Gov't agencies prodded: Be proactive in improving PENCAS, Blue Economy bills | Inquirer News

Gov’t agencies prodded: Be proactive in improving PENCAS, Blue Economy bills

/ 03:23 PM July 04, 2023

Loren Legarda urges government agencies to be proactive in improving bills on PENCAS and Blue Economy

Sen. Pro Tempore Loren Legarda advocates marine growth and eco-conservation. She heard PENCAS & Blue Economy bills for economic growth, environmental conservation, and ecosystem stability. (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda is urging concerned government agencies to work together and proactively improve proposed laws on Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) and the Blue Economy.

During a joint public hearing of the Senate committees on economic affairs; environment, natural resources, climate change; and finance on Tuesday morning, the senator stressed the importance of developing a satisfactory bill by constantly evaluating both the positive and negative points.


“I would want comments. Really study both bills, change what we wrote. We expect and hope and request you to please give us not just general statements, but in definition of terms, terms which are lacking in clarity and even on factual information. I love to be corrected and I want to be told I am wrong so that I learn. I like my measures to be enhanced, improved, even changed,”  Legarda said.


According to her, PENCAS and the Blue Economy bills are seen to significantly impact people’s livelihoods since the measures could bring more jobs and better income to fishermen and farmers.

So she asked representatives of concerned government agencies who attended the public hearing to coordinate and do their tasks well.

READ: Marcos urged to also prioritize programs promoting ‘blue economy’

“Importante ang impact [ng mga bills na ito] sa kabuhayan. The comments, I hope will not just be ‘we concur’ o ‘sang ayon kami’. Critique kung paano ninyo mapapaganda o mapapahusay with the end result of providing more  sustainable and regenerative livelihoods,” she said.

(The impact [of these bills] on the economy is important. The comments, I hope, will not just be ‘we concur’ or ‘we agree’. Criticize how you can enhance or improve by providing more sustainable and regenerative livelihoods.)

Present during the hearing were representatives from the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources; Agriculture; Transportation; Health; Education; Budget and Management; National Defense; Foreign Affairs; Justice; Trade and Industry; and Finance.


Representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Climate Change Commission, Professional Regulation Commission, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippine Statistics Authority, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, among others, also attended Tuesday’s public inquiry.

Legarda then asked the government agencies to refrain from meeting only during hearings.

“It’s also important, may I ask the agencies of government, to not only meet when there’s a hearing. Converge and share information – especially with us. Know that I am interested in each and every institution’s work. We are here to help so share information. Let it not remain in your libraries or archives so coordinate with each other,” Legarda said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Tuesday’s hearing continued the discussion on PENCAS Act and the Blue Economy Act held last March 29. Legarda said the bills on the two proposed laws represent the country’s commitment to safeguarding the environment while harnessing the full potential of the Philippines’ marine resources.

She noted that the full capacity of the country’s marine resources would only be realized if the Philippines adopts a holistic approach that addresses the needs of coastal communities, promotes sustainable practices, and protects marine biodiversity all at once.


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TAGS: environment, Legislation, Loren Legarda, Nature, Senate

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