EIA in the Philippines: a comparative analysis with a focus on the role of donor agencies
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 14:29 by Anthea A. Velasco
This study documents and analyses the implementation of environmental impact assessment in the Philippines, comparing it with other Southeast Asian countries' EIA procedures with emphasis on the role of donor agencies. It concludes that the Philippine EIS system, in spite of some shortcomings, performed satisfactorily though implementation and enforcement ha/ a lot of room for improvement.--The Philippines has one of the most comprehensive EIA laws and policies in Southeast Asia. The Philippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System has undergone four phases of implementation as evidence that there is a continuous effort in improving its application. Originally conceived as a regulatory tool, the EIS system has slowly moved to being a management tool to aid decision makers in selecting the best alternative after examining the trade offs between social needs, environmental concerns and economic and financial viability of a project or activity. Recent reforms in the EIA implementing rules and regulations are expected to further enhance the administration and overall utility of EIA in the Philippines.--The Philippine EIS System is well advanced in comparison with Southeast Asia and some Western EIA systems. It has strong legal and regulatory frameworks and guidelines and procedures for its implementation are well set up. Through time, there have been amendments such as the social acceptability concept to enhance public participation, specific guidelines for scoping and the requirement of Environmental Guarantee and Monitoring Funds for compliance monitoring, which aimed at improving EIA implementation. However, compliance and enforcement are still insufficient due to the inherent problem of lack of financial and human resources and political support.--Donor agencies have been influential in the formulation and improvement in EIA implementation in the Philippines. The initial environmental policy in the Philippines that was formulated with the assistance from the US government became the foundation of the preceding environmental laws and policies. The Philippines has obtained a fair amount of EIA technical assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors to support institutional capacity building and to train EIA implementors, project proponents and non-government organisations and to build and upgrade environmental management facilities and equipment. Donors have little influence in the actual conduct of EIA in the Philippines. The Philippine EIS system has the same requirements and procedures from local and foreign-funded projects and all project proponents are required to comply.