A LEGISLATOR has filed a bill proposing a scheme for sustainable coastal management which creates a national committee to coordinate the efforts of local governments.

Las Piñas City Rep. Camille A. Villar filed House Bill No. 3315 which if passed will become the Integrated Coastal Management Act. It hopes to create a National Coordinating Committee on Integrated Coastal Management.

The committee, as proposed, will “formulate, institute and implement the country’s national policy on coastal management aimed at ensuring the sustainable development of the coastal and marine environment and resources.”

Under HB 3315, local government units are to submit their coastal management plans to the committee.

The committee, through the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, also has the power to grant incentives to LGUs which perform well in the development and implementation of their respective coastal management plans.

Ms. Villar noted that coastal environments such as mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs are key sources of livelihood.

“They are among the most productive and biologically diverse landscapes known to man. Coastal and marine areas are vital sources of food, minerals and raw materials, as well as a natural setting for sports, recreation, and other social and cultural activities, while marine-related economic activities, including fisheries, marine transportation, tourism, coastal mining, and offshore oil and gas development make significant contributions to a country’s GDP as well as provide livelihood and employment opportunities to coastal communities,” Ms. Villar said in a statement.

The bill also requires each province to organize a scientific advisory group to help vet coastal management plans.

“The bill (also) aims to achieve food security, poverty alleviation… respect for sustainable traditional resource rights of indigenous peoples, and to reduce vulnerability to climate change, and human-induced and natural hazards,” Ms. Villar added. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras