Coastal Erosion in the Philippines
Presenter: Dr. Siringan
Dr. Siringan briefly talked about the coastal erosion scenario in the Philippines. He has shown the participants various places (e.g. Narra, Palawan, Gusa, Cagayan de Oro, and Boracay, Aklan) in the country where coastal erosion has been observed and studied. He has also detailed the importance of sediment sources and pathways in understanding coastal erosion. He then expounded on the factors, both natural and human-induced, that contribute to erosion including: (a)sea-level rise, (b)more frequent and stronger storms, (c) switching of river mouths, (d) structures on the foreshore, (e) beach mining, and (f) destruction of coastal habitats. He also shared learnings from previous works on coastal erosion, and some practical solutions that can be employed. Overall, his comprehensive presentation of the problem of coastal erosion backed by his many anecdotes resonated well with the participants.
Role of NGAs and LGUs in Coastal Erosion Management
Presenter: Ms. Yvainne Sta. Maria
Ms. Sta. Maria led the session on deciphering the distinct roles of the agencies in line with addressing coastal management issues.Primarily, DENR units’ mandate includes: conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources. Specifically, DENR- BMB, a bureau formed from the merger of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) and the Coastal and Marine Management Office (CMMO), has jurisdiction over protected areas (PAs) including marine reserves, and when a foreshore is within a PA. On areas outside the PAs, DENR- LMB is tasked with foreshore management, and is accountable for areas within 50 meters from the shoreline. DENR-FMB takes care of forest areas including the planting of mangroves. However, management of mangroves forests remains with DENR-BMB. Regional EMB monitors air and water quality as well as solid waste management. Aside from DENR, functions of other NGAs present were also clarified:(a) PRA has jurisdiction over reclamation and improvements on foreshore; (b)TIEZA covers tourism enterprise zones; and (c) PPA is in charge of development of port zones and issuance of permit for the construction of pier/ports. The LGUs have important roles in issuing permits and implementation of development projects at the local level. The lack of coordination between LGUs and NGAs also became apparent during the discussion.
Article was written by Joanne Constantino for Sagip Baybay PH.