MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals has ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Agham Party-list to implement the memorandum of agreement (MOA) designed for the protection of the Taal Lake in Batangas.
The appellate court issued the order via a continuing writ of mandamus, which is an important part of an earlier issued writ of kalikasan.
The mandamus, also being issued in an environmental case, is meant to direct any agency or government instrumentality to perform an act or series of acts, until a judgment is fully satisfied.
The appellate court, in its June 29 decision, said the terms and conditions of the MOA "are not contrary to law, public morals and public policy.”
The MOA provides for the strict issuance of clearances for projects in the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL).
Clearances should also be in accordance with the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act and the approved TVPL Management Plan.
Agham Party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones earlier filed for a writ of kalikasan, noting the degradation of Taal Lake.
He noted there were 76 migratory and many endemic species recorded in 1927 in the area, but this has dwindled over the past 50 years.
To date, only 15 migratory and 4 endemic species can be found there.
The number of Tawilis, one of the most popular species found there, has also drastically dropped, he said.
Taal Lake was struck recently by several incidents of fish kill.