FAQ on Environmental Protection and Sustainable Real Estate Development - Part 2 of 2

[Basic Knowledge for Brokers]

Real estate service practitioners play an important role in environmental sustainability and ecological balance. The consultants ensure that man-made projects and done in the right place and the right manner. The appraisers ensure proper valuation of real estate. The brokers have conscience and they make individual decisions which real estate development to sell and which not to. When the buying and selling stops, the environmentally destructive real estate development projects stops.


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What different population sizes are important to humans?

§ Population size of the whole earth
§ Population size of an individual nation
§ Population size of a local community


What is the optimal size for a local community?

§ One that is large enough to provide such things as a consumer base for specialized shops and businesses and a social life and clientele for cultural events
§ One small enough to avoid the higher crime rates, excessive highway building, destruction of farmlands and open space, congestion, and other disadvantages of urban life


What are the approaches to the world population problem?

...the problem is how to attain an optimal world population of one billion.

§ The approach involving the reduction of world population by 75% in order to achieve a high standard of living for everyone.
§ The approach involving the stabilization of world population—or to allow it to continue to grow—but to allocate food and other resources evenly so that everyone will have a low standard of living
§ To count on the development of abundant cheap energy (as for example by fusion, should it prove technically feasible and inexpensive).
§ If this were to happen, and if the problems of pollution from power plants, transportation, food processing, and so forth could be dealt with, and if unhealthy crowded areas can be reduced without destroying too much of the remainder of the earth, a world population as high as it is now could be supported at a high standard of living.
§ The present approach—each sovereign state looks to its own self-interest and uses as much of the earth’s resources as it can obtain (this is the position of the “have” nations).


What are the natural areas? How does it differ from preserved natural areas?

§ Natural areas must be preserved because they are irreplaceable. A forest destroyed in highway construction is, for practical purposes, permanently lost. To produce a new forest starting from a bare ground would take hundreds of years of succession.
§ But more importantly, natural areas are places for scientific research on the whole ecosystem, individual plants, and animals, and geology and soil science. They are places of education, not only in ecology, zoology, and conservation but in history and geography.


What are the environmental problems that converge on land use?

Population, pollution and natural area preservation


What are the two possible approaches to land use?

§ Public planning
§ Patch work planning, such as those prepared mainly in the offices of land developers, by paid or unpaid local booster organizations and road and highway commissions


How should the ramifying effect of land use decisions dealt or coped with?

To deal with the ramifying effect of land decisions and if necessary, to prevent its effects, regions or communities must have a well thought out plan for land use and evaluate each proposed development on the basis of the eventual as well as its immediate effects.


What are the five steps or phases in environmental planning?

An environmental resource inventory

§ This should include all environmentally relevant features such as soil types, natural communities, rare and endangered species of plants and animals, human population distribution, air quality, archeological and historical sites and topography. Aerial photograph and remote sensing data from satellites such as Landstat are valuable in the inventory but are not substitute for actual field work by biologists and other scientists.

Value inputs and interpretations

§ Ecology and environmental science can carry us only so far in this matter. The recharge areas for ground water can be identified as areas that should not be paved over, the remaining bogs, clean streams, and climax forests can be identified as areas that should be preserved, but in the end a great deal of latitude for judgment is left. It may be a fact that the citizenry is unhealthy without open space, but preferring, good health over ill is still a matter of taste. Ideally this phase of planning should include considerations of the total amount of industrialization and commercialization allowable and the total population that would be tolerated. It is important to learn the opinions of the citizens at this stage.

Production of map

§ Maps of the area are the most straightforward way to assemble the information gathered under phase a. by preparing them as transparent overlays (or by computer mapping or other means), the information can be integrated to produce new maps that indicate, for example, the degree of suitability of various regional areas for different uses.

Identification of development constraints and the regional plan

§ The plan is now produced. It should indicate such things as the areas to be preserved, the areas to be retained as agricultural land, the areas on which one residence per acre can be tolerated, and the areas for high density housing.


§ Implementation of the plan involves such things as the various legal devices for setting it up, cooperation with state (local) and federal (national) agencies and private groups or persons, such as the nature conservancy and local philanthropists, and any necessary education of the citizenry.



CENRO - Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer of the DENR

PENRO - Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer of the DENR

RED - Regional Executive Director of DENR

EMB - Environmental Management and Protected Areas Sector of the DENR

ECC - Environmental Compliance Certificate. This is the document issued by the DENR Secretary or the Regional Executive Director certifying that based on the representation of the proponent and the preparers, as reviewed and validate by the EIARC, the proposed project or undertaking will not cause a significant negative environmental impacts; that the proponent has complied with all the requirements of the EIS System, and that the proponent is committed to implement its approved EMP in the EIS or mitigation measures in IEE.

ECA - Environmentally Critical Area. This is an area that is environmentally sensitive.

ECP - Environmentally Critical Project. This is a project that has a high potential for significant negative environmental impact.

EIS - Environmental Impact Statement. These are the documents or studies on the environmental impacts of a project including the discussions on direct and indirect consequences upon human welfare and ecological and environmental integrity.

EMP - Environmental Management Plan. This is a section of the EIS that details the prevention, mitigation, contingency and monitoring measures to enhance positive impacts and minimize negative impacts of a proposed project or undertaking.


When an ECC is required for a project?

An ECC is required before a project of undertaking started. When it is either an Environmentally Critical Project (ECAP) nor is a project located within an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA)


What projects are covered by the EIS system?

//Environmentally Critical Projects (ECP)

//Heavy industries:

§ -non-ferrous metal industries
§ -iron and steel mills
§ -petroleum and petrochemical industries, including oil and gas
§ -smelting plants

//Resource extractive industries

§ -major mining and quarrying projects
§ -forestry projects (logging , major wood processing projects, introduction of fauna in public/private forest, forest occupancy, extraction of mangrove products and grazing)
§ -fishery projects (dikes or fishpond development projects

//Infrastructure projects

§ -major dams
§ -major power plants
§ -major reclamation projects
§ -major road and bridges

//Golf courses

//Projects located in Environmentally Critical Areas (ECA)

§ all areas declared by law as national parks, watershed reserves, wildlife preserves and sanctuaries
§ all areas set aside as aesthetic potential tourist spots
§ areas which constitute the habitat for any endangered species of indigenous Philippine wildlife (flora or fauna)
§ areas of unique historical archeological or scientific interest
§ areas which are traditionally occupied by cultural communities or tribes
§ areas frequently visited or hard-hit by natural calamities (floods, typhoons, volcanic activities, etc)
§ areas with critical slopes (slope of 40% or more)
§ areas classified as prime agricultural lands
§ recharged areas of aquifers
§ water bodies characterized as tapped for domestic purposes, protected areas, supportive of wildlife and fishery activities
§ mangrove areas and coral reefs


What projects are not covered by the EIS system?

§ projects that are not ECP or located within an ECA
§ ECPs or projects within ECAs operational prior to 1982, except where their operations are expanded in terms of daily production capacity or area, or the process is modified
§ countryside business and barangay entities covered by Kalakalan 20 but good only for five (5) years beginning from date of registration


What is public consultation?

This should be initiated by the proponent to ensure that the public’s concerns are fully integrated into the EIA process.


When a public hearing is required?

§ the magnitude of the project is such that a great number of people are affected
§ there is a mounting public opposition against the proposed project
§ there is a written request for the conduct of such a public hearing from any of the stakeholders


What is cease and desist order (CDO)?

The EMB Director or the RED may issue a CDO in order to prevent grave or irreparable damage to the environment. Said CDO shall take effect immediately. An appeal or any motion seeking to lift the CDO shall not stay its effectivity.


What are the fines, penalties and sanctions for violations?

//For projects established or operating without an ECC

§ will be closed through the issuance of a CDO
§ fine amount not exceeding P50,000.00 for each violation

//For projects violating ECC conditions, the EMP provisions or the DENR rules and regulations

§ will be closed through the issuance of a CDO
§ suspension or cancellation of the ECC
§ fine amount not exceeding P50,000.00 for each violation

//Misinterpretation in the IEE/EIS or other documents

§ suspension or cancellation of the ECC
§ fine amount not exceeding P50,000.00 for each misinterpretation
§ proponent or preparer responsible shall be solitarily liable for the payment of the fine
§ withdrawal of the accreditation of the preparer


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