GENERAL SANTOS CITY: The country’s women legislators on Friday agreed to push for comprehensive reviews of environmental policies to improve the capability of local governments in addressing environmental issues.
This was the consensus of the Lady Local Legislators League (FOUR-L Philippines) comprising 100 members after the three-day National Convention in Koronadal City.
Newly-elected president South Cotabato Vice Governor Cecile Diel said the group will spearhead efforts to revisit local legislations on environmental governance.
“We believe that it’s the right time to revisit our environmental legislations and push for amendments and reforms that will make them more effective,” she said.
FOUR-L Philippines is composed of women members of the city and municipal councils as well as provincial boards in the country.
Diel said the group’s first-ever national convention focused on environmental issues and local legislations, specifically the power of the Sanggunians or local legislative councils to pass ordinances relative to environmental concerns.
She said the discussions took off from an environmental summit hosted by the group earlier this year.
Aside from the FOUR-L members, she said the convention was graced by representatives from local government units in the province and nearby areas, non-government organizations, religious groups and other concerned sectors.
Diel said the event was joined by top women lawyers led by Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos who discussed “The Constitution and National Laws and Issuances: Their Relevance to Environmental Issues and Local Legislation,” Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda on “The Writ of Kalikasan and Other Protective Reliefs against Environmental Hazards and Degradation,” and Atty. Rochelle Mahinay-Sero on “The Powers of the Sanggunian and the Validity-of-Ordinance Test.”
“We discussed strategies on how to resolve some environmental issues and defined the legal bases on the powers of the Sanggunians in terms of legislations on environmental concerns,” she said.
She added that among the environmental concerns raised were mining, aerial spraying, solid waste management and organic farming.
“Our goal was to provide participants with the proper knowledge on judicial and extra-judicial remedies pertinent to environmental protection and to critique ordinances on environmental matters,” she added.