Taking care of the environment involves knowing what to do and what not to do. We know simple ways on how to take care of Mother Earth. How about the government? What laws are being implemented in order to protect and conserve nature?
Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000: In partnership with stakeholders, the law aims to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program that shall ensure the protection of public health and environment. The law ensures proper segregation, collection, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste through the formulation and adaptation of best eco-waste products.
Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004: The law aims to protect the country’s water bodies from pollution from land-based sources (industries and commercial establishments, agriculture and community/household activities. It provides for comprehensive and integrated strategy to prevent and minimize pollution through a multi-sectoral and participatory approach involving all the stakeholders.
Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999:The law aims to achieve and maintain clean air that meets the National Air Quality guideline values for criteria pollutants, throughout the Philippines, while minimizing the possible associated impacts to the economy.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System of 1978: The Environment Impact Assessment System was formally established in 1978 with the enactment of Presidential Decree no. 1586 to facilitate the attainment and maintenance of rational and orderly balance between socio-economic development and environmental protection. EIA is a planning and management tool that will help government, decision makers, the proponents and the affected community address the negative consequences or risks on the environment. The process assures implementation of environment-friendly projects.
From the laws mentioned, it is clear that the government holds the state’s best interest in mind. It acknowledges that in order to have a healthy population and good economy, the environment must also be in a good condition.
The environment plays a big part in setting the quality of the labor force. If the country’s citizens live in an unhealthy environment, we can expect the quality of their labor to be poor and their productivity to be low.
If the government pursues economic growth at the expense of its natural resources, we can expect growth only in the short run as the negative consequences of this decision take effect in the future and affect the long run.
These laws only prove that a healthy environment and a growing economy should go hand-in-hand. We should still maintain a healthy environment even if our economy is expanding. Likewise, in order for our economy to grow, we should foster a healthy environment. Healthy conditions of nature and economy are to be treated as perfect complements, not perfect substitutes.