[From the web] KANLUNGAN: Justice for migrant workers! STOP WAGE THEFT!!!
KANLUNGAN:Justice for migrant workers! STOP WAGE THEFT!!!Read more
KANLUNGAN:Justice for migrant workers! STOP WAGE THEFT!!!Read more
Labor and Environmental Groups Demand Listing of Chrysotile Asbestos in Rotterdam Convention
As the 2023 meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions get underway in Geneva, Switzerland, Filipino groups championing labor and chemical safety rights appealed to governments to include chrysotile asbestos among the hazardous chemicals that can only be traded with prior informed consent (PIC) of the importing country.
In a joint press release, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and the EcoWaste Coalition urged the few countries blocking the listing of chrysotile asbestos under Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention to join the majority of countries seeking global consensus to control the international trade in chrysotile asbestos.Read more
BAN Toxics calls for the protection of workers from hazardous chemicals in time for Labor Day
Environmental justice group BAN Toxics highlights workers’ occupational exposure to toxic chemicals and calls for the protection and advancement of the people’s right to chemical safety as the world celebrates International Labor Day.
As the production and use of chemicals increase yearly, the impacts of hazardous chemicals on workers especially in low- and middle-income countries is a growing concern as the risks of significant health effects increase.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), over a billion workers globally are exposed to hazardous substances in the world of work, with an estimated of almost one million workers losing their lives each year. Health effects include cardiovascular disease, cancers, and respiratory diseases among others.Read more
EcoWaste Coalition Appeals to Government of Pakistan to Stop Export of Banned Cosmetics with Mercury
(Published on 16 February 2023 by EcoWaste Coalition)
In its latest bid to stop the proliferation of banned mercury-added cosmetics in the local market, including e-commerce sites, the toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has sought the help of the Government of Pakistan.
Through a letter sent today via e-mail, the group requested the Government of Pakistan to help solve a public health problem involving the unlawful export to the Philippines of 17 “made in Pakistan” beauty creams with high levels of mercury in violation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The letter was addressed to Federal Minister Sherry Rehman of the Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC) and Mr. Syed Mujtaba Hussain, the country’s National Focal Point for the Minamata Convention on Mercury,
The mercury treaty, which includes Pakistan and the Philippines among the state parties, has set a phase-out date for cosmetics such as skin lightening products with mercury content above one ppm. The treaty stipulated 2020 as the date after which the manufacture, import or export of such mercury-added cosmetics shall not be allowed.Read more
𝐀𝐓𝐌 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐃𝐄𝐍𝐑’𝐬 𝐂𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐎𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐀𝐏𝐌𝐂
(Published February 7 at ATM Social Media Accounts)
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) lauded the Sibuyan residents today for their victory over the illegal operations of Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) after the DENR issued a Cease and Desist Order preventing the mining firm from the construction and operation of its causeway and stopping its transportation of nickel ore.
“The DENR Order suspending the current operations of APMC is a clear victory for the people of Sibuyan. Without the firm resistance of the Sibuyan residents and environmental defenders, we doubt if the DENR will lift a finger on the violations of the APMC,” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of ATM. “However, the struggle of the Sibuyanons is far from over as they are strongly demanding the revocation of APMC’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA),”Read more
This is an excerpt from the article “Rose” by Jan Joy Louise Crismo, published in the The Voice, December 2019 issue (an AFAD publication). Rose is the sister of the Acebedo Brothers who were forcibly disappeared during the dark times of Philippine Martial Law of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos (1972-1981).
“Rose is the third and only girl among the four Acebedo siblings. She used to be an organizer in the anti-martial law movement along with her older brothers, Roy and Nolito, and their youngest brother, Boyet.”Read more
ICYMI: 𝗦𝗶𝗯𝘂𝘆𝗮𝗻𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗼𝗻 𝗗𝗘𝗡𝗥 𝘁𝗼 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲 𝗰𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝗣𝗠𝗖
Environmental defenders in Sibuyan, Romblon called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to issue a cease and desist order that would stop the operations of Altai Philippines Mining Company (APMC).
According to the DENR findings:
Sibuyanons barricade pier due to Altai Mining Company’s illegal operation
Sibuyan residents set up a barricade in front of the pier being constructed by Altai Philippines Mining Company in Sitio Bato España, San Fernando, Romblon to oppose the illegal operations of the mining company, which have not secured the necessary permits and documents for their mining activities.
Elizabeth Ibañez, Coordinator of Sibuyanons Against Mining (SAM) and member of the Council of Leaders (COL) of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), said the illegal activities of the Altai Mining must be immediately investigated. “We demand swift action from the local governments of the province and municipalities, and the pertinent government agencies such as the DENR and BFAR to stop the mining operations of the company and hold them accountable for their illegal activities,” she said.
According to Ibañez, the protesters are demanding that the mining company produce the following documents: barangay clearance, municipal business permit, DENR foreshore lease contract, and PPA permit to construct a private port.Read more
Philippines: Drop perjury charges against Philippines Civil Society Organisations
FORUM-ASIA is deeply concerned by the ongoing court trial on perjury charges filed by Hermogenes Esperon Jr., the former National Security Adviser in the Cabinet of Rodrigo Duterte, against civil societies, Karapatan the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and GABRIELA as well as the systematic vilification and smear campaigns against them.
In July 2019, Hermogenes Esperon Jr. filed a Complaint-Affidavit for perjury with the Quezon City Office of the city prosecutor (QC OCP) against Karapatan National Council members, GABRIELA Chairperson and Secretary-General, and RMP National Coordinator and Northern Mindanao Region Coordinator. The former National Security Adviser claimed that the respondents committed perjury when they petitioned the Supreme Court for the Writ of Amparo and the Writ of Habeas Data.Read more
Southeast Asia (SEA) is spiraling into a fossil future thanks to a massive fleet of gas projects and the financial institutions backing them, risking the region’s energy security, biodiversity, and any and all hope to limit global temperature rise to less catastrophic levels – a new report from civil society reveals.
Financing a Fossil Future: Tracing the Money Pipeline of Fossil Gas in SEA published by think-tank Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) and partners dives into projects and companies involved in fossil gas exploration and development, transportation, gasification, storage, re-gasification, pipelines, and power generation, and the institutions that offered them financial services from 2016 to 2022.Read more
Environmental group pushes for stricter regulation as illicit trade of mercury-added skin lighteners prevails
BAN Toxics calls the attention of local authorities in Manila City after the group discovered the continued selling of Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene and Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream despite a public health warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA advised the public against the purchase and the use of Goree products which were tested and found to contain toxic mercury (Hg) levels beyond the 1 part per million (ppm) limit. Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9711, the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertising or sponsorship of health products without proper authorization from FDA is prohibited.Read more
Groups Back Phase-Out of Toxic “Forever Chemicals” to Protect Women and Other Vulnerable Sectors
Various civil society groups have joined forces to call for a global ban on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) ahead of the World Environment Day. Also known as the “forever chemicals,” PFAS do not break down in the environment and build up in the bodies of humans and wildlife over time, resulting in adverse health effects.
At a webinar co-organized by the EcoWaste Coalition with the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP), Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), Taiwan Watch Institute (TWI) and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), the groups pressed for a ban on PFAS as a class while conveying support for PFAS-free clothing, food packaging, cookware and other applications.Read more
Next Admin’s funding for Teachers’ Magna Carta sought
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) acknowledges the findings of the Senate Committee on Basic Education and its recommendation to fully implement the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), a vintage law enacted in 1966. The group particularly commended Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the committee chair for raising the matter in Senate’s plenary yesterday and expressed hopes that the next DepEd secretary, the Vice President-Elect Sara Duterte will at least consider the senator’s recommendations.
“We acknowledge the gesture of Sen., Gatchalian in Senate’s floor yesterday. By standing in the podium, he made our tiny and unheeded voices for more than 5 decades audible,” said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.
Basas said that the TDC has been in constant coordination with the leadership of relevant committees in both houses of Congress who expressed support for their advocacies.
“With the enthusiastic Senate Education Committee on our side, we are certain that the 19th Congress will use its oversight function and legislative powers in our favor. But we still need the proactive stance of the DepEd, the agency primarily tasked to implement the letters and spirit of the law,” Basas added.Read more
Five reasons why gender-based violence against women should be considered torture
Gender-based violence against women (GBVAW) is the most systematic and widespread human rights violation worldwide. It includes sexual crimes such as rape or harassment but also forced marriage, intimidation, threats and physical violence. In this blog post, our expert presents five reasons why GBVAW is torture and should be legally considered as such.
Mylene comes from an impoverished area in the rural Philippines. As a young adult, she moved to Manila in the hope of a better future. Instead, she fell into the hands of traffickers and was forced into prostitution. Over the years, she experienced numerous forms of violence. For instance, the police arrested her for vagrancy and raped her in exchange for charges being dropped. Once a police officer detained her in an apartment for several days where he sexually abused her. One night she escaped naked from a car containing four police officers who, after forcing her to use illegal drugs, had taken turns raping her inside the moving vehicle. She also suffered frequent physical and sexual violence from those who sought her services.Read more
Asian NGOs Call on Governments to Regulate Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) in Products
Non-government organizations (NGOs) from South, Southeast, and East Asia, including the Philippines, have called on national governments to adopt and strictly implement regulations to address endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in products. The NGOs are participating organizations of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), a global civil society network working for a toxics-free world.
At a recently held EDC- Free Asia Conference, the NGOs discussed the results of a regional study undertaken in partnership with the Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health (WIOEH), with support from the Financial Industry Public Interest Foundation (FIPIF), Korea to determine the presence of phthalates in erasers and bisphenol-A (BPA) in thermal papers and to promote regulatory reforms.Read more
TDC Formally Submitted the 13-point Agenda to Bets
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has now formally submitted the 13-Point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda to the candidates for president, vice president, senators, and some party-list representatives for the coming May 9, 2022.
According to Benjo Basas, the group’s chairperson, “the Agenda focuses on the rights and welfare of the teachers such as salary increase, implementation of the 1966 vintage Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, compensation for those affected by COVID-19, free post-graduate education, provision of free laptop computers and internet services, and the creation of a separate insurance system and hospital for teachers, among other long-overdue benefits. As well, we have demands on learning itself, such as improvements in the curriculum, reduction of class size, provision of books and other materials and facilities and adequate funding for the safe return to normal school operation”Read more
Civil Society Groups Campaign for Children’s Protection from Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
As thousands of schools brace for limited face-to-face classes amid declining COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, two non-profit groups raised the alarm over the sale of erasers containing endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), particularly phthalates.
The EcoWaste Coalition and the Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) pitched for regulatory measures that will prohibit phthalates — a group of chemicals added to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic — in erasers and, hopefully, in more products other than toys that are marketed for children’s use.
This developed as the groups announced the detection of large amounts of phthalates in erasers they bought from retail stores located in 11 cities and shipped to South Korea for laboratory analysis.Read more
Farmers in MacArthur Leyte demand stop to mining as main canal is destroyed
Farmers in MacArthur Leyte demanded that mining by MacArthur Iron Projects Corporation (MIPC) be stopped as they lamented how they lost their livelihood for a year now as the mining company destroyed the main canal and caused water to overflow in the farmlands.
The farmers testified before lawyers of the National Irrigation Authority who visited the mining site to inspect the canal, which the mining company earlier denied they destroyed.Read more
“Ayuda not loans” – Labor NGO comments on Bayanihan 2 unused loan funds for MSMEs
Labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research urges the government to provide ayuda instead of loans.
“Local businesses incurred severe losses due to the government’s ineffective lockdowns. Instead of loans, the government should give MSMEs unconditional aid to strengthen the domestic economy,” said EILER Executive Director Rochelle Porras.
In their comment on the recent COA report exposing the PhP 4.9 billion unused Bayanihan 2 loan funds for MSMEs, EILER highlights that only 4.9% of target MSMEs availed of the loan, citing the government lockdown and slow processing time as reasons for MSMEs to be discouraged.Read more
Candidates Should Pledge to Free Jailed Senator
Duterte Critic Leila de Lima Marks 5 Years in Wrongful Detention
Candidates for the Philippines presidency should pledge to drop all charges against Senator Leila de Lima, who will start her sixth year in detention on February 24, 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. De Lima has been arbitrarily detained since February 2017 on politically motivated drug charges in retaliation for her criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” and other serious human rights violations.
De Lima was chair of the Commission on Human Rights when she began an investigation in 2009 into “death squad” killings in Davao City, where Duterte was the longtime mayor. After becoming president in 2016, Duterte quickly sought to sideline her politically. Duterte’s allies in the Senate removed her from committee chairmanship and his supporters in the House of Representatives and Justice Department initiated a misogynistic public attack against her. She was arrested on February 24, 2017, and has been held at the police headquarters at Camp Crame, where she faces baseless drug-related cases.Read more