Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines
Principles of government policies
- Article 2 on Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Section 16 stipulates that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
1. This Article of the Constitution of Philippines indirectly tasks the State to conserve the environment. As may be interpreted from the provision that a balanced and healthful ecology exists in a good condition environment, and in order for the balance and health of ecology to be in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature the environment must not be polluted. Consequently, Article 2 urges the State to exercise its power to keep the environment clean from pollution.
- Article 12 on National Economy and Patrimony, Section 5 specifies that the State, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national development policies and programs shall protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being.
1. This provision not only provides protection to the rights of citizens but also endorses the rights of indigenous cultural communities. In this respect, it is a good example of the constitutional right of indigenous people. As we know that in many countries, indigenous people and local communities are those that participate the most in forestry conservation, since forests are their homeland. Healthy and fertile forests help clean the polluted environment. Therefore, involving indigenous communities in protecting the well-being of their ancestral lands means encouraging them to conserve the wellness of the environment.
Rights and responsibilities - duties of states, people, and institutions
- Article 3 on the Bill of Rights, Section 7 endorses that the right of the people to information on matters of public concern be recognized. In addition, subject to limitations as may be provided by law, the citizen shall be afforded to have access to official records, documents, papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.
1. The right of the people given under the Bill of Rights of the Philippines Constitution is a passive right of the right to freedom of speech and expression as stated in the Constitution of India and other countries, such right is an active right. When people have the right to express concerns and deliver opinions about the environment, they must also have the right to information on conditions of the environment. Environmental information of public concern, be it in official files or government documents, shall be accessible to the public if need be. This is to guarantee transparency of State practices and legitimacy of citizens to correct State actions.
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