only” and the manufacture, import, and sale
of leaded gasoline and engines and components requiring the use of leaded gasoline.

Ozone-Depleting Substances

The Act called for the phasing out of ozone-depleting substances, which cause harmful effects on
the stratospheric ozone layer.

Greenhouse Gases

The Act also provided for the implementation of a national plan consistent with the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other international agreements,
conventions, and protocols on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.
Republic Act No. 9729: Climate Change Act of 2009

The Climate Change Act was signed to create the Climate Change Commission, an agency
"tasked to coordinate, monitor and evaluate the programs and action plans of the government
relating to climate change."

In 2012, RA 10174 was signed, amending the Climate Change Act. This law establishes, among
others, a survival fund to provide long-term finance streams for effectively addressing climate

Persistent Organic Pollutants

The Act further called for the development of short-term and long-term national government
programs on the reduction and elimination of persistent organic pollutants such as dioxins and

Radioactive Emissions

The Act also required the regulation, in the interest of public health and welfare, of all projects
involving the use of atomic and/or nuclear energy, and will entail emission of radioactive
substances into the environment.


AIR QUALITY INDICES – Sets standard levels for suspended particulates, sulfur dioxide,
photochemical oxidants or ozone, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide anywhere in the
Philippines. Levels above the standard, with the exception of TSP (Total Suspended Particles),
shall be considered Emergency.

Executive Order No. 26: Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in
Public and Enclosed Places

The Order sets strict guidelines on designated smoking areas and bans them altogether in schools
and recreational facilities for minors.

Individual violators are fined P500 to P10,000, depending on their number of offenses. Owners
of establishments caught violating the Order are faced with a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of
not more than 30 days.
Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is an environmental hazard that is often ignored and unfortunately, Philippine
laws that address this problem are only in their early stages of inception.

NOISE, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is an unwanted or objectionable

sound. According to a report of the organization, environmental noise exposure or noise
pollution is responsible for a range of health effects, including increased risk of ischaemic heart
disease as well as sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment among children, annoyance, stress-
related mental health risks, and tinnitus, which is a perception of noise or ringing in the ears.


Presidential Decree No. 1152: Philippine Environmental Code

The Code requires the establishment of community noise standards as well as standards for
noise-producing equipment such as those used in construction and transportation for the
protection of public health and welfare. (PD No. 1152, Sections 5-6)


Section 2, Article II of the Constitution provides that “the Philippines…adopts the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land.” By virtue of this
provision, customary international environmental laws are deemed incorporated into our
domestic laws.

International environmental law is adopted by sovereign states to define standards at the

international level. It prescribes obligations and regulates behavior in international relations in
matters affecting the environment. The Philippines is party to various multilateral environmental
agreements on pollution, some of which are as follows:

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

This was ratified by the Philippines on May 8, 1984 and became effective on September 22,
1988. Article 194 thereof obliges parties to take measures to prevent pollution of the marine
environment from any source, including “land based sources” and “installations and devices used
in exploration of the natural resources of the seabed and subsoil”.

1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

The 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its 1987 Montreal
Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer which came into force on January 1, 1989
were both ratified by the Philippines on July 17, 1991. These international instruments oblige
parties to phase out substances that deplete the ozone layer such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s)
and hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC’s) which are used in the air-conditioning units of many
old cars, offices, and houses.

1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes

and their Disposal

This came into force on May 5, 1992 and was ratified by the Philippines on October 21, 1993. It
declared illegal the transboundary shipment and disposal of hazardous wastes, such as used
cellphone batteries and old computer units, except for recycling. However, in 1995, it was
amended with the Basel Ban Amendment which was a total ban on the transboundary movement
of hazardous waste from developed countries to developing countries. Unfortunately, the Basel
Ban Amendment has yet to be ratified by the Philippines.

As a result of the country's non-ratification of the total ban amendment, Canada has been
dumping its waste in the Philippines.

A total of 50 container vans arrived in 6 batches at the Manila International Container Port from
June to August 2013. Then again later that year, at least 48 container vans containing household
trash arrive in 4 batches in Manila from Canada.

The Bureau of Customs discovered the garbage in 2014 when they opened the container vans as
part of procedures on shipments not claimed for a long period of time. The 18 vans they opened
contained plastic bottles, plastic bags, newspapers, household garbage, and used adult diapers,
which are classified as hazardous waste.

Shortly after its discovery, the Bureau of Customs filed a smuggling complaint against the
company which allegedly imported the garbage shipment from Canada to the Philippines.
Charges for violation of the Toxic Substance and Hazardous Wastes and Nuclear Wastes Control
Act of 1990 and the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines were also filed.

On June 30, 2016, the RTC ruled the shipping back of the wastes to Canada at the expense of the

2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

This came into force on May 17, 2004 and was ratified by the Philippines on February 27, 2004.
It bound the parties to immediately ban the production and use of certain pesticides such as
aldrin and to eventually phase out other pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane
(DDT) as these has adverse effects on human health and the environment and are easily
transportable by wind and water.
These aforementioned multilateral environmental agreements as well as the generally accepted
principles of environmental protection can be applied in Philippine courts, which have
jurisdiction over cases involving enforcement or violation of international environmental laws
committed within the country’s territorial boundaries.

Presidential Decree No. 984, Section 2 (a)

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Justice, Retrieved from

New World Encyclopedia, Land Pollution, retrieved from,

Inquirer, Metro Manila produces a fourth of Philippines garbage, retrieved from

Republic Act 9003, retrieved from

Greenpeace Philippines, The Problem: The State of Freshwater Sources in the Philippines, retrieved from

Philippine Star, DOH: Contaminated water caused diarrhea outbreak in Bilibid, retrieved from

Global Citizen, The Philippines Is Shutting Down This Resort Island Because of Water Pollution, retrieved

World Wildlife Fund, Large oil Spills in the Philippines threatens marine ecosystem, retrieved from

Environmental Law Organization UK, Air Pollution, retrieved from

Republic Act 8749, An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Air Pollution Control Policy and for Other

DENR Administrative Order No. 2000-82: Integrated Quality Improvement Framework-Air Quality
Control Action Plan