Tag Archives: Baguio

[Blog] Ang pagbabawal sa paggamit ng mga plastic bag ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

Ang pagbabawal sa paggamit ng mga plastic bag
ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

ang pagbabawal sa plastic bag ni Greg Bituin

Greg

Nang dumaan ang maraming bagyo sa bansa, tulad ng Roming, Milenyo, Ondoy, Pedring, Quiel, Sendong, Maring, at iba pa, naalarma ang marami sa malawakang pagbaha. Bata pa ako, ang kalsadang España sa Maynila ay binabaha na. Hanggang ngayon, binabaha pa rin. Kahit sa Lungsod ng Baguio, na naroon sa napakataas na bundok sa lalawigan ng Benguet, ay binaha noong Agosto 2012 ng bagyong Helen. Napakataas na lugar ngunit binaha. Bakit? Isa sa nakitang dahilan nito ang basurang plastik na siyang bumara sa mga kanal sa City Camp Lagoon sa Lungsod ng Baguio kaya hindi agad nawala ang tubig-baha.

Sa nangyaring pagkabara ng mga daan ng tubig sa iba’t ibang lugar na binaha dulot ng malakas na ulan, nag-atas ang maraming lungsod at bayan na ipinagbabawal na ang itinuturing na dahilan ng pagbabara ng mga daanang tubig. Ito ang pagbabawal ng paggamit ng plastik sa kanilang mga lugar na nasasakupan. Nariyan ang Lungsod ng Makati at Quezon, ang bayan ng Calamba sa Laguna, sa Lungsod ng Cebu, at sa marami pang bahagi ng bansa. Gayunman, sa ulat ng GMA 7, may anim na lungsod ang hindi sang-ayon sa pagbabawal ng mga plastic bag, at ito’y ang mga lungsod ng Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan, Parañaque at Valenzuela. Sa anim na iyon, mapapayag man ang lima na ipagbawal ang plastik, hindi ito magagawa ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela dahil karamihan ng mga industriya ng plastik ay nasa lupaing nasasakop nila. Ayon sa mga datos ng City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) ng Valenzuela noong 2012, may 224 na kumpanya ng plastik at pagawaan ng goma sa lungsod. At ang mga kumpangyang ito ang mga malalaking nagbabayad ng buwis sa pamahalaang lungsod.

Gayunman, mas nakapokus ang kampanya laban sa mga bag na plastik, at hindi sa iba pang uri ng plastik. Ibig sabihin, ipinagbabawal na ang paggamit ng mga bag na plastik sa pamamalengke. Dapat mayroon nang dalang bayong o mga telang bag, kapalit ng plastic bag, ang mga mamimili.

Ayon sa grupong EcoWaste Coalition (Philippine Daily Inquirer, Hulyo 4, 2013), umaabot na sa siyamnapung (90) lungsod at bayan ang nagpasa ng ordinansa na nagbabawal o kaya’y nagsagawa na ng patakaran sa wastong paggamit ng mga bag na plastik. Madaragdagan pa ang bilang na ito bago matapos ang taon, ayon pa sa Ecowaste. Noong Hulyo 3, 2013, pinangunahan ng EcoWaste ang mahigit limangdaang (500) katao, na kinabibilangan ng mga estudyante, opisyal ng paaralan, mga opisyal ng samahan ng magulang at guro, mga beauty queens at mga makakalikasan upang gunitain ang ikaapat na “International Plastic Bag-Free Day” o “Pandaigdigang Araw na Walang Bag na Plastik”. Nanawagan din sila sa pambansang pamahalaan na magsagawa ng mga batas at patakarang nagbabawal sa mga bag na plastik sa buong bansa.

Nang magsimula ako sa kilusang makakalikasan, nakadaupang palad ko ang ilang mga taong naging bahagi ng pag-unlad ko sa gawaing makakalikasan. Isa ako sa naimbitahan noon sa bahay ni Odette Alcantara, noong nabubuhay pa siya, sa kanyang bahay sa Blue Ridge, kasama ang ilang dumadalo rin sa Kamayan Forum sa Edsa, at nakita ko kung paano ba pinagbubukod ang nabubulok sa hindi nabubulok. Ang mga nabubulok, tulad ng dahon, papel, at pagkain, ay ibinabaon nila sa lupa. Merong maliit na lote sa malapit sa kanila ang pinagbabaunan ng mga nabubulok. Iyon namang hindi nabubulok, tulad ng bote, lata, at plastik, ay ibinubukod at ibinebenta, ang lata ay pinipipi bago ibenta, at inihihiwalay ang plastik. Doon ko rin nalaman ang tungkol sa Linis Ganda, kung saan may mga kariton itong nangunguha ng mga hindi nabubulok upang magamit pang muli, o yaong tinatawag na resiklo.

Ngunit bakit nga ba sinisisi at itinuturong dahilan ang mga bag na plastik sa mga nangyayaring kalamidad, lalo na ang baha? Gayunman, pag nagbaha sa mga lungsod at bayan, hindi kaagad ang mga pagkakabara ng plastik ang sinisisi ng pamahalaan, kundi ang mga maralitang nakatira sa may tabing ilog, estero at ilalim ng tulay. Imbes na pagtuunan ang dahilan ng pagkabara ng mga daanang tubig na ito, agad sinisisi ang mga dukha at pinagbibintangang siyang nagtatapon ng mga basura, lalo na ng plastik, sa tubig. Kailangan nilang umalis sa lugar, kung hindi’y sapilitan silang idedemolis. Patunay dito ang planong paglilikas sa mga maralitang nakatira sa tabing-ilog, mula sa apat na malalaking ilog at apat na estero, ito ay ang mga ilog ng San Juan, Pasig, Tullahan, Manggahan floodway at mga esterong Maricaban, Tripa de Galina, Maypajo at Sunog Apog. Kung hindi kaya nakakababara ang plastik, sisisihin kaya ang maralita sa pagbaha? Sa bandang huli, plastik na ang sinisisi ng marami dahil sa baradong mga daluyan ng tubig, at binabarahan ito ng mga basurang plastik.

Bakit plastik? Dahil hindi ito nabubulok. Kaya pag nagbara sa kanal, sasaluhin nito ang mga tubig at pipigilan. Hindi tulad ng mga nabubulok tulad ng papel, karton, at dahon, na sa pagdaan ng panahon ay mabubulok na pag humalo sa lupa, ang plastik ay hindi nagbabago. Maaaring ito’y masira ngunit hindi ito nabubulok. Ngunit hindi lang simpleng plastik ang napapag-initan dito, kundi ang bag na plastik. Ito’y dahil ito ang pang-araw-araw na gamit ng tao na madaling itapon pag nagamit na. Ayon nga sa pahayag ni Gng. Sonia Mendoza, na namumuno sa Task Force on Plastics ng EcoWaste Coalition: “Plastic bags are the embodiment of an antiquated, throw-away mentality that we need to urgently address.” (Ang mga bag na plastik ang pinakadiwa ng isang pag-iisip na makaluma at ugaling tapon ng taon na kinakailangan nating tugunan agad.)

Throw-away mentality. Ugaling tapon ng tapon kahit saan. Ito ang dapat unawain at solusyunan. Tulad na lang ng simpleng pagtatapon ng balat ng kendi. Kukunin ang kendi, tatanggalin ang nakabalot na plastik sa kendi, isusubo, at itatapon na ang balat ng kendi kung saan-saan. Dahil marumi na raw iyon at basura na. Ngunit basura lang iyon pag naitapon, gayong pwede naman itong ibulsa muna. Bakit ibulsa? May dalawang bahagi ang biniling kendi. Ang laman at ang balat o ang balot na plastik. Hindi ito basura at hindi ito marumi. Bakit nang pinaghiwalay ang dalawa, isinubo ang laman, ay itinuring nang marumi ang balat kaya itinatapon na agad gayong nang may laman pa itong kendi ay hindi naman itinuturing na marumi? Dahil sa throw-away mentality. Yung wala nang pakinabang o wala nang silbi ay dapat nang itapon. Ang balat ng kendi, imbes na ibulsa muna dahil walang basurahang mapagtapunan, ay tinatapon na lang kung saan-saan dahil pinandidirihan na itong ibulsa. Pero ito’y sa usapin ng balat ng kendi pa lamang, at hindi pa sa plastic bag.

Sa mga malalaking tapunan ng basura, halimbawa, sa Payatas, kitang-kita ang napakaraming tambak ng basurang plastik. Sakali mang itapon ng wasto ang mga plastik, napakaraming taon ang bibilangin bago ito mabulok, kung mabubulok ito. Kung hindi naman ito maitatapon ng wasto, babara ang mga plastik na ito sa imburnal, kanal, at magpaparumi sa ilog, dagat, at iba pang daanan ng tubig, at nakakaapekto rin ng malaki sa tahanan ng mga hayop. Maaari ding akalaing pagkain ito ng mga hayop at isda sa dagat, na siyang ikamamatay ng mga ito. Ang matindi pa rito ay kung nagtatapon ng basurang nakabalot sa plastik, lalo na ng itim na garbage bags, sa dagat mula sa mga barko. Tiyak na apektado rito ang mga nabubuhay na mga isda’t iba pang hayop sa karagatan.
May mga balitang namatay ang isang balyena nang makakain ito ng isang plastik bag na puno ng basura. Dagdag pa rito, ang mga plastic bag ay nagmumukhang dikya o jelly fish na maaaring makain ng mga gutom na pagong at iba pang nabubuhay sa karagatan.

Ang mismong pagkakadeklara sa Hulyo 3 bilang “International Plastic Bag-Free Day” ay nagpapakitang matindi talaga ang negatibong epekto ng mga plastic bag sa ating kapaligiran. Kinakailangan pa ng deklaradong araw para lang sa kampanyang ito. Bakit pinag-initan ang bag na plastik at hindi ang iba pang klase ng plastik?

Alamin muna natin ang iba’t ibang klase ng plastik. Batay sa pananaliksik, may pitong klase ng plastik. Noong 1988, nagsagawa ng sistema ng pagklasikipa ng plastik ang Society of Plastic Industries (SPI) upang malaman ng mga bibili at ng mga magreresiklo nito ang iba’t ibang klase ng plastik. Ang mga kumpanyang gumagawa ng produktong plastik ay naglalagay ng kodang SPI, o numero, sa bawat produktong plastik, na karaniwang nakaukit sa ilalim ng produkto. Ito’y ang mga sumusunod:

1. Polyethylene terephtalate, o PETE. Ito ang uri ng plastik na ginagamit sa mga inuming nakalalasing, lalagyan ng medisina, lubid, hibla ng karpet at pananamit. Karaniwang nareresiklo ang mga bagay na yari sa ganitong uri ng plastik.

2. High-density polyethylene, o HDPE. Ito naman ang uri ng plastik na ginagamit na lalagyan ng langis sa makina, shampoo at kondisyuner, bote ng sabon, detergent at bleach. Karaniwan ding nareresiklo ang mga bagay na yari sa plastik na ito. Gayunman, hindi ito ligtas na gamiting muli ang mga boteng yari sa HDPE na lalagyan ng pagkain o inuman kung sa orihinal ay hindi ito ang gamit noon.

3. Polyvinyl chloride, o PVC (V). Ito ang ginagamit sa plastik na tubo, plastik na credit cards, frame ng bintana at pinto, gutter, mga produktong synthetic leather. Paminsan-minsan ay nareresiklo ito, ngunit ang ganitong uri ng plastik ay hindi ginagamit sa pagkain, dahil maaaring makasama sa katawan.

4. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Ito ang ginagamit sa mga plastik bag na pang-groseri, o yaong pambalot ng mga karne, isda, at gulay sa palengke, at plastik na pambalot ng tinapay sa panaderya. Paminsan-minsan ay nareresiklo ang mga ganitong plastik.

5. Polypropylene (PP). Matibay ang ganitong uri ng plastik at kayang tumagal sa mas mataas na temperatura. Ginagamit ito sa paggawa ng baunan ng pagkain (lunch box), lalagyan ng margarina, bote ng medisina at syrup, boteng pandede ng bata, istro, at mga plastik na tansan. Kadalasang nreresiklo rin ito.

6. Polystyrene, o iyong styrofoam (PS). Ito naman yung ginagamit sa pagkain, tulad ng plato, kutsara’t tinidor, at baso, plastik na lagayan ng itlog, mga tray sa fast foods. Karaniwan din itong nareresiklo, bagamat napakahirap.

7. At iba pang plastik (Other). Sa kategoryang ito pumapasok ang mga uri ng plastik na hindi nakapaloob sa naunang anim, at ito ang mga bagay na napapalamnan ng plastik na naimbento makaraan ang 1987. Sa kategoryang ito nakapaloob ang polycarbonate at polylactide. Kasama sa mga produkto nito ang mga sports equipment, mga gamit pang-medikal at dental, CD, DVD, at kahit na yaong mga iPods.

Sa mga klaseng ito, bagamat lahat ay maaaring makabara sa kanal, ang karaniwang itinatapon bilang basurang nakakabara sa kanal ay yaong plastik bag at mga pambalot ng bigas, karne, isda’t gulay sa palengke. Ang plastik na ito ang pinakapopular sa halos lahat ng uri ng tao, bata’t matanda, dukha’y mayaman, babae’t lalaki. Nakita ko mismo ang dami ng plastik na ito na nagkalat mismo sa gitna ng dagat. Grabe.

Noong Agosto 16, 2006 ay nakasama ako sa isang aktibidad ng SALIKA (Saniblakas ng Inang Kalikasan) at EcoWaste Coalition sa Roxas Blvd. sa Maynila, kung saan nagtanggal kami ng mga plastik na basura sa dagat, at pinaghiwa-hiwalay ang mga ito batay sa uri ng plastik. Pawang nakuha namin dito ay mga plastik na kabilang sa ikaapat na klase, o iyung LDPE (Low-density polyethylene). Pawang mga gamit sa pang-araw-araw ng tao. Bandang hapon ng araw ding iyon, sumakay kami sa nakahimpil na barko ng Greenpeace, ang MV Esperanza, sa daungan ng Maynila. Mula sa barko, nakita namin ang napakaraming basurang plastik na naglulutangan sa dagat. Naisip ko tuloy, napakaliit na bagay lang ang ginawa namin, ngunit kung laging gagawin araw-araw ay malaki na ang mababawas. Ngunit ang problema, patuloy namang nagtatapon ng basura at dumarami pa sa dagat, kaya paano ito mauubos. Habang nagbabawas ka ng paunti-unti, malaki naman ang nadaragdag na basurang plastik sa dagat.

Ipinagbawal din ang pagsusunog ng basura, dahil masama sa katawan ng tao ang amoy ng nasusunog na plastik. Sa mga bakuran o tarangkahan ng mga bahay-bahay, lalo na sa mga lalawigan, ay mahilig magsunog ng basura. Iipunin ang mga dahon-dahon at sisigaan tabi ng isang puno upang maalis umano ang mga peste at gumanda, lumago at mamunga ang puno. Ang problema ay kung may nasasamang plastik sa nasusunog na basura. Karamihan ng basura sa mga bahay-bahay ngayon ay napakaraming plastik at may mga papel na dumaan sa kemikal. Pag sinunog ito, nagiging polusyon ito sa hangin at madaling masinghot. Ang mga abo naman nito ay maaaring hanginin o kaya’y mahalo sa tubig sa ilalim ng lupa. May ibinubugang lason ang pagsusunog ng basura, lalo na’t may plastik. Nariyan ang dioxin na nagdudulot ng kanser, at nagpapahina ng immune system, dahil na rin sa pagkasunog ng mga basurang may halong PVC. Nariyan din ang nitrogen oxides at sulfur oxides na nagdudulot ng sakit sa baga, sa respirasyon, at sa central nervous system. Nilalason din nito ang mga lupa at tubig na dulot ng asidong ulan. Imbes magsunog ng basura, paghiwalayin ang nabubulok sa hindi nabubulok. Ibaon sa lupa ang mga nabubulok, at iresiklo ang mga hindi nabubulok.

Matagal na nating kasama ang plastic bag, ngunit paano ba ang dapat nating gawin? Bukod sa pagbabawal sa paggamit ng mga bag na plastik sa iba’t ibang lungsod at bayan, ano pa ang ginagawang inisyatiba ng pamahalaan at ng ating mga kababayan?

Marami nang nangangampanya laban sa plastic bag sa iba’t ibang panig ng mundo. Nariyan din ang “Ban the Bag! – A campaign to end single use plastic bags in Portland” sa facebook. Nariyan din ang Ban the Bag Alliance sa Australia, http://www.banthebag.com.au. Ayon sa pahayagang Jordan Times, “UNESCO launches campaign against plastic bags”, ibig sabihin, kahit ang isang sangay ng United Nations, ay nangangampanya na rin laban sa paggamit ng mga plastik bag. Anupa’t sadyang pandaigdigan ang kampanyang ito. Sa Jakarta Post naman, ibinalita nitong may 150 boluntaryo sa Aceh ang nangangampanya sa mga Indones na bawasan na ang paggamit ng mga plastic bag upang mabawasan ang mga basurang plastik, at isa sa kanilang mga aksyon ay ang pagpapalit ng sampung plastic bag kapalit ng isang telang grocery bag. Sa ating bansa naman ay nariyan ang EcoWaste Coalition, Green Convergence, at iba pang grupo na ayaw sa plastik. Kailangan nating magpakatotoo sa kampanyang ito, dahil kung hindi, matuturing lang tayong plastik.

May iba’t ibang bansa na ang nagpasa ng batas sa kanilang bansa na nagbabawal sa mga plastic bag. Nariyan ang The Punjab Plastic Bags Control Act sa bansang India. Sa bansang Tasmania ay nariyan ang “Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Bill 2013. Sa ating bansa, nariyan ang panukalang batas sa Senado, ang Senate Bill 2759, na pinamagatang “Total Plastic Bag Ban Act of 2011” o AN ACT PROHIBITING THE USE OF PLASTIC BAGS IN GROCERIES, RESTAURANTS, AND OTHER ESTABLISHMENTS, AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF.

Mabubuod sa Seksyon 3 ang pangunahing nilalaman ng panukalang batas na ito: “Sec. 3. Prohibition. – Groceries, supermarkets, public markets, restaurants, fast food chains, department stores, retail stores and other similar establishments are hereby prohibited from.using non-biodegradable plastic bags. All aforementioned establishments shall only provide recyclable paper bags and/ or biodegradable plastic bags to its customers.”

Sa Mababang Kapulungan naman ng Kongreso, inaprubahan ng mga mambabatas ang House Bill 4840 o The Plastic Bag Regulation Act of 2011. Pinapatakaran ng nasabing panukalang batas ang wastong paggamit ng mga plastic bag, at paglikha ng isang “plastic bag recovery system”. Ayon kay Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro), isa sa may-akda ng panukalang batas, “The State must ensure that contaminants to the environment, such as plastic and plastic bags, be prevented from being introduced into the ecosystem.” Inirerekomenda sa HB 4840 ang pag-alis (phase out) sa mga di-nabubulok na plastic bag sa loob ng tatlong taon matapos itong maisabatas.

Sabi naman ni Rep. Aurelio Gonzales (3rd District, Pampanga), na isa rin sa may-akda ng panukala, “The phase-out of plastic bags is a practical contribution to the collective efforts of solving the country’s environmental problems.” (Ang pag-alis sa mga bag na plastik ay isang praktikal na ambag sa kolektibong pagsisikap na maresolba ang mga problemang pangkapaligiran ng bansa.) Ayon naman sa prinsipal na may-akda ng panukala na si Rep. Oscar Malapitan (1st District, Caloocan City), “the recovery system will lead citizens to exert effort and give their due share in protecting the environment by bringing used plastic bags to stores and commercial establishments which in turn shall provide the logistics for recovery of these plastic shopping bags.”

Hindi pa mga ganap na batas ang mga ito. Kaya bilang simpleng mamamayan, paano tayo tutulong sa kampanyang ito? Unang-una na, sa pamamagitan ng leadership by example, dapat makita mismo sa atin na hindi na tayo gumagamit ng plastic bag, sanayin natin ang ating sarili at pamilya na sa araw at gabi ay walang mga plastic bag sa ating tahanan at pinagtatrabahuhan, at pawang mga biodegradable bag na lang ang ating gagamitin. Ibig sabihin, may mga bag na tela na maaari nating dalhin. Hindi ito kagaya ng mga plastic bag na hindi naman natin nakasanayang iresiklo. Ikalawa, ikampanyang maisabatas ang mga batas na nagbabawal ng plastik. Ikatlo, libutin natin ang mga eskwelahan at mga pagawaan upang magbigay ng edukasyon laban sa paggamit ng mga plastic bags. Ikaapat, nasasa inyo ang desisyon, mga kaibigan, upang makapag-ambag sa pagresolba ng isang malawakang problema.

Marami pa tayong magagawa upang mabawasan ang paggamit ng mga plastic bag, at sa kalaunan ay tuluyan nang mawala ang mga ito. Mangyayari lang ito kung seryoso tayong kikilos upang maisakatuparan ang lahat ng mga adhikaing ito para sa kinabukasan natin at ng mga susunod pang henerasyon.

Mga pinaghalawan:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/318144/news/specialreports/as-ban-on-plastic-bags-spreads-valenzuela-stubbornly-says-no

’Plastic ban Saturday’ ordinance takes effect this week

Environmentalists seek nationwide plastic ban


http://plasticbagbanreport.com/phillipines-legarda-files-total-plastic-bag-ban-act/
http://plasticbagbanreport.com/philippines-house-of-representatives-vote-to-regulate-plastic-bags/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

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Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] COMELEC lauded for speedy Baguio & Comval response, urged to allow “live-streamed manual counting” for “special cases” -SANLAKAS

COMELEC lauded for speedy Baguio & Comval response, urged to allow “live-streamed manual counting” for “special cases”

sanlakas-logo2

Multisectoral partylist group Sanlakas lauded the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for a “speedy response” to the ballot switching in Baguio and Compostela Valley and urged the commission to allow for “special cases” of poll failure “live-streamed manual counting” monitored by mainstream media and social networks.

“We know that COMELEC is doing all it can to make every vote count, as fast as it can. Maybe it can do better by conducting tech-assisted manual counting for similar incidences,” Sanlakas Secretary-General Aaron Pedrosa said.

Pedrosa believes that the combined power of mainstream and social media can discourage anomalies in manual counting and canvassing in small cases, and can do away with the need to conduct special elections.

“It might be easier for COMELEC to conduct manual counting in cases similar to Bgy. Lualhati’s involving 638 voters, as long as it is closely monitored by the public,” Pedrosa said.

Accountability

Pedrosa also said that the people responsible for the “Baguio and ComVal mishap” must be held accountable and be prosecuted.

“Electoral justice necessitates penalties to people responsible. Since we do not know yet whether this is accidental or concious on their part, we need an urgent investigation on the matter,” Pedrosa said.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE

Contact Person: Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas Secretary-General @ 0932-364-3137
Val De Guzman, Media Liaison @ 0919-965-7509

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Sagada demands recognition and documentation of customary land laws -www.nordis.net

Sagada demands recognition and documentation of customary land laws.

By ALMA B. SINUMLAG, http://www.nordis.net
May 27, 2012

BAGUIO CITY — Due to the threat of the state’s land-related policies on the traditional concept of land ownership in the municipality of Sagada, Mt Province, a forum-workshop was held entitled “Empowering indigenous peoples on traditional customary institutions” on May 8 this year. It was also a way of re-learning from the community’s experiences of asserting their customary laws on land ownership and settling disputes.

Various cases were raised regarding land conflict caused by the threat of state policies on customary land ownership. One of the cases was the encroachment of the Church property to peoples’ communal and residential territories. The elders narrated that prior to the arrival of American Missionaries, the area which is now included as the church property is owned by the Dap-ay Tudey and Dap-ay Ato. Elders of Tudey and Ato, Ayyawan and Dalip-o donated the area to the church. However, the elders added that the church applied for tax declaration, including their expansion area.

In 2011, the people had been asking the church to stop encroaching into their territory. Instead, the church filed a civil case to the court against those who have built small stalls into what they declared as their (church) property. As of press time, the case is still pending in court.

Read full article @ www.nordis.net

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[Press Release] IPs, green groups slam Oceana Gold and Diduyon Dam Project in Nueva Vizcaya, again!-ATM

IPs, green groups slam Oceana Gold and Diduyon Dam Project in Nueva Vizcaya, again!
Earth Day celebration ended with prayer rally for agriculture and IP rights

Photo source Alyansa Tigil Mina

Nueva Vizcaya–Dressed in their tribal attire and armed with nothing but slogans and streamers saying “madimit kayat ti mina” (no to mining), more than 300 residents and Ifugaos of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya with support from various civil society groups camped in front of Kasibu Municipal Hall to exclaim their opposition against the mining operation of Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) and the proposed Diduyon Dam project.

“Gusto naming muling igiit ang nagkakaisang damdamin ng mga mamamayan at katutubo ng aming bayan na ayaw namin sa mina,” (we would like to stress again the united stand of the residents and IP groups in our town that we do not like mining) said Raymundo Bolyahon, chairperson of Salaknib, an alliance of people’s organization in Nueva Vizcaya as they celebrated Earth Day.

“Buhay at kabuhayan ang kailangan namin hindi ang mga proyektong makakasira lamang sa aming kalikasan,” (we give more importance to life and our livelihood than the projects that will only destroy our environment) Bolyahon added.

Lorenzo Pulido, vice-president of Didipio Earth-Savers Multi-purpose Association (DESAMA) also said, “Dapat malaman at maalala ng pamahalaan na may mga Kasibu na ayaw sa mina. Handa kaming ituloy ang laban na mapa-alis ang minahan sa aming bayan.” (The government should know and remember that there are people in Kasibu who are against mining. We will push through with our fight to kick mining out in our town).

No business permit for OceanaGold Philippines, Inc.

The group also filed a local resolution in Kasibu Sangguniang Bayan pushing to deny the “permit to operate” for OGPI for grave disregard of their human rights. They have noted various violations including the aggressive dispersal of some residents in Didipio and the harassment to a barangay official accused of instigating opposition to OGPI.

“The community had experienced coercions from OceanaGold – from the displacement of people, violence from local police and sabotage to their livelihood. These should be more than enough for the government to break off the operation of OGPI,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

The resolution is also calling for a CEASE and DESIST order to hamper any further operations of OGPI.

-more-

Save Nueva Vizcaya

Aside from the resolution, the group also launched a signature-campaign that aims to gather more than 6,000 autographs that will attest to the stronghold of people opposing OGPI and the dam project.

Leaders of Salaknib include the Kasibu Inter-tribal Response for Ecological Development (KIRED), DESAMA, Bileg ti Barangay Bitnong (3B) and Malabing Valley Tribal Association (MVTA) also issued a statement of support to the bill passed by Congressman Carlos M. Padilla declaring Nueva Vizcaya as a mining free zone.

Likewise, the alliance also supported the call to repeal the Philippine Mining Act and urged the government to enact a new minerals management bill that will ensure that indigenous peoples right to self-determination and to manage their ancestral domains is respected.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the passage of the Philippine Mineral Resources Act a.k.a. Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Research & Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61

Press Release
April 30, 2012

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[From the web] Reclaim our Rights to Land, Resources and Ecological Sustainability – Jill Carino

BAGUIO DECLARATION
Reclaim our Rights to Land, Resources and Ecological Sustainability

Jill Carino

“Protecting the rights of the poor should take precedence over corporate greed. Genuine development must prioritize the need to ensure ecological sustainability over market profitability. We must never sacrifice people and the environment for short-term benefit of the few.” – Fr. Edwin Gariguez, a Catholic priest who led a group of indigenous and community leaders in 2009 in an 11-day hunger strike to protest large-scale mining in Mindoro, and recipient of the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize.

These words resonate as we, participants of the Baguio Environmental Summit, unite and resolve to continue our struggle to reclaim our rights to land, resources and a sustainable environment in the City of Baguio.

We are alarmed that Baguio’s environment is now in deep crisis, reaching such a state of environmental degradation, that we experience daily its stark impacts. We suffer the evidences of urban blight such as the garbage problem, the lack of water, dying rivers, the poor air quality, traffic and congestion, the increase in natural disasters, food insecurity, unemployment, homelessness, shrinking forest areas and watersheds, and biodiversity loss. These phenomena are clear signs that we may be crossing critical boundaries and approaching dangerous tipping points in the state of the city’s, if not the planet’s, environment.

Read full article @ www.facebook.com

[Featured Photo] Ang Pagluluksa ng Sambayan sa Kasakiman ng SM Baguio by Bro Martin D. Francisco

Ang Pagluluksa ng Sambayan sa Kasakiman ng SM Baguio
By Bro Martin D. Francisco

Ang Pagluluksa ng Sambayan sa Kasakiman ng SM Baguio

“Ang mga larawan naririto lahat ay mula sa lahat ng nagmamahal sa mga puno na aking pinagsama-sama dito para higit na maikalat sa mga kaibigan natin sa facebook. Pagpasensyahan na pot hindi ko na nabanggit ang inyong mga ngalan.” Bro Martin D. Francisco

See more photos @ www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150676460256606.393413.545901605&type=1

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Protesters ‘occupy’ SM Megamall -RAPPLER.com

Protesters ‘occupy’ SM Megamall.

BY VOLTAIRE TUPAZ
April 13, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — The protest movement to save the trees that will be cut in the summer capital of the Philippines has reached Metro Manila, the country’s capital.

Protesters held a lightning rally in SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City on Friday night, April 13, in support of the people of Baguio.

Baguio residents have been opposing the cutting of 182 trees on Luneta Hill that would pave the way for a new parking facility and an entertainment complex in SM Baguio.

Calling themselves “warriors for the environment,” about 80 artists, environmentalists, and activists staged the protest action which they called “Occupy SM.”

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[Blog] Baguio City, Pine Trees, and what lies ahead of us -itsabrightday.wordpress.com

Baguio City, Pine Trees, and what lies ahead of us.

itsabrightday.wordpress.com

Do you remember the times when you try to find a place to breathe fresh air because you get suffocated by the polluted air on the streets? Do you remember the time when it’s so hot you ran to a couple of shades on a green banquet of healthy pines?

There were these questions I ask myself whenever I spend long weekends in Baguio City- the summer capital of the Philippines. Recently, I already told my girlfriend for us not to hang around SM for a date, it’s not that I am boycotting the mall, but I find it useless to be spending time in a mall while I have malls to go to while in Manila. Besides, a lot of good stores and restaurants are hidden around the city. We went to Heritage Hill last Thursday, (I realized I lost my pictures of the Diplomat Hotel before so I took some shots), it is now being renovated to be a church on top of that one foggy hill overlooking the city.

We got onto the top of the hotel and saw the houses laid on the crust of each hump of the mountain range. It was a bit scary to look at it. The vast forests before has been turned into a place made specifically to be inhabited by man. And now that we’re trying to preserve the remaining trees to hold the land, here comes SM’s way of helping us.

According to articles published online, SM’s plan will be transplanting pine trees. This means that to give way for the construction of a seven-storey expansion, trees will be moved to another area, probably just around the vicinity of SM as well. In line with this, they will “plant” 50 sapling for every tree affected.

Read full article @ itsabrightday.wordpress.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] After 40 trees fall, DENR complies with court order -RAPPLER.com

After 40 trees fall, DENR complies with court order.

BY VOLTAIRE TUPAZ, RAPPLER.com
April 12, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Barely a day before the 3-day temporary environmental protection order was set to expire, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) finally complied with the court order stopping the “cutting, earth-balling and uprooting of trees from the ground” at SM Baguio.

“I already issued an order to our regional officials in Baguio City to comply with the order of Judge Villacorta. As we talk, our DENR-CAR [Cordillera Autonomous Region] must have already served its directive enjoining the management of SM Baguio to strictly comply with the terms and conditions of the TEPO [Temporary Enviromental Protection Order],” Environment Secretary Ramon JP Paje said in a statement.

Paje said he directed DENR-CAR Executive Director Clarence L Baguilat to comply with the TEPO as it is in accordance with the rules of procedure on environmental cases introduced by the Supreme Court.

The DENR reported that 40 Alnus and one Benguet pine tree on Luneta Hill had already been cut or earth-balled. A total of 182 trees on the site will be cut or earth-balled to give way to a proposed SM Baguio parking facility and entertainment building.

The environment secretary — together with Director Juan Miguel T Cuna of the Environmental Management Bureau, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, and SM Investments Corp (SMIC) — is a respondent of a complaint that asked the environmental court for an injunction with prayer for TEPO.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Diggings photos of SM Baguio spark protest among environmentalists | Sun.Star

Diggings photos of SM Baguio spark protest among environmentalists | Sun.Star.

March 30, 2012

PHOTOS of diggings inside the property of retail giant SM recently caused uproar among protesters and environmentalists opposing its planned mall expansion which will endanger 182 pine and alnus trees at Luneta Hill.

This prompted the Save 182 movement to come up with Earth Hour protests to jumpstart its call for a nationwide boycott of the popular mall chain.

Dubbed as Boycott SM Day, heeding the call of the BaguioBenguet bishop to boycott the mall until it reconsiders its expansion project, the group planned to coincide the activity with the annual observance of Earth Hour.

Karlo Altomonte of the Save 182 Movement said aside from switching off the lights for an hour on March 31, the group will show it cares enough about the planet and the children’s future by not patronizing SM.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Environment suit singles outs SM, says mall’s defense lawyer | Sun.Star

Environment suit singles outs SM, says mall’s defense lawyer | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
March 16, 2012

“THIS is a suit that clearly singles out SM,” said Sigfrid Fortun, defense lawyer of SM Investments Corporation, while calling for the denial of a Temporary Environmental Protection Order against the mall giant.

In his response to the complaint filed by the Save 182 movement against the SM redevelopment, Fortun, in an interview Thursday, said the cause for action of the complainants is baseless.

Plaintiffs now oppose the balling and relocation of pine and alnus trees in the subject property without showing how that planned action was approved and authorized by the other defendants, namely DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and the city, will be deleterious to the environment as to cause plaintiffs material injury,” Fortun said in their answer to the court.

Citing photographs they acquired of the old Pines Hotel, Luneta Hill and the Central Business District showing a grassy plateau, Fortun said this is contrary to claims of complainants that the trees which will be affected are more than 100 years old.

“Luneta Hill does not have a forest cover. Because the entire Baguio then was grassland owned then by Mateo Cariño. If you take a look at these materials, all of these trees you see right now are not old growth pine trees but are new growth pine trees,” Fortun said.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Kababaihan Festival activities bared | Sun.Star

Kababaihan Festival activities bared | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
March 8, 2012

SEVERAL activities are slated this month in celebration of Women’s Month.

Jeth Junio of the City Social Welfare and Development Officer III said women’s concerns, issues and achievements will take the center stage this month through different activities that include forums, a trade fair and a film festival.

Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera division chief Perlita Panganiban said inter-agency coordination has been important in spreading awareness on women’s issues violence against women and their children and human trafficking.

This month, the Kababaihan Festival kicked off with a press launch and a meeting of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Trafficking discussing close coordination and monitoring of trafficked women in the region.

Panganiban said inter-agency coordination has helped in reducing cases of trafficked women in the region.

Last year, some 20 cases have been registered in the region with Abra having the most number of trafficked women followed by Baguio City.

Baguio City recently figured in anti-trafficking reports when eight women from Davao were forced into difficult circumstances in one of the bars in the city.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Legal suit filed vs SM Investments Corporation over planned mall expansion | Sun.Star

Legal suit filed vs SM Investments Corporation over planned mall expansion | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
February 29, 2012

AFTER weeks of preparation, oppositors to SM City Baguio’s planned mall expansion unleashed their complaint before the court at the Justice Hall Tuesday.

Some 132 individual complainants and group representatives against the mall expansion filed the case before Regional Trial Court Branch 5 Judge Antonio Estevez.

Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos.

The plaintiffs filed for an injunction against SM Investments Corporation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje, lawyer Juan Miguel Cuna of the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau, and Department Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson.

The injunction is coupled with a prayer for temporary environmental protection order against the mall expansion.

In a public hearing conducted by the Baguio City Council committee on environment Monday, lawyer Cheryl Daytec-Yañgot bared the basis of their actions that include provisions of the Constitution and other international treaties to which the country is a signatory.

The legal team against the mall expansion is composed of lawyers Daytec-Yañgot, Christopher Donaal, Jansen Nacar, Jado Rafael Bongnadon, Christian Sia and Maria Cristina Yambot.

Daytec-Yañgot narrated the basis of their complaint that includes a provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution stating: “The State shall advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”

The lead counsel added: “The Philippines is said to be among the members of the international community with the best environmental laws aside from being a party to major international environmental conventions or treaties and other instruments which form part of our domestic law.”

These treaties include the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and various environmental UN declarations in Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm.

The complaint also highlighted DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2003-30, an environmentally critical project, stressing public consultation must be done prior to issuing an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) regardless of location.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[Press Release] 284 CSOs attend 4th General Assembly; bewail SM’s impending massacre of Baguio City’s trees -PMPI

284 CSOs attend 4th General Assembly;
bewail SM’s impending massacre of Baguio City’s trees

Baguio City – 284 members of the Philippine-Misereor Partnership, Inc (PMPI) will gather in Baguio city to meet for its 4th General Assembly on February 27 to March 1, 2012 with the theme “Harnessing Faith, Culture and Integrity of Creation towards a Renewed Peace and Development Paradigm.”

The PMPI is a strong network of non-government organizations (NGOs), peoples organizations (POs) and Church groups in the Philippines together with Misereor – the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany.

The general assembly is convened every three years to vote for new leaders and resolutions that will direct the network for the succeeding three years.

It is the highest policy making body of the PMPI.

It is also a forum for continuing dialogue and exchange of learnings between and among its members.

It is an avenue for leadership, confidence-building, and forging solidarity, grounded on issues and concerns articulated by the poor.

On this particular gathering, PMPI is faced by the looming execution of 182 trees in Luneta Hill where Shoe Mart Development Corporation is set to pave way for another parking lot.

A permit signed by Sec. Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last October 2011 grants SMDC the cutting, balling and pruning of 43 fully grown Alnus Japonica, 97 growing pine trees and 42 saplings.

“Baguio has made itself the country’s summer capital. Thousands of tourists come to Baguio City for its scenic nature-endowed beauty and cold weather; and not for the sprawling mall that SM is. It is utterly senseless and abominable that those trees have to be felled for the wheels of irresponsible consumerism and corporate greed,” said Mayette Paragas, incumbent Chairperson of the PMPI and also the executive director of the Baguio-based multi-awarded Shontoug Foundation.

In this year and age, “people tend to take for granted and lose sight of the things that are most essential for human survival,” said Bishop Broderick Pabillo, one of the Bishop Convenors of PMPI and Chairperson of the CBCP-NASSA Ecumenical Commission for Justice and Peace.

Bishop Pabillo expounds, “PMPI’s 4th General Assembly theme is an apt message and reminder that humanity and life forms support system cannot be sustained by present economic development pursuits which disregards the environment and disrespects culture and the integrity of Creation.”

PMPI is comprised of fifteen (15) regional clusters: Six (6) from Luzon, Four (4) from Visayas and five (5) from Mindanao. These member organizations are present and are pro-actively working with the most marginalized communities in the Philippines for the promotion of social justice and development issues. Its flagship program, the Anti-Mining campaign currently partners with 13 sites of struggles in the country. Rapu-rapu, Mindoro, Nueva Vizcaya, Zambales in Luzon, Kabangkalan and San Carlos in Negros, Manicani and Homonhon in Samar in the Visayas region and Surigao del sur, Tampakan, South Cotabato and ZAMPEN peninsula ( Zambo del Sur , ZDN, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City) in Mindanao.

Contacts:

Yolanda R. Esguerra
National Coordinator

Priscilla C. Saladaga
Media Committee
PMPI 4th GA

pmpsecretariat@yahoo.com

PRESS RELEASE

27 February 2012

 

[Event] Activities to Commemorate the 90th Birth Anniversary and 25th Death Anniversary of Jose (Pepe) W. Diokno

Activities to Commemorate the 90th Birth Anniversary and 25th Death Anniversary of Jose (Pepe) W. Diokno

Jose W. Diokno devoted his entire public and private life living as he thought was right and constantly pursuing justice and freedom for our people. Jose W. Diokno passed away 25 years ago, on 27 February 1987, one day after his birthday. He would have turned 90 on February 26, 2012, had he survived cancer.

Jose W. Diokno founded the Free Legal Assistance Group [FLAG] in October 1974, barely one month after his release from prison. In founding FLAG, Jose W. Diokno lamented: “And so law in the land died. I grieve for it but I do not despair over it. I know, with a certainty no argument can turn, no wind can shake, that from its dust will rise a new and better law: more just, more human and more humane. When that will happen, I know not. That it will happen, I know.”

On the occasion of Jose W. Diokno’s 90th birth anniversary and 25th death anniversary, FLAG announces the activities in commemoration of the life and death of its founder.

Friday, 24 February 2012:

9:30 – 12:00 noon The Philippine Political Science Association launches a book entitled Chasing the Wind: Assessing Philippine Democracy at the Philippine Social Science Center Auditorium, UP Diliman; Dr. Maria Serena I. Diokno will speak “On Justice, Freedom and Democracy: Remembering Ka Pepe Diokno”

10:30 – 12:00 noon FLAG holds a press conference at the Max Restaurant, Maria Orosa Street, Manila, in recognition of the contributions of its founder, Jose W. Diokno, to law and justice in the Philippines. It will focus on a few landmark cases handled by FLAG, two of which remain pending in the Supreme Court. Atty. Jose Manuel Diokno and Atty. Arno V. Sanidad will speak at the press conference

Sunday, 26 February 2012:

10:00 am The Family of Jose W. Diokno offer a Holy Mass at the De La Salle Greenhills Chapel; a short video on Jose W. Diokno will be shown after the Holy Mass

Monday, 27 February 2012:

9:00 – 11:30 am The Commission on Human Rights launches The Jose “Ka Pepe” W. Diokno Memorial Lecture at the CHR Multipurpose Hall; Atty. Jose Manuel I. Diokno, FLAG chair will speak on “Developmental Legal Advocacy and the Human Rights Approach to Equal Access to Justice”

2:00 – 5:30 pm The People Power Volunteers for Reforms CARAGA and the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) Policy Center hold a Parangal for the late Senator Jose W. Diokno at the FSUU AVR 1, FSUU Main Campus, Butuan City; Speakers include Sister Letty Daral, MSM (former TFDP – Former Regional Head), Atty. Wilfred Asis (FLAG regional chairperson), Atty. Josefe Sorrera Ty (Dean of the College of Law of FSUU), Atty. Lawrence Fortun (Vice Mayor of Butuan) and Miss Athel Hijos (Gabriela party list)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012:

1:00 – 5:00 pm The Freedom from Debt Coalition in partnership with some campus organizations of UP-Diliman hold a youth forum Remembering Ka Pepe: The Unfinished Agenda of EDSA ’86: Economic Sovereignty, Human Rights and Peace at the Auditorium of the College of Mass Communications, UP Diliman; the forum will have two speakers and three reactors from youth organizations

Wednesday, 29 February 2012:

1:30 – 4:30 pm The De La Salle University (DLSU) College of Law and FLAG hold the 1st National Forum on Developmental Legal Advocacy at the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall, 20/f Multi-Purpose Hall, DLSU, 2269 Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila; former Dean Marvic F. Leonen will speak on “Developmental Legal Advocacy in the Context of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Environment” and Atty. Pablito V. Sanidad will speak on “Developmental Legal Advocacy: Problems and Prospects.”

5:00 – 7:00 pm The De La Salle University (DLSU) awards the Ka Pepe Human Rights Award at DLSU, 2269 Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila

Holy Masses have also been offered for Jose W. Diokno and his wife, Carmen I. Diokno, in churches around the country:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012:

6:45 pm St. Jude Catholic Church, Legazpi City

Saturday, February 25, 2012:

5:30 pm Redemptorist Church, Cebu City

Sunday, February 26, 2012:

6:00 am Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, Baguio City
7:00 am San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod City
7:00 am College Chapel, Ateneo de Davao, Davao City
7:30 am Saint Vincent Church, Baguio City
7:30 am Lourdes Church, Kisad Road, Baguio City
10:00 am Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Tahao Road, Legazpi City
10:30 am Baguio Cathedral, Baguio City
5:30 pm Parish of St. Raphael Arcangel, Legazpi Port, Legazpi City
5:30 pm St. Gregory the Great Cathedral Paris, Old Albay District, Legazpi City
5:30 pm Our Lady of the Gate Parish, Daraga, Albay
St. Joseph Cathedral, Butuan City
Immaculate Conception Parish, Butuan City
Sto. Nino Parish, Libertad , Butuan City

Monday, February 27, 2012:

12:00 noon College Chapel, Ateneo de Davao, Davao City
4:30 pm FSUU AVR 1, FSUU Main Campus, Butuan City
5:15 pm Chapel, University of Eastern Philippines, University Town, Catarman, Nothern Samar
6:00 pm San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod City
St. Joseph Cathedral, Butuan City
Immaculate Conception Parish, Butuan City
Sto. Nino Parish, Libertad , Butuan City

For further inquiries, please contact FLAG at Room 101, Alumni Center, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Telefax number (632) 920-5132, Email flag@flag.com.ph.

Quezon City, Philippines, 20 February 2012.

MARIA SOCORRO I. DIOKNO
Secretary General

Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG)

[In the news] SM consultation set in Baguio City | Sun.Star

SM consultation set in Baguio City | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
February 21, 2012

COUNCILORS agreed Monday to use their regular session on February 27 as a public consultation for residents to give their views on the proposed SM mall’s expansion and for the mall management to explain its redevelopment plans.

To be invited next week are Cordillera Ecological Center Director Dr. Michael Bengwayan, former Mayor Braulio Yaranon and Perry Mendoza of Tongtongan Ti Umili.

The three resource persons last February 20 expressed their firm opposition to the mall expansion, which endangers some 182 pine and alnus trees.

Bengwayan said the earth-balling of the trees would severely affect Baguio’s water table and eventually the city’s dwindling water supply. He said it will also destroy the pine trees which have long been the heritage of the city.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Baguio City answers Writ of Kalikasan attacks | Sun.Star

Baguio City answers Writ of Kalikasan attacks | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
Thursday, February 9, 2012

THE City Government of Baguio has finally replied to the Writ of Kalikasan petition filed at the Supreme Court by several residents of Tuba, Benguet.

The reply was prepared by the City Legal Office with City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes leading the three-man team that drafted the answer of the city last February 3.

Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan told reporters Wednesday that the city has been complying with the Supreme Court’s order not to use the Irisan dumpsite.

He said the city has enumerated in the reply the different actions the city has undergone to observe R.A. 9003 including the proper operation of the Irisan dumpsite including also its adherence to other environmental laws.

The reply also explained the actions made by the City Government and its officials to ensure the safety of the Irisan facility including its environmental impacts as opposed to claims of the petitioners.

Domogan said they have made several infrastructure measures such as the construction of the retaining wall in 2010 to protect the inert garbage from spilling over to nearby communities.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Ifugao lawmaker Teodoro Baguilat opposes cutting and earth-balling of pine trees in Baguio City | Sun.Star

Ifugao lawmaker Teodoro Baguilat opposes cutting and earth-balling of pine trees in Baguio City | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
February 7, 2012

IFUGAO Representative Teodoro Baguilat Jr. joined groups opposing the planned cutting and earth-balling of pines trees along the Luneta Hill in Baguio City to give way to the SM Baguio mall expansion.

Baguilat, chair of the House of Representatives national cultural communities committee, said the planned uprooting of some 182 alnus and pine trees is almost criminal.

Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos.

He stressed the removal of the pine trees should not be allowed as they help make Baguio City unique among the cities in the Philippines.

“It is ironic that Baguio is named the City of Pines and yet developers from outside the city and the Cordillera are now there to remove them and are being allowed to do so,” he said.

He urged local officials to reflect on what kind of development they really want. “Do they want a city with greenery and pine trees or a city of malls and blocks of concrete and steel?”

The lawmaker also expressed fear that allowing one developer to uproot so many trees will open the floodgates for other developers to do the same or at an even grander scale.

“If we allow SM to do this to the trees, sooner or later, other developers would follow. People should realize aside from the cool weather and the Cordillera culture, the pine trees also define Baguio. To lose them would mean losing Baguio’s identity,” he said in a statement.

Kabataan Party-list Representative Raymond Palatino recently filed House Resolution 2069, which directs the House committees on natural resources and ecology to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the legality and propriety of the permit granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) allowing the cutting and earth-balling of trees.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Congress to probe SM-Baguio mall expansion | Sun.Star

Congress to probe SM-Baguio mall expansion | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda

February 4, 2012

KABATAAN party-list Representative Raymond Palatino recently asked his colleagues to investigate the proposed mall expansion along Luneta Hill set to be implemented soon.

Palatino claimed he is against any cutting or uprooting of some 182 trees in the Luneta Hill property to give way to a seven-storey mall expansion.

Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos.

The lawmaker recently filed House Resolution 2069 directing the House Committee on Natural Resources and Committee on Ecology to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the legality and propriety of the permit granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) allowing the cutting and earth-balling of trees.

The resolution also directs the DENR to immediately suspend the clearance and permit granted to SM Development Corporation (SMDC).

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[Photo blog] Images of protest action against Greed – Photos by Bro. Martin Francisco

Images of peoples in action against Greed- Photos by Bro. Martin Francisco

More than 5,000 protesters marched to Session Road in Baguio City protesting the planned cutting of 182 trees by the Mall giant SM owned by Henry Sy to give way for its mall expansion.

For more pictures please visit https://www.facebook.com/bromartin.francisco

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