President Marcos signs law for accounting of Philippines natural resources

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
President Marcos signs law for accounting of Philippines natural resources
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr
Bongbong Marcos / Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines — To support the government’s economic development and environmental initiatives among others, President Marcos has signed a law mandating the accounting of the country’s natural resources, Malacañang announced yesterday.

Signed on May 22, Republic Act 11995 or the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act institutionalizes environmental and economic accounting frameworks that are accepted internationally, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said.

RA 11995 also aims “to recognize, protect and promote the ecological balance and resilience of the country.”

“The law is expected to support the government’s economic, environmental and health policy development and decision-making. It will also help provide tools and measures that contribute to the protection, conservation and restoration of the country’s ecosystems,” the PCO said in a statement.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Board will oversee the implementation of PENCAS.

Under RA 11995, the PSA is tasked to constitute an interagency working group to issue the rules and regulations necessary for the effective implementation of the law within one year from its effectivity.

The law takes effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

PENCAS, one of the Marcos administration’s priority bills, serves as a comprehensive data framework in the generation of natural capital statistics and accounts for their progressive integration in macroeconomic indicators.

Included under the accounting framework is the list of officially designated statistics on the depletion, degradation and restoration of natural capital; environmental protection expenditures; pollution and quality of land, air and water; and environmental damage.

Tasked to work hand-in-hand in the implementation of the measure are the PSA, Interagency Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Statistics, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and National Economic and Development Authority.

The law mandates the creation of an Environment, Natural Resources and Ecosystem Account Service or ENREAS under the PSA, subject to the evaluation and approval of the budget department.

Also playing important roles in the implementation of PENCAS are the Departments of the Interior and Local Government, Education and Finance; and the Professional Regulation Commission.

“Major PENCAS accounts, results on nature’s wealth and the economic value of ecosystem services, and loss and damage associated with disasters and climate change, shall be released along with all releases of national economic data, such as gross national income, gross domestic product and other often-released measures of the state of the country’s economic health,” the law stated.

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