Duterte removes power to approve reclamation from NEDA

President Rodrigo Duterte, through Executive Order No. 74 signed February 1, 2019, has transferred the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) under the supervision of the Office of the President (OP) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Moreover, the EO also delegated the power of the President to approve all reclamation projects from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to the PRA Governing Board.

“It is the policy of the the State to increase competitiveness, promote ease of doing business, and rationalize and streamline functions of agencies to facilitate efficient delivery of government services,” President Duterte said in the EO.

“There is a need to rationalize the approval process for reclamation projects towards an economically and environmentally sustainable resource development,” he added.

“The PRA shall be under the control and supervision of the OP, while the power of the President to approve all reclamation projects, shall be delegated to the PRA Governing Board,” President Duterte said in the order.

“Such delegation, however, shall not be construed as diminishing the President’s authority to modify, amend, or nulify the action of the PRA Governing Board,” he added.

The EO also mandated PRA to seek advisory opinions from: NEDA for consistency of project with national and regional development planning and programming and established national priorities; DENR for environmental sustainability of the project and compliance with environmental laws, rules, and regulations; and DOF for economic and fiscal viability of the project based on feasibility study submitted by proponent.