Tuesday, October 12, 2010



Bio 425/426/427 (Environmental Issues and Policies)

P.D. 984 – Pollution Control Law

P.D. 1151 – Philippine Environmental Policy

- defines the general policies on he pursuit of a better quality of life for the present and future generations and mandates the undertaking the environmental impact assessments for all projects, which may significantly affect the environment.

P.D. 1152 – Philippine Environmental Policy

- defines the policy objectives and the strategies for the various aspects of environmental management, such as air and water quality management, natural source development, land management, and waste management. It launches a comprehensive national program of environmental protection and management, with reference to policies and standards of noise, air quality, water quality, classification of water and waste management.

P.D. 1586 – defines the framework for the implementation of the environmental impact assessment as the mechanism to reconcile the impacts of development projects on society and the physical environment.

P.D. 389 (P.D. 705) – The Forestry Reform Code

- codifies, updates and raises forestry laws in the country. It emphasizes the sustainable utilization of forest resources.

P.D. 330 & P.D. 953 – laws on penalizing illegal cutting of trees

P.D. 953 & 1153 – laws on tree planting

P.D. 331- laws requiring all public forests be developed on a sustained yield basis.

P.D. 704 – preservation of optimum productivity of fishery resources through conservation and protection.

P.D. 1015 – banning the operation of commercial fishing within a distance of 7 kilometers from the shoreline.

P.D. 1058 – increasing the penalties for illegal forms of fishing.

P.D. 1219 – providing for the protection of coral ecosystems.

P.D. 1067 – Water Code of the Philippines

- adopts adequate measures to conserve and regulate the use of water in commercial, industrial and residential areas. It also provides other policy guidelines in water quality and management of water resources.

P.D. 463 – amended the Mining Act of 1936, requires all mining leaseholders to comply with Pollution Control Laws and regulations and provide for penalties for noncompliance.

P.D. 1198 – reinforces this provision for restoration of mined-out areas to this original condition to the extent possible.

P.D. 1251 – imposes fines on tailings and mine wastes and the fund generated is used to pay for the damages to land, agricultural crops, forests products, aquatic resources and infrastructures caused by pollution for mining operations.

P.D. 984 – The Pollution Control Law

P.D. 1181 (supplements the provision of P.D. 984) – providing for the abatement, control and prevention of vehicular pollution & establishing the maximum allowance emissions of specific air pollutants from all types of vehicle.

P.D. 600 ( amended by P.D. 979) – Water Pollution Control

- prohibits the discharge of oil, noxious liquid substances, and other harmful substances into the country’s inland and territorial waters.

P.D. 825 – prohibits the improper disposal of garbage

P.D. 856 – Sanitation Code

- places the responsibility in the local government units for he solid waste management in his area of production.

P.D. 1144 – Control of Pesticides

R.A. 8749 – Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999

- provides for a comprehensive air pollution control policy

R.A – 3720 – Food Additives

R.A. 6425 – Drugs

R.A 280 – Cosmetics

R.A. 7160 – Local Government Code of 1991

-provides that local government should share with the national government the responsibility in the management and maintenance of ecological balance within their territorial jurisdiction subject to national policies and other pertinent provisions of the code.

R.A. 6969 – Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act

- authorizes the DENR to establish a program to regulate, restrict or prohibit the importation, manufacture, processing, sale, destruction, use and disposal of chemical substances, and mixture that present unreasonable risk and/or injury to health or the environment.

R.A. 8550 – The Fisheries Code of the Philippines

- defines the policies of the state in the protection, conservation and effective management of fisheries stock as well as identifying allowable fishing methods in Philippine coastal waters.

R.A. 9003 – The Solid Waste Management Act of 2001- an act providing for an ecological solid waste management program, creating the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, declaring certain acts prohibited and providing penalties, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.

R.A. 9275- also known as the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 – an act providing a comprehensive water quality management and for other purposes.

R.A. 9729 – also known as the Climate Change Act of 2009. - an act mainstreaming climate change into government policy formulations, establishing the framework strategy and program on climate change, creating for this purpose the climate change commission, and for other purposes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


These are the different environmental issues to be discussed as part of the requirements for 2BSINFOSYS-B section. Create a personal blog and include the following topics as part of your report (for infosystem students). For those who are not 2bsis students submit your reports on short-sized bond paper, minimum of three (3) pages, single-spaced, with illustrations or photos, and at the end of the page cite all your references or sources. Please be guided accordingly.
Submission of papers would be by topic and should be done every Thursday of the week.

1. Global Warming-vs- Climate Change (Causes and Effects)
2. Ozone Depletion (Causes and Effects)
3. Solid Waste Management (RA 9003), Biodegradable-vs-non biodegradable, and other hazardous wastes
4. Population Growth (Phil. Setting/Current data of Phil. population/Family Planning/Unemployment/Rapid Urbanization)
5. Pollution (Air, Water, and Terrestrial - Causes, effects)
6. Renewable-vs-non renewable resources (types and uses)
7. Mineral Depletion, Deforestation, Coral Bleaching, Mangrove Ecosystem
8. El Nino and La Nina Weather Disturbances, Typhoons (Phil Setting)
9. Biodiversity Loss (Endangered, Threatened and Extinct Species)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Environmental Science Crossword Puzzle No. 1

This is your assignment for January 2010.
Make a print out and submit with answers on our 1st meeting on January.

1. Animal that hunts and eats prey.[8]
3. Organism on or in which a parasite lives.[4]
6. Type of adaptation relating to an organism's shape and size.[10]
8. Relationship where animals of different species help each other.[9]
9. Number of organisms of a species in an area at a particular time.[10]
11. Place where an organism lives.[7]
12. Factor that affects population numbers.[7]
16. Type of adaptation relating to an animal's actions.[11]
17. Organism that feeds off another e.g. tick.[8]
18. Living and non-living surroundings.[11]
19. All the organisms in a given area at a given time.[9]
20. A natural unit of living and non-living parts that interact to produce a stable system.[9]

1. Non-living or abiotic.[8]
2. Study of interrelationships of living organisms with their surroundings.[7]
4. "Living together" of organisms of different species for a long period of time.[9]
5. Animal that is eaten by a predator.[4]
7. Example of a physical factor in the environment is water and air ____.[11]
10. Relationship where two different organisms use the same resource such as food.[11]
13. Characteristic of an organism that enables it to function more effectively in its surroundings.[10]
14. Example of an important living or biotic factor.[4]
15. Example of an important physical factor is amount of drinking ____.[5]

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Natural resource, such as coal, oil, or natural gas, that takes millions of years to form naturally and therefore cannot be replaced once it is consumed; it will eventually be used up. The main energy sources used by humans are non-renewable.In short, these are the things that can run out or can be used up. They usually come from the ground. There are fixed amounts of these resources. They are not living things and they are hard to find. They don't regrow and they are not replaced quickly.

Today, scientists find ways to limit the use of these resources of energy to make them more or less sustainable, lasting not just in the current generation, but also to the next.

What are the non-renewable resources?

a. Wood (Trees) -
Once served as the world's chief fuel. In many developing countries where there are lots of forested area, wood is still the main source of energy. It is also a source of livelihood like furniture making and sculpting (wood carvings). Also, the forests areas needed for farming are being indiscrimately burned using the kainging or slash and burn method.
Although easier said than done, the trend must be towards the creation of sustainable forest:
1. Proper education on the value of forest to discourage slash and burns.
2. Harvesting only what is needed.
3. Planting to replace those harvested.
4. Zero-waste management on wood being harvested. Wood chips and grains can be harnessed as biomass energy.

Kaingin or slash and burn method

b. Coal
This is a result of a half a million to even several million years of compression and heat applied to decaying plants growing in bogs or swampy areas. Because of this length of time for nature to form coal, it is considered a non renewable source of energy.


About 26% of the world's energy still uses coal as their fuel source, whether for producing heat or electrical.
The Philippines has an abundance of coal, especially in Regions II (Cagayan Valley), VI (Panay, Negros Oriental), and XIII or CARAGA (Agusan and Surigao provinces).

The most notable coald-based power plants are Pagbilao 1 and 2 in Quezon province and ACMDC Coal Plant in Cebu.

Problems using Coal
a) accidents in coal mines
b) diseases that result from breathing coal dust
c) strip mining causes erosion of mining sites
d) when burned, coal releases nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide and other impurities that pollute the air, leading to the formation of acid rain.

The main pollutant that cause acid rain, industries eject sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere which becomes part of the clouds and form acid rainSee how the trees become leafless and dead because of their being exposed to acid rain

c. Petroleum
One of the world's most important resources. Its by products are essential in cooking and heating, powering vehicles and airplanes, and even electricity generation.
Most petroleum is removed from deep within the earth as a liquid called crude oil. Workers pump crude oil out of the earth through wells drilled into oil-bearing formation called reservoirs. Because it is liquid, crude oil can be economically transported long distances by pipelines to refineries. Refineries process it into gasoline and other petroleum products.

Greatest Oil Reserves by Country, 2006
CountryProved reserves
(billion barrels)
1.Saudi Arabia264.3
6.United Arab Emirates97.8
11.United States21.4

Top 20 countries1224.5 (95%)
Rest of world68.1 (5%)
World total1,292.6
NOTES: Proved reserves are estimated with reasonable certainty to be recoverable with present technology and prices.
Source: Oil & Gas Journal, Vol. 103, No. 47 (Dec. 19, 2005). From: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

  • Many parts of the country have shown good indications of the presence of petroleum. The Cagayan Valley, Central Plain of Luzon, Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon, Cebu, Leyte, Cotabato, Palawan, and Sulu Sea, are promising petroleum-bearing areas now. Commercial petroleum deposits have been discovered in the western coast of Palawan.
  • Top Philippine sites with oil potential includes West Linapacan A/B in Palawan, Carnag-Malampaya in Palawan, Galoc also in Palawan, Maniguin in Mindoro-Cuyo and Matinloc in Palawan.
  • Problems using petroleum
a. it takes a lot to form.
b. effective environmental management
i. forest ecosystem must be preserved when creating oil pipes.
ii. leak detectors must be present on oil and pipelines to
detect even a minute spill, thus avoiding a bigger one.
c. burning fuels and power plants contribute to the "greenhouse effect"
d. proper maintenance of vehicles and power plants would ensure
proper burning of these fossil fuels.

D. Natural Gas
  • natural gas comes from deposits in the earth
  • it is a clean source of energy because it is refined naturally during its formation within the earth and does not require further refining.
  • natural gas can be compressed into liquid and transported long distances through pipes.
  • September 27, 2001 marked the entry of the Philippines as a producer of commercial grade natural gas with its discovery at the Malampaya well, off the wester coast of Palawan. It was inaugurated last October 16, 2001 at Malampaya - on shore gas plant in Tabangao, Batangas.
  • It is a 4.5 billion-dollar project of Shell Philippines Exploration, BV Texaco Philippines, and the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC-EC)
  • Potential supply of 8,000 barrels per day and expected income from 8-10 billion dollar.
  • Top sites with natural gas potential includes Carnaga-Malampaya, San Martin in Palawan, San Antonio in Cagayan and Octon in Palawan.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


A natural resource qualifies as a renewable resource if it is replenished by natural resources at a rate comparable or faster than its rate of consumption by humans or other users.Solar radiation, tides, winds, nuclear reactors, geothermal and hydroelectricity are perpetual resources that are in no danger of being used in excess of their long-term availability. The term alas has the connotation of sustainability of the handlings of waste products by the natural environment.Nuclear energy is energy in the nucleus (core) of an atom. Atoms are tiny particles that make up every object in the universe. There is enormous energy in the bonds that hold atoms together.

Nuclear energy can be used to make electricity. But first the energy must be released. It can be released from atoms in two ways: nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. In nuclear fusion, energy is released when atoms are combined or fused together to form a larger atom. This is how the sun produces energy. In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy. Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to produce electricity.

The fuel most widely used by nuclear plants for nuclear fission is uranium. Uranium is nonrenewable, though it is a common metal found in rocks all over the world. Nuclear plants use a certain kind of uranium, U-235, as fuel because its atoms are easily split apart. Though uranium is quite common, about 100 times more common than silver, U-235 is relatively rare. Most U.S. uranium is mined, in the Western United States. Once uranium is mined the U-235 must be extracted and processed before it can be used as a fuel.

During nuclear fission, a small particle called a neutron hits the uranium atom and splits it, releasing a great amount of energy as heat and radiation. More neutrons are also released. These neutrons go on to bombard other uranium atoms, and the process repeats itself over and over again. This is called a chain reaction.

Nuclear reactors are basically machines that contain and control chain reactions, while releasing heat at a controlled rate. In electric power plants, the reactors supply the heat to turn water into steam, which drives the turbine-generators. The electricity travels through high voltage transmission lines and low voltage distribution lines to homes, schools, hospitals, factories, office buildings, rail systems and other users.

Compared to electricity generated by burning fossil fuels, nuclear energy is clean. Nuclear power plants produce no air pollution or carbon dioxide but a small amount of emissions result from processing the uranium that is used in nuclear reactors.

Like all industrial processes, nuclear power generation has by-product wastes: spent (used) fuels, other radioactive waste, and heat. Spent fuels and other radioactive wastes are the principal environmental concern for nuclear power. Most nuclear waste is low-level radioactive waste. It consists of ordinary tools, protective clothing, wiping cloths and disposable items that have been contaminated with small amounts of radioactive dust or particles. These materials are subject to special regulation that govern their disposal so they will not come in contact with the outside environment.

Solar power is the energy derived directly from the Sun. It is the most abundant source of energy on Earth. The fastest growing type of alternative energy, increasing at 50 percent a year, is the photovoltaic cell, which converts sunlight directly into energy. The Sun yearly delivers more than 10,000 times the energy that humans currently use.

Solar dishes

Wind power is derived from uneven heating of the Earth's surface from the Sun and the warm core. Most modern wind power is generated in the form of electricity by converting the rotation of turbine blades into electrical current by means of an electrical generator. In windmills (a much older technology) wind energy is used to turn mechanical machinery to do physical work, like crushing grain or pumping water.

Windmills in Burgos, Ilocos Norte

Hydropower energy derived from the movement of water in rivers and oceans (or other energy differentials), can likewise be used to generate electricity using turbines, or can be used mechanically to do useful work. It is a very common resource.

Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City

Geothermal power directly harnesses the natural flow of heat from the ground. The available energy from natural decay of radioactive elements in the earth's crust and mantle is approximately equal to that of incoming solar energy.

The natural heat within the earth is the motor of the "geothermal energy". In fact, the earth serves as a hot water-boiler. The heat of the earth warms up water (fluids) which is trapped in rock formations thousands of feet (3,000 meter) beneath the earth's surface.

Worldwide, the Philippines rank second to the United States in producing geothermic energy. Leyte is of the island in the Philippines where geothermic power plants were developed. The developments here started in 1977 by the company Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC). Many of the geothermic natural resources are still waiting to be "harnessed for steam."

Leyte is one of the Philippine islands where geothermal energy is produced.

In the Philippines geothermal energy already provides 27% of the country's total electricity production generated in power plants. Geothermal power plants are on the islands Luzon, Negros, Mindanao and Leyte.

Geothermal Plant in Tongonan, Leyte

The production of the electricity by geothermal plants is cheaper than the electricity produced in plants by using natural gas and coal. It is even cheaper than electricity produced by hydro power stations.

Biomass Energy or Bioconversion

It is just composed of organic materials, most of which are waste. Sources include composting materials, wood, municipal and city wastes, bagasse, coconut waste and animal waste

From biomass, one can get the following:
  • ethanol (fermenting high carbohydrate biomass sources)
  • biodiesel/biofuel (from Jethropa sp.)
  • fuel oil

Alcohol derived from corn, sugar cane, etc. is also a renewable source of energy. Similarly, oils from plants and seeds can be used as a substitute for non-renewable diesel. Methane is also considered as a renewable source of energy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Poverty is an economic condition of lacking both money and basic necessities needed to successfully live such as food, water, education, and shelter. There are many working definitions of "poverty" with considerable debate on how to best define the term: (1) income security; and (2) economic stability; and (3) the predictability of one's continued means to meet the basic needs all serve as absolute indicators of poverty. Poverty may therefore also be defined as the economic condition of lacking predictable and stable means of meeting basic life needs.

Causes of Poverty
  1. education
  2. war
  3. natural disasters
  4. political corruption
  5. mental illness
  6. disability
Those who live in conditions of poverty lack a wide range of economic and other resources and may be described as poor, in low income and impoverished. Some see the term as subjective and comparative, others see it as moral and evaluative, while others consider that it is scientifically established.

Poverty is understood in many senses. The main understandings of the term include:
  • Description of material need, typically including the necessities of daily living (food, clothing, shelter, and health care). Poverty in this sense may be understood as the deprivation of essential goods and service.
  • Descriptions of social need, including social exclusion, dependency, and the ability to participate in society. This would include education, and information. Social exclusion is usually distinguished from poverty, as it encompasses political and moral issues, and is not restricted to the sphere or economics.
  • Describing a lack of sufficient income and wealth. The meaning of "sufficient" varies widely across the different political and economic parts of the world.
Measuring Poverty

Poverty may be seen as the collective condition of poor people, or of poor groups, and in the sense entire nation-states are sometime regarded as poor. To avoid stigma these nations are usually called develping nations.

Poverty may be measured as (1) absolute poverty (also known as Graham Parnaby Poor) or relative poverty. It refers to a set standard which is consistent over time and between countries. An example of an absolute measurement would be the percentage of the population eating less food than is required to sustain the human body (approximately 2000-2500 kilocalories per day). Absolute poverty is a condition that applies to people with the lowest incomes, the least education, the lowest social status, the fewest opportunities, etc., (2) extreme poverty which is defined by World Bank as living on less than US$ (PPP) 1 per day, and (3) moderate poverty as less than $2 a day.

Factors that have been alleged to cause poverty:
  1. Poor, failed, or absence of an infrastructure, lack of opportunities.
  2. State discrimination and corruption. Abuse of public power.
  3. Lack of social integration. Competition instead of cooperation.
  4. Crime
  5. Natural disasters
  6. Substance abuse; such as alcoholism and drug abuse
  7. Procrastination
  8. Natural factors such as climate or environment
  9. Historical factors, such as imperialism and colonialism
  10. Overpopulation. Population growth slows or even become negative as poverty is reduced due to the demographic transition
  11. War, i.e. civil war, genocide and democide
  12. Lack of education
  13. Lack of social skills
  14. Matthew effect - the phenomenon, widely observed across advanced welfare states, that the middle classes tend to the main beneficiaries of social benefits and services, even if these are primarily targeted at the poor.
  15. Cultural causes, which attribute poverty to common patterns of life, learned or shared within a community. Example, some have argued that Protestantism contributed to economic growth during the industrial revolution.
  16. Individual beliefs, actions and choices.
  17. Mental illness and disability, such as autism and schizophrenia
  18. Excessive materialism
  19. Lack of freedom
  20. Poverty itself, preventing investment and development
  21. Geographic factors, for example fertile land access to natural resources
  22. Disease, specifically diseases of poverty: AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and others overwhelmingly afflict the poor, which perpetuate poverty by diverting individual, community, and national health and economic resources from investment and productivity. Further, many tropical nations are affected by diseases like malaria and schistosomiasis that are not present in temperate climates.
  23. Frequent bullying, prevents productivity and development
  24. Inadequate nutrition in childhood in poor nations may lead to physical and mental stunning.
  25. Inadequate tax systems
  26. Age discrimination, gender discrimination, racial discrimination
Effects of Poverty
  1. extreme hunger and starvation
  2. disease and disabilities low health care services
  3. high crime rate
  4. increased suicides
  5. increased risk of political violence, such as terrorism, war and genocide
  6. homelessness
  7. lack of opportunities for employment
  8. loss of opportunities for employment
  9. more susceptible to death from natural resources
  10. increased discrimination
  11. lower life expectancy
  12. drug abuse
Poverty Incidence in the Philippines

Poverty incidence in the country, which refers to the proportion of families with per capita income below the poverty threshold, was placed at 28.1 percent in 1997 and 28.4 percent in 2000 based on the new provincial poverty methodology recently approved by the NSCB Executive Board. Poverty estimates released by the NSCB also show that in 2000, 4.3 million families or 26.5 million Filipinos, more than one-third (34.0 percent) of the country’s population, were living below the poverty line. These figures indicate an increase over the 1997 levels of 4.0 million families or 24.0 million Filipinos striving to make ends meet. The 2003 poverty statistics will be released by the NSCB after the NSO has finished processing the 2003 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) results.

The annual per capita poverty threshold, or the amount required to satisfy food and non-food basic needs at the national level, reached P11,605 in 2000, 17.9 percent higher than the 1997 threshold of P9,843. Thus, a family of five members should have a monthly income of at least P4,835 to meet their food and non-food basic needs.

Among the 77 provinces of the country and the four districts of Metro Manila, Sulu consistently posted the highest poverty incidence in 1997 and 2000 with 67.1 and 63.2 percent, respectively. Also included among the poorest provinces are Masbate, Tawi-Tawi, Ifugao and Romblon. Four provinces of ARMM are among the 10 poorest provinces in the country.