146 participants joined SESAM’s 1st EIA training for 2024

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The School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) concluded its five-day training on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) held on May 6-10, 2024 via online conferencing. 

Offered by SESAM’s Continuing Education and Training Division (CETD), 146 participants representing various national and international sectors: Academe, National Government Agencies (NGAs), Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC), Local Government Units (LGUs), Private Organizations, and individual practitioners.

Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Dean of SESAM, thanked the all the participants and the Philippine Network of Educators on Environment (PNEE) for partnering again for this 8th short online course on EIA. “EIA is very important for the country’s development while protecting the environment,” Dr. Ancog said. Meanwhile, Dr. Cecilia S. Navasero-Gascon, President of PNEE, also graced the occasion through her inspirational message.

The speakers during the first day of the event were from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau, Engr. Divina C. Camarao (OIC Chief, Clearance and Permitting Division) and For. Riza C. Arjona (Senior Environmental Management Specialist); and Dr. Alma Lorelei DJ. Abejero, a University Researcher of SESAM. 

During the second day, SESAM Faculty members starting with Dr. Eduardo C. Calzeta gave a lecture on EIA in the context of sustainable development and carrying capacity as integrated in the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (PEISS); followed by Dr. Loucel Cui on water quality analysis and terrestrial aquatic ecosystems; and Dr. Badi R. Samaniego on marine ecosystems. Prof. Antonio Gabino P. Sobremisana, from the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology gave a discussion on water resources quantification.

Dr. Pastor L. Malabrigo, Jr. of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources tackled biodiversity for terrestrial ecosystems in the third day; followed by Prof. Eduardo F. Roquiño who discussed environmental economics. Meanwhile, Dr. Decibel V. Faustino-Eslava, Professor and former SESAM dean, discussed the geophysical (geology, soil, and land use) and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation as integrated PEISS; while a lecture on health impact assessment (HIA) was delivered by Dr. Victorio B. Molina, Professor on environmental and occupational health, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila.

The lecturers on the fourth day were Dr. Evaristo Niño T. Cando III, who discussed the people component of the PEISS and Social Impact Assessment; Dr. Marisa J. Sobremisana lectured on on environmental risk assessment; Dr. Calzeta also returned to lecture on Environmental Management Plan (EMP), Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMoP), Social Development Plan (SDP), and Preparation of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 

In the last day, Dr. Hussein S. Lidasan, Professor and Former Dean at the School of Urban and Regional Planning in UP Diliman and a member of the EIA Review Committee of the Environmental Management Bureau, presented the Review of EIA Quality and Decision-Making. Dr. Lidasan also critiqued the presentations of the participants after the workshop.

During the testimonial, one of the participants, Ms. Jovencia Ganub of the Bohol provincial government, said that she is honored to be part of the 8th batch of the EIA training. “I was so excited because I haven’t had any formal training and I consider it a great opportunity, as the days of training went on, I realized that the entire EIA process is no joke, its components are so huge, complex and interrelated. You can’t negotiate, no shortcuts,” she added. Another participant, Ms. Kay Olivas of the Department of Agriculture Region II, said CETD-SESAM had a great training management. “I learned the different components of an EIA– air, land, water, biodiversity and of course the HIA,” she stressed.

In the closing program, For. Sofia A. Alaira delivered the training synthesis and Dr. Angela Grace Toledo-Bruno, Vice President of PNEE, gave the parting message for this event. This short online course on EIA, delivered via Zoom, was organized by CETD-SESAM, headed by For. Alaira with members: Dr. Thaddeus P. Lawas, Ms. Cherry S. Padilla, En.P. Jessa O. Aquino-Cando, and Mr. Robert Patrick M. Cabangbang, and PNEE Secretariat, Ms. Evangeline L. Alcantara. (TPLawas and JOAquino-Cando)

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