The Law and Our Responsibility to the Environment

Planet Earth is our only "home".

 “Law is the highest reason implanted in Nature, which commands what ought to be done and forbids the opposite.”-  Marcos Tullius Cicero

“Law is the highest reason implanted in Nature, which commands what ought to be done and forbids the opposite.”- Marcos Tullius Cicero
The words of former Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his message at the Judges’ Forum on Environmental Protection: Philippine Environmental Law, Practice, and the Role of Courts, viz: “Nothing less than the survival of the human species hangs on this delicate balance. Section 4, Article XII of 1987 Constitution, thus, enjoins the State to protect our endangered forest and watershed areas, while Section 7, Article XIII calls upon the State to protect, develop, and conserve communal marine and fishing resources. In pushing the frontiers of industrialization, the State is cautioned to make “full and efficient use of human and natural resources” (Section 1, Article XII).
Several principles in the Declaration undoubtedly are the sources of our environmental policies in Presidential Decree No. 1151. Principle 1 lays the foundation for the current trend resolving environmental issues in light of the person’s right to life. Along with Principles 2 and 5, it affirms the present generation’s responsibilities to future generations. Principles 2, 3, 4 and 5 identify the areas of concern that need special protection:
a. Natural resources of the earth, including the air, water, land, flora and fauna, and special representative samples of natural ecosystems;
b. Capacity of the earth to produce vital renewable resources;
c. Heritage of wildlife and its habitat; and
d. Non-renewable resources of the earth.
Principles 21 and 22 emphasize the international character of environmental problems and stress the responsibility of the States to refrain from causing damage to the environment of other States, and the importance of developing international law regarding liability and compensation of victims of pollution and other environmental damage caused by activities within the jurisdiction or control of such States to areas that transcend their jurisdiction.”
With all of the things relative to the welfare and best interest of our nature and human race, will it always be the government to take the responsibility of giving the means to alleviate whatever problems of its people? How people should think, react, and participate in addressing all possible issues that occurs? Why there are major comments of insensibility as to the effects of laws and its implementations still rises? Are the matter of dissemination and implementation a problem?
The growing population of the country has to mention about the deforestation for conversion of acres of land. Inclinations of the different vast polluters have made the progressive growth on modern industry, such as the mining, and chemical companies. Their operations have significant complex levels of greenhouse gasses; and the occupation of the long-problem on informal settlers has led to the clogging of wastes in canals which polluting the coastal areas and rivers, are worsening the state of climate malady. The irresponsibility of most people and other institutions on improper discharge garbage will remember the Filipino slogan on waste management “Ang basurang itinapon mo, ay babalik din sa’yo” [the garbage you threw, is the same will come back to you] – is true enough. Naming for example, the announcement of suspension of classes during heavy rains resulting to enormous flooding the metro that invariably affect the classes on all school levels.
So what are probably the cause? It is not about the flood that devastates but rather, it all started from being irresponsible behavior that contributes further pollution to the environment.
The present issues on various causes on environmental pollution are getting serious and immediate actions are need to prevent further damage. Nevertheless, the chain of effects on those issues, would tackle on how effective are the following laws which could help addressing the pollution related issues: the P.D. 984 the Pollution Control Law; the P.D. 600, the Water Pollution Control; the P.D. 856, Sanitation Code. P.D. 1152 the Philippine Environmental Policy; R.A. 9729 also known as the Climate Change Act of 2009; the P.D. 1067, or otherwise known as the Water Code of the Philippines; the P.D. 953 & 1153 the laws on tree planting; and the P.D. 331 the laws requiring all public forests be developed on a sustained yield basis. However, some minor and slow efforts to reduce the effect of green house industry on nature and the threatening effect of climate change. There are few companies and concern individuals are actively working for various advancement projects in preventing damage to our nature. Environmental concerns on every issue are inter vivos.
Every citizen of this State has a facet role in taking care of the environment; the responsibility to do the right things for the benefit of the environment. To do what is right is conforming to every law which created for the benefit of human race and its habitat, the nature.
Human as the manager of nature, we can help by whatever way we can in the prevention of some causes of pollution by teaching family members of proper waste disposal, plant more trees, patronage of environment-friendly product, and many more examples we can do to help preserve our environment in its healthy state.
As Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully)(106-43 B.C.) once quote, “This Planet Earth is our only home, let us make this clean and healthy place to live – so its rich gifts of ecology and nature continues to give us life.”



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