CHR expects ‘stronger commitment’ from DENR to enforce environmental laws

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MANILA, Philippines — The Human Rights Commission (CHR) said Tuesday it expects “stronger engagement” from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in law enforcement. environmental protection with the ultimate goal of protecting human rights.

CHR spokeswoman Jacqueline de Guia stressed that an “adequate” and “healthy” environment is necessary to enable human rights, including the rights to life, food, health and an adequate standard of living”.

“The CHR looks forward to DENR’s stronger commitment to protecting human rights through better enforcement of environmental laws and better streamlining of environmental programs, especially as the country faces the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic,” she said in a statement.

De Guia released the statement in light of the signing of a DENR administrative order that established the Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service (ELEPS), which will serve as an interim service while the agency awaits the Approval of the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau (EPEB) bill tabled in the Senate and House of Representatives.

The ELEPS, under the leadership of the Chief Environment Officer, aims to strengthen the implementation of the various environmental laws in the country.

With these bills being lobbied by the DENR, the CHR also noted that enforcement of these laws would be a “positive step” towards the protection of human rights.

“The Commission on Human Rights views the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ willingness to better enforce environmental laws as a positive step in protecting the human rights of all Filipinos,” the statement said. agency.

The human rights agency mentioned that a lot is at stake if communities continue to ignore the well-being of our environment. — Sofia Vertucio, intern

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