House Bill 8443: Economic Success by Protecting our National Patrimony

The House of Representatives has recently introduced House Bill 8443, also known as the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System or PENCAS, to aim for environmental stewardship and responsible development

This groundbreaking legislation aims to transform the way the Philippines perceives and utilizes its natural resources.

Read on to learn more about this new house bill.

What is House Bill 8443?

Led by Chairman Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of the Committee on Natural Resources and Negros Occidental Rep. Francisco Benitez, House Bill No. 8443 calls for the establishment of a “system for collection, compilation, and development of natural capital accounts in the government as a means for development planning and program, policy analysis, and decision making.”

The significance of House Bill 8443 seeks to protect the country’s national heritage and ensure that future generations will benefit from the wealth of nature.

The House version of PENCAS is a culmination of the efforts of several key authors, including Reps. Antonio Legarda Jr., Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Tsuyoshi Anthony Horibata, Brian Raymund Yamsuan, and Brother Eddie Villanueva. It’s worth noting that a similar bill, Senate Bill 9, has been introduced in the Senate by Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, aligning with the objectives of House Bill 8443.

Pencas A Data-Driven Framework

“House Bill 8443 represents a crucial step towards safeguarding our natural resources for future generations. It will help us account for the true value of our environment and make sustainable development a reality,” emphasized Benitez.

He further added, “The Pencas will bridge the gap between economic planning and environmental conservation. It’s a vital tool for meeting international commitments on climate change and preserving our natural heritage.”

Benitez expressed concern that in the relentless pursuit of increased production and business growth, people often exploit the country’s natural environment for raw materials while neglecting the essential, yet often “invisible,” life-sustaining services provided by nature, such as air purification, groundwater recharge, and carbon sequestration.

“Benefits that are lost when we shave our forests, when we mine and poison our rivers and oceans, when we destroy wildlife,” he said.

The authors of the bill stressed that the core of this legislation lies in recognizing the far-reaching consequences of unchecked development and resource exploitation. Their proposed law highlights the often overlooked, yet vital, services that nature provides, underscoring the need to balance economic growth with environmental preservation.

In a world where industrialization has harnessed nature’s power for human purposes, lawmakers see House Bill 8443 as a much-needed wake-up call.

Pencas: A Data-Driven Framework

One of the most transformative aspects of the bill is the establishment of PENCAS, described as a framework that assesses the nation’s natural capital and its economic impact. Pencas is a data-driven mechanism that evaluates the value of the country’s natural resources and environmental assets, including ecosystem services.

This comprehensive approach factors in the costs of environmental degradation and the depletion of natural ecosystems. These values will be integrated into macroeconomic analyses, providing a clearer understanding of the nation’s economic health and promoting a harmonious relationship between development and nature.

The concept of natural capital accounting advocated in this bill aligns with the goals of the Philippine Development Plan 2023–2028, which aims to build a resilient economy. It bridges the gap between current economic planning methods and the pressing need to conserve and manage natural resources.

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According to House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, “We acknowledge that solid data is crucial in preserving and developing our natural capital, and with this proposed legislation, we hope to provide tools and measures that can contribute to the protection, conservation and restoration of ecosystems.”

“This bill also intends to provide a framework for the generation of natural capital statistics and accounts toward their progressive integration in macroeconomic indicators. That is why the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Interagency Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Statistics (IACENRS), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) shall work hand-in-hand in the implementation of the measure,” he added.

Under HB 8443, the PSA will have overall responsibility for institutionalizing and progressively implementing Pencas based on the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) framework. This framework integrates economic and environmental data, offering a more comprehensive view of the interrelationships among the economy, the environment, ecosystems, and natural assets that benefit humanity.

The bill also includes participatory mechanisms and citizen remedies, allowing any citizen to access information about accounts generated under the measure, seek justification from government agencies neglecting Pencas data in policy or decision-making, and compel the performance of mandates under the proposed law.

Furthermore, the bill mandates NEDA approval before initiating any development projects involving PENCAS, whether proposed by the national government, government agencies, government-owned corporations, local government units (LGUs), or private investors.

What can we do to protect our environment?

Currently, we are facing climate change–from carbon emissions to rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions. Some of the ways we can protect our environment are by sustainable forestry and sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable forestry, also referred to as sustainable forest management, seeks to satisfy human requirements for forest resources while preserving their availability for future generations. In essence, this involves adopting approaches that can generate required goods and services while emulating nature’s customary patterns of renewal.

Forests are essential for human survival, providing oxygen and absorbing carbon emissions. Sustainable forestry is crucial for combating the climate crisis by capturing fossil fuel emissions. Forests are also critical for biodiversity. However, we’re depleting forests faster than they can regenerate. It’s urgent to adopt sustainable forestry practices to ensure a viable future for ourselves and generations to come. Once forests are gone, sustaining life becomes impossible.

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Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture shares the same concept as sustainable forestry, aiming to provide society with food, textiles, and services without harming the planet’s future. Farmers achieve this through sustainable farming practices, which involve reducing water usage, pollutants, and soil degradation. Those exploring sustainable agriculture pursue interdisciplinary solutions, combining various fields, from biology to chemistry to economics, to address complex environmental challenges innovatively.

Individual consumers can financially support sustainable agriculture by actively selecting locally produced food made through environmentally friendly practices. This not only boosts the local economy but also contributes to advancing sustainable agriculture.

That’s why we can do our way to protect our environment. When Brittany Corporation decided to develop luxury properties, we already kept in mind that we uphold the value of conserving the environment.

Forresta Villar City is a nature-inspired mixed-use development located in the dynamic area of Daang Hari in Alabang. Committed to building a verdant future, Villar Land sets to plant one million trees and hundreds of gardens across the estate.

Residents of Forresta will experience an exclusive lifestyle with full access to community amenities, making it an ideal choice for those seeking inspiration close to home.

Forresta Villar City is conveniently located near the Alabang Business District and can be easily reached via Daang Hari. This proximity opens up new opportunities for you, your family, and your friends to explore a wider range of captivating destinations offered by Brittany Corporation.

Forresta offers 25 exclusive estate lots where you can create your dream Asian contemporary home, providing a personal and private living space that’s budget-friendly.

What is the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals?

With the ongoing legislative action on approving HB 8443, we can only hope for the best. On the much brighter side, this bill is also aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the management of natural resources is the key to sustainable development, and inclusive wealth provides the means for a nation to go forward.

Inclusive wealth encompasses not only financial and produced capital, but also the talents within the workforce (human capital), the cohesion within the society (social capital), and the value of our environment (natural capital). It also takes into account the social worth of manufactured, human, and natural capital, which can be the source of a country’s Gross Domestic Product.

This inclusive wealth shall be transferred from one generation to the next. Transferring a healthy planet to future generations is an essential prerequisite for sustainable development.

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Brittany Corporation Helps Protect Future Generations

In light of becoming responsible citizens, Brittany Corporation is one with the country in aiming for economic success through sustainable development.

Brittany Corporation stands out as a trailblazer in the Philippine real estate industry, setting a commendable standard for sustainable development and preserving our natural resources. Now, it’s our turn to participate in this transformative journey.

To contribute to Brittany’s mission, you can explore our diverse range of residential options designed to cater to various preferences. Additionally, you can champion sustainability within your sphere of influence, sharing the Brittany story and inspiring eco-friendly living. Actively engage in local community dialogues to ensure that development harmonizes with nature and heritage, while also supporting green initiatives and environmental charities. Lastly, help spread the word about Brittany Corporation’s innovative approach to real estate development. Together, we can advance sustainable living and protect our natural resources.

Visit our LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more about how we take part in protecting the environment.

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