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Press Release - Opening Statement of Senator Cynthia A. Villar During the Public Hearing on Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) and Coastal Greenbelt bills


COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Joint with
COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND AGRARIAN REFORM,
COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS, AND
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE

5 March 2024 (Tuesday), 10:00 a.m.
Sen. J.P. Laurel Room 2/F Right Wing, Senate

In today's hearing, we will begin our discussion of the bills seeking the adoption of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) as a national strategy to ensure the sustainable development of our coastal and marine environment and the resources found therein. These bills include Senate Bills No. 126, 1342, and 2397 authored by yours truly, Senate President Pro-tempore Legarda and Senator Jinggoy Estrada, respectively, and also House Bill No. 7767, which is the approved House of Representatives version of the bill that was transmitted to the Senate.

Integral to coastal management is the maintenance of coastal greenbelts or those coastal plantation or vegetation, which include seagrass, mangroves and/or beach forest. Hence, we have also included in our agenda today the bills aiming to establish a National Coastal Greenbelt Plan. These include Senate Bills numbered 113, 591, 1117, and 1237 authored by Senators Binay, Hontiveros, Legarda, and myself, respectively.

The Philippines, as an archipelago with 7,641 islands, has a vast coastline of over 36,000 kilometers. With the majority of our provinces -- 66 out of 81 -- located along the coast, and about 60% of our population living in these areas, the importance of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) for our country is clear. Our geography not only shapes our way of life but also highlights the critical role of ICM in managing and protecting our coastal resources effectively.

The necessity of adopting ICM as a national strategy is highlighted by several factors, namely:

Biodiversity Conservation: To protect our marine ecosystems from threats like overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction, including reclamation activities.

Sustainable Livelihood: To ensure that the marine and coastal resources essential to the livelihoods of our communities are used sustainably and will not be depleted.

Food Security: To maintain fish stocks and ecosystem health to

Read more on legacy.senate.gov.ph