This is a list of laws governing the practice of environmental planning. This list links the law titles to online sources for easy reference.
Any profession is governed by specific laws, and it’s no different in environmental planning. I’ll try to keep this as concise and organized as possible, since you’re going to be reading through a whole lot of legal terms and frameworks.
When I first started studying environmental laws, I couldn’t get myself to move forward. It took practice and constant reading to understand the pattern that appears in every law. Each one is structured, and when you get to read a couple, you get the hang of how to analyze the contents. I’ll group the laws together the way I studied them when I was reviewing for the boards.
- Take note of the frameworks, plans, and bodies created to implement the plans
- Take into context the year the law was created, and know the background of the administration and the international declarations that were passed (for example, most laws that deal with policing environmental activities are in the law series numbered in 9000’s and were passed in the years 2000’s-2010’s. This is because the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the enforcement of commitments was done in the 2000’s.) This might help:
Let’s get started.
The overall basis is our Constitution. Take note that other laws’ objectives, or the Declaration of Policy, always refer to the what is best for the State, as is written in the Constitution. Tip: Sometimes Article numbers come up in the exam.
Then before we go into the institutions and environmental laws, there’s the basis of environmental planning and practice.
- RA 10587: Environmental Planning Act of 2013 (The old law is PD 1308: Law Regulating the Environmental Planning Profession in the Philippines)
- Res. No. 01 Series of 1997: Code of Ethics for Environmental Planners in the Philippines
- Then I’ll just put this here because professionals have to know: RA 8981: PRC Modernization Act of 2000
It is helpful to understand how government entities were created so that before going into the laws that discuss their further activities and what they should be policing, you will have a sound structure of what their mandates and functions are.
- RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 We understand here the devolution of powers and functions to the local governments.
- For the housing, shelter and urban development agencies: PD 933: Creating the Human Settlements Commission, which is now Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB); EO 90: Identifying government agencies for the National Shelter Program and the creation of HUDCC; PD No. 757: Creating the National Housing Authority and dissolving the existing housing agencies, defining its powers and functions, providing funds therefor, and for other purposes. Here are the links to trace the histories of NHA, HLURB, HUDCC, and SHFC.
- EO 192 s 1987: Providing for the reorganization of the Department of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, renaming it as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and for other purposes
- PD 107: Creating the National Economic Development Authority
- For entities that have to do with waterworks: Amended PD 198 (2010) and other related issuances: Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973, Local Water District Law, Local Water Utilities Administration Law, etc.; RA 6234: An act creating the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and dissolving the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority; and for other purposes
- RA 4850: Creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority
Housing, shelter, estate development, urban development
- RA 7279: Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (with IRR and amendment: RA 9397)
- EO 71: Devolving the powers of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board to approve subdivision plans, to cities and municipalities pursuant to RA 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991
- EO 72: Providing for the preparation and implementation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plans of Local Government Units pursuant to the Local Government Code of 1991 and other pertinent laws
- Batas Pambansa 220 (with revised IRR of 2001): An Act Authorizing the Ministry of Human Settlements to establish and promulgate different levels of standards and technical requirements for economic and socialized housing projects in urban and rural areas from those provided under Presidential decrees numbered 957, 1216, 1096, and 1185
- PD 957: Subdivision & Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree (with IRR)
- RA 4726: The Condominium Act of 1995
- RA 7835: Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Financing Act of 1994
- RA 9507: Socialized and Low-cost Housing Loan Restructuring Act of 2008
- EO 184 of 1994: Creating socialized housing one-stop processing centers to facilitate the processing and issuance of permits, clearances, certifications, and licenses appropriate and necessary for the implementation of socialized housing projects, and directing all government agencies concerned to support the operations of the said centers
- House Bill 3769 / Senate Bill 2458: Local Housing Boards
- RA 9904: Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations (IRR)
I found that reviewing laws according to development sector was effective for me, so that’s the way I’ll list them here.
I’ll group the environmental laws according to land, mineral resources, energy, wildlife, water, air, and pollution control. These all interlace at some point, but for for organization purposes, let’s study it as grouped.
Introductory and general laws on the environment
- PD 1151: Philippine Environmental Policy
- PD 1152: Philippine Environmental Code
- RA 9512: National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008
- Commonwealth Act 141: The Public Land Act. Yes, this was enacted in 1936 and is enforced to date.
- PD 1517: The Urban Land Reform
- PD 27: Decreeing the emancipation of tenants from the bondage of the soil, transferring to them the ownership of the land they till and providing the instruments and mechanism therefor
- PD 1529: Amending and codifying the laws relative to registration of property and for other purposes
- RA 11023: An Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free Patents to Residential Lands
(I placed all laws on agriculture and agrarian reform later on in this post, under the heading of economic laws for agriculture.)
- RA 7942: Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (with DMO 99-34 Clarificatory Guidelines)
- RA 7076: Peoples’ Small Scale Mining Act
- PD 1899: Establishing Small Scale Mining as a new Dimension in Mineral Development
- PD 705: Revised Forestry Code
- PD 953: Requiring the planting of trees in certain places and penalizing unauthorized cutting, destruction, damaging, and injuring of certain trees, plants, and vegetation
- EO 263: Adopting community-based forest management as the national strategy to ensure the sustainable development of the country’s forestlands resources and providing mechanisms for its implementation
- RA 9175: Chainsaw Act of 2002
Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation and Protected or Critical Areas
- RA 9147: Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act
- RA 7611: Strategic Environment Plan for Palawan Act, which created the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD)
- RA 9072: National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act
- RA 7586: National Integrated Protected Areas System Law of 1992 (with IRR, also DENR AO 2008-26)
- PD1586: Environmental Impact Assessment
- DENR DAO 1996-37 Environmental Impact System
- Proclamation No. 2146: Proclaiming certain areas and types of projects as environmentally critical and within the scope of environmental impact statement system established under PD 1586
Water Use and Management
- PD 1067: Water Code of 1976 (with IRR)
- RA 9275: Clean Water Act of 2004 (with DAO 05-10 and IRR)
- RA 8041: National Water Crisis Act of 1995
- RA 9003: Ecological Solid Waste Management of 2001 (with IRR)
- RA 6969: Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990
- PD 825: Anti-Littering (Garbage Disposal)
- PD 856: Sanitation Code of 1975 (with IRR)
Climate change adaptation and Disaster risk reduction (CCA-DRR)
- RA 9729: Climate Change Act of 2009, which created the Climate Change Commission
- RA 10121: The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law of 2010, which created the NDRRMC
- I’ll put the Fire Code here because it’s part of DRR. RA 9514: Revised Fire Code of 2008
Social, cultural, and institutional laws
- RA 8371: Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997, which created the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
- RA 10066: National Culture Heritage Act of 2010
- RA 9418: Volunteer Act of 2007
- RA 9710: Magna Carta of Women of 2009 (IRR)
- RA 7877: Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995
- RA 9485: Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007
- RA 9184 Procurement Law (with IRR as per EO 40 of 2001). Brace yourself for how long and detailed this law is. Here’s a presentation by the Government Procurement and Policy Board to sum up the law and present it in the simplest way.
(#s 5 and 6 were referenced during my exam, so best to include them here.)
Agricultural, agrarian reform, and fishery laws
- For the series of laws on agrarian tenancy and reform, we have a list: RA 1199: Agricultural Tenancy Act; RA 3844: Agrarian Reform of 1963 (this link is a direct download); RA 6657 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988; RA 7907 Amended Code of Agrarian Reform of the Philippines; RA 9700 Extension of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
- RA 8435: Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA), which brought about the delineation of SAFDZs (strategic agriculture and fisheries development zones) which are very important in land use
- RA 8550: Fisheries Code of 1998 (with IRR). This law gives guidance on the privileges of fishing within municipal waters (as does RA 7160), as well as the FARMCs (fisheries and aquatic resources management councils)
- EO 481: Promotion and Development of Organic Agriculture in the Philippines
Commerce and credit, services, and economic zones
- RA 7916: The Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 (with IRR), which established the Ecozones and created the PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) that is attached to the DTI.
- RA 9593 Tourism Act 2009 (with IRR), which created the TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority), and designated the TEZs (Tourism enterprise zones), greenfield tourism zones, and brownfield tourism zones
- EO 226: Omnibus Investments Code of 1987, which protects our Philippine enterprises and states our business rights
- RA 9520: Revised Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008
- RA 9510: Credit Information System Act of 2008
- RA 6977: Magna Carta for Small Enterprises
- RA 9501: Amendments to Magna Carta for Small Enterprises, which became inclusive of micro-, small-, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)
- RA 6541: National Building Code (with IRR of 2004–IRR link is a direct download)
- RA 6957 and RA 7718 (amendment): Financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure projects by the private sector (with IRR and Joint Venture Guidelines), where guidelines are given on build-operate-transfer (BOT) and build-and-transfer schemes with the private sector
- RA 9295: Domestic Shipping Shipbuilding
International Covenants and Commitments
- UN Declaration of Human Rights
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination
- Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families
- Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of Prostitution of Others
- UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. I wrote a little bit about our history of climate change commitments and efforts in another blog post (just scroll down to the part of Philippines and COP21).
- Lastly, given the much-disputed Philippine Sea / China Sea territory, here’s the UNCLOS or UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. While we’re at it, here’s RA 9522: Baselines of Philippine Territorial Sea.
So there’s the long list of laws. Gather up the perseverance to study all of them, but if your time is limited, learn to prioritize. Good luck!
Here are other parts of my online board review series. 🙂