Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr signs ecosystem and natural capital accounting law

2024 May 26

SCENIC. The Landinga Viewpoint in Nagtipunan town, Quirino Province offers a 360-degree view of mountains including the Sierra Madre and the tributaries of Cagayan River. The place also holds a significant value in the faith of the natives.

MANILA – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed into law a measure seeking to institutionalize an ecosystem and natural capital accounting of the Philippines’ natural resources.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, on the authority of the President, signed Republic Act No. 11995 or the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act on May 22, 2024, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said.

The new law aims to recognize, protect and promote the ecological balance and resilience of the country by institutionalizing environmental and economic accounting frameworks that are accepted internationally.

Included under the law’s accounting framework is the list of officially designated statistics on the depletion, degradation, and restoration of natural capital; environmental protection expenditures; pollution and quality of land, air and water; and environmental damage.

The law is expected to support the government’s economic, environmental and health policy development and decision-making. It will also help provide tools and measures that contribute to the protection, conservation and restoration of the country’s ecosystems.

To ensure effective implementation of the law, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Board has been tasked to oversee its implementation, directing a relevant interagency committee to assist the body in addressing agency and sectoral concerns that may arise in the development of natural capital accounts.

Under the law, the PSA is ordered to constitute an interagency working group to issue the rules and regulations necessary for the effective implementation of PENCAS within one year from its effectivity.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will assist the PSA in the generation and provision of the National Capital Accounting (NCA) information related to agricultural areas, and fisheries aquatic resources.

The DA will also closely coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with regards to associated ecosystems.

Also playing important roles in the implementation of PENCAS are the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Education (DepEd), the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Department of Finance. 

Darryl John Esguerra (PNA)