ECC violation: P7M in fines collected from companies
Kristine B. Quintas/ATO (The Freeman) - November 9, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Environmental Management Bureau in Central Visayas has collected P7 million in fines from companies found violating the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) provisions.

 EMB-7 Director William Cuñado said the amount is based on the consolidated cumulative collection report from January to October this year. Similar amount was also collected in the same period last year.

 Cuñado said every violation of the ECC provision is equivalent to a P50,000 fine, which covers the non-submission of an environmental report, building project with ECC, lack of site development plan and environmental and sanitation measures, among others.

 He said the most common violated provision of ECC is the tree planting condition.

 As stipulated in the ECC conditions, companies are required to establish a nursery program for the seedling production of 3,500 in support to the Green Philippines Master Plan, which will be utilized for tree planting activities.

 ECC mandates the planting of appropriate trees within the project area as planned, to serve as buffer and to compensate the removal of vegetation caused by the project implementation. The planted trees should be maintained throughout the lifespan of the project.

 As part of the compliance, the companies are directed to submit a “geotag” of the location where the seedlings are successfully planted.

 Cuñado said all companies in the region are required to embark on reforestation program.

 “We should attain balance between economy and ecology. We will experience chaos if wala’y supplement economic activities because of lack of environmental/ecological resources,” he said.

 He lamented that some of the companies and stakeholders see tree planting program as “burden or liability.”

 But to lessen the burden, he encouraged companies to plant more forest or fruit-bearing trees to further generate income after three to five years.

 “While complying ECC dapat profit-oriented still. If they will plant over 3,000 trees and tanan mabuhi then it will augment their profits,” he said.

 To oversee the ECC compliance, Cuñado advised all companies to hire pollution control officers who can regularly check and monitor the compliance of environmental laws.

 “Companies must take responsibility in protecting our environment. This is a shared responsibility,” he said.

 Cuñado said a company is given due process before given a final notice of violation and penalty. (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC ADO ATILDE CENTRAL VISAYAS COMPANIES DIRECTOR WILLIAM CU ECC ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU GREEN PHILIPPINES MASTER PLAN NBSP
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