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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Usefulness of the consultative processes.

Posted By: Chua Thia-Eng
Date: Friday, 30 July 1999, at 4:47 a.m.

In Response To: Local stakeholders' concerns versus business priorities. (Philippe MacClenahan)

Glad to have your comments on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) on waste management in the Batangas Bay Region.

The brief presentation did not provide the full background and activities of the wise practice. You are invited to browse our website (http://www.imo.org.ph) for further information on the PPP approach and a description of our management framework in Batangas.

To answer your question, the integrated management approach in Batangas Bay is guided by the concept of sustainable development. Therefore, close consultation and involvement of various stakeholders are required. A multi-sectoral interagency council has been established with representatives from all sectors including the NGOs and community leaders. Consensus building is what we are adopting. Public awareness is also an important vehicle, which we use to inform the public. In the case of waste management, communities are involved in waste recycling, etc. A contingent valuation survey was also conducted to seek the views of the community with respect to waste management and their willingness to pay for subsequent management services.

The project develops an integrated management framework and policy environment which favours partnerships with the private sector to address the mounting waste problems from hospitals, animal farms, ships and households. The project has been operational for 5 years already and thus it is not just a short ad hoc endeavour. There is a close working relationship with over 80 national and international companies which formed themselves into a Foundation and participate actively in the decision making process of the council. Under such institutional arrangements, we found the consultative process useful, effective and have avoided a number of conflicts, which most ad hoc and "top down" activities have caused. The private sector also participates in the pollution monitoring program set up by the project, which is now sustained by the local government. Our main focus is to improve the capacity of the local officials to plan and manage the environment.

The PPP approach enables the public and private sector to share costs, share risks and share benefits. In this case public interest, especially the community, is an integral part.

On the legal aspect, we have also succeeded in having the central government decentralise some of its power to the local government including involvement in EIA. In this way, the local government will be consulted and likewise be involved in any big scale industrial development approved by the central government.

I hope the above explanation clarifies your concerns.

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