normal_post - National Mangrove Conservation and Rehabilitation Program in the Philippines - Philippine Laws Author Topic: National Mangrove Conservation and Rehabilitation Program in the Philippines  (Read 1241 times)

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by PNA

The House Committee on Ways and Means threw its support behind a proposal to establish a National Mangrove Conservation and Rehabilitation Program in the country by approving the tax provision of the measure.

The tax provision is contained in Section 15 of the unnumbered substitute bill to House Bills 841 and 2861 or the proposed “Act Establishing a National Mangrove Conservation and Rehabilitation Program, Providing Institutional Support and Incentives Therefore.”

In a recent hearing, the committee chaired by Rep. Isidro Ungab (3rd District, Davao City) approved Section 15 of the substitute bill which provides that all grants, donations, contributions or bequests to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to be used actually, directly and exclusively for the mangrove adoption program shall be exempt from donor’s tax.

Furthermore, the tax provision provides such grants, donations, contributions or bequests shall be allowed as allowable deduction from the gross income of the donor for the purposes of computing the taxable income of the donor in accordance with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.

The substitute bill was referred by the Committee on Natural Resources chaired by Rep. Francisco Matugas (1st District, Surigao del Norte) to the Committee on Ways and Means for approval specifically of the measure’s tax provision.

Principally authored by Rep. Angelo Palmones (Party-list, Agham), the bill was filed in recognition of the multifarious benefits of mangroves in terms of ecological and economic values as a natural and productive resources, and the constitutional mandate to protect and advance the rights of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

It is the declared policy of the State to secure the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of all mangrove areas of the country to ensure that its use and enjoyment are consistent with the key principles of sustainable development, and of maintaining a balanced ecosystem for the benefit of the Filipino people, the bill provides.

The bill refers to mangrove as a community of intertidal plants, including all species of trees, shrubs, vines and herbs found on coasts, swamps, or border of swamps.

The proposal provides for the establishment of a National Mangrove Conservation and Rehabilitation Program which shall address the present deplorable state of the country’s mangrove resources caused primarily by overexploitation, conversion to fishponds, urban land reclamation and other factors. The program shall be implemented by the DENR in all identified mangrove areas of the country with the participation and assistance of concerned National Government Agencies (NGAs), Local Government Units (LGUs), the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), People’s Organizations (POs) and civil society groups or individuals.

The program shall include, among others: Identification, survey, zoning and mapping of all mangrove areas in the country, segregating areas that are still forested, severely denuded or degraded, and classifying them based on scientific and factual considerations into two main categories namely, Mangrove Protection Zone and Mangrove Production Zone;

Reversion to the category of public forest and inclusion in the Mangrove Production Zone all aquaculture ponds which had been abandoned for a period of at least five years from date of issuance of permit, lease agreement or license; Rehabilitation of denuded or degraded areas in Mangrove Protection Areas; Mangrove area adoption by private organizations; Mangrove research, development and extension; and Penalties for illegal cutting, collection, removal of mangrove trees.

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