In behalf of the Green Party of the Philippines (GPP-KALIKASAN MUNA), I express our full support to the passage of House Bill No. 6973 and its counterpart in the Senate – Senate Bill 1878.
The bill is entitled, “AN ACT CREATING THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT BUREAU (EPEB) UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR), PROVIDING FOR ITS POWERS AND FUNCTIONS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.” We believe that thru this act the enforcement of related laws will be more efficient since the DENR will be empowered to enforce them immediately.
EPEB will also effectively help save the lives of environmental front liners who had been suffering and subject of harassment and even murder. Last, October 27 alone, DENR Forest Guard Marianito Rufano, 51 was killed by armed men while leading a two-way retrieval operatrion of some 12,911 board feet of abandoned premium Lauan and Toog timber seized from illegal logging activity at Sitio Kiatsan, Barangay Bunawan Brook in Bunawan town.
We also support the call led by Environmental Secretary Roy A. Cimatu for President Rodrigo Duterte to certify this bill as urgent.
On June 15, Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda filed House Bill (HB) 6973 establishing the EPEB under the DENR, while Senator Nancy Binay filed a counterpart measure—Senate Bill 1878—last October 12.
You can download a copy of the bill at http://www.congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/basic_18/HB06973.pdf.