La Union – Representatives of different bureaus, services and offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) convened at the “CY 2017 Workshop on the Analysis of Sectoral Policy Gaps” organized by the Policy Studies Division of the Policy and Planning Service on August 16-19, 2017.
The workshop aimed to revisit the policy gaps identified during the 2016 workshop and to identify priority policy actions consistent with the current policy thrusts of the DENR under Secretary Roy Cimatu.
Workshop participants were grouped systematically by sectors to discuss, identify, and update policy gaps among themselves. Outputs of this discussion were presented to the plenary during the last day of the workshop.
The current policy direction of the DENR was presented to guide participants in identifying current policy gaps to be resolved, and was followed by the reporting of updates on actions taken to address those policy gaps identified during the previous workshop.
The first salvo of the discussion centered on policy gaps observed from the implementation of overarching, multi-sectoral policies such as PD 1586 (Environmental Impact Statement System) and RA 75836 (National Integrated Protected Areas System).
Driven by the inclusion of resource valuation as one component in the DENR Program Expenditure Classification (PREXC) for CY 2018, participants were briefed on the subject matter and insights pertaining to the identification of indicators per sector, the policy directions on wealth accounting and valuation, and the use of appropriate valuation methods for the DENR to adopt, were gathered.
Other policy issuances such as on “Banning the Open Pit Method of Mining for Copper, Gold, Silver and Complex Ores in the Country” (DAO No. 2017-10) issued on April 27, 2017 were also up for discussion.
The workshop concluded with the synthesis and presentation of next steps of the policy group of DENR.
Participation of FASPS in this workshop was important since FASPS is an incubator of technology innovations and science-based findings. Some of the recently-concluded foreign assisted projects (FAPs) introduced innovations that have been mainstreamed and have shown to improve processes or operations of the DENR. For instance, the Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) developed and introduced the Smart LAWIN protection tool while the Philippine Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (PhilWAVES) the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Framework that contains the guidelines and methodologies for resource valuation and accounting.
Based on success stories, techniques, best practices, and lessons learned from the implementation of its projects, FASPS contributes policy recommendations to the Department that trigger further innovations or spur amendments and/or issuance of relevant policies. These become an integral tool in DENR’s developmental and regulatory functions to support and achieve sustainable management of environment and natural resources (ENR) in the country. (FASPS/ John Carlo Aguado)