Sunday, January 18, 2015

Public Policies Concerning the Uplands

by Antonio C. Antonio
January 14, 2015

Most countries, whatever form of government they have, are governed by laws, rules and regulations, and public policies.  The Philippines, having the democratic form of government, has a Constitution which serves as the fundamental law.  Economic development plans and programs are implemented through different directives promulgated through republic acts, executive orders, department orders, implementing rules and regulations, etc. and which are generally known as public policies.

In the uplands, most public policies are focused towards the socio-cultural and economic upliftment of the upland dwellers and the protection, development and utilization of resources found there.  The following are examples of such public policies:
  • REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7942: “An act instituting a new system of mineral resources exploration, development, utilization and conservation.”
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 79: “Institutionalizing and implementing reforms in the Philippine mining sector providing policies and guidelines to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining in the utilization of mineral resources.”
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 23: “Declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests and creating the anti-illegal logging task force.”
  • PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 705:  “Revising Presidential Decree No. 389, otherwise known as the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines.”
  • REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8371: “An act to recognize, protect and promote the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples, creating a National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, establishing implementing mechanisms, appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes.”
  • REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7160: “An act providing for a Local Government Code of 1991.”
  • REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7586: “An act providing for the establishment and management of national integrated protected areas system, defining its scope and coverage, and for other purposes.”

In some cases, public policies are repetitious and overlapping… sometimes, even outdated and irrelevant.  Given all these possibilities, it becomes imperative that public policies are often reviewed for the necessary amendments and update so they conform to the ever-changing needs of people.  Public policies on the environment and natural resources should not only apply to the lowlands… but also to public policies concerning the uplands.

Just my little thoughts…

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