COTABATO CITY—Forty seven (47) Pollution Control Officers from different stakeholder entities in the BARMM get trained on the salient features of existing Philippine environmental laws and regulations to expand their expertise and knowledge on the subject and ensure a clean and healthy environment in their respective areas of practice.

The week-long capacity development activity on 6-10 June 2022 was organized by the Environment Management Services (EMS) of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) – BARMM, in collaboration with Al-Khalifa Environmental Consultancy Services, to lead and guide the PCO participants during their 1st Basic Pollution Control Officer Training Course, which focused on the implementation of environmental laws such as the Presidential Decree 1586 (Environmental Impact Statement System), Republic Acts 9275 (Clean Water Act), 8749 (Clean Air Act), and 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act).

“It is important to stress that while cities continuously undergo urban development, we must not forget to ensure that our environment remains protected and preserved,” MENRE Minister Akmad A. Brahim said.

“As responsible members of this community, as committed stewards of environment, we must continue providing policy framework to support the reduction of pollutants and assure sustainable development,” he added.

EMS key officials, led by their Director Jalani M. Pamlian, successfully executed the one-week capdev and served as resource speakers on various environmental topics. Bangsamoro Director General Atty Badr E. Salendab was also present to express his support for the activity as he delivered his words of wisdom and hope to the aspiring accredited PCOs.

“We are grateful for all your presence during this entire course as we take another step towards a more protected Bangsamoro environment. It is vital that we establish our partnership with you as altogether, we will create a greener and cleaner environment,” said Director Pamlian.

One of the basic qualification requirements for PCO accreditation includes a completed basic PCO Training Course by the EMB, or EMS for BARMM, or any EMB/EMS-recognized training institution.

Pursuant to DENR Administrative Order No. 2014-02 (citing Letter of Instructions No. 588), all entities discharging or emitting pollutants are required to designate a Pollution Control Officer (PCO) who shall be a technical person knowledgeable in pollution control or environmental protection.