V. REVIEW OF MONITORING MECHANISMS
A. Monitoring approaches
1. Command and control mechanism
The existence of a number of CAC measures exemplify the system of management in the environmental and natural resources sector. This is evident from the plethora of related legislation covering the management and utilization of the natural resources of the country. Yet despite the seemingly over-regulated activities within the sector, degradation of the environment and natural resources persists. The main cause is generally seen as the lack of political will in enforcing laws in the face of competing political and economic interests. In addition, it should be noted that the penalties for violation are very low, coupled with the inadequacy of existing procedures for prosecuting violators.
In view of the number of failures in the enforcement of regulations, approaches to pollution control saw the application of a different approach from that of purely regulatory to one employing the carrot and stick method. Measures which were integrated in the 1978-1992 and 1984-1987 national Development Plans included: (a) prescribing development controls within important resources areas such as coastal zones, selected sources of minerals, tourism areas, flood plants, prime agricultural lands, watersheds and national parks; (b) intensified enforcement of the Pollution Control Law; (c) industrial pollution controls requiring each polluter to install adequate treatment facilities; (d) EIAs for proposed industrial development projects; (e) the establishment of air quality and noise standards, and the requirement for anti-pollution devices to be installed in smoke-emitting vehicles and factories that emit odours, create excessive noise and discharge particulate matter into the atmosphere; and (f) government regulations covering the importation, production, utilization, storage and distribution of hazardous and toxic substances, as well as the disposal and dumping of untreated wastewater, mine tailings and other pollutants.
The passage of the Local Government Code in 1991 legislated the devolution of certain powers from the national government to LGUs including the barangays, municipalities, cities and provinces. It provides for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization, wherein LGUs are given more authority, responsibility and resources.
With the passage of the Local Government Code, the planning, financing and implementation aspects of local projects were devolved to LGUs. Hence, the role of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was streamlined to focus on policy-making, monitoring and enforcement, and the provision of technical assistance to LGUs. That would, however, require the strengthening and restructuring of the current Department of Environment and Natural Resources system.
3. Participatory approach
The participatory approach adopted in development planning, environmental rehabilitation and decision-making paved the way for increased community participation in the planning, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation of environmental programmes.