House approves bill on blue economy framework on 2nd reading

House approves bill on blue economy framework on 2nd reading

THE HOUSE of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill seeking to establish a framework for a blue economy that would sustain marine ecosystems and resources.

House Bill No. 9662 seeks to harmonize policies on the sustainable use of the country’s marine resources through a National Marine Council and rename the National Coast Watch System to the National Maritime Monitoring System.

The council would be headed by the Executive Secretary and composed of the Secretaries of the National Economic and Development Authority (DND) and the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), of National Defense (DND), and of Foreign Affairs (DFA), among others.

Blue economy is an economic model seeking the sustainable utilization of ocean resources through green infrastructure and technology. Vietnam, Indonesia and China have been “aggressively developing” their blue economies.

The bill is included in the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council’s (LEDAC) list of priority measures.

Under the measure, the monitoring council will prioritize the development, research and resource explorations in maritime zones, especially in the South China Sea and Benham Rise (Philippine Rise).

Last month, the Senate approved on second reading a measure proposing the establishment of the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) which would provide the government with essential data about ecosystems, forests, watersheds, and coastal areas. — John Victor D. Ordoñez