Latest Happenings at ELAC

At ELAC, we always have something new in the works. From ongoing programs/events designed to boost your success in righting things that have been wronged, to resources to help you understand your rights. Here are some of the things we’ve been up to most recently:


Filing of Case Against RA 11259


Environmental lawyer Gerthie Mayo-Anda (second from left) poses for a photo with residents of Palawan who filed a petition before the Supreme Court on June 16, 2019.

Save Palawan Network, Facebook



Lawyering for the environment: An unwavering stance to empower communities

Part 1 of a two-part feature on environmental lawyers in the Philippines.

Read Part 2 here.

MANILA, Philippines — In a plebiscite last month, residents of Palawan voted against ratifying a law to divide the country’s last ecological frontier into three smaller provinces. 

The “no” vote won in 19 out of 23 municipalities, with 172,304 people voting against the breakup. Campaigners said it was like David’s victory over Goliath. 

On one side were political families who have long pushed for the division.

On the other side was the Save Palawan Movement—composed of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and people’s organizations—advocating keeping Palawan as one province. Unlike the political elites, they had limited funds and no machinery.



This photo was taken on Sept. 18, 2020 when the Center for Environmental Concerns Philippines filed their petition against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 before the Supreme Court.

Center for Environmental Concerns Philippines Facebook page


When defenders of the environment and rights face threats themselves

Part 2 of a two-part feature.

Read Part 1 here.

MANILA, Philippines — Last February, weeks before the historic Palawan plebiscite vote, long-time environmental lawyer Gerthie Mayo-Anda found photos of her sporting devil horns and of her home with Ipil-Ipil trees made out to be a haunted house in social media posts.

Environmental defenders like her were among the loudest voices in campaigning for the “no” vote on the proposed Palawan split — and won — a move largely seen as a threat to the ecosystem of the country’s “last ecological frontier.”

But Mayo-Anda, founder of Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), acknowledged she is fortunate to only deal with maligning on social media, as other lawyers and environmental defenders experienced much worse for the profession and cause they chose.




 Gerthie Mayo-Anda 


Meet Atty. Grizelda “Gerthie” Mayo-Anda, the Executive Director of the Environmental Legal Assistance Center – ELAC. Gethie established ELAC in 1990 to empower communities and local stakeholders to protect our natural resources. Using the science of policy-making, she has advocated for and developed policies about Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), clean air management, coastal resource management, and many others.

USAID is working with women like Gerthie and other members of non-governmental organizations, civil society groups, and the private sector to enhance their skills and knowledge about science-based conservation tools to strengthen their participation in interagency groups dedicated to natural resource policy making and enforcement.

USAID Philippines 


RTI International
Center for Conservation Innovations
Forest Foundation Philippines
Resources, Environment, and Economics Center for Studies Inc. – REECS


Gerthie Mayo-Anda


Gerthie is perpetually on guard. An environmental lawyer and professor by trade, Grizelda “Gerthie” Mayo-Anda founded a small but mighty non-governmental organization thirty years ago, the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), to transform the traditional mindset of lawmaking in the Philippines. More than her profession, she feels responsible for protecting nature and those who rely on it. “Activism comes naturally to me,” she says. “And I take my commands from nature.”

Rare Nonprofit Organization



Green groups seek halt of DMCI’s coal-fired power generator project

A GROUP of petitioners asked a Palawan court to stop the planned construction of a coal-fired power plant by the power arm of DMCI Holdings, Inc.

Environmental groups and some community leaders in Narra town, which were assisted by the Environmental Legal Assistance Center, filed with the Regional Trial Court in Puerto Princesa on Tuesday a complaint against DMCI Power Corp. for its pipeline 15-megawatt (MW) power plant project.


Illegal Quarry in Coron, Palawan

A Challenge to DENR, PCSD, Provincial Government, and LGUs of Coron

These illegal quarry and reclamation projects are government projects. Why are the statements from the DENR, provincial government, PCSD and other government officials very limited to saying that these projects have no quarry permit, SEP clearance and ECC? Our environmental and other laws provide for penalties for these prohibited acts. We challenge the DENR, provincial government, municipal government and the PCSD to initiate the appropriate legal actions to stop these destructive activities and hold liable those responsible for these environmental law violations.


Hamon Sa Denr Elac Tv Patrol Palawan
Hamon Sa Denr Elac Tv Patrol Palawan




In Philippines’ Palawan, top cop linked to assault on environmental officer

“Incidents of this nature can weaken environmental enforcement efforts,” Grizelda Mayo-Anda, a lawyer and executive director of the Palawan-based nonprofit Environmental Legal Assistance Center, told Mongabay.


Senator Risa Hontiveros

Ipaglaban Ang Pinas: An Independence Day Online Rally

June 12th 2020 Philippines Independence Day! Hosted by Senator Risa Hontiveros


Palawan Philippines World Environmental Day Waste To Energy Incineration Is Not The Solution

World Environmental Day

Today is World Environmental Day and we say NO TO INCINERATION! NO TO THERMAL WASTE TO ENERGY!

Environmental advocates tag waste-to-energy (WtE) incineration as a false solution that will only exacerbate the garbage problem with the discharge of highly hazardous pollutants while destroying precious resources that could be reused and recycled. Instead of investing on costly WtE incineration technology, the environmentalists exhort the Puerto City Government to go for zero waste resource management that will protect, not endanger, public health and the environment.