The Philippine Environment Code (1988) provides the foundation for all measures dealing with the Philippine's natural environment, encompassing the management of air quality, water, land use, natural resources and waste. The Code, being a framework instrument, provides a chapter on fisheries and aquatic resources and requires the government to establish a system of rational exploitation thereof. The Philippine Fisheries Code (1998) provides for the development, management, conservation and utilization of fisheries and aquatic resources. The Code integrates all laws that are relevant to these issues. Chapter II, Article III (Sections 45-57) of the Code deals with aquaculture. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (1998) provide the procedures and guidelines for the implementation of the Code. The Code is further implemented by numerous Fisheries Administrative Orders (FAOs) on various specific subjects.
The Fisheries Code falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture. Within the Department, the Undersecretary for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is responsible for setting policies and formulating standards and for exercising overall supervision. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources (BFAR) is the agency tasked with the management and development of fisheries and aquatic resources. The Code also creates a National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), which serves as the primary research arm of BFAR. The functions of BFAR are broadly defined and include - inter alia - the preparation and implementation of the National Fisheries Industry Development Plan, the enforcement of laws and regulations (except in municipal waters) and the monitoring and regulation of import and export of fishery and aquaculture products and of fish processing establishments.
The Fisheries Code also provides for the establishment of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (FARMCs) at various levels: national (NFARMC), municipal or city (M/CFARMC), and bays, gulfs, lakes, rivers and dams bounded by two or more municipalities or cities to be known as Integrated FARMC (IFARMC). The NFARMC serves as an advisory/recommendatory body to the Department of Agriculture in policy formulation and the preparation of the National Fisheries Industry Development Plan. The M/CFARMCs assist in the preparation of Municipal Fishery Development Plans and the enforcement of laws and regulations in concerned municipal waters, among other things. The IFARMC has a similar role to the M/CFARMC except that its reach covers more than just one municipality. Fisheries Administrative Order No 196 (2000) provides detailed guidelines on the creation and implementation of FARMCs.
Another basic act that is relevant to aquaculture is the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (1997), which prescribes the measures to modernize the agriculture and fisheries sectors in order to enhance their profitability. Whereas the Fisheries Code prioritizes the management, conservation and protection of fisheries and aquatic resources, the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act places priority on increase in production and encourages a rapid shift towards industrialization. The National Agriculture and Fisheries Council (NAFC) assists the Department of Agriculture in the monitoring and coordination of the agriculture and fisheries modernization process.
Finally, the Reorganization Act of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) (1987) establishes the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), encompassing the former National Environmental Protection Council, the former National Pollution Control Commission and the former Environmental Center of the Philippines. It also establishes a Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. It should be noted that the Fisheries Code contains a number of provisions in which the jurisdictions of BFAR and EMB intersect. Such intersections are express, such as the classification of rare, threatened or endangered species of aquatic flora and fauna or the classification of fishery areas, or implied, such as the formulation of an integrated coastal management framework and the setting, monitoring and evaluation of water quality standards.
Beyond municipal waters, fish pens and fish cages should be constructed and operated within fish pen and fish cage belts designated by BFAR and after corresponding licenses therefore have been issued by BFAR and fees have been paid. In addition, special committees or authorities having control and supervision over specific water bodies that are regulated by specific laws, for instance Taal Lake, have the power to issue licenses for aquaculture operations in those water bodies. The National Irrigation Authority, by virtue of its own charter, issues licenses for the Maga Dam.
BFAR also has the responsibility of granting so called Fishpond Lease Agreements (FLAs) for public lands, primarily to fisher folk cooperatives/associations. Generally, public lands "such as tidal swamps, mangroves, marshes, foreshore lands and ponds suitable for fishery purposes" are under the jurisdiction of DENR. The latter may declare public lands as alienable and disposable for fishpond purposes and release them to the jurisdiction of BFAR. The Fisheries Code expressly prohibits the conversion of mangroves into fishponds, thus effectively limiting the fishpond area to areas that have already been developed. DENR, in coordination with BFAR, LGUs, other concerned agencies and FARMCs, has the task to determine which abandoned, undeveloped or underutilized fishponds covered by FLAs can be reverted to their original mangrove state and after having made such determination must take all steps necessary to restore such areas in their original mangrove state.
The conditions governing the lease of public lands for fishpond development are stated in the Fisheries Code and are further specified and detailed in Fisheries Administrative Order No 167 (2000) . According to the Fisheries Code, fishpond leases are subject to the following conditions:
All fish hatcheries, fish breeding facilities and private fishponds must be registered with the LGUs, which should prescribe minimum standards for such facilities in consultation with BFAR. In addition, BFAR conducts a yearly inventory of all fishponds, fish pens and fish cages, whether in private or public land. Moreover, all fishpond, fish pen and fish cage operators must annually report to BFAR about the type of species and the volume of production in the areas devoted to aquaculture. Fisheries Administrative Order 218 (2001) contains more specific and detailed rules on the annual report.
Finally, also relevant to aquaculture is the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (2001) , which seeks - inter alia - to conserve and protect wildlife species and their habitats and to regulate the collection and trade of wildlife. The Act defines "wildlife" for this purpose as wild forms of flora and fauna, in all developmental stages, including those which are in captivity or are being bred or propagated. In particular, the Act encourages the "conservation breeding or propagation of threatened species" in order to enhance its population in its natural habitat. The Act establishes that the breeding or propagation of wildlife for commercial purposes may be allowed by the Secretary of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, or any authorized representative, upon the issuance of a wildlife farm culture permit, which may be issued for 3 to 5 years. However, only progenies of wildlife raised, as well as unproductive parent stock, may be utilized for trade. In addition, commercial breeding operations for wildlife, whenever appropriate, should be subject to an EIA study (see below).
The Water Code of the Philippines (1976) governs the ownership, appropriation, utilization, exploitation, development, conservation and protection of water resources and the rights to land related thereto. According to the Act, water may be appropriated for the purpose of - inter alia - fisheries, which is further described as "the utilization of water for the propagation and culture of fish as a commercial enterprise". The appropriation of water requires a water permit, to be issued by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB). The permit may be subject to conditions of beneficial use, adequate standards of design and construction and other terms and conditions as may be imposed by the NWRB. The permit should specify the maximum amount of water that may be diverted or withdrawn, the points of diversion, the purpose for which the water may be used etc. Every appropriator of water should maintain water control and measuring devices, and keep records of the water withdrawal. The Water Code also lists the circumstances under which the water permit may be suspended, revoked, modified or cancelled.
Also relevant to aquaculture is the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (1992) , which governs, classifies and administers protected areas, i.e. outstanding remarkable areas and biologically important public lands that are habitats of rare and endangered species of plants and animals, biographic zones and related ecosystems, whether terrestrial, wetland or marine. The Act, which places the NIPAS under the control and administration of DENR, requires proposals for activities that fall outside the scope of the management plan for such protected areas to be subject to an environmental impact assessment (see below).
The EIS-procedure is further regulated in Administrative Order No 42 (2002) , giving authority to the Director and Regional Directors of the EMB to grant or deny the issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC), and the Implementing Rules and Regulations (2003). Generally, the EIS should at least contain the following information:
Although DENR has a clear mandate where it concerns water pollution, also the Fisheries Code provides for an - absolute - prohibition of aquatic pollution. Aquatic pollution is broadly defined and includes - for example - deforestation and unsound agricultural practices such as the use of banned chemicals, the excessive use of chemicals, the intensive use of artificial fish feed as well as wetland conversion. Typically, this is an area where, as mentioned above, the jurisdictions of BFAR and DENR intersect.
Finally, the Marine Pollution Decree (1976) aims to prevent and control the pollution of marine waters through the dumping of wastes and other matters that create hazards to human health and harm living resources and marine life.
There are two sections within BFAR that have responsibility over the movement of live aquatic animals, i.e. the Fish Health Section (see below) and the Foreign Trade and Miscellaneous Permit Section under the Fisheries Regulatory and Quarantine Division. Fisheries Administrative Order No 207 (2001) specifically regulates and prohibits the import and culture of imported live shrimp and prawn of all stages. Fisheries Administrative Order No 221 (2003) specifically regulates the import of live fish and fishery/aquatic products, aquatic micro-organisms, biomolecules (including GMOs) and endangered species.
The Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act provides that wildlife species may be exported to or imported from another country upon the authorization of the Secretary of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, or any authorized representative. No exotic species may be introduced into the country, unless approval has been obtained of the Secretary. In no case are exotic species allowed to be introduced in protected areas covered by the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act. The Act also regulates the prospecting of biological and genetic resources. New rules on bio-prospecting have been formulated and will soon be issued. The National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) - inter alia - formulates national policies and guidelines on biosafety and identifies and evaluates potential hazards involved in initiating genetic manipulation experiments or the introduction of exotic species and genetically modified organisms. The NCBP has issued the Philippine Biosafety Guidelines (PBG) and Guidelines for Planned Release of Genetically Manipulated Organisms (GMOs) and Potentially Harmful Exotic Species (PHES).
The Fish Health Section operates the Central Fish Health Laboratory which is the competent authority of the Philippines, having the responsibility and competence for ensuring or supervising the implementation of the aquatic animal health measures recommended by OIE and EC Directive 2003/858/EC. It develops standardized routine procedures and guidelines for the operation of 15 Regional Fish Health Laboratories and supervises the activities of and sets directions for the operation of such laboratories. According to Fisheries Administrative Order No 220 (2001) , the functions of the fish health laboratories are to:
In addition, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), falling under the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture, through its Animal Feeds Standard Division (AFSD), generally formulates regulations on animal feeds and chemicals intended for animals. The AFSD evaluates, registers, and licenses establishments that engage in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of veterinary products, including those used for aquaculture. It inspects and examines veterinary drugs, and adopts and uses existing standards and requirements of the Department of Health for licensing and registration. Reportedly, AFSD currently requires commercial prawn feed manufacturers to completely label their feed bags and containers. Such labels should contain, among other things, feed ingredients, including drugs or drug ingredients for disease prevention, percentage of drug, directions for use, warning against use under conditions dangerous to the health of livestock and man, and withdrawal period.
The Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, issues guidelines, rules, and regulations about commercial fertilizers, soil conditioners, microbial inoculants, and fertilizer raw materials prior to their distribution and sale. The FPA also registers pesticides and subsequently classifies these for general use, for restricted use, or as banned pesticides. Manufacturers, distributors, and importers are also required to secure a license from the FPA. The FPA also monitors all areas of pesticide use, including effects on the environment, pesticide residues in food, pesticide handling and use, poisoning cases, product quality, and sale and distribution. The FPA coordinates with the DENR on environmental issues regarding the use of pesticides.
Various Fisheries Administrative Orders have been developed containing specific and detailed requirements. Fisheries Administrative Order No 195 (1999) contains rules and regulations governing the import of fresh/chilled/frozen fish and fishery/aquatic products. Fisheries Administrative Order No 209 (2001) contains a guideline on the production, harvesting, handling and transportation of shellfish for implementation by local governments. Fisheries Administrative Order No 210 (2001) contains rules and regulations on the export of fresh/chilled/frozen fish and fishery/aquatic products. Fisheries Administrative Order No 211 (2001) contains requirements for pre-processing and processing plants, standard sanitation operating procedures, as well as processing and quality requirements for shellfish. Finally, Fisheries Administrative Order No 212 (2001) contains a guideline on the implementation of the HACCP system.
The Foreign Investment Act (1991) sets into place the procedures for the registration and grant of incentives to foreign investors. The Foreign Investment List covers all the investment areas/activities that may be opened to foreign investors and/or that may be reserved for nationals. Up to 40 percent foreign ownership is allowed for - inter alia - the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources. More information on investment in the Philippines can be obtained from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Insurance for aquaculture crops/stocks
Fisheries Administrative Order No 215 (2001) governs the implementation of an insurance program for unharvested crops/stocks in fishponds, fish cages and fish pens, including seaweed farms and other aquaculture projects.
Fisheries Administrative Order No 195 (1999).
Fisheries Administrative Order No 196 (2000)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 197 (2000)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 207 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 209 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 210 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 211 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 212 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 214 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 215 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 216 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 217 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 218 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 220 (2001)
Fisheries Administrative Order No 221 (2003)
Arthur, J.R., Lavilla-Pitogo, C.R. and Subasinghe, R.P. (eds). Use of Chemicals in Aquaculture in Asia. Proceedings of the Meeting on the Use of Chemicals in Aquaculture in Asia. Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines, 20 – 22 May 1996 (
Howarth, W., Hernandez, A.R. & Van Houtte, A. (2001). Legislation Governing Shrimp Aquaculture: Legal Issues, National Experiences and Options. FAO Legal Paper Online No. 18
Van Houtte, A. Salient legal and institutional features with regard to the development of shrimp culture in a few countries. In: FAO. 1999. Papers presented at the Bangkok FAO Technical Consultation on Policies for Sustainable Shrimp Culture. Bangkok, Thailand, 8-11 December 1997. FAO Fisheries Report No. 572 (Supplement).