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Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and

Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 1

A Reminder

The protection, preservation, and
development of the environment is dictated by
man's selfless need to sustain life, it provide a
balanced and healthful ecology for the present
and future generations.

Petition of Atty. Oposa in the case of Minors of the
Philippines vs. DENR (224 SCRA 792)

"The day would not be too far when all
else would be lost not that only for this generation
but also for succeeding generations. Generations
that would stand to inherit nothing but ___ earth
incapable of sustaining life.

In that case, the petitioners were
compelling the Government to require each
barangay to construct a water cashment as a
solution to our environmental problem.

Environmental justice does not also
involve the right to have a healthful ecology but
also a right survive. It is a basic human rights and
involves social justice because persons who are
mostly affected by our current environmental
problem are the poor. Human right to.

When typhoons, changing weather
patterns and flash floods occur, the marginalized
sectors are especially affected and are the
hardest hit. A broad introduction of the
environmental problems in the Philippines
highlighting the areas where major problems exist
and providing a brief overview of their adverse
impact on the country would be taken up. In
addition, the constitutional framework and other
environmental laws in the country as well as
supplemental laws often used to file civil actions
and claim damages for environmental damages
will be discussed. It is important to explore these
laws and present their legal framework not only to
provide the basic legal understanding of our
concerning the environment but also to
emphasize the fact that access to environmental
justice in our country is possible.
What is the Philippines?
-The Philippines is one of the worlds richest
natural resource.
-Ranked 14 out of 17 countries in the elite list of
mega diversity countries. The list is topped by
Population statistics
-Australia-17 million
-Metro Manila-20 million
The Philippines is composed of a diverse
variety of flora and fauna as well as aquatic and
marine life. The Philippines is an archipelago
consisting of 7, 107 islands and a land area of
300, 000 square kilometers. It is replete with
mountains and extensive coastal areas. The
country is bounded in the east by the Pacific
Ocean, in the west by the South China Sea, in the
north by the Bashi Channel and in the south by
the Sulu and Celebes Sea. The biggest island
group is Luzon with an area of 141, 395 square
kilometers followed by Mindanao and then by the
Visayas with an area of 6, 606 square kilometers.
Manila, located in Luzon, is the capital city. The
country is known to have a tropical and
monsoonal climate dominated by dry and wet
seasons. The dry season is from December to
May while the wet season is from June to
November. 15.8 million hectares of the country is
classified as forestlands. The countrys coastline
extends to 36, 000 kilometers and have a total of
68 million hectares of territorial waters with around
2.6 million hectares of coral reefs. Furthermore,
more than half of the 1, 130 terrestrial wildlife are
endemic or can only be found in the country.
Approximately, 65% of the 50, 000 species of flora
and fauna known in the world can also be found in
the country. In addition, nestled in the Philippine
waters are 500 of 800 known coral reefs, 2, 000
Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and
Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 2
marine fish species, more than 40 mangrove
species and 16 sea grass species. These should
be prospected and preserved for future
Present Environmental Problems
The Philippine environment is presently in
crisis. The countrys rich landscape is
experiencing a drastic decline on account of
human activities. Most of the countrys forest
cover is already depleted and about 23% of the
endemic species are threatened with extinction.
Moreover, poor environmental quality has
adversely affected human health and welfare
thereby lowering the quality of life and resulting in
productivity loss. The onset of industrialization
played a critical role in the increase of
environmental problems in the country. The
growing need of Filipinos to sustain themselves
has clearly taken its toll on the environment.
Effluence of waste-industrial waste, human waste,
whatever waste both commercial and domestic
activities led to increasing levels of water pollution
and water scarcity. Human migration resulted to
the conversion of forest lands to residential and
industrial areas and the demand for transportation
services as well as the increase in the number of
factories and industrial plants have all contributed
to the worsening air pollution. Recent tragedies
brought by natural disasters merely highlight this
need to intensify efforts to protect and rehabilitate
the environment. These concerns must be
brought to the forefront of the countries concerned
before the effects of human activities to the
environment become irreversible.
The following are the countrys most serious
environmental problems:
1. Problems in the Philippine waters
2. Problems in our forestlands
3. Problems due to loss of biodiversity
4. Problems in the aerial territory
5. Problems in the mining sector

Types of pollution:
1. Air pollution
2. Water pollution
3. Noise pollution
4. Solid waste pollution

A. Problems in the Philippine waters

The major problem in the Philippine waters is
water pollution. In monetary terms, the adverse
effect of water pollution costs the country 67
billion pesos annually. For example, the water
quality in the Pasig River before the 1930s was
rich in marine life and sustained communities
living along its banks. As years went by, the Pasig
River became a dumping site of factories. In 1990,
it was declared biologically dead. The Pasig River
Rehabilitation Commission was established under
EO 54 to rehabilitate the Pasig River. In the
National Capital Region, major rivers are polluted
both with domestic and industrial effluents such as
raw sewage, detergents, fertilizer, heavy metals,
chemical products, and oils. In America, you
cannot just change oil in your house. Oil would
seep to the ground and contaminate the water
table, which is a source of clean water. In case of
contamination, remediation is needed to remove
the oil from the water. Remediation is required
when contamination is present, part of Americas
clean water code. Our oceans and marine
resources are at great risk because water
pollution in the form of oil spills (eg. Guimaras
Island) and discharges from shipping vessels in
both domestic and foreign vessels are present.
The most striking, however, is that water pollution
affects fresh water availability. Despite being
composed mostly of water, the Philippines is
experiencing episodes of water scarcity and
depletion. As a result, the available fresh water is
insufficient to meet the demands of increasing
population. Both over extraction of available
ground water and the pollution of potential fresh
water sources contribute to the decrease of
available fresh water. Research shows that if this
problem persists, the Philippines will experience a
Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and
Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 3
water crisis in less than 20 years and the amount
of fresh water available to each person by 2025
will decrease by 65% of the current per capita
availability. This is without considering the fact
that industrial demand for fresh water is expected
to increase to 13, 000 million cubic meters by
2025 while agricultural water usage is expected to
require between 50, 000 and 73, 000 million cubic
meters by 2025. The present fresh water
availability per capita in the Philippines is only 1,
907 cubic meters which is very low compared to
other Asian countries which is 3, 369 cubic meters
per person and world averages of 7, 045 cubic
meters per person. The per capita availability of
fresh water in the Philippines is the lowest in
Southeast Asia. The water problem could be
ascribed to poor governance, poor planning,
fragmented water management, and weak
enforcement of environmental laws. To address
these issues, stricter effluent standards should be
imposed and changes in the lifestyle of people to
keep domestic effluent under control.
Lawyers are the social doctors of the
world. Lawyers are among the three healers in the
world. The first are doctors who are physical
healers. The second are lawyers who are social
healers-they heal social illnesses. Third, are the
priests who are spiritual healers.
B. Problems in Forest lands

Deforestation. The countrys forest cover has
dropped from 270, 000 square kilometers at the
end of 1998 to only 8, 000 square kilometers in
2006. Increasing authorization of commercial
logging, kaingin, slash and burn agriculture, and
forest fires all contribute to the deforestation
problems. There is also a conversion of
grasslands and forestlands to urban use prompted
by the growing population. In Singapore, high-rise
and even underground mechanisms are utilized.
Inconsistent laws, inadequate regulation, weak
enforcement and lack of adequate funding play
significant roles.

C. Problems due to loss of biodiversity

Biodiversity is defined as the variability among
living organisms from all sources including among
others terrestrial, marine and other aquatic
ecosystems in the ecological complexes of which
they are part. This includes diversity within
species, between species and ecosystem.
(Malabo rin yung definition diba?)

Main cause of loss of biodiversity

Number one, it occurs in the terrestrial
area of man but also in the coastal waters, the
deforestation problem is connected with the loss
of biodiversity. Many of the Philippine species, a
lot of which are endemic and depend on the
forest, are gradually becoming extinct, the reason
for this is that, forest lands, once occupied by
these species, are raised and converted into
residential or agricultural areas. So the loss or
alteration on their habitat gravely affects the
resident species, chances for survival, they are
not only driven out from their habitat but they are
also deprived of their food source. Scarcity of their
food supply usually leads to their extinction.
However, the loss of their habitat, threatens to
destroy the ecological balance of communities
and of ecosystems. For example, is the
endangered Philippine Eagle. That is the reason,
because of the loss of habitat.

Another area of supreme concern in the
loss of biodiversity is our coastal and marine
water as well as inland water resources such as
lakes, rivers and reservoirs. The causes for this
loss of biodiversity are water pollution, influence
from agricultural, industrial and domestic areas,
which contribute to the deterioration and pollution
of our inland water resources. So as a
consequence, water quality in these water
resources has deteriorated causing habitat loss
also and deprivation. So entourage of fresh water
species and species other than fish such as
amphibians are also endangered of extinction.
Also diversion of rivers for irrigation and dam
Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and
Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 4
construction have affected the movement of
migratory species and drastically changed river

D. Problems in aerial territory.

Air Pollution is a serious and pressing
problem in the Philippines. The World Health
Organization ranked Manila as the fourth largest
air polluted capital in the world, next to Mexico,
Shanghai, and New Delhi. Reports have shown
that every year, 5000 premature deaths which
have occurred in the Philippines were caused by
respiratory diseases such as severe bronchitis,
pneumonia, lung cancer, and cardiovascular
disease. As much as 1.5 million Filipinos suffer
from respiratory sickness due to indoor pollution in
urban areas and one third of the number suffers
from various illnesses due to indoor pollution.
These deaths and illnesses have caused the
country 950 million productive loss and health
care expenses. Clearly, air pollution not only
affects the human health of the Filipinos, it also
has the repercussions on the economy.

What are the causes?
Rapid urbanization and industrialization

Air pollution are caused by 2 types of sources:
1. Outdoor Air Pollution
Is large scale pollution outside the peoples zones.
Involves external pollutants such as vehicular
2. Indoor Air Pollution
Involves proximity to indoor air pollutants such as
cigarette smoking and cooking with solid fuels.

E. Problems in the mining sector

Mining is a major industry in the
Philippines and is believed to play a vital part in
determining the success of country's economy. It
generates employment, more than 192,000 jobs
have been created since 2010. It provides taxes
on mining companies, making it one of the major
sources of revenue for the local governments in
the area. On the national level, mining activities
also contribute to the countrys export earning
amounting to 1.4 Billion in 2009 and 391 Million
for the first half of 2010. Industry has accounted
for almost of the countrys total export of
earnings and contributed significantly to the
countrys gross domestic product in the early
1980s. However, the long term effects of mining
operations have resulted in significant damage to
the environment such as deforestation, loss of
wild life habitat, decrease in the quantity and
quality of water supply, decrease in agricultural
production, erosion and flash floods, water and air
pollution, and threat to the marine environment
brought by erosion. In fact, the Philippines today
is considered one of the worst countries in the
world when it comes to dam failures (yung mga
latak ng ano, ng minerals naiiwan, by the way).
Toxic waste of the mining sites are not properly
disposed of which has led to disastrous
consequences for the local people and the
environment. Mining in the Philippines typically
consists of open pit mining (ito yung binubutas
yung bundok, hukay lang nang hukay) which
involves flattening of mountain taps and creation
of huge craters. This form of mining produced
huge amount of toxic wastes, large scale gold
mining also results in huge amount of toxic wastes
such as cyanide, which is used to separate the
gold from the ore thereby releasing potential
harmful toxic metals. So the negative effects of
mining are very apparent in the infamous space or
land copper mind disaster of 1996. The mining
site consisting of more than 400 million metric
tons of waste caused widespread damage to farm
lands and property. Mining also results in the
reduction of forest covers which is targeted for
flood areas. Oftentimes, mining is conducted
within the ancestral domains of the indigenous
people. Now, under the RA 8371 (IPRA 1997), the
mining operators must be able to secure the free,
prior and informed consent of the indigenous
people on whose territory the mining will be
conducted. Unfortunately, despite these
requirements, mining operations result in the
displacement of the indigenous peoples. Not only
Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and
Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 5
big-scale but also small-scale mining activities are
just as destructive to the environment. Problem is
the monitoring of mining activities. According to
the government itself, the problem is that
monitoring and regulation is not lodged with the
DENR but with the provincial mining regulatory
board which is led by the Governor (so localized
not on the national level).

Related of course to the environmental
problems is pollution.

What is pollution?

When something is added to the
environment which is harmful, poisonous, or fatal
to the people and the animal surrounding it and
other living things, it is called pollution. Pollution is
also the contamination by chemical or other
pollutants that renders part of the environment
unfit for the intended or desired use. This is
triggered by industrial and commercial waste,
agricultural practices, day to day human activities,
modes of transportation, as well as other sources.
Even chemical substances or energy may cause
pollution such as noise, heat or light.

Common types of pollution

A. Air pollution

Caused by the accumulation of hazardous
substances to the atmosphere that endangers
human life and other living matters. The most
dominant player of air pollution is automobiles or
vehicles. Other causes are combustion of coal,
acid rain, manufacturing buildings, tobacco
smoke, pain fumes, aerosol sprays, nuclear
weapons, wild fires. The effect of air pollution is
respiratory diseases (number 1 yan), it causes
respiratory diseases. The second one is heart
diseases caused by increased level of carbon
monoxide in the air. In addition persons cannot
avoid the risk of asthma, lung irritation and
bronchial disease due to air pollution. In estimate,
the air pollution amounts to 80% of premature
death of persons. Can you imagine that, the
population of Japan, this year (ata) 30 to 35% of
the total population of Japan, is aged 65 and
above (matatanda na ang mga Hapon). In 5 more
years, the senior citizens will compose 40% of
their population (Kaya punta na lang tayo ng
Japan. Nangangailangan sila ng workers.
Sobrang dami natin di ba? Maganda kasi ang
Japan. Ganun din sa Korea.).

B. Water pollution

It is due to the introduction of chemical,
biological and all sorts of physical matter into
large bodies of water that degrade the quality of
life that lives in it and consumes it. It has been
caused by fertilizers, pesticides, petroleum
derivatives. In addition, other contributors to water
pollution are waste treatment facilities, mining,
pesticides, herbicides, oil spills, refiners, failing
septic systems, anti-freeze leaks from cars,
animal wastes, soap from washing cars,
household chemicals and many more. (Of course
have already discussed this in relation with water
pollution) it reduces the source of clean water
which is important in sustaining life not only of
human but also of animals.

C. Noise pollution

It is the excessive noise that may distract
the activity of balance human or animals. The
main causes of noise pollution are of course
machine, transportation systems (bakit ba
pinayagan mga motorsiklo, tricycles, ang ingay
niyan eh), aircrafts (lalo na yung mga malapit sa
mga airports). In addition, it may be due to poor
urban planning. Indoor noise may be caused by
machines building activities, performances (sino
ba di maingay kapag di nagpeperform?) and other
forms of noise.

D. Solid waste pollution

This takes a lot of share in total pollution.
This type of pollution may be composed of
Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and
Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 6
municipal solid waste (yung basura), and
hazardous waste, plastic waste, and E waste. So
the MSW (municipal solid waste) also called trash,
garbage is mainly composed of everyday items
that are discarded by the public.

2 Types of MSW

1. Biodegradable/Recyclable
2. Non-Biodegradable

Hazardous waste are classified into 4

1. Ignitability
2. Activity
3. Proceedity (?)
4. Toxicity

Plastic wastes pose great threat to the
environment because its non-biodegrable nature.
It is at the top of the chart in pollution (mga basura
nasa landfill na natin yan).

E wastes which include electrical and
electronic equipment. E wastes cover office
equipment, television sets, discarded computers,
entertainment device electronics and mobile
phones. All E waste causes led, cardium(?),
delivium(?). One of the biggest sources of E
waste is the batteries discharged from electronics
such as from computers and mobile phones.
Remediation of the environment is a big business
in the United States. Big companies specialize on
environmental clean ups.

Principles on the Right to Environment
As the people become aware and vigilant
about state of environment and insisted that
defenders of the environmental laws be held
accountable, the Philippine environmental laws
and government regulations should be enforced in
order to protect the environment and help people
in all walks of life and in pursuit to a balanced and
healthful ecology. The environment has become
an important issue and it is imperative that people
should be fully informed of what the relevant
environmental laws are so that they may become
fully aware of what are allowed and what are
prohibited in relations to their actions affecting the

The right to environment is a fundamental
right of each person. This need not be written in
the Constitution but it has been incorporated in
the fundamental law. The right to environment has
existed since the inception of human right. This
has been highlighted in the Constitution. Related
to the right to environment of course is
environmental justice. This is an evolving idea
since there is no single definition for this simple
yet powerful concept.

The basic principles on the right to
environment that underlie the rules of procedure
for environmental cases include the following:
1. Sovereignty over natural resources and
the obligation not to cause harm
2. Principle of Prevention
3. Precautionary Principle
4. Sustainable Development
5. Intergenerational Equity

A. Sovereignty over natural resources
and the obligation not to cause harm

Since the 1970s, State sovereignty over
natural resources is always read or taken into
account with the obligation not to cause harm.
Every state of course is sovereign within its
territory. It can do whatever it pleases with the
resources within its territory. However, because of
environmental concerns, for example, Principle 21
of the Stockholm Declaration which is the
cornerstone of the international environmental law
reflects the principle of sovereignty over natural
resources and the duty not to cause harm. The
Stockholm Declaration particularly declares that
States have, in accordance with the charter of
United Nations and the principles of International
Law, sovereign right to exploit their own resources
pursuant to their own environmental policies and
Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and
Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 7
to do the responsibility to ensure that activities
within jurisdiction or control do not cause damage
to the environment of other states or areas
beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. So that is
the duty not to cause harm. There should be a
balance between the sovereignty to exploit and its
duty to ensure that the State do not cause
damage to the areas of other states.

The sovereign right over natural
resources includes the right of the States to be
free from external interference. The exercise of
State sovereignty however has its limits. Principle
21 provides that the state has responsibility not to
cause harm beyond the limits of its national
jurisdiction. The no harm principle recognizes that
states activities may be trans-boundary in nature
and is also meant to balance the sovereign
principle of states and require them to take
responsibility for their actions which cause harm
outside of their territory. (Nuclear testing dapat
bina-ban because it affects other territory and the
environment. So dapat di na pinapayagan yan.)

B. Principle of Prevention

The principle of prevention aims to stop
the environmental damage even before it occurs
or when it is critical or potential damage may be
irreversible. The principle of prevention of
prevention should be differentiated from the
obligation not to cause harm. The obligation not to
cause harm deals with the effects of states
activities outside its own territory without regard to
the activities that cause environmental harm
within the State while the principle of prevention
encompasses only environmental harm within a
States own territory. So in applying this principle,
action should be taken at an early stage, for
example to reduce pollution, rather than wait for
the irreversible effects to occur. For example, the
discharge of toxic substances in amounts which
exceed the capacity that the environment can
handle must be stopped or halted in order to
ensure that no irreversible damage is inflicted.
This is done to prevent irreversible harm for it is
better to stop pollution rather than commence
efforts to clean the contaminated areas later in the

A method by which this principle is spread
out is through the issuance of permits or
authorizations. These permits fix the conditions of
administrative controls and criminal penalties.

Another application of this principle is the
conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment
(EIA). In the Philippines, the governing law in the
conduct of the EIA is PD 1586 (An Act
Establishing an Environmental Impact Statement
System) including other environmental
management related measures.

The principle of prevention is based on
the idea that it is better to prevent than employ
measures after harm has occurred in order to
restore the environment. Corollary to this principle
(or the expansion of the principle of prevention) is
the precautionary principle.

C. Precautionary Principle

Actually, this has been embodied in Rule
20 of the Rules of Procedure for Environmental
Cases. The basis of this environmental principle is
Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration (Rio De
Janeiro, Brazil) commonly known as the
Precautionary Principle.

In order to protect the environment, the
precautionary approach shall be widely applied by
States according to their capabilities. Where there
are threats of irreversible damage, lack of full
scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason
for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent
environmental degradation. The principle
advocates that the potential harm should be
addressed even with minimal predictability at
hand. The precautionary principle requires a high
degree of prudence from the part of the State
owners. Decision-makers are not only mandated
to account for scientific uncertainty but it can also
Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and
Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 8
take positive action it can restrict a product or
activity even when there is scientific uncertainty.
Example: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - if
a product is to be marketed, it should have the
approval of the FDA (or at least some of the

Under the Rules of Procedure for
Environmental Cases, the precautionary principle
is adopted as a rule of evidence. The Supreme
Courts adoption affords the plaintiff a better
chance of proving their cases where the risks of
environmental harm are not easy to prove.

Dolphins vs Secretary Reyes, et al.
SC-GR No. 180771 (Undecided)
Dolphins etc. in the Taon Straight
Alleged harmful effect to the dolphins
because of oil exploration.
Issue: Require the application of
precautionary principles
We are not certain scientifically that it will
cause the death of these animals. But it is better
to err in favor of protecting the environment than
later regret the harm done
Apply precautionary principles as a rule of
evidence because under the Rio Declaration (to
reiterate) where there are threats of irreversible
damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not
be used as a reason for postponing cost-
effective measures to prevent environmental

D. Sustainable Development

Development of the country should meet
the needs of the present generation yet that
development should be sustainable so that the
future generations will also benefit from the
development. Sustainable development is the
process of developing land, cities, businesses,
communities and so forth that meets the needs of
the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs. (Kung
mag-aasawa kayo, ano ang ipapamana nyo sa
mga anak nyo? Wag kang swapang.)
Key Concepts:

1. Existence of needs with particular focus to
the needs of the poor.
2. Environment has limitation in meeting the
needs of present and future generations

The principle of sustainable development
addresses the need to reconcile issues of
development and environmental protection. It
recognizes that development requires economic
exploitation to satisfy the needs of growing
population while at the same time protecting the
environment for future generations. The concept
of sustainable development seeks to achieve
exploitation of resources while leaving the
environment intact for the use of future
generation. Non-renewable resources must be
used as efficiently as possible (example,
Malampaya natural gas). According to this
principle, there must be optimal management of
natural resources. This principle is also embodied
in the Philippine agenda which was formulated as
a response to the countrys commitments in the
1992 Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

E. Intergenerational Equity

The concept of intergenerational equity
supports the principle of sustainable development.
Present generation holds the natural resources in
trust for future generations. Intergenerational
Equity means each generations responsibility to
leave an inheritance of wealth no less than what
they themselves have inherited.

This was actually applied by the Supreme
Court in the case of Oposa vs Factoran (Penned
by Chief Justice Davide). This is the case where
the SC had the occasion to discuss the concept of
intergenerational responsibility. The case was
instituted by minors along with their parents
alleging that the Secretary of Natural Resources
acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the
Timber License Agreements (TLA) to cover more
forest areas. The Respondents alleged (1) that
Lectures of Judge Alberto Serrano in Natural Resources and
Environmental Law

(2S 2014-2015) Angeles, Richard Armand C., Antonio, Anna Alyzza, Cabrera, Laarni A., Eleccion, John Robert A.,
Moscare, Frances O., Narvasa, Jameh Jann R., Pineda, Daniel Radjit D. and Villamil, Carl Ron F. Page 9
the minors who invoked the right to a balanced
and healthful ecology have no valid cause of
action and (2) that they have no standing. The SC
said that the minors were entitled to sue on the
basis of intergenerational responsibility. They are
suing not only in their behalf as persons who
already exist and are entitled to a balanced and
healthful ecology but also for children yet unborn.
The personality of minors to sue in behalf of the
succeeding generations can only be based in the
concept of intergeneration responsibility insofar as
the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is
concerned. Such a right considers the rhythm and
harmony of nature. Nature means the created
world in its entirety. Such rhythm and harmony
indispensably include, inter alia, the judicious
disposition, utilization, management, renewal and
conservation of the countrys forest, minerals,
land, waters, fisheries and other natural resources
to the end that the restoration, development and
utilization be equitably accessible to the present
as well as the future generations.

Rights-based Approach

This is a recognition of the right to
environment as a fundamental human right.
Rights-based Approach is based on the
recognition of the right to environment as a
fundamental human right which ought to be
protected. In environmental justice, the rights-
based approach can be found in various
international documents. Examples: Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Stockholm
Declaration, and Rio Declaration, among others.

Under the UDHR the right to a standard of
living adequate for health and well-being is
provided there. All of us have a right to a standard
of living adequate for health and well-being. Such
right carries with it the right to the environment.

In the Stockholm Declaration which is a
primary document in international environmental
law, it was stated in Principle 1 that man has a
fundamental right to freedom, equality, and
adequate conditions of life in an environment of
quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being.
And he bears a solemn responsibility to protect
and improve the environment for the present and
future generations.

In this respect, policies holding and
perpetuating after time racial segregation,
discrimination, colonial and other forms of
oppression and foreign domination stand
condemned and must be eliminated.

In the Rio Declaration, under its 27
Principles, the goal of ensuring protection of the
environment must be recognized. So Principle 1
acknowledges that human beings are the center
of concerns for sustainable development. The Rio
Declaration also underlines the obligation of
States not to cause harm beyond its jurisdiction -
sovereignty and the obligation not to cause harm.
You also consider environmental protection as an
integral part of development. The Rio Declaration
also mandates that the States cannot (di ko
maintindihan sori parang may poverty) and give
special attention to the least developed and
environmentally vulnerable countries,
emphasizing that the cooperative process
states a common but differentiated
responsibilities. In achieving sustainable
development, the Rio Declaration also recognizes
the importance of enjoining the citizens in
addressing environmental issues with particular
emphasis in the roles of women, the youth, and
the indigenous peoples.

So what is it that should be enforced as a
cause of action? Well, under the rights based
approach, the right of persons to environmental
protection has the same level as a basic human
right diba. Under the civil code HR violated, you
have redress diba. Its also a basic human right so
can you enforce it in a court of law? Yes, of
course! But what do you enforce? The adoption of
the rights based approach placed a crucial role in
litigation because persons can be allowed to
litigate on the basis of their right to a healthy
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environment in the same way that they can litigate
on the basis of their civil and socio-economic
rights. So in line with the rights based approach,
there is a growing trend towards achieving
environmental justice.

Presently, the concept of environmental
justice varies among groups. Some define
environmental justice as the goal of achieving
adequate protection from or against the harmful
effects of environmental agents EVERYONE
regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, race,
or socio-economic status. And others view
environmental justice as equitable distribution of
burdens of the environmental harms among
various groups.

One author suggests that there are two
fundamental principles of environmental justice
distributive justice, this refers to the equitable
distribution of the environmental risks and harms
while procedural focuses on the right of the
stakeholders to participate on the decision making
processes concerning the environment and
enabling them to have access to relevant

While the concept of environmental
justice differs depending on the perspective of the
individual or entity, the ultimate goal is to enhance
the involvement of the people, to ensure access to
justice. There is heavier emphasis on policies,
laws, and legal procedures. In the context of
judicial system, environmental justice is tested in
the light of existence of adequate laws and
policies, quality of its enforcement, and existence
of available remedies for those affected by
violations of environmental laws and regulations.

How to attain environmental justice:
1. Environmental laws Including international
laws, treaties, protocols, and conventions
2. Quality of enforcement of these laws
3. Existence of available remedies to
enforce these laws
Basically, to consider the right of environment as
a fundamental right, it is already part of the Bill of
Rights diba. What right should already cover it?
Right to life! O what is that? DUE PROCESS

Classes of laws
1. Terrestrial laws (ex. PD705 revised
forestry code of the Phil.)
2. Marine and aquatic resources laws
3. Aerial
4. Others

Act 3572 an act prohibiting
PD 705
PD 1433 Land Warranty Decree of 1978?
RA 3571 an act to prohibit cutting, destroying or
injuring of planted or growing trees
RA 7076 Peoples Small Scale mining act
RA 7586 National Integrated Protected Area
System Act of 1992
RA 7611 Environmental Plan for Palawan Act
RA 7942 Phil Mining Act of 1995
RA 9072 National Cave and Cave Resource
management and Protection Act
RA 9147 Wildlife Resources Conservation and
Protection Act
RA 9175 Chainsaw Act

States duty

Government agency responsible = DENR
Purpose or primary task of DENR is to ensure
equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the
environment for the welfare of the present and
future generations. DENR is the lead but not the
only agency responsible.

5 pillars of justice system:
1. Community
2. Law enforcement
3. Prosecution
4. Judiciary
5. Penology or the jail management
department or whatever

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Each pillar has its task in enforcement of
environmental laws and in the prevention of
damage. Judiciary promulgated rules already for
violations of laws and designated environmental
courts throughout the Philippines (Election court
kay judge so hindi designated)

April 13, 2010 Rules on Procedure on
Environmental cases with the following

1. To protect and enhance the constitutional
right of the people to a balanced and healthful
2. To provide a simplified, speedy, and
inexpensive procedure for the enforcement of the
environmental rights and duties under the
constitution, existing laws, rules, and international
3. To introduce and adopt innovations in
best practices ensuring effective remedies and
redress for violations of environmental laws
4. To enable the courts to monitor and exact
compliance with orders and judgments in
environmental cases

In accordance with the objectives of the rules
of procedure, the following strategies were

1. Liberalized legal standing and citizen suit
like Oposa vs. Factoran
2. Speedy disposition of cases
3. Special remedies in the form of Writ of
Kalikasan writ of continuing mandamus
and the environmental protection orders
4. Consent decree
5. Adaption of Strategic Lawsuit Against
Public Partici(SLAP)

Environmental Laws

PD 1586 Phil Envi Impact Statement System
mandates that private corporations, firms, or
entities, agencies and instrumentalities of the
government, prepare an environmental impact
statement (EIS) for every proposed project or
undertaking which affects the quality of the
environment. The purpose is for the government
to study whether or not it will grant the
environmental compliance certificate (ECC). The
project can only be undertaken once the ECC is

RA 8749 Clean Air Act of 1999 comprehensive
air management policy and program which aims
to achieve healthy air for all Filipinos.

RA 9275 Phil Clean Water Act of 2004 protects
the countries water bodies from land based
pollution sources and also provides for
comprehensive strategy to minimize pollution in a
multi-sectoral and participatory approach including
all the stakeholders

RA 6969 Phil Toxic Substances and Hazardous
and Nuclear Waste Act legal framework to
control and manage the importation, manufacture,
processing, distribution, management of toxic
substances, hazardous, and nuclear waste. The
DENR will issue a Chemical Control Order to
prohibit or regulate the manufacture etc. of priority
chemicals determined to be regulated or banned
because of serious risks they impose on public
health and environment. There is a list of 48 toxic

RA 9003 Philippine Ecological Solid Waste
Management Act - provides for a systematic,
comprehensive and ecological solid waste
management program which shall ensure
protection of public health and environment.

R.A. 9779 Climate Change Act of 2009 - this law
aims to systematically integrate the concept of
climate change in the policy formulation and
development plans of all government agencies
and units to the end that the government will be
prepared for the impact of climate change.

R.A. 93512 Environmental Awareness Act of 2012
- The law aims to promote environmental
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awareness through environmental education. The
month of November, by the way, has been
declared as the environmental awareness month.

What is Environmental Justice?

The phrase eluded scholars, but one
definition given by the Environmental Protection
Agency of the United States it is the fair
treatment of all people, no matter what their race
color national origin or income level in the
development implementation and enforcement of
environmental laws, regulations and policies;
meaning that no group of people including racial
or socio economic groups should bear a
disproportionate share of the negative
environmental consequences resulting from
industrial, commercial municipal operations in the
execution of programs and policies.

The department of Energy of USA fair
treatment and meaningful involvement of all
people regardless race, ethnicity income or
education level in environmental decision making.
J. Corona mentioned environmental justice is
actually a combination and integration of
environmental law and social justice because
every person has a right to a clean, safe and
healthy environment.

As embodied in the Phil. Const. is right of
the people to a balanced and healthful ecology.
This right has the correlative duty which is to
refrain from impairing the environment.

Other countries define environmental
justice as the pursuit of equal justice and equal
protection under the law for all environmental
statutes and regulations w/o discrimination based
on race, ethnicity and status. It is also the fair
treatment of all people regardless of race, color,
national origin and income.

So no matter how the concept is defined
what is the core of environmental justice is, is the
idea that brings together environmental protection
and social justice.

By analysing environmental issues in
terms of social justice, the term, looking at the
path of social justice environmental perspective
more effective and efficient way of dealing with
environmental challenges can be achieved this
was done by the SC thru the promulgation of rules
of procedure for environmental cases which is to
enhance mechanism for accessing justice by the
benefits to environmental violations and at the
same time upholding the peoples right to a
balanced environment and healthful ecology.
Beyond the rules of procedures lies the social
component of environmental justice in our
country, the effects of environmental violations
has been mostly felt by those in the marginalized
sectors of our society they suffer a dreadful
decline in health and in the quality of hearing due
to pollution and environmental damage. The
adverse effects of environmental violations are
silent killers whose victims are those who do not
have the means of protecting themselves. The
Rules of Procedure provide the victims means to
empower themselves thru the availment of
remedies accorded to them. This serves as an
effective response to the urgent need to address
environmental problems in order to prevent the
harsh effects of environmental damage most
notable in water air deforestation and loss in
marine and terrestrial biodiversity. The country
has seen the most dangerous of all effects
brought about by climate change. Yolanda.

Global warming cause countries
significantly at risk where about half of the total
area of more than 80% of the population are
vulnerable to natural disasters.

How did this environmental justice
evolve? Makinig lang muna kayo anyway hindi
naman ito...background lang.

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(1:33:32) The concept of environmental
justice emerged in 1982 the USA in the case of
_______vs. South Western. This case involved a
decision of the North Carolina SC. The State of
North Carolina choose ______ it predominantly
lack unity in county NC as the dumpsite for toxic
waste landfill for over 32K cubic yards of
polychornicrom cholorinated. a massive protest
was lead by a certain reverend _______ coined
term environmental ______. This concept was
incorporated into the 1991 National People Call
on Environment Summit with certain principle of
Environmental Justice (EJ) as adopted.

Two major studies were undertaken on
the distribution of environmental hazards. And the
studies show that location of hazardous waste
dumping sites in USA were in predominantly
African American communities.

(1:35:35) Another principal player in the
advent of environmental justice is sociologist
______ Bolard? In his book provided an empirical
support to his studies mentioned Eirin
Bronchovic? (she advocated the rights of people
who have damage or affected by the toxic
material restored in their area. They were able to
secure damages..clients were able to receive
environmental justice).

Environmental issues had been in the
public eyes. In early 1990s the federal
government of the US are taking actions from the
issue through the environmental protection... The
administration issued an environmental work
group distributional issue raised by environmental
policies and enforcement. In 1992, it also created
the office of Environmental justice. In 1994,
President Bill Clinton (idol ni sir, classmate ni
GMA, Georgetown) EO 12 Titled Federal action to
address environmental justice to minority and low
income population. It directed government
agencies to making Environmental Justice (EJ)
vital part of their vision by reviewing their
programs polices and activities.
Environmental justice has become a
worldwide concern with researcher examining the
same issues in other countries as it was spurred
by movement that started in the USA. In USA the
EJ movement dealt predominantly with race and
the equality needs in the environment. (1:39:14)
Globally, the concept has evolved and shifted in
focused, it is said that _________ suffer the
highest burdens of environmental degradation
many countries believe that EJ can apply to
communities where those receive disadvantage
whether due to their race, social status,
immigration status, etc. are at a disproportionate
risk of being exposed to environmental hazards.
The issue of fairness and equitable access to the
resource of the earth has been brought to
international awareness.

Sources of these various Principles of
International Environmental laws

1. 1992 Rio Declaration
2. 2002 Hansburg principle
3. The rule of law on Sustainable
Development (SD)

SD recognized that people most affected
by environmental degradation are the poor and
therefore there is an urgent need to strengthen
the capacity of the poor. There is representative to
defend environmental rights to ensure that the
little sections of society are not prejudiced by
environmental degradation and not able to enjoy
their right to live, social and physical environment
that respects and promotes their dignity.
Environmental right is actually a component of
human right. It grew out of human right this is
the result of the genocide committed in the
Second World War act, remember the holocaust.

The UN General Assembly adopted the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 35
thereof speaks of the right to standard of living
adequate for the health and well-being of an
individual and his family. This Universal
Declaration of Human Rights filtered to the
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constitution of several counties (na sa atin na din
yan, matagal na). But particularly, the Phil.
Constitution declared not just the part of the Bill of
rights but as a state policy under article 2 of the
1987 Constitution, the right to a healthful ecology
as iron clad and no less valuable than those
enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Although in the
Constitution there is no mechanism for its
enforcement this void was already filled up by the
SC by the promulgation of the Rules of Procedure
for environmental cases. It provides avenues of
redress for the degradation or protection of the
environment it can be sued either administratively
or judicially. EJ is not new or foreign to the Phil.
Phil is said to have one of the worlds most
develop approaches. E protection and
preservation is enshrined as a fundamental state
policy sec. 16 Art. 2 of the Constitution, 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. The
Constitution likewise provide that the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of
the law of the land therefore international
environmental laws are deemed incorporated or
transposed into our national law.
The international environmental law is law
adopted by sovereign states to define the
standards in the international level.

Several sources of international environmental
1. Multilateral Environmental Agreements
2. Generally Accepted Principles on

Environmental protection

What are the Multilateral Environmental
Agreements and their protocols that we adopted?

1. United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Seas (UNCLOS) certified by the Phil. on
May 8, 1984. This convention or treaty obliges
parties to take measures to prevent pollution on
the marine environment from any source including
land based sources

2. The 1985 Vienna Convention on the
protection of the ozone layer this international
instrument obliges parties to phase out
substances that deplete the ozone layer such as
CFCs and HCFCs which are used in the air
conditioning systems of older cars, offices and

3. 1989 Basilea Convention on
transboundary movement of hazardous wastes
and their disposal this convention declares
illegal the transboundary shipment and disposal of
hazardous waste such as cell phone batteries and
old computer units except for recycling.

4. 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity
framework convention under which parties may
enter into agreements and memorandum of
understanding for the conservation of certain
species like the marine turtles and sharks.

5. 1998 Rotterdam Convention on prior
informed consent procedures for certain
hazardous chemicals. This convention requires
storage for specific harmful chemical such as
asbestos to provide ___ insulation for the
protection of health_____affecting such

6. 2001 Stockholm convention on persistent
organic pollutants. This convention defines parties
to immediately bans production and use of certain
pesticides. Phase out such pesticides, this
adversely affect human health around the world.

EJ goes beyond traditional environmental
protection objectives, consider the equitable
distribution of pollution and more broadly often
disproportionate burden born and carried by poor
and minority groups with respect to environmental
mog (?). This convention also provided principles
that are relevant to environmental cases like the
ones we already discussed, the precautionary
principle, the polluter based principle, principle of
intergeneration equity and environmental justice.
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this seek ensure that authorities fairly allocate and
regulate scarce resources to insure benefits of
environmental resource, the costs associated with
protecting from any degradation are equitably
shared by all members of society.

Precautionary principle as we discussed
earlier scientific uncertainty should not be used as
a reason not to take action with respect to a
particular environmental concern. Those engaged
in potentially damaging activity have the burden of
establishing the absence of environmental harm.

The Pollutant Based Principle states that
national public authority should refrain from
subsidizing the political control costs of private
enterprises. Instead, these private enterprises
should bear the cost of controlling the pollution
that they caused. If your company is producing
products that pollute the environment then the
cost of clean-up, remediation or even the
prevention of pollution should be carried by you
which should not passed on to the government or
the State. This principle has been applied by US,
Japan and India. Required in cases requiring toxic

In the Erin Brockovich case, the chemicals binaon
sa lupa, humalo sa ground water, humalo sa
tubig, affected the residents of the nearby
community. The consequence of that is cancer.
Maraming namatay sa area. That is why they filed
a case. The company becomes responsible in
dumping the toxic waste in that area that
contaminated the ground water.

Bear in mind the representatives of multilateral
environmental agreements and the three general
principles of environmental protection. The
questions that may be asked are the following:

1. What is the status of Philippine jurisdiction
with respect to cases that may require the
aggravation of international agreements on

2. Can they be applied by the Philippine

3. Can non state litigants invoke the
provisions before Philippine courts?

All these questions have been answered in the

What are the reasons why they can be applied
in environmental protection in the Philippines:

1. Rules of Procedure on environmental
cases in Philippine courts and jurisdiction over the
cases involving enforcement or violation of the
international environmental laws committed within
the territorial boundaries of the state. The courts
can interpret and apply the provisions of such
laws. Rule 1 itself states that the enumeration of
environmental laws in section 2 is not exclusive.
Philippine courts can extrapolate from the list
considered other sources of environmental law.

2. International agreements become part of
the law of the land through adjudication, local
legislation or constitutional fiat with the national
environmental agreements and other international
environmental agreements become part of our
national law. And thus they have the force and
effect of laws in the Philippines. Not only have the
ultra multilateral environmental agreements be
clarified in the Philippines but may also be
transformed into local legislation by RA6969
(Toxic Substances and Hazardous Nuclear Waste
Control Act of 1990), RA 9147 (Wildlife Resources
Conservation and Protection Act), RA8749
(Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999). So Philippine
courts can interpret and apply international
environmental law in environmental cases. They
may even refer to the provisions of international
environmental law to shed life on or supply gaps if
any on the provisions of national environmental

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Potential Bar questions:
1. Can International Agreements be
enforced by the Philippine Courts with respect to
environmental cases?

2. In case of conflict between our laws and
international environmental laws, which shall

The answer is provided in the case of
Pharmaceutical and Health Association of the
Philippines vs Health Secretary (GR No. 173034,
October 9, 2007). This is based on international
law principle of pacta sunt servanda - the party to
a treaty or convention must perform its obligations
in good faith. Thus it may not invoke the
provisions of its internal law as justification for its
failure to perform a duty. So the duty of the
Philippine Courts is to give force and effect to the
prohibitions, regulations and obligations found in
multilateral environmental agreements whether or
not they have been transposed into local laws.
The Supreme Court has also adopted and applied
the precautionary principle, inter-generational and
intra-generational equity principle.

On the other hand, Congress has also
adopted the pollutant based principle

RA9275 (Philippine Clean Water Act of
2004) prohibits certain acts such as discharging,
depositing or causing to be deposited material of
any kind directly or indirectly into the water bodies
or along the margins of any surface water, where,
the same shall be liable to be washed into such
surface water, either by tide action or by storm,
floods or otherwise, which could cause water
pollution or impede natural flow in the water body.
At the same time the violators are penalized if
they may fail to undertake clean-up operations
willfully or through gross negligence they shall be
punished by imprisonment and a fine of 50,000-
500,000 per day in violation.

Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority et al. vs Concerned Residence of Manila
Bay. In this case, certain government agencies
primarily responsible for the clean-up of the
Manila Bay. No private enterprise was impleaded
as a polluter. None was charged for the cost of
the clean-up. However, it must be borne in mind
that the court held the government agencies liable
under a continuing mandamus

(Mandamus- command by the court for a certain
government agency or person to perform an act
[clean-up]; Continuing the writ of mandamus no
duration) to undertake clean-up activities to
implement the decision.

Resident Marine Mammals of Taon
Strait Protected Seascape vs Reyes. The
question here is: May environmental law be
invoked by a non-state party such as ordinary
man of the street or even by public interest group
on behalf of whale, or a dolphin in Taon Strait?
May a non-state party may sue to enforce
provisions of local legislations incorporating the
provisions of multilateral environmental
agreements. However, may the same party
directly invoke the provisions of multilateral
environmental agreements which have not been
transposed to local legislation?

Some significant decisions in
environmental law where environmental justice is
somehow attained. Supreme Court decided
landmark cases involving the environment. These
cases put the country on the world map with
respect to innovative judicial thinking on
environmental protection. They also demonstrate
that Philippine Courts are more often than not is
forced to rule in favor to protect the environment.

1. Oposa vs Factora- Intergenerational
Responsibility or Equity

2. MMDA vs Concerned Citizens of Manila
Bay- clean-up of Manila Bay. The first ever order
of continuing mandamus in the country. Agencies
to perform respective tasks or clean-up and it
continues indefinitely. Require a formation of an
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advisory committee to ensure compliance with the
order. These highlights the interest safeguarding
the environment.

3. Resident Marine Mammals of Taon
Strait (GR No.180771) The petitioners claim that
the marine mammals possess legal standing to
sue. They have sustained direct injuries by reason
of ____ exploration and resulting pollution of their
habitat. They claim that the effect of the
underwater noise to the marine mammals is fatal.
They also maintain that the service contract
violates the Constitution. On the other hand, the
respondents claim that marine mammals are
neither natural nor juridical persons cannot be
parties to a civil action. Contrary to the petitioners
allegations that service contract is allowed under
the Constitution.

4. Mosketo vs Pilipino Banana Growers and
Exporters Association (GR No. 189185) - the
aerial spray of pesticides on the banana
plantations in Davao City. An ordinance was
passed by the City of Davao banning aerial
spraying as an agricultural practice in the City.
This prompted the respondents to file a petition
assailing the Constitutionality of the Ordinance.
The right to a healthful and balance ecology.
RTC- Constitutional, CA- Unconstitutional, SC-

a. Ordinance is a valid exercise of Police Power
b. There is proof that the people are adversely
affected by the substances sprayed aerially
c. The banana growers interest are protected
because there are other means of spraying
d. There is no violation of the Equal Protection
Clause because there is a rational basis for
e. The property rights of the Banana Growers
should not be placed above the rights of persons
life, balance and healthful ecology.

On the other hand, respondents argue that
a. the Ordinance constitutes an unreasonable
exercise of Police Power
b. The ordinance imposes a ban instead of merely
regulation of aerial spray
c. There is no scientific basis for the ban of the
aerial spray that produces adverse effect on the
people and the environment.

Supposing there is no scientific basis that the
aerial spray would affect the environment, will you
sustain the validity of the ordinance? Yes. Apply
the precautionary principle.