The University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), in partnership with the Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, tapped environmental experts to discuss House Bill 9181 or the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Law of 2021, last July 15, 2021.
The invited guests for the morning session were Dr. Laura David, director of the UP Marine Institute, who briefly introduced PENCAS, and environmental lawyer, Atty. Ipat Luna, from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), who discussed the danger of commodification of nature and ways to address them.
In the afternoon session, Dr. Gem Castillo, president of the Resource and Environmental Economics Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. and national director of the Economy and Environmental Group Philippines, gave a presentation on Economics of the Philippine Environment: Natural Capital Accounting Concepts, Methods and Policy Applications, while Albert Magalang, chief of the Climate Change Division of the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau talked about accounting of the Philippine environment to monitor Sustainable Development Goals.
Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, who filed HB 9181 at the Congress last April, in her message, said projects have already generated a great deal of data on resource economics and natural capital.
“It is time to use what we have and to carefully manage our resources to generate the data we urgently need to make better decisions in our economy,” she added.
For his part, UPV Chancellor Dr. Clement Camposano said that “as an institution, not only are we committed to promoting the use of science and research to inform public policy, we are also committed to supporting sustainability efforts of all sectors.”
At the end of their presentations, the speakers from the morning and afternoon sessions answered various queries of participants from the academe, local government units, national government agencies, non-government organizations, and the private sector.
During the open forum, Camposano said, “the fact that we are having this conversation is very important, and once you do that, you open up several pathways forward.”
More than 300 participants attended the event via Zoom Platform. The next webinar, which will feature a different set of speakers, will be on July 29, 2021.
The chancellor initiated the webinar series.
HB 9181 is an act institutionalizing PENCAS, mandating its use in policy and decision-making, designating the agencies responsible for its implementation, providing institutional arrangements among responsible agencies.