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DENR streamlines issuance of environmental permits

Updated June 22, 2009 12:00 AM [ ]

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has announced plans to implement a “drastic” streamlining of the procedures in the issuances of environmental permits in a bid to stamp out corruption and lure more local and foreign investors into the country.

In press conference, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza said the prompt issuance of permits would strengthen the monitoring of industries or activities that impact on the environment such as mining, eco-tourism and agro-forestry in the regional level.

Atienza noted that the streamlining of issuances of permits entails the removal of “unnecessary” requirements with the filing of application for environmental permits.

Atienza said the streamlining would include the issuance of environmental compliance certificate (ECC), certificate for non-coverage (CNC), mining permits, among others.

The DENR chief said he is merely “awaiting the President’s nod” as he expressed confidence that President Arroyo would approve the DENR proposal.

“As long as applicants are able to submit basic requirements of DENR environmental concerns, they are given a set of conditionalities to ensure that they take care of the environment,” Atienza pointed out.

According to Atienza, the DENR targets to shorten the issuance of CNC from two to three months to just one day; of ECC from more than three months will to only three weeks;of mining permits from 17 weeks to just seven weeks.

“We are taking serious moves to conduct reforms that will benefit all. Streamlining will reduce corruption if the rules are very simple…then there is no room for graft and corruption,” Atienza said.

“If we will not streamline…we will never attract, primarily local investments. If rules are unreasonably tight and strict…graft and corruption is imminent,” he also said. – Katherine Adraneda


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