CETD-SESAM conducts second EIA training for 2023

The Continuing Education and Training Division (CETD) of the School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) conducted its second Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) training last November 13 to 17, 2023 via online conferencing.

This short online course, in partnership with the Philippines Network of Educators on Environment (PNEE), was packed with 102 participants coming from the academe, National Government Agencies (NGAs), Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC), Local Government Units (LGUs), private organizations, and individual practitioners. The main objective of this training is to capacitate and update the participants by discussing the scientific basis and regulatory guidelines in conducting the EIA process. 

In his message, SESAM Dean Rico C. Ancog cited the importance of EIA and highlighted that there should be a continuing effort in enhancing EIA in terms of concepts, methods, and procedures. He said that and this training course provides a conversation platform to hear and learn from the participants. “At the end of the day, we want to make sure that there is a community of EIA practitioners who are not just simply aware of what EIA is but who are very much passionate on how EIA will be implemented very well in the country”, he added. 

In his inspirational message, Dr. Ramon M. Docto, PNEE President, stated the importance of EIA in every profession and institution which is “to protect and manage our environment is tantamount to the increasing interest to many of our professionals.”

Engr. Divina C. Camarao, Chief of EIA Section of the DENR-EMB provided an Introduction and Overview of PEISS and EIA: EIA as a Planning, Management, and Regulatory Tool, and the Laws, Policies and Institutional Arrangements for EIA System. Meanwhile, For. Riza C. Arjona, a Senior Environmental Management Specialist of the DENR-EMB discussed the Categories of EIA, EIA Process and Decision-Making. 

In the afternoon session of the first day, Dr. Eduardo C. Calzeta, Assistant Professor of SESAM, presented EIA in the Context of Sustainable Development and Carrying Capacity as Integrated in the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (PEISS).

Resource speakers from SESAM-UPLB lectured on Baseline Information and Data Collection. Dr. Decibel V. Faustino-Eslava, discussed the Biophysical (Geology, Soil, and Land Use) and Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation as Integrated in the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (PEISS); Dr. Loucel Cui lectured on Water Quality Analysis and Terrestrial Aquatic Ecosystems; Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez presented water resources quantification; and Dr. Badi R. Samaniego wrapped up day two imparting on Marine Ecosystems.

Dr. Pastor L. Malabrigo, Jr. of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources-UPLB tackled Biodiversity for Terrestrial Ecosystems, followed by Dr. Evaristo Niño T. Cando III who discussed the people component of the PEISS (Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA). In the afternoon session of day three, Baseline Information/Data Collection and Environmental Impact Assessment on Air and Climate was discussed by Dr. Alma Lorelei D. Abejero, followed by Dr. Ancog who gave a lecture on Environmental Economics.

On day four, Dr. Victor B. Molina, Professor of the College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila, discussed Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Dr. Marisa J. Sobremisana, SESAM Professor, shared information on Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) as Integrated in the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (PEISS). During the afternoon session, Dr. Calzeta presented Environmental Management Plan (EMP), Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMoP), Social Development Plan (SDP), and Preparation of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

On the final 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. 

A workshop followed on EIA case studies which was facilitated by For. Sofia A. Alaira, Dr. Thaddeus P. Lawas, Ms. Cherry S. Padilla, Ms. Jessa O. Aquino-Cando, Mr. Robert Patrick M. Cabangbang, and Dr. Alma Lorelei DJ. Abejero. The outputs were presented by the groups and critiqued by Dr. Lidasan. 

In the closing program, For. Alaira delivered a synthesis of the five-day event, while Dr. Rolando A. Alimen, PNEE Vice President, congratulated the participants who completed the training in his closing message. (TPLawas and JOAquino-Cando).