This Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) prescribe the procedures and guidelines for the operationalization of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) executed by and between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) which was signed by both parties on 25 August 1999. All concerned offices of the DENR and PEZA shall be guided by this IRR, and abide by the following:

Rule 1. Delineation of Applicability

Section 1. SCOPE

This IRR shall apply to all applications for Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), compliance monitoring of ECC conditions and related DENR permits / clearances required of prospective and existing PEZA Proponents.

Rule 2. Basic Policy and Objectives


The basic policy governing the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the DENR and PEZA and the formulation of this IRR is to ensure an integrated and simplified implementation of environmental laws, rules and regulations, resource conservation, compliance monitoring and development controls within the ecozones that are subject to the supervision of PEZA.


A. To streamline the processing of ECC applications and to facilitate issuance of the ECC for non-ECP projects within the PEZA ecozones;

B. To coordinate the conduct of monitoring activities on the Proponents’ compliance with ECC conditions and other pertinent DENR Rules and Regulations.

C. To encourage prospective industries to locate in geographic areas which are environmentally and socially suitable to their activities for easier environmental management and promote the adoption of the DENR’s Programmatic Compliance Policy; and

D. To strengthen PEZA’s capability in environmental management of ecozones.

Rule 3. Definition of Terms

Whenever any of the following words and terms are used herein, they shall have the meaning ascribed in this section:

A. Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) – the document issued by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to Proponents whose activities are not covered by the Philippine EIS System.

B. Co-located Projects – projects, or series of similar projects or projects subdivided to several phases and / or stages by the same proponent, located in contiguous areas.

C. Compliance Monitoring – activities, usually inspection, sampling, or other means of evaluation, designed to gauge the level of compliance with conditions stipulated in the ECC and permits issued by other environmental statutory authorities.

D. Ecozones or Special Economic Zones – selected areas with highly developed or which have the potential to be developed into agro-industrial, industrial, tourist, recreational, commercial, banking, investment and financial centers, the boundaries of which are fixed or delimited by Presidential Proclamations. An Ecozone may contain any or all of the following: industrial estates (IEs), export processing zones (EPZs), free trade zones and tourist / recreational centers.

E. Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) – the document issued by the DENR Secretary or the EMB Regional Director certifying that based on the representations of the proponent and the preparers, as reviewed and validated by the EIARC, the proposed project or undertaking will not cause a significant negative environmental impact; that the proponent has complied with all the requirements of the EIS System and that the proponent is committed to implement its approved Environmental Management Plan in the Environmental Impact Statement or mitigation measures in the Initial Environmental Examination.

F. Environmentally Critical Project (ECP) - a project that has high potential for significant negative environmental impact and is listed as such under Pres. Proc. No. 2146, Series of 1981 and Proc. No. 803, Series of 1996, as well as other projects which the President may proclaim as environmentally critical in accordance with Section 4 of P.D. 1586.

G. Environmental Impacts – the probable effects or consequences of proposed projects or undertakings on the physical, biological and socio-economic environment that can be direct or indirect, cumulative and positive or negative.

H. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – the process of predicting the likely environmental consequences of implementing project or program activities and determination of applicable mitigating measures.

I. Environmental Impact Statement / Study (EIS) – the documentation of studies on the environmental impacts of a project or program including the discussions on direct and indirect consequences upon human welfare and ecological and environmental integrity. The EIS may vary in its specific application to differing projects and programs, but shall contain in every case all the relevant information and details about the project to enable the DENR and other concerned parties to make judicious decisions regarding the carrying capacity of certain areas and systems to support projects or programs.

J. Environmental Impact Statement Programmatic Compliance (EISPC) – the entire EIS system as it applies to programmatic compliance.

K. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System – the entire process of organization, administration and procedure institutionalized for the purpose of assessing the significance of the effects of physical developments on the quality of the environment.

L. Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) – the bureau under the DENR which implements the EIA System.

M. Environmental Management Plan / Program (EMP) – a section in the EIS that details the prevention, mitigation, compensation, contingency and monitoring measures to enhance positive impacts and minimize negative impacts of a proposed project or undertaking. For operating projects the EMP can also be derived from an EMS.

N. Environmental Management Systems (EMS) – the part of the overall management systems of a project or an organization that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing achieving, reviewing and maintaining improved overall environmental performance.

O. Environmental Monitoring Fund (EMF) – a fund that a proponent shall set-up after an ECC is issued for its project or undertaking, to be used to support the activities of the multi-partite monitoring team. It shall be immediately accessible and easily disbursable.

P. Environmental Performance – adherence to sound operating practices which effectively prevent or minimize impacts to environment resulting to, among others, compliance (and beyond compliance) to environmental standards.

Q. Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) – documentation of the actual cumulative environmental impacts and effectiveness of current measures for single projects that are operating without ECCs.

R. Expansion of Ecozones – increase land area (contiguous) for development, which may involve improvement and / or establishment of additional roads and bridges, drainage systems, utilities (power, water supply, wastewater treatment plant and other facilities).

S. Expansion of Locators – involves increase in production capacity with or without process change, installation of additional utilities, and increase in land area (contiguous) for construction of additional facilities.

T. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) – are essentially computerized graphical overlays and interacting data files. If environmental features are "mapped" systematically, information acquired on specific projects can be combined, and the GIS database becomes more detailed over time.

U. Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) – the document required of proponents describing the environmental impact of, and mitigation and enhancement measures for, non critical projects or undertakings located in an ECA. The IEE replaces the Project Description required under DAO 21, series of 1992.

V. Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) Checklist – a short and simplified checklist version of an IEE Report, prescribed by the DENR, to be filled up by proponents to describe the project's environmental impact and corresponding mitigation and enhancement measures for non critical projects located in an ECA. The DENR prescribes appropriate corresponding IEE Checklists for different projects with minimal and manageable impacts.

W. Locator Firm – an industrial facility that locates or is sited within the geographic boundaries of an economic zone.

X. Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT) – a multi-sectoral team convened for the primary purpose of monitoring compliance by the proponent with the ECC, the EMP and applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Y. Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) – created under Republic Act. No. 7916 otherwise known as the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995. PEZA manages or supervises the operation of ecozones throughout the country. It is also responsible for the grant of fiscal incentives available under the Act to investors locating inside ecozones as well as to developers / operators of these ecozones.

Z. Program – activities and actions of an undertaking consisting of a series of similar projects or enterprises, or a project subdivided into several phases and/or stages of determinable duration; whether situated in a contiguous area or geographically dispersed, which may have significant impact on the environment.

AA. Programmatic Compliance – refers to activities undertaken by a proponent to comply with the policies and procedures established by DENR Administrative Order 2000-05 to secure an ECC for its co-located projects or program.

BB. Programmatic Environmental Compliance Certificate – the document issued by the Secretary of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources or his duly authorized representative certifying that the proposed co-located projects or program under consideration will not bring about unacceptable environmental impacts and that the proponent has complied with the requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System.

CC. Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement – a documentation of comprehensive studies on environmental baseline conditions of a contiguous area. It also includes an assessment of the carrying capacity of the area to absorb impacts from co-located projects such as those in industrial estates or economic zones (ecozones).

DD. Programmatic Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (PEPRMP) – documentation of actual cumulative environmental impacts of co-located projects with proposals for expansion. The PEPRMP should also describe the effectiveness of current environmental mitigation measures and plans for performance improvement.

EE. Project – refers to activities and actions of an undertaking regardless of scale or magnitude, which may have significant impact on the environment.

FF. Proponent – PEZA Ecozone developers and locator firms.

Rule 4. Institutional Arrangements

Section 1. DENR

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Division of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Central and Regional Offices shall be the lead implementing units in carrying out the roles and obligations of the DENR as stipulated in the MOA.

Section 2. PEZA

A. The PEZA Environmental Safety Group (ESG) at the PEZA Central Office with Sub-Units in public ecozones shall lead the implementation of the roles and obligations of PEZA in this MOA.

B. PEZA shall assist the proponent on the substantive as well as the procedural requirements of the EIS System as prescribed in this IRR.

Rule 5. EIS System Rules and Regulations for Special Economic Zones


A. Responsibility of Processing Application for ECC and ECC Amendment

The DENR has the sole responsibility of processing ECC applications of ECPs following the existing EIS system rules and regulations. PEZA shall assist DENR in the processing of ECC applications of projects not classified as single project ECPs , either for the issuance of a new ECC or simply for the amendment of the existing ECC [refer to attached Flowchart for ECC Application of PEZA Proponents (with corresponding explanation) - Annex 1].
The following provisions shall apply only to projects within the scope of the EIS System but are not classified as single project ECPs. All projects classified as ECP shall follow the existing rules and regulations for the processing of ECCs.

B. DENR Requirements and Processing Timeframes

With the assistance of the PEZA-ESG in the screening of documentary requirements for the processing of applications for ECC and ECC amendment, EMB shall be assured of the completeness of such documents when the application is submitted to the EMB. As such, streamlined processing timeframes shall be adopted for PEZA projects within the scope of the EIS System that are not classified as single project ECPs. The details of the requirements and processing timeframe for different project categories are specified in Annex 2.

C. Projects not Covered by the EIS System

Projects which are classified as not covered under existing DENR Rules and Regulations may proceed with project implementation without CNC. The EMB-DENR, however, may require such projects or undertakings to provide additional environmental safeguards as it may deem necessary.


A. Site Inspections
– The PEZA - ESG shall conduct annual inspections, follow-up inspections, incident investigations and other types of inspections that may be required in monitoring the Proponents’ compliance with environmental rules and regulations. In the implementation of such activities, the DENR may assign inspectors to jointly undertake the said inspections with PEZA. When the DENR is unable to assign its own inspectors, it may do either of the following:

1. adopt the report of the PEZA-ESG inspectors; or
2. schedule a separate inspection, subject to the provision of the succeeding section.

B. DENR On-the-Spot Inspections – The PEZA-ESG, shall assign personnel to facilitate the entry of DENR inspectors inside the ecozone for purposes of, but not limited, to scoping, risk assessment and monitoring of proponent’s premises. The PEZA-ESG shall be provided copies of the results of such inspections, simultaneously with submission of findings to the PEZA developer / locator inspected.

C. Multipartite Monitoring Team - The PEZA shall automatically be part of the Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT) of all PEZA-registered projects/ undertakings.

D. Issuance of Notices of Violation – The DENR shall simultaneously furnish PEZA ESG and the proponents with copies of Notice of Violation and Order/Directive for imposition of fines issued to the latter for having violated applicable environmental laws, rules and regulations.

Rule 6. Support Mechanisms


A. The DENR, through the EMB, shall provide PEZA through its ESG with updated copies of all existing laws, rules, regulations, guidelines, programs, policies, references, journals, and publications.

B. The PEZA-ESG shall compile database from the DENR including data from PEZA Environmental Sub-Units at the Public Ecozone and make available these materials for the use and access of all PEZA operating units and the DENR.

C. The DENR-EMB shall assist PEZA in developing a directory or network of local, national and foreign / international environmental organizations and agencies, which may directly or indirectly, contribute to the effective implementation of PEZA’s role in environmental protection.

D. PEZA and DENR shall endeavor to establish Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in PEZA-declared ecozones which shall be the basis for ecozone ecological profiling.

E. PEZA shall continuously update the list of its locator enterprises and economic zones posted in the website, or for the purpose of this agreement, make available an annual register of new proponents for the reference of EMB.

Section 2. TRAINING

A. The DENR-EMB shall assist in the training of PEZA staff on, but not limited to, the following concerns:

1. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) scoping process;
2. EIS document completeness evaluation and verification;
3. Pre-screening and initial evaluation of EIS documents;
4. EIA technical review; and
5. ECC conditions compliance monitoring.

The conduct of adequate orientation / training for concerned personnel from PEZA and EMB Central and Regional Offices shall be undertaken immediately after this IRR takes effect.

B. The PEZA shall provide budgetary allocation for the in-house training of PEZA staff, whenever necessary.


EMB shall assist PEZA in drafting supplemental guidelines such as, but not limited to, IEE Checklist Report Formats for specific industry types within the PEZA’s Economic Zones and specific guidelines for the establishment of Environmental Monitoring Fund (EMF), Environmental Guarantee Fund (EGF) and Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT) for the improvement and uniformity of the procedures on the processing of ECC applications and compliance monitoring.

Rule 7. Effectivity

Section 1. This implementing rules and regulations shall take effect immediately after conformance of both parties.

Section 2. Amendments to these Rules may be effected only upon mutual consent by both parties.


        LILIA B. DE LIMA                                                    ELISEA G. GOZUN
     PEZA Director General                                                   DENR Secretary



      WILHELM G. ORTALIZ                                               ROLANDO L. METIN
PEZA Deputy Director General for                          DENR Undersecretary for Management
         Policy and Planning                                               and Technical Services

      MARY HARRIET O. ABORDO                                         JULIAN D. AMADOR
    PEZA Deputy Director General                                             EMB Director
              for Operations