Introduction and Evaluation of Policy Brief Policy paths for addressing coastal erosion in the Philippines
Immediate actions need to curb human activities leading to coastal land loss
Presenter: Dr. Caroline Jaraula
Dr. Jaraula presented the policy brief which primarily dealt on two (2) themes: (1) improvement of the current easement guidelines and (2) improvement of the design of and placement of coastal structures in the country. The session has been dedicated to solicit insights and recommendations from the participants regarding the content of the brief. Below are some of the key points that were brought up:
As easement is essentially a “no-build zone”, its poor implementation has been highlighted and attributed to the vague definition of the high tide line. Dr. Jaraula suggested the use of king tide as the basis for the easement as there are different types of ‘high tides’. It has been pointed out that the easement should be localized as there are different tidal heights on various parts of the country. Engr. Raul S. Capistrano (Physical Oceanography Division, Hydrography Branch, NAMRIA), emphasized their preference of using historical highest tide while their agency is currently using the mean high water. In addition, it was noted that the LMB is currently updating the policy related to foreshore management.
- Coastal Constructions
It has been emphasized that coral reef and mangrove areas should be completely regarded as “no-build zones”. Furthermore, PPA has clarified their functions regarding construction of pier and ports. According to their Principal Engineer Christopher H. Ornum (Port Planning and Design Department, PPA), the PPA does not build ports on mangroves and coral reefs and considers the litorral drift in their design. Furthermore, he noted that problem arises when ports are built without permits. Permits are secured depending on the type of usage. For example, PPA has jurisdiction over mining-related and cargo ports as well as private ports while BFAR’s Philippine Fisheries Development Authorities (PFAD) oversees fisheries-related ports.
Introduction and Evaluation of Modular Primers
Presenter: Dr. Ringor
Dr. Ringor managed the breakout session for the evaluation of the six (6)-module series including: Module 1: Coastal landforms, materials and processes, Module 2: Coastal erosion in the Philippines: Trends and Causes, Module 3: Coastal Protection: Soft Solution, Module 4: Coastal Protection: Hard Engineering Solutions, Module 5: Coastal Adaptation and Retreat, and Module 6: Selecting a Strategy. Participants were divided into six (6) groups and were assigned a specific module. Each group has been guided by a facilitator from among the project team. The participants have provided valuable suggestions in further improving both the content and design of the materials. Majority of them regarded the primers as helpful in their current profession.
Overall, the workshop which is a first of its series has been a productive day to solicit valuable insights from the key agencies in coming up with an inclusive and scientifically sound policy recommendation. It has been an avenue to further provide concrete solutions both at the national and local level. It even stirred immediate action as one of the LGUs present — San Fernando, La Union representatives – pointed out their intent to propose a project on coastal erosion management for their hometown. They were enlightened with the advocacy and have thought of allocating a portion of their unused funds for such initiative.
Article was written by Joanne Constantino for Sagip Baybay PH.