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To Overseas Start Page
The Online Magazine for Sustainable Seas
January, 2009, Vol. 11 No. 1



The Legal Bases of Coastal and Fisheries Resource Management in the Philippines

Excerpted from “Mending Nets: A Handbook on the Prosecution of Fishery and Coastal Law Violations (Second Edition)” published by the Environmental Legal Assistance Center.” The full book can be downloaded here.






he elements that decide the fate of the coastal environment — from who watches over it, to how it is protected and used, to the attitudes people have towards coastal resources—are reflected in and at the same time determined by the law. Knowledge of relevant laws and legal issuances is therefore the necessary starting point of a successful prosecution, as it provides the legal foundation for any action directed towards the protection of the coastal environment.

The following laws are listed according to hierarchy: from pertinent provisions of the Philippine Constitution, to national laws and international treaties and agreements, to Executive Orders of the President, to Administrative Orders and Circulars issued by government agencies. The role of ordinances enacted by local government units is also briefly discussed. In each section, the laws are listed in reverse chronological order, from the most recent to the oldest.


Hierarchy of laws in the Philippines

The 1987 Philippine Constitution establishes, limits and defines the fundamental powers of government. It is the highest law of the land, and all other laws and legal issuances may be said to spring from—and must be in harmony with—its provisions.

The following provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution lay down the State policies and principles significant to the coastal environment and to the rights of the people to the country’s coastal resources.

Article I - National Territory -- “The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.”

Article II, Section 15 -- “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people…”

Article II, Section 16 -- “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”

Article XII, Section 2 -- “All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

“The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.

“The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fish-workers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.”

Article XIII, Section 7 -- “The State shall protect the rights of subsistence fishermen,\ especially of local communities, to the preferential use of the communal marine and fishing resources, both inland and offshore. It shall provide support to such fishermen through appropriate technology and research, adequate financial, production, and marketing assistance, and other services. The State shall also protect, develop, and conserve such resources. The protection shall extend to offshore fishing grounds of subsistence fishermen against foreign intrusion. Fishworkers shall receive a just share from their labor in the utilization of marine and fishing resources.”

National laws are those statutes enacted by the legislative authority of the Philippines. Although legislative authority generally resides in Congress, there have been instances in history when the executive branch exercised this power. One example is Amendment 6 of 1976, which gave full legislative powers to then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. As such, certain Presidential Decrees (PDs) issued by Marcos are considered as national laws, such as PD No. 705, otherwise known as “The Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines”, which is still the governing law on forestry to date.

Some laws listed below might appear as having nothing to do with the coastal environment. These were included as they contain provisions applicable to some aspects of coastal law enforcement. An example would be the Labor Code of the Philippines, which covers agricultural workers, including fishworkers.

RA 9367 (2007) Bio fuels Act of 2006 (provisions on water effluents in accordance with RA 9175)

RA No.9344 (2006) Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (applicable to children involved in fishery violations; no criminal liability for crimes committed by minors below 15 years old, only civil liability; minors aged 15 to below 18 years of age must have acted with discernment, otherwise, they incur no criminal liability)

RA 9275 (2004) Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004

RA 9147 (2001) The Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act

RA 8550 (1998) The Philippine Fisheries Code

RA 8435 (1997) The Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act

RA 8371 (1997) The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act includes the indigenous peoples’ ownership and management of their ancestral waters)

RA 7586 (1992) The National Integrated Protected Areas Systems Act

RA 7942 (1995) The Philippine Mining Act

RA 7611 (1992) The Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan

RA 7161 (1991) An Act Incorporating Certain Sections of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977, as Amended, to PD No. 705, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the “Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines…” (Section 4, amending Section 71 of PD 705, prohibits the cutting of all mangrove species)

RA 7160 (1991) The Local Government Code of 1991(rights and responsibilities of LGUs and offices include management and protection of the coastal environment, see Annex 2)

RA 6969 (1990) Toxic Substance, Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990 (prohibits the entry and transit of hazardous and nuclear wastes within Philippine territorial waters)

PD 1586 (1978) The Environmental Impact Statement Law Establishing an Environmental Impact Statement System, Including Other Environmental Management Related Measures and for Other Purposes

PD 1084 (1977) (Amended by EO 525) Creating the Public Estates

Authority (PEA is responsible for integrating, directing and coordinating all reclamation

projects for and in behalf of the government)

PD 1198 (1977) Requiring All Individuals, Partnerships or Corporations Engaged in the Exploration, Development or Exploitation of Natural Resources or in the Construction of Infrastructure Projects to Restore or Rehabilitate to Their Original Condition Areas Subject Thereof or Affected Thereby

PD 1160 (1977) Vesting Authority in Barangay Captains to Enforce Pollution and Environmental Control Laws and for Other Purposes

PD 1152 (1977) The Philippine Environmental Code

PD 1067 (1976) The Water Code of the Philippines

PD 984 (1976) The Pollution Control Law

PD 979 (1976) The Marine Pollution Decree

PD 813 (1975) Further Amending RA 4850, Otherwise Known as “An Act Creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority Prescribing Its Powers, Functions and Duties, Providing Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes”

PD 705 (1975) The Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines (contains provisions covering mangroves)

PD 601 (1974) The Revised Coast Guard Law

PD 442 (1974) The Labor Code of the Philippines (applicable to agricultural workers, including fish workers)

RA 4850 (1966) An Act Creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority, Prescribing Its Powers, Functions and Duties, Providing Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes

Commonwealth Act 141 (1936) The Public Land Act

International Treaties and Agreements, once ratified by the Senate, become part of Philippine law. Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution provides that treaties and international agreements are valid and take effect when concurred with by at least two-thirds of the Senate.

The following enumeration includes treaties and international agreements entered into by the Philippines that are relevant to the protection of the coastal environment:

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000)

Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (1995)

Action Agenda for Sustainable Development, Earth Summit (Agenda 21) (1992)

Convention on Biological Diversity (1992)

World Commission on Environment and Development (1987)

Convention on Migratory Species (The Bonn Convention) (1983)

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982)

Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) (1973)

Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)

Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (The Ramsar Convention) (1971)

Executive Orders are acts of the President which provide for rules of a general or permanent character to implement constitutional or statutory powers (De Leon, 1998).

Following are EOs that are relevant to coastal environment protection:

EO 734 (2007) Transferring the Supervision of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) from the Office of the President to the DENR

EO 533 (2006) Adopting Integrated Coastal Management as a National Strategy

EO 380 (2004) & EO 380-B (2006) Transferring the Functions of the Public Estates Authority to the Philippine Reclamation Authority

EO No. 305 (2004) Devolving to Municipal and City Governments the Registration of Fishing Vessels Three (3) Gross Tonnage Below

EO No. 247 (1995) Prescribing Guidelines for the Prospecting of Biological and Genetic Resources

EO No. 240 (1995) Creating the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (FARMCs) in Barangays, Cities and Municipalities, Their Composition and Functions

EO No. 149 (1993) Streamlining the Office of the President, Resulting to the Transfer of Administrative Supervision of the Laguna Lake Development Authority to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

EO No. 292 (1987) The Philippine Administrative Code

EO No. 192 (1987) The Reorganization Act of the DENR

EO No. 927 (1983) Further Defining Certain Functions and Powers of the Laguna Lake Development Authority

EO No. 525 (1979) Designating the Public Estates Authority as the Agency Primarily Responsible For All Reclamation Projects

EO No. 542 (1979) Creating the Task Force Pawikan and

Appropriating Funds Therefor

Administrative Orders and Circulars. Administrative Orders are issuances directed to particular offices, officials or employees for compliance on specific matters. Circulars are issuances that prescribe policies, rules and regulations and procedures applicable to individuals and organizations outside the government. They are designed to supplement provisions of the law or to provide means and information for carrying out these provisions. (De Leon, 1998) An examination of AOs and circulars issued by government agencies, however, shows that the terms “order” and “circular” are used interchangeably.

Many of the AOs in this list cite related but older AOs as an additional reference. Some of these earlier AOs are still effective, as they have not been expressly repealed, and may contain provisions that remain consistent with newer AOs.

Older AOs that have been supplanted by the newer AOs are still cited because they contain definitions that may prove useful in interpreting the newer AOs. If anything else, these repealed AOs are still helpful in giving the reader a historical perspective of the development of policies regarding the covered subjects.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Fisheries Administrative Orders (FAOs)

FAO 225-1 (Series of 2007) Guidelines for the Importation of Pacific White Shrimp (Penaeus vannamei)

FAO 225 (Series of 2007) Allowing the Importation of the Brood Stock of Pacific White Shrimp, Penaeus vannamei, and the Culture of the Offspring Thereof

FAO 224 (Series of 2004) Establishment of Tuna Productivity Project in Davao Gulf

FAO 223-1 (Series of 2004) Amending Sec. 1 and 2 of FAO No. 223 Series of 2003 Re: Moratorium on the Issuance of New Commercial Fishing Vessel and Gear License (CFVGL)

DA AO No. 01 (Series of 2004) Guidelines for Delineating/Delimiting Municipal Waters for Municipalities and Cities without Offshore Islands

FAO 223 (Series of 2003) Moratorium on the Issuance of New Commercial Fishing Vessel and Gear License (CFVGL) as Part of a Precautionary Approach to Fisheries Management

FAO 222 (Series of 2003) Regulations on the Operation of Danish Seine (Hulbot-Hulbot)

FAO 221 (Series of 2003) Further Regulating the Importation of Live Fish and Fishery/Aquatic Products under FAO No. 135 s. 1981 to Include Microorganisms and Biomolecules

FAO 218 (Series of 2001) Yearly Report on Aquaculture Projects

FAO 217 (Series of 2001) Obstruction to Defined Migration Paths
FAO 216 (Series of 2001) Obstruction to Navigation in Streams, Rivers, Lakes and Bays

FAO 214 (Series of 2001) Code of Practice for Aquaculture (see FAO 160 s. 1986: Rules and Regulations Governing the Construction, Establishment or Operation of Fishpens and Fish Cages in Philippines; FAO 161 s. 1986: Revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Issuance of Lease for Pearl Culture; FAO 168 s. 1990: Rules and Regulations Governing the Gathering, Culture and Exportation of Shelled Mollusks [Phylum Mollusca])

FAO 213 (Series of 2001) Establishment and Maintenance of BFAR’s Quality Control Laboratories and Collection of Fees and Charges for Examination Services

FAO 212 (Series of 2001) Guidelines on the Implementation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) System

FAO 210 (Series of 2001) Rules and Regulations on the Exportation of Fresh, Chilled and Frozen Fish and Fishery/Aquatic Products (see FAO 162 s. 1986: Rules and Regulations Governing the Issuance of Permit for the Exportation of Live Mud Crabs or Alimango (Scylla serrata); FAO 168 s. 1990: Rules and Regulations Governing the Gathering, Culture and Exportation of Shelled Mollusks [Phylum Mollusca])

FAO 209 (Series of 2001) Guidelines on the Production and Transportation of Shellfish for Implementation of the Local Government

FAO 208 (Series of 2001) Conservation of Rare, Threatened and Endangered Fishery Species (see FAO 185 s. 1992: Ban on Taking or Catching, Selling, Purchasing, Possessing,

Transporting and Exporting of Dolphins)

FAO 207 (Series of 2001) Prohibiting the Importation and Culture of Imported Live Shrimp and Prawn of All Stages (see FAO 189 s. 1993: Prohibiting the Importation of Live Shrimp and Prawn of All Stages)

FAO 206 (Series of 2001) Disposal of Confiscated Fish and Other Items in Fishing through Explosives and Noxious or Poisonous Substances

FAO 204 (Series of 2000) Restriction on the Use of Superlights in Fishing

FAO 203 (Series of 2000) Banning Fishing by means of “Muro-ami” and the Like Destructive to Coral Reefs and Other Marine Habitats (see FAO 163 s. 1986: Prohibition on the Operation of “Muro-ami” and “Kayakas” in All Philippine Waters)

FAO 202 (Series of 2000) Ban on Coral Exploitation and Exportation (see FAO 184 s. 1992: Guidelines on the Experimental Collection of Precious and Semi-precious Corals in Philippine Waters)

FAO 201 (Series of 2000) Ban on Fishing with Active Gear (see FAO 156 s. 1986: Guidelines and Procedures in the Effective Implementation of Letter of Instruction [LOI] No. 1328; FAO 164 s. 1997: Rules and Regulations Governing the Operation of Hulbot-hulbot in the Philippines Waters; FAO 188 s. 1993: Regulations Governing the Operation of Commercial Fishing Boats in Philippine Waters Using Tuna Purse Seine Nets; FAO 190 s. 1994: Regulations Governing Pa-aling Fishing Operation in Philippine Waters)

FAO 200 (Series of 2000) Guidelines and Procedures in Implementing Section 87 of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998

FAO 199 (Series of 2000) Guidelines on Fish Transshipment

FAO 198 (Series of 2000) Rules and Regulations on Commercial Fishing (see FAO 156 s. 1986: Covers Regulations Prohibiting the Operation of Commercial Trawl and Purse Seine in Marine Water Areas Within a Distance of Seven Kilometers from the Shoreline; FAO 188 s. 1993: Regulations Governing the Operation of Commercial Fishing Boats in Philippine Waters Using Tuna Purse Seine Nets; FAO 190 s. 1994: Regulations Governing Pa-aling Fishing

Operation in Philippine Waters)

FAO 197 (Series of 2000) Rules and Regulations Governing the Lease of Public Lands for Fishponds Development (see FAO 125 s. 1979: Rules and Regulations Governing Conversion of Ordinary Fishpond Permits and Ten (10) Year Fishpond Lease Agreements into Twenty-Five (25) Year Fishpond Lease Agreements and Other Related Matters)

FAO 196 (Series of 2000) Guidelines on the Creation and Implementation of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (FARMCs)

FAO 195 (Series of 1999) Rules and Regulations Governing Importation of Fresh/Chilled/Frozen Fish and Fishery/Aquatic Products (see FAO 183: Prohibiting the Importation of Yellow Fin Tuna and Tuna Products from Certain Countries)

DA AO No. 3 (Series of 1998) Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8550

FAO 193 (Series of 1998) Ban on the Taking, Catching, Selling, Purchasing and Possessing, Transporting and Exporting of Whale Sharks and Manta Rays

FAO 191 (Series of 1994) Employment of Foreign Crew Members Aboard Highly Specialized Commercial Fishing Vessels

FAO 190 (Series of 1994) Regulations Governing Pa-aling Fishing Operation in Philippine Waters

FAO 189 (Series of 1993) Prohibiting the Importation of Live Shrimp and Prawn of All Stages

FAO 188 (Series of 1993) Regulations Governing the Operation of Commercial Fishing Boats in Philippine Waters Using Tuna Purse Seine Nets

FAO 185 (Series of 1992) Ban on Taking or Catching, Selling, Purchasing, Possessing, Transporting and Exporting of Dolphins

FAO 184 (Series of 1992) Guidelines on the Experimental Collection of Precious and Semi-precious Corals in Philippine Waters

FAO 183-1 (Series of 1992) Amending Section 1 of FAO 183 s. 1992

FAO 183 (Series of 1992) Prohibiting the Importation of Yellow Fin Tuna and Tuna Products from Certain Countries

FAO 173-1 (Series of 1991) Amending Section 1 of FAO No. 173 s. 1991, Banning the Exportation of Bangus Fingerlings (Hatirin)

FAO 173 (Series of 1991) Banning the Exportation of Bangus Fingerlings (Hatirin)

FAO 168 (Series of 1990) Rules and Regulations Governing the Gathering, Culture and Exportation of Shelled Mollusks (Phylum Mollusca)

FAO 164 (Series of 1997) Rules and Regulations Governing the Operation of Hulbot-Hulbot in the Philippines Waters

FAO 163 (Series of 1986) Prohibiting the Operation of “Muro-ami” and “Kayakas” in All Philippine Waters

FAO 162 (Series of 1986) Rules and Regulations Governing the Issuance of Permit for the Exportation of Live Mud Crabs or Alimango (Scylla serrata)

FAO 161 (Series of 1986) Revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Issuance of Lease for Pearl Culture

FAO 160 (Series of 1986) Rules and Regulations Governing the Construction, Establishment or Operation of Fishpens and Fishcages in the Philippines

FAO 158 (Series of 1986) Prohibition on the Gathering, Taking, Conducting, Selling, Transporting, or Possessing for Sale of Mollusks Belonging to the Genus Triton charonia and Cassis

FAO 156-1 (Series of 1986) Prohibition on the Gathering, Taking, Collecting, Selling, Transporting, or Possessing of Mollusk Belonging to the Genus Triton and Cassis

FAO 156 (Series of 1986) Guidelines and Procedures in the Effective Implementation of LOI No. 1328 (covers regulations prohibiting the operation of commercial trawl and purse seine in marine water areas within a distance of 7 km from the shoreline)

FAO 155-1 (Series of 1994) Amending Section 2 of FAO No. 155, Regulating the Use of Fine-meshed Nets in Fishing

FAO 155 (Series of 1986) Regulating the Use of Fine-meshed Nets in Fishing

FAO 125 Rules and Regulations Governing Conversion of Ordinary Fishpond Permits and Ten (10) Year Fishpond Lease Agreements into Twenty-Five (25) Year Fishpond Lease Agreements and Other Related Matters

FAO 88 (Series of 1968) Regulations for the Conservation of Turtles,

Turtle Eggs and Turtle Shells in the Philippines

FAO 76 Regulations Governing the Collecting and Gathering of Marine Turtles

FAO 68 (Series of 1968) Amending Section 2 of FAO No. 36, prohibiting the Killing, Gathering, Possessing and Selling of Marine Turtles

FAO 36 Establishing a Closed Season Period for the Gathering or Killing of Marine Turtles, Turtle Eggs and Turtle Shells

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)

DAO 20 (Series of 2007) Rules and Regulations governing the issuance of permit over reclamation projects and Special Patents over reclaimed lands

DAO 17 (Series of 2007) Rules and Regulations governing Special Uses within Protected Area (provisions on sustainable ecotourism, irrigation/waterways and aquaculture within Protected Areas)

DMC 1 (Series of 2006) Non-titling of lands and areas suitable for fishery purposes/operations even within alienable and disposable (A&D) lands

DAO 24 (Series of 2005) Guidelines on the grant of Coastal Area

Special Use Agreement (temporarily suspended by DMC 2006-86 and SO 2006-467 authorizing the conduct of workshops in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao re: DAO 2005-24)

DMC Jan. 5, 2006, Re: Cancellation of all existing IFMA, ITPLA, SIFMA & CBFMA subject to certain exceptions (superseded by DENR Special Order 2006 – 371 re: Creating a DENR Committee on Appeals to review and evaluate appeals of cancelled ITPLAs, IFMAs SIFMAs and CBFMAs)

DMC Nov. 30, 2005, Re: Cancellation of CBFMAs with low or unsatisfactory performance rating (superseded by DENR Special Order 2006 – 371 re: Creating a DENR Committee on Appeals to review and evaluate appeals of cancelled ITPLAs, IFMAs SIFMAs and CBFMAs)

Joint DENR-DA-PCSD AO No. 01 (Series of 2004) Joint Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9147: “An Act Providing for the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes”

Memorandum Circular No. 2004-01 (Series of 2004) Providing for the Guidelines in the Collection, Deposit and Distribution of Management/Service/Environmental User’s Fee on the Extraction of Seabed Dredgefill Materials for Government Reclamation Projects

Joint DENR-NCIP Memorandum Circular No. 2003-01 (Series of 2003) Harmonization of the Implementation of the Indigenous People Rights Act (IPRA) and Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Laws and Policies

DAO 30 (Series of 2003) Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System

DAO 7 (Series of 2003) Revocation of DENR AO 17 s. 2000 (DAO 17 provides guidelines for the delineation of municipal waters)

DAO 6 (Series of 2003) Revocation of DENR AO No. 2000-83 and Memorandum Circular 2001-05 (Revokes regulations governing management and development of small islands and their coastal areas, and lifts the moratorium [dated 6 July 1999] on the disposition and granting of any title, concession, permit or lease on all small islands nationwide)

DAO 2 (Series of 2001) Amending Relevant Provisions of DAO 2000-68, Institutionalizing the Directorate on Special Projects for Water and Integrated Ecosystems Management and Development (DSPWIEMD) and DAO No. 2000-70, Suspending DAO 2000-68 and Including Biodiversity Conservation Programs and Projects Within the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) (DENR’s coastal and marine resource management and development program and biodiversity conservation programs/projects/activities are institutionalized under PAWB.)

DA-DENR Joint Memorandum Order No. 1 (Series of 2000) Identifying/Defining Areas of Cooperation and Collaboration between the DA and DENR in the Implementation of RA 8550, the Philippine Fisheries Code

DAO 83 (Series of 2000) Guidelines for the Management and Development of Small Islands, including Its Coastal Areas

DAO 68 (Series of 2000) Institutionalization of the DSPWIEMD and Related Functions

DAO 57 (Series of 2000) Guidelines Governing the Implementation and Management of Mangrove Sub-projects under the Forestry Sector Project

DAO 35 (Series of 1999) Revised Guidelines in the Implementation of the Resource Use Permit in Community-based Forest Management (CBFM) Program

DAO 17 (Series of 1999) Updating DAO No. 35 s. 1990, otherwise known as the Revised Effluent Regulations of 1990, Revising and Amending the Effluent Regulations of 1982

DAO 10 (Series of 1998) Guidelines on the Establishment and Management of CBFM Projects within Mangrove Areas

Memorandum Circular 06 (Series of 1998) Guidelines in Water Quality Monitoring

DAO 39 (Series of 1997) Chemical Control Order for Cyanide and Cyanide Compounds

DAO 32 (Series of 1997) Rules for Adjudication of Illegal Forest Products

DAO 27 (Series of 1997) Amendment of Section 15 (Transitory\ Provisions) of DAO No. 96-20, also known as the Implementing Rules and Regulations on the Prospecting of Biological and Genetic Resources

DAO 17 (Series of 1997) Establishing the Disposition Program for Confiscated and Donated Wildlife in the Custody of DENR Wildlife Rescue Centers and Similar DENR Facilities and Providing Guidelines Thereof

DAO 5 (Series of 1997) Procedures in the Retention of Areas within CBFM Areas

Joint DENR-DA-DILG (Department of the Interior and Local

Government)-DND (Department of National Defense) AO No. 01 Setting of Moratorium on the Deployment of Artificial Reefs Nationwide

DAO 37 (Series of 1996) Revising DENR AO No. 21 s. 1992, Further Strengthening the Implementation of the EIS System

DAO 29 (Series of 1996) Rules and Regulations for the Implementation of EO 263, Otherwise Known as the Community–based Forest Management Strategy (CBFMS)

DAO 20 (Series of 1996) Implementing Rules and Regulations on the Prospecting of Biological and Genetic Resources

DAO 3 (Series of 1996) Implementing Guidelines on the Granting of Preferential Treatment to Small Fisherfolk Relative to the 15-km Municipal Waters

DAO 19 (Series of 1993) Establishing the Coastal Environment Program (CEP) and Providing Funds Therefor

DAO 25 (Series of 1992) National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Implementing Rules and Regulations

DAO 17 (Series of 1992) Delineation of Functions and Implementation of the Integrated Social Forestry Program After the Devolution of Functions to the Local Government Units (LGUs)

DAO 55 (Series of 1991) Declaring Dugong or Sea Cow (Dugong dugon) as Protected Marine Mammal of the Philippines

DAO 48 (Series of 1991) Establishment of a National List of Rare (R), Endangered (E), Threatened (T), Vulnerable (V), Indeterminate (I) and Insufficiently Known (K) Species of the Philippine Wild Birds, Mammals and Reptiles

DAO 34 (Series of 1991) Guidelines for Issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs) for Fishpond Development

DAO 3 (Series of 1991) Policy and Guidelines for the Award and Administration of the Mangrove Stewardship Agreement

DA-DENR General Memorandum Order No. 3 (Series of 1991) Guidelines for Cancellation and Reversion of Foreshore Lease Agreements (FLAs) into Mangrove Forestlands

DAO 15 (Series of 1990) Regulations Governing Management of Mangroves

DAO 7 (Series of 1989) Suspending Acceptance of Prospecting Permits in Reservations

DAO 76 (Series of 1987) Establishing Buffer Zones in Coastal and Estuarine Mangrove Areas

MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) AO 42 (Series of 1986) Expanding Mangrove Buffer Zones in Typhoon Prone Areas

MNR Memorandum (1982) Management Authority over Marine Turtles

MNR Memorandum Order 6 (Series of 1982) Suspension of Permits on Maritime Turtle Exploitation

MNR Special Order 201 (1980) Creation of an Implementing Organization of the Pawikan Task Force to Implement the Pawikan Conservation Program of the Philippines

MNR AO 12 (Series of 1979) Regulations for the Conservation of Marine Turtles

Bureau of Forestry Development Circular 2 (Series of 1979) Regulations for the Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Philippines

Bureau of Forestry AO 1 (Series of 1974) Regulations Governing the Collecting, Gathering and/or Disposing of Marine Turtles, Turtle Eggs and Its By-Products

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)

Joint DENR-DILG MC No. 2003-01 Strengthening and Institutionalizing the DENR-DILG-LGU Partnership on Devolved and other Forest Management Functions

DILG MC 129 (Series of 2002) Banning the Use of Compressor as Breathing Apparatus in All Fishing Activities (“Enjoins” LGUs to enact local ordinances that ban the use of compressors as breathing apparatus in all fishing activities)

Department of Justice (DOJ)

DOJ Opinion No. 23 (Series of 1994) (interpreting RA 7161, the prohibition on all types of cutting of mangroves, which is in conflict with DENR DAO 10, Series of 1998 allowing the harvesting of plantation mangroves)

Philippine National Police

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DENR, November 10, 2003, Establishing the Police Environment Desk Officer (PEDO) nationwide

Office of the Ombudsman

Office Order Nos. 57 and 25 (Series of 2008) Creating a Task Force for Environmental Concerns

Office Order No. 16 (Series of 2004) Creating the Office of the Environmental Ombudsman

Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA)

PRA AO No.1 (Series of 2005) Special Registration of Unauthorized/Illegal Reclamation Projects

Supreme Court issuances are acts of the High Court designed to govern the implementation of rules of procedures to be implemented in all courts within the country.

The following issuances are relevant to the prosecution of fishery violations:

AO No. 23 (Series of 2008) Designation of Special Courts to Hear, Try and Decide Environmental Cases

Administrative Memorandum No. 05-8-26-SC (2005) Amendment of Rules 112 and 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure by Removing the Conduct of Preliminary Investigation from Judges of the First Level Courts

Administrative Memorandum No. 03-1-09-SC (2004) Guidelines to be observed by Trial Court Judges and Clerks of Court in the conduct of Pre-trial and use of Deposition-Discovery measures

Ordinances are the legislative enactments of the respective sanggunian (council) of LGUs. The power of LGUs to enact ordinances is based on the Local Government Code (RA 7160). Although ordinances issued by LGUs must not contravene any law passed by Congress, such ordinances may address local concerns that national laws fail to deal with. They are vital, as they may plug in gaps in statutes or orders, especially related to problems particular to a province or municipality that national laws do not respond to.

An application of this is the ban on the use of compressors in fishing. While there is no express prohibition in RA 8550 regarding the use of compressors in fishing, it is commonly known that they are employed as breathing device by fishers using cyanide, which is by itself destructive and prohibited by law. That the use of compressors as a breathing device is detrimental to the health of fishers and fishworkers is also a concern that has been raised. Several cities and municipalities have filled the gap left by RA 8550 by enacting ordinances that ban the mere possession of compressors on board a banca, or by a fisher.

Ordinances, when carefully crafted, may also prove to be a greater deterrent for coastal law offenders, even though under RA 7160, the maximum imposable penalty by legal ordinance is only a fine of Php2,500 and imprisonment of 6 months. Violations of RA 8550 are often penalized by a fine and/or imprisonment; the court, at its discretion, usually imposes only a minimal fine. Violators are not deterred from criminal acts, and usually even plead guilty to the crimes, because the fine is a very small fraction of their profit from illegal activities.

Local government units, on the other hand, may enact fishery ordinances with a minimum penalty of both fine and imprisonment, leaving no discretion to the court. This will ensure that violators not only pay the fine, but are also imprisoned when they plead guilty. To increase the amount of the fine, and therefore discourage violators from committing the crime again, the Php2,500-maximum fine may be imposed per individual just as RA 8550 does (e.g. for each crew member in a fleet of illegal commercial fishing vessels) instead of per violation. Aside from this, the ordinance may also include as penalty the confiscation of fishing vessels and all its appurtenances, fishing gears, and fish catch to prevent offenders from using these in other crimes.

Penalties imposed accrue exclusively and automatically to the municipal treasury (RA 7160, sec. 18).

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