Executive Order No. 774

 

 

REORGANIZING THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

 

WHEREAS, climate change is already impacting adversely on the world;

 

WHEREAS, climate change will have catastrophic effects if immediate and sufficient action to curb industrial emissions and forest loss is not taken;

 

WHEREAS, while our country’s emissions remain much lower in per capita terms than those of industrialized nations, our country’s recent growth and development have been accompanied by a rise in damaging emissions from fossil fuels.

 

WHEREAS, we should try to help push the mind-set from the present traditional paradigms to economics to the new mindset of conservation, protection and restoration.

 

NOW THEREFORE I, GLORIA M. ARROYO, President of the Philippines, by the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

 

SECTION 1.  Reorganization.  – (a) The Presidential Task Force on Climate Change (PTFCC) is hereby reorganized.  The President of the Philippines shall serve as Chair.  All sectors under the President are hereby directed to cooperate with one another toward the fulfillment of the vision and goals of sustainable development.

 

(b)      The Cabinet members shall be members of the Task Force.  Their offices shall immediately practice proper solid waste management, the most basic form of environmental responsibility, pursuant to the Solid Waste Management Act.  Every Friday of the week, the President or Presidential Adviser on Climate Change (PACC) shall personally visit government offices, to help in the implementation of the aforesaid discipline.  The weekly visits shall continue until it shall be proclaimed that the mindsets have been converted into attitudes and practices by the government offices of Conservation, Protection and Restoration (CPR).

 

(c)      The Presidential Management Staff Appointments Office shall clear the President’s schedule on Fridays and devote five (5) hours to concerns and initiatives for environmental security.

 

SEC. 2.  Task Group on Solid Waste Management. – (a) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall lead a Task Group in the implementation of solid waste management. It shall target the reduction of solid waste generation by fifty percent (50%) within the next six months.  All local governments are hereby enjoined to fully implement the law on solid waste management.  The President or the PACC on Climate Change shall visit the regions, provinces, towns and cities every week until it is proclaimed that the Filipino people shall have fully integrated into the mainstream of their thought their personal environmental responsibilities and thereby effectively implement the Solid Waste Management Act.

 

(b)      The DENR shall report to the President in person or through the PACC every Friday during the weekly visits to offices and regions to campaign for responsible solid waste management.

 

(c)      With the Department of Health, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System shall enjoin the private sector, such as sludge excavation contractors and water concessionaires, to undertake a methane recovery program from human and animal waste and convert it into cooking gas and other forms of energy.

 

SEC. 3.  Protected Areas.  – After six months of such campaign of solid waste management, the next stage and level of the focused CPR campaign shall be to identify and regenerate the forest lands and protected areas of the islands and seas of the Philippines.

 

SEC. 4.  Task Group on Watershed Protection.  – (a) Within the next six months, the DENR shall lead a Task Group to undertake a survey and mapping for the protected areas of the country and the needed areas for forest land.  Pursuant to the Constitution, these areas shall be clearly marked on the ground.  Part of the Two Billion Pesos (P 2,000,000,000.00) allocated for reforestation shall be provided for the delineation and boundary marking of the forest lands within the respective Congressional districts.  This preliminary activity shall set the state for the massive restoration and regeneration of said forest lands and protected areas.

 

(b)      Water resources and watersheds shall be immediately identified and protected and their water flow improved and their floral cover regenerated.  For this purpose, the fund set aside for the rehabilitation of watersheds under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act shall be made available by the National Power Corporation for forest delineation and reforestation projects.

 

(c)      The DENR, the state universities and colleges (SUCs), particularly their Departments of Biology and Marine Sciences, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and other scientific institutions shall mobilize the youth to conduct and complete an inventory of the flora and fauna in the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of their respective localities within one hundred and eighty (180) days from this issuance of this Order.  Funds for this purpose shall be allocated from the research budgets or the SUCs, the DENR, and the DOST.

 

(d)      The DENR and the Commission on Higher Education shall report to the PACC the progress of this initiative every Friday of every week until almost all of the flora and fauna have been identified.

 

SEC. 5.  Clean Water Conservation.  – With due consultation and proper relocation assistance, all riverbanks and waterways must be cleared of informal structures and obstacles.  All waterways must be restored to waters suitable for fisheries and boating within twenty-four (24) months from the issuance hereof.

 

SEC. 6.  Task Group on Rainwater Conservation.  – Rainwater collection systems shall be put in place.  The DPWH shall lead a Task Group in cooperation with the United Architects of the Philippines to design and implement the efficient rainwater collection and aquifer systems.  Demonstration projects shall be in operations within ninety (90) days from issuance of this Order.  Plans for scaling them up nationwide, especially in areas highly vulnerable to droughts, shall be presented to the President through the PACC.

 

SEC. 7.  Task Group on Water Recycling.  – Water recycling—the prevention, recovery and treatment of used water—shall be placed at the highest priority of survival.  For the purpose, the National Water Resources Office shall lead a Task Group in cooperation with the Local Water Utilities Administration and the water districts, the DTI and manufacturers of irrigation implements and toilet facilities to efficiently use, recover and reuse water.  With due consultation and proper relocation assistance, all riverbanks and waterways must be cleared of informal structures and obstacles.  All waterways must be restored to waters suitable for fisheries and boating within twenty-four (24) months from the issuance hereof.

 

SEC. 8.  Task Group on Atmospheric Activities.  – The DOST shall lead a Task Group to transform the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration (PAGASA) into a world-class atmospheric and meteorological facility.  For this purpose, a Filipino Scientist Program on Atmospheric Sciences shall be immediately incorporated into the DOST Research and Development Program to attract the best Filipino minds, both young and more senior, both in the Philippines and abroad, to develop the Filipino capability for weather sciences.

 

SEC. 9.  Task Group on Fossil Fuels.  – (a) To reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) shall lead a Task Group to reform the transportation sector.  The new paradigm in the movement of men and things must follow a simple principle:  “Those who have less in wheels must have more in road.”  For this purpose, the system shall favor non-motorized locomotion and collective transportation system (walking, bicycling, and the man-powered mini-train).

 

(b)      The DOTC and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall immediately transform roads using aforesaid principle.

 

(c)      Malacańang Palace and all Cabinet offices are hereby directed to bring down by fifty percent (50%) the consumption of fossils fuels within two (2) years from the issuance of this order.

 

(d)    The PACC shall consult with the biggest consumers and undertake extensive mass media social marketing and mobilization campaigns to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

 

(e)      The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall immediately make available funds from Road Users’ Tax for the purposes stated in this Section.

 

(f)       The Secretaries of the DOTC, DBM and DPWH shall personally report to the President through the PACC every 48 hours on the progress of the initiatives stated in this Section.

 

(g)      The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall coordinate with local government units and guide them on the plan to transform the locomotion and transportation system to favor parties who have no motorized vehicles.

 

SEC. 10.  Task Group on Information.  – (a) The Philippine Information Agency shall lead a Task Group to mobilize the government stations and channels and the private sector media to help make the people understand the threats and risks that the country is facing from climate change and to use the power of mass media and global communications to mobilize the people into positive action.

 

(b)      Other government agencies and the entire Filipino people shall be made to understand and enjoined to fully cooperate and perform their respective roles and responsibilities to face climate change.  The agencies shall send the PACC a one-page weekly report on the advances they have made on this initiative.

 

SEC. 11.  Task Group on Fisheries.  – (a) The Department of Agriculture (DA) shall lead a Task Group to conduct a compliance audit of the strategic provisions of the Fisheries Code, particularly on the determination of the maximum sustainable yield, the total catch allowable, and the carrying capacity of our marine ecosystems.

 

(b)      With the DILG, the DA shall conduct massive information, education and communication campaigns with coastal local governments to implement Section 81 of RA 8550, otherwise known as the Fisheries Code, mandating that at least fifteen percent (15%) of their municipal waters must be devoted to a fish sanctuary.

 

(c)      The local governments of all coastal towns and cities are enjoined to identify and declare their fish sanctuaries not later than six (6) months from the issuance of this Order.

 

(d)     The PACC shall compile the list of complying local governments. They shall be fully assisted in their implementation efforts, should they so desire.  Non-compliant local governments shall be sanctioned as appropriate by the DILG.

 

(e)      The DA and DILG Secretaries shall report to the President personally or through the PACC every Friday on the progress of the initiative provided in this Section.  They shall act with a sense of urgency.

 

SEC. 12.  Task Group on Agriculture.  – (a) All Agricultural lands shall be immediately identified and delineated with clear boundary markers on the ground.  Every effort shall be exerted to cleanse the fields of chemical pollutants, and extend and persuade owners and caretakers to produce nutritious food crops in a sustainable manner.

 

(b)      Public open places space along sidewalks and portions of roads and parking lots, which shall be rendered irrelevant by the mind-shift to non-motorized and collective transportation systems, shall be devoted to productive use through sustainable urban farming.  These spaces shall be planted with, among others, nutritious fruit crops, vegetables, spices and medicinal herbs.  All persons who live in the city who wish to care for a plot of arable land to plant their vegetables shall be provided a stewardship agreement.  This agreement shall bind the holder to sustainably use the land plant it with food and other plants like nutritious vegetables, fruits, flowers, spices, etc., and receive benefit from its produce.

 

SEC. 13.  Task Group on Education.  – The Department of Education shall lead a Task Group to develop the climate change component and integrate it into the Science curriculum of the schools immediately upon completing.  By the opening of the next school year, environmental education must have been incorporated in all levels of the school Science curriculum.

 

SEC. 14.  Task Group on Foreign Affairs.  – The Department of Foreign Affairs shall lead a Task Group with the Department of Justice to cooperate with other island nations in exploring legal and meta-legal approaches on how to hold highly carbon dioxide-emitting countries accountable and liable for the climate change damages that are happening and will be happening in this generation and for sustainable development of future generations.  Said agencies shall tap the talent of law professors and top-caliber litigation and environmental lawyers in the Philippines, in Asia and in the rest of the world.

 

SEC. 15.  Task Group on Renewable Energy.  – The Department of Energy shall lead a Task Group to implement the Renewable Energy Law with dispatch.

 

SEC. 16.  Task Group on CPR Economics.  – (a) The National Economic and Development Authority shall lead a Task Group in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to promote CPR Economics as a paradigm of economic development. It shall prepare a ten, twenty, thirty (10-20-30) year CPR Economic Action Plan in the line the Principle of Seven Generations, which states that in deliberations today, especially in decisions to use the sources of Life of Land, Air and Water, the impact of decisions of to a Horizon of Seven Generations—of the grandchildren of our grandchildren—must be considered.

 

(b)      The Board of Investments and the Department of Finance shall immediately implement a simplified and beneficial Investment Priorities Plan to shift the thrust of the economy from a consumerist economy of wasteful practices to an economy that is based on the sustainable use and conservation of the physical sources and resources of Life.

 

(c)      Responsible eco-tourism shall be a cornerstone of economic activities. As guests and as visitors to our lovely island home, tourists shall be expected to behave properly and obey our laws and be sensitive to our culture and customs.

 

(d)      The Department of Tourism shall develop a program on restorative eco-tourism.  It shall seek not only to engage the people to restore the damaged land, forests, rivers and seas of our country but more importantly it shall seek to restore the connection between man and Nature.

 

(e)      The DOT shall pursue such CPR eco-tourism programs focused on the Filipino people as its “target market.”

 

(f)       The Priority Development Assistance Funds of Congressional representatives shall be given priority in facilitating release if the same is aligned towards the pursuit of CPR economics.

 

SEC. 17.  Traditional Medicine.  – Traditional and alternative medicine shall be promoted to address the health and wellness concerns of the Filipino people.

 

SEC. 18.  Task Group on Outdoor and Rooftop Structures.  – (a) The DPWH shall lead a Task Group to require all neon and high-wattage lights on billboards and outdoor advertisements along roads and highways to be shut off at 9:00 p.m.  Should the owners desire to turn them on after 9:00 p.m., they shall be charged a fee equivalent to their carbon footprint computed according to their wattage consumption.  Where the structures are not in compliance with the laws and building regulations, they shall be immediately removed from the rooftops.

 

(b)      In their place, the DPWH shall provide incentive subsidies to the owners to convert said rooftops into urban gardens.

 

SEC. 19.  Secretariat.  – (a) The PACC shall oversee the execution and implementation of this Order.  He shall report directly to the President or to the Executive Secretary (ES) every week, in coordination with the other heads of offices herein mentioned, on the progress of the aforesaid initiatives.

 

(b)      The PACC shall report to the President personally or through the ES every seventy-two (72) hours on the progress of these initiatives.

 

(c)      The office of the PACC and the PTFCC shall be located at the Mabini Hall and shall have access to the Office of the President or the Executive Secretary at all times practicable.  The initial funds for the PACC and to reorganize the PTFCC shall come from the Office of the President.  The DBM shall mainstream the PACC in the annual appropriations budget.  All government agencies are likewise hereby directed to provide and mainstream the cross-cutting environmental concerns in their operations, budgets and reports to the President.

 

SEC. 20. If any section of this Order shall be declared unconstitutional, the other sections or parts hereof shall not thereby be affected.

 

SEC. 21.  All orders, circulars, memoranda, rules, regulations and other issuances or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are hereby amended accordingly.

 

SEC. 22.  This EO shall take effect immediately.

 

Done in the City of Manila, this 26th day of December in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Eight.

 

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