NEDA and the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) signed recently a joint memorandum circular strengthening the regulation of reclamation activities.
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Gov’t adopts stricter rules on reclamation projects
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Stricter procedures would be enforced in the approval of reclamation projects by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board to ensure environmental sustainability in such developments, the economic planning agency said yesterday.

NEDA and the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) signed recently a joint memorandum circular strengthening the regulation of reclamation activities.

It states that before a reclamation project or a reclamation component of a development  can be subjected to the NEDA approval process, the PRA should submit to the NEDA Board Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) a resolution endorsing the project.

The joint memorandum circular enforcing the strict implementation of Executive Order 146 was signed between Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and PRA general manager and chief executive officer Janilo Rubiato.

“Completed staff work by the PRA and the corresponding PRA board endorsement, through a PRA board resolution, of a reclamation project and reclamation component of a development or infrastructure project should be obtained before submission to the NEDA Board Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) and/or NEDA Board, as the case may be,” the circular stated.

NEDA said this would “foster heightened compliance with the approval of reclamation projects and prevent indiscriminate illegal reclamation activities which lack prior NEDA Board approval.”

Pernia, who sits as vice chair of the NEDA Board, said the stricter evaluation of reclamation projects would strike a balance between promoting economic growth and environmental sustainability.

“Reclamation projects can be good or bad for sustainable development depending on how and to what ends, they have done. So we must strike a balance between  the twin goals of economic growth and environmental sustainability,” he said in a statement.

NEDA said the joint circular will be endorsed to the Office of the President for notation.

In 2013, former president Benigno Aquino transferred to the NEDA Board from the PRA the authority to approve reclamation projects in response to public apprehension over the risks prosed by reclamation projects.

The executive order limits the role of the PRA to the evaluation of reclamation projects.

This came at a time of rising opposition to a plan to reclaim a large portion of Manila Bay.

This was also meant to ensure that reclamation activities are integrated with development planning at the national level.

ERNESTO PERNIA NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
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