Tag Archives: Cagayan de Oro

[From the web] The Imperative of Human Security in the Bangsamoro by Gus Miclat

The Imperative of Human Security in the Bangsamoro
by Gus Miclat
October 29, 2014

Thank you Mr. Chairman — the best Congressman of the Second District of Cagayan De Oro — and the Honorable Members of this seminal Ad Hoc Committee for this humbling opportunity to share our take on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

IID

In behalf of my organization, the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)- an organization that aims to build bridges among peoples and thus build peace; and our partner networks such as the Friends of the Bangsamoro (FoBM), an umbrella movement and platform of citizens, NGOs and individuals both inside and outside Mindanao supporting the Bangsamoro even beyond the passage of the BBL and the Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW)– the broadest civil society network of peacebuilders for and in Mindanao, I thank this august committee and Congress for giving us this honor and space and hope that you continue to provide, nay, institutionalize the participation of civil society in deliberations not only in cutting-edge laws such as this, but in all relevant processes of Congress.

The different partner networks, sectors and groups are here to help enhance the BBL and will be submitting proposals that ensure Human Security in the Bangsamoro.

Before I proceed any further, let me state that as civil society, we are not here to discuss nor debate the legal or constitutional ramifications of the proposed law. This is not our competency, nor our main concern. This is the purview — albeit not the sole one– of this able Committee aided by the opinions of legal luminaries and stalwarts – be they graduates of UP, San Sebastian, Yale, Harvard, Cambridge, and Columbia — whom you have invited yesterday and will still do so in the coming hearings.

Read full article @www.iidnet.org

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[Event] Iligan Survivors’ Movement 2nd year Commemoration and Seek for Justice

Iligan Survivors Movement

IMBITADO KA!

Paghandum sa mga Biktima sa Bagyong Sendong!
Katungod ug Serbisyo alang sa mga Survivors, Ipatuman!
Hustisya sa Kinaiyahan! Hustisya sa Tanan!

Iligan Survivors’ Movement 2nd year Commemoration and Seek for Justice.
December 17, 2013
Iligan City

3AM –
SUGAT alang sa HUSTISYA to be organized by Liga ng Makabagong Kabataan – Ranao. A March to Gerona Bridge.

1.30PM –
ISM Commemoration Proper
Part 1 – Mass at San Lorenzo Parish
Part 2 – March to Gerona Bridge by the Sendong Survivors
Part 3 – Program and Concert for Justice by ISM and Local Artists

Bring with you a candle and torch. You may also bring foods and presents that you may share sa mga mag-atend pud. There will be a coffin floating as a tribute and a way of remembering the dead and missing victims, you may bring flowers.

Roxanne Roble Arevalo Merlyn Manos Jay Cabanday Noy Savandal Lanog Mindanao Lanog Mindanao TV Patrol Northern Mindanao Tatay Remo Fenis Egay Cabalitan Aga Zacaria Al Jacinto Ryan Rosauro Violeta M. Gloria

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[Statement] Be calm and critical: Justice must be served! -LMK on the Series of Bombings in Mindanao

Be calm and critical: Justice must be served!
Liga ng Makabagong Kabataan Statement on the Series of Bombings in Mindanao

LMK
Justice must be served to the victims of the series of bombings in Mindanao the past months and the recent one in Cotabato City on August 5, 2013 killing 9 and injured 25 more!

We strongly denounce any attack to civilian population of whatever purposes it may. We believe that this is an orchestrated and there are groups of people behind these. We should not allow these trouble-makers to win in their agenda to spread fear, panic and hatred among us.

To the families, friends and relatives of the victims of these bombings we express our Solidarity and Sympathy.

We call on authorities to maximize all efforts available without jeopardizing due process to bring before the law those culprits and behind of these bombings. We call the attention of the authorities while in pursuit for justice not to curtail human rights and due process. Thus, we reiterate that militarist and militarization would never be an effective response to this.

We also call on the peace loving communities to cooperate in bringing the suspects before justice and importantly safeguard the victories of the peace processes in the region while continue to demand for an inclusive process.

We call on the tri-people and all social sections to be more critical and united amidst these threats. Our unity is our strength and our foundation against all evils who wanted to divide us and propagate hatred.

At the same time, we demand to revolutionary organizations and fronts to join the whole population and bring justice for the victims.

We also denounce any military intervention from foreign troops. It will only add more tension and justification for the further foreign interference in our local affairs.

To those responsible groups, stop this coward and evil works or you shall suffer the struck of justice in the hands of any circumstances.

Liga ng Makabagong Kabataan
Mindanao, Philippines
7 August 2013

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lmkabataan@yahoo.com.ph

[In the news] Military trained bagani tribal warriors – say NBI agent, ex-gov Piñol -MindaNews

Military trained bagani tribal warriors – say NBI agent, ex-gov Piñol
By Keith Bacongco
May 26 2013

MindaNews

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 May) – A lawyer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) revealed before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that the military was the one that trained the baganis (tribal warriors) so they could help in the counter-insurgency campaign.

Even former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Piñol corroborated the NBI lawyer’s statement, but he stressed that the purpose of the bagani is to defend the territories of the indigenous people.

He admitted that the baganis were trained during his term as governor, from 1998 to 2007.

Wenceslao Galendez, agent of the NBI’s North Eastern Mindanao Office based in Cagayan de Oro City, told the CHR panel that the bagani was led by Roelito Ayupat Gawilan, who is the barangay captain of Barangay Sinoda in Kitaotao, Bukidnon.

The CHR, led by chair Loretta Rosales, was in the city on May 22 to 24 for a three-day inquiry on the killing of Italian missionary Fausto Tentorio in Arakan, North Cotabato in October 2011.

Read full article @www.mindanews.com

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[From the web] CDO coalition mulls Writ of Kalikasan -MindaNews.com

CDO coalition mulls Writ of Kalikasan
By Cong Corrales
October 20, 2012

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/ 20 October)—A non-government organization here has threatened to file a Writ of Kalikasan against the city government if it will not do something against the rampant illegal mining activities in the hinterlands of the city.

Orlando Ravanera, chair of the environment coalition Sulog, said they will give the city government “ a last chance” to do something about the unabated mining in the area, otherwise a petition for a writ will be filed against officials.

A Writ of Kalikasan is a legal relief that provides for the protection of one’s right to “a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature,” as enshrined in Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. It is the environmental counterpart of the Writ of Amparo.

In mulling the filing of a writ, Ravanera said that people should have learned hard lessons from tropical storm Sendong, the worst calamity that hit the city in decades.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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[Press Release] Justice for Jordan Manda is justice to all Lumads, Amnesty International said in commemoration of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month

Justice for Jordan Manda is justice to all Lumads, Amnesty International said in commemoration of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month

Today, in commemoration of National Indigenous Peoples Month, Amnesty International Philippines stands by indigenous peoples (IP) leaders and community members in their call for justice to the continuing attacks and killings against indigenous peoples specially in pursuit of their struggle for self determination and in defense of their territories against extractive corporations. Amnesty International members in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Pagadian and Zambonga along with IP leaders from Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur and Agusan del Sur held simultaneous press conferences in their respective areas.

“Pursuit for profits in today’s corporate led globalization has led to greater demand for mineral and other natural resources resulting in global land and resource grabs specially in indigenous peoples territories. This situation has led to indigenous peoples communities, specially their leaders, to heightened advocacy and activism in defense of their land, resources, culture, identity and self-determination. It is in this situation of indigenous peoples resistance and activism where IP leaders and human rights defenders get targeted for harassments, unlawful arrests, enforced disappearances and even killings ” said Ritz Lee Santos III, Chairperson of Amnesty International Philippines at the press conference held in Davao City.

Amnesty International is concerned about the enormous impact of extractive corporations on the rights of indigenous peoples and their communities. Amnesty International also emphasized the Philippine Government’s responsibility to protect IP’s ancestral lands from corporate exploitation and fully enforce domestic regulations and mechanisms for redress against the devastating effect mining activities have on the indigenous peoples, their lands and lives.

“Amnesty International recognizes that indigenous peoples rights have been recognized in international and national laws during the recent years however, widespread violations of IP rights still occur due to continued discrimination, conflicting state policies and programs, and the entry of corporations to ancestral domains” explained Rodolfo Francis Marcial, Amnesty International Philippines Board Member in the press conference in Zamboanga City.

In the Philippines, Amnesty International is witness to continuing harassments, extra-judicial killings and forced disappearance perpetrated against IP human rights defenders in their struggle to protect IP territories from plantations, mining, logging and energy projects of companies whether foreign or local.

“As seen in the cases of the disappearance of James Balao in the Cordillera, the ambush of Timuay Lucenio Manda in the Zamboanga Peninsula which resulted in the death of his son Jordan, and the recent news in Misamis Oriental of the killing of IP organization leader Gilbert Paborado – IP leaders and human rights defenders continue to be targeted for attacks. We call on the Aquino government to protect indigenous peoples leaders and rights defenders at grave risk to attacks and violations, and work to provide justice for all victims of violations of indigenous peoples rights.“ reiterated Romel Cardenas De Vera, Amnesty International Philippine Human Rights Officer at the press conference in Cagayan de Oro City.

“Despite this so called“progress” over the last decade on indigenous peoples rights, we continue to live in hardship and danger due to the failure of the government to protect, promote and uphold ourhuman rights,” added Victoria Cajandig, Amnesty International Philippine Board Member and member of the Subanen Tribe, in the press conference held in Pagadian City.

“P-Noy must direct the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate any cases of EJK, forced disappearance and harassment in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. The DILG must work with the Commission on Human Rights Regional Offices to conduct investigations on the reported threats, as well as attempted and actual attacks against IP HR Defenders,” stressed Cajandig.

Amnesty International explains further that indigenous peoples will continue to be uprooted from their lands and territories as a consequence of discriminatory government policies and practices. Social marginalization and legal discrimination place IPs at risk of a wide range of human rights violations.

“It is about time that the Lumad’s struggle for their rights and lands become visible in the eyes of the government and local authorities. The scale and inter-sectional nature of human rights abuses and violations that the IPs experience in the hands of corporations of extractive industries particularly logging and mining companies in Mindanao only further substantiates that in the Philippines, the vulnerable and the marginalized sectors are not prioritized. As the government and the MILF formalize the framework agreement for the Bangsamoro, we, at Amnesty International Philippines, urge that the Lumads’ concerns are included, gearing towards the end to abuses and violations against indigenous peoples land within the Bangsamoro territory,” concluded Santos.

Amnesty International Philippines
Press Release
15 October 2012

http://amnesty.org.ph/news.php?item=news&id=276

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[Event] Father Gariguez, 2012 GoldMan Winner will Inspire Minda Leaders -LRC-KsK/FoE-Phils.

Father Gariguez, 2012 GoldMan Winner will Inspire Minda Leaders

Cagayan de Oro City – Father Edu Gariguez, as one of the 6 winners worldwide of Goldman for 2012 was recognized for his efforts to protect the environment and their communities in Mindoro island will be in Cagayan de Oro for the Mindanao Leaders Summit this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.

Gariguez, who is known as “Father Edu,” has been serving as a pastor of the Mangyan Mission Catholic Church in Mindoro.He is also executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Philippine Catholic Church.

Mindoro is a fragile island ecosystem. The rate of degradation of the forest in the island is alarming. From the 967,400 hectares of forest in the 1950s, the remaining forest cover of Mindoro at present is only about 50,000 hectares. The significant forest loss of 95% contributed to the instability of the environment both in the upland and lowland areas. But instead of restoring the balance, the forest ecosystems are now even more in danger of being denuded due to the threats posed by more than 92 mining applications all over the island of Mindoro.

Approved House (Congress) Resolution No. 25, clearly asserts that “the Mindoro Nickel Project of lntex Resources and Aglubang Mining, covers one of the province’s watershed areas as duly declared and identified in the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Physical Framework Plan. The mining exploration site encroaches on the Mag-asawang Tubig Watershed, the largest source of irrigation water for the 40,000 hectares of rice lands in Calapan City, and the towns of Naujan, Baco and Victoria, Oriental Mindoro.”

In July of 2001 the Department of Environment and Natural Resources revoked the mining concession on environmental and social impact grounds. Then DENR Secretary Alvarez explained his decision and that of President Arroyo as being based on the need to protect critical watersheds, to protect the food security of the Mindorenos (local communities), and to respect the social unacceptability of the project. “The Mindoro Nickel Project is one case where sustainability is bound to fail . . . President Arroyo is fully aware of the situation . . . what does it gain the nation to be short sighted and merely think of money, when an irreparable damage to the environment will cost human lives, health and livelihood capacity of our farmers and fisherfolks endangering the food security of our people.”

In 2009, Father Edu led the 25 hunger strikers, majority of whom were Mangyans. Their call – Revoke the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) granted to INTEX, cancel the MPSA in Mindoro. Along with the hunger strikers were the 2 governors of Mindoro Oriental and Occidental provinces, the Vice Governor of Occidental, mayors, Congressmen; members of ALAMIN; Bishops and priests, tens of them; nuns, and NGO supporters. It was indeed a strong show of force united in their demand.

Gariguez was key in uniting thousands of indigenous peoples, farmers and local and provincial political leaders in numerous protests against mining on the island which led the DENR to deny the ECC of INTEX.

Mindanao Leaders Summit
c/o LRC-KsK/FoE-Phils.
2nd Floor Cabadbaran Bank, Tiano-Dolores St.,
Cagayan de Oro City
lrcksk@lrcksk.org

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[In the news] Bukidnon tribal leaders file human rights complaints vs. Cafgus -MindaNews

MindaNews » Bukidnon tribal leaders file human rights complaints vs. Cafgus.

By Cong Corrales
September 7, 2012

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/7 Sept) – Leaders of a tribal community in Bukidnon have filed complaints at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Friday against the more than 20 members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) who allegedly raided their community for gold and cash early last month.

The lumad leaders belong to the community of slain tribal leader Jimmy Liguyon, barangay chairman of Dao in San Fernando town, said to be the center of illegal mining operations in the province. Liguyon opposed mining activities in his community.
The lumad leaders claimed they were harassed last Monday by at least eight masked men at the Bukidnon capitol grounds where they staged a campout.

Before filing the complaint, Datu Nilo Cabungcol, chairperson of Kaugalingong Sistema sa Igpasasindog to Lumadnong Ogpaan (Kasilo), raid victim Tessie Ombo and student activists sought the advise of Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ.

“This will be a test case on political will. If this cannot be resolved in the provincial level, then you can elevate it to the regional level,” Ledesma advised the lumad leaders.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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[In the news] Forum on PNoy’s EO 79 on mining draws mixed reactions -MindaNews

MindaNews » Forum on PNoy’s EO 79 on mining draws mixed reactions.

By Cong Corrales
August 6, 2012

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/5 Aug) – Church leaders, environmentalists, civil society organizations and a lumad leader took turns in “cutting down” President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s Executive Order 79 in a forum held here last week, saying the order favors large-scale mining operations.

At the forum, Christian Monsod, chair of the National Agricultural and Fishery Council Committee on Climate Change, presented the President’s recent order on mining to members and guests of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and local green groups at the Fr. Patrick Cronin Formation Center of the St. Augustine’s Cathedral.

Although the figures do not institute connectedness, Monsod said these “show an association between mining and poverty that at least raises questions on the claim that mining substantially improves life in their communities.”

“Mining has the highest poverty incidence at 48.7 percent in any sector in the country,” he said, citing the booming large-scale mining operations in the regions of Caraga, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Bicol.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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[Appeal] Emergency appeal for Camiguin-Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro

Emergency appeal for Camiguin-Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro

AN APPEAL FOR CAMIGUIN

Another typhoon struck Northern Mindanao. This time Typhoon Gener hit the Island Province of Camiguin last July 27, 2012.

All five parishes in Camiguin; Mambajao, Mahinog, Guinsiliban, Sagay and Catarman were not spared of destruction. Continuous heavy rains generated flashfloods which uprooted trees, with tons of mud and rocks rolling down from the mountains, and strong winds blowing houses away.

Damage assessment reveal the following figures: 26 totally damaged houses, 22 partially damaged houses, and 1,683 flooded houses, for a total of 1,731 affected families.

Damage to infrastructure which directly affected all residents of Camiguin is the destruction of the water system of the entire province, except Mambajao.

Immediate assistance needed are food; particularly rice, noodles, canned goods and
drinking water; medicines, particularly for fever, coughs and colds; hygiene materials like laundry and bath soaps; kitchen wares; blankets, mats, and mosquito nets.

For financial assistance you may send your donations to this bank account.

Account Name: Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, Inc.
Peso Account No. 9330-0014-42
Dollar Account No. 9334-0221-69
Bank of the Philippine Islands

For donations in kind, you may send your donations to the Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Camaman-an, Cagayan de Oro City.

For more details, you may contact:

Rev. Fr. Nathaniel C. Lerio, SSJV
Social Action Director
Telephone No. 857-302
Mobile No. 0917-7195626

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[From the web] We Have Been Fooled Again by DENR – Such Impunity by Fr. Pete Montallana

We Have Been Fooled Again by DENR – Such Impunity
by Fr. Pete Montallana, OFM -Chairperson, SSMNA
February 11, 2012

Five ten wheeler trucks carrying a total at least of 100,000 board ft of lumber were transported out of Dingalan, Aurora between February 5-9, 2012. Thanks to the permit given by RED Ricardo Calderon last Dec. 13, 2011 allowing a total of 330,720 bd ft with paid forest charges and were cut according to them before the log ban last February 1, 2011. SSMNA pictures attest to the contrary. However in our past experience the old can be made fresh by DENR. Such is the DENR’s special magic.

Granted that the lumber were old for the sake of argument, SSMNA attests there was no such volume of logs in San Roque Saw Mill. February 15, 2011 the DENR together with the Social Action inspected San Roque and saw only 60 pieces of wood. Moreover, August 5, 2011 SSMNA with the DENR and the military also saw no such logs there in San Roque. 330,720 bd ft would be a mountain of logs too big to be hidden. Again DENR can make things invisible.

SSMNA asked Sec. Ramon Paje Feb. 1, 2012 for “an immediate suspension of the permit to transport and conduct a thorough investigation”. Anti Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF) Feb. 2, 2012 mandated RED Calderon to investigate the papers of the said logs. The signatory of the permit would have to investigate himself! DENR from years of experience do make people investigate themselves very honestly.

When Cenro Aguilar of Dingalan was asked why trucks of lumber were allowed to leave last Febraury 9, 2012, he texted back: “The lumber were permitted to leave because Denr had authority over San Roque.” SSMNA texted back: “Did you receive the memo from AILTF dated Feb. 2 investigating those lumber?” No more reply. DENR forms their personnel to speak only the truth.

The legal basis of Red Calderon was the Resolution 2011-006 signed by Sec. Paje which said that all logs with paid forest charges can now be transported within 90 days from Nov. 28,2011. This is DENR’s new deadline because May 21, 2011was the deadline to transport all logs cut before Feb.1, 2011. If one is confused, then just think that for the DENR logs with paid forest products were not really logs – hence they had to wait until Nov. 28, 2011 to be transported.

If one is still confused, then you have seen the truth – DENR is really Department of the Extinction of Natural Resources. If you believe otherwise, you would not be able to explain the death and destruction in Cagayan de Oro, Ormoc, Infanta, Bulacan and in Metro Manila with Ondoy. If you want another proof – wait for the forthcoming Ondoy because until now there is still logging, quarrying and subdivisions construction allowed by DENR in Marikina Watershed. Or wait too for the next law that will supersede the Total Log Ban which carries the provision pushed by DENR allowing the cutting of trees in secondary forests.

Now you would also understand the President who once upon a time was our dream to protect our environment. It is time to act. Watch for the next flow of lumber from Dingalan that might be the ones used for our coffins.

Photo by www.savesierramadre.ph

[In the news] Zubiri says Bukidnon reforestation effort a failure, wants it stopped – MindaNews.com

Zubiri says Bukidnon reforestation effort a failure, wants it stopped – 
By Walter I. Balane, MindaNews.com
January 10, 2012

 MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/9 January) – The reforestation efforts of the Bukidnon Forest Inc. (previously the Bukidnon Industrial Tree Plantation Project or BIPP) was allegedly unsuccessful, so its operations have to be stopped, Bukidnon Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. said

Zubiri said at the Monday convocation program of the provincial government Monday that BFI must be asked to stop operating ahead of the expiration of its 25-year industrial forest management agreement (IFMA) in 2016.

BFI is a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) under the National Resources Development Corporation. As BIPP, it was funded by the national government of New Zealand until it was terminated as a foreign-assisted project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 1998.

Zubiri said the 38,000-hectare industrial tree plantation project’s area should instead be given to the indigenous people who have applied for Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title over it.

http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2012/01/10/zubiri-says-bukidnon-reforestation-effort-a-failure-wants-it-stopped/

[In the news] Red Cross to use ‘sweat equity’ in building shelters at relocation sites – InterAksyon.com

Red Cross to use ‘sweat equity‘ in building shelters at relocation sites
Cong B. Corrales, InterAksyon.com
January 5, 2012

 CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The government and non-government organizations are now moving toward easing out Sendong survivors from a “patronage attitude” to “owning back their dignity” by rebuilding their lives through “sweat equity.”

“We are not a dole-out society and the patronage attitude toward rebuilding their lives will not help the flood survivors,” said Philippine Red Cross-Crescent chairman Richard Gordon in a press conference here Wednesday.

Gordon said Xavier University gave another two hectares to its original donation of five hectares in Barangay Lumbia. He said this would mean 400 more shelter units could be built on the identified relocation site. The entire relocation site will be subdivided into 50-hectare lots.

“With a seven-hectare relocation site, we can now build 1,400 shelter units which means we can move more families out of the evacuation centers faster and earlier. We will start building the shelters two weeks from today,” he said.

Read full article @ interaksyon.com

[In the news] EU: Poor hardest hit by floods in Mindanao – PhilStar.com

EU: Poor hardest hit by floods in Mindanao
By Pia Lee-Brago, The Philippine Star
January 05, 2012

 CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The poor that were severely affected by the flashfloods spawned by tropical storm “Sendong” here and in Iligan City and who could not leave their homes and settle in safer areas represent 80 percent of the displaced families, now totaling 641,000 people.

European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux yesterday said the figure given by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCA) highlighted the poverty level of the residents that have been affected by the floods.

He stressed the need to reduce the high casualty count by addressing the issue of poverty whenever disasters and calamities strike the Philippines.

“The Philippine government is well aware of this and is implementing various policies to promote economic growth and reduce poverty,” Ledoux said.

The EU, for its part, is also contributing to the poverty reduction effort, he said.

Last year, the EU disbursed funds in numerous development aid programs aimed at reducing poverty.

The EU, through its non-government organization partners, has mobilized many relief workers on the ground to provide immediate emergency assistance to 170,000 displaced families.

But beyond relief assistance, Ledoux said, is the continuing need to strengthen disaster preparedness mechanisms in the area. Although the EU has invested significantly in disaster preparedness in the Philippines in the last few years, Ledoux said more needs to be done.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=764948&publicationSubCategoryId=63

[In the news] House okays bill imposing life imprisonment on illegal loggers – PhilStar.com

House okays bill imposing life imprisonment on illegal loggers
By Jess Diaz , The Philippine Star
January 04, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking the imposition of life imprisonment on illegal loggers.

Under the proposed Sustainable Forest Management Act, harvesting, gathering or collecting timber or other forest products from any forestland with a market value of more than P500,000 and without authority from the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would be illegal and punishable with life imprisonment.

Those who buy logs, flitches and lumber from illegal loggers will also suffer the same penalty.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, principal author of the proposed law, said he hoped that with such a heavy penalty on offenders, the destruction of watersheds and other forested areas and the resulting flooding of low-lying communities will be minimized.

In a related development, Rodriguez and his brother Maximo, who represents the party-list group Abante Mindanao, filed on Monday Bill 5663, which seeks the appropriation of P2 billion for the rebuilding of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City after these were devastated by tropical storm “Sendong” recently.

In filing the bill, the two said residents of the two cities need state help “to be able to recover from the recent tragedy and start a new life.”

“In the short term, there is a need to provide basic necessities to the evacuees including food and non-food items and a way to give them access to proper hygiene. Also, debris cleanup is a priority as well as provisions for temporary shelter before school and classes resume,” they said.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

[In the news] Mining regulators eye bidding out 3M hectares of freed up areas – INQUIRER.net

Mining regulators eye bidding out 3M hectares of freed up areas
By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 3, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines—Mining regulators are considering options for managing freed up mining areas including bidding them out.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Engr. Leo L. Jasareno said via e-mail that more than 3 million hectares of applied mining areas have been freed up since the government implemented its “use it or lose it” policy.

“The policy has the primary aim of rendering final action on 2,196 pending mining applications nationwide. By end of June 2011, the MGB denied a total of 1,606 applications.

Beyond mineral resources development and management, the MGB has been pursuing its other mandate – geohazard mapping for landslide and flooding, Jasareno said.

In the light with the recent Cagayan de Oro flooding event, the MGB has been advocating the widespread use of landslide and flooding maps for much of the last decade as a tool for disaster risk reduction and management, as well as land use planning.

MGB has been conducting cleansing by either approving pending applications or disapproving those with “infirmities, lack of activity, or lack of requirements.”

Read full article @ business.inquirer.net

[In the news] Red Cross to build 1,000 homes on Jesuit land – INQUIRER.net

Red Cross to build 1,000 homes on Jesuit land
By Jeannette I. Andrade in Manila and Ryan D. Rosauro
Inquirer Mindanao
January 1, 2012

 The new year is expected to bring hope and new homes to some 1,000 families displaced by Tropical Storm “Sendong,” with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) offering them the opportunity to literally rebuild their lives.

“It will be a family to a house which they themselves will help build,” PRC secretary general Gwendolyn Pang said Saturday. The evacuees need not spend for their new homes which are expected to rise in six months.

On Thursday, PRC chairman Richard Gordon and Xavier University chairman Elpidio Paras led the groundbreaking rites at the resettlement site. Gordon said it was the first partnership between the private sector and the PRC in building homes for families displaced by Sendong.

Gordon said the Red Cross would build 1,000 shelters, initially, as soon as the land was ready with basic services and provision for livelihood.

Pang pointed out that each single detached house, with an area of 24 square meters, would sit on a 40-to 50-sq. m lot on a 5-hectare property in Barangay (village) Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro, donated under usufruct rights by the Jesuit-owned Xavier University.

Usufruct is the legal right granted to a person or entity to use and derive profit or benefit from a property that either belongs to another person or which is under common ownership, as long as the property is not damaged or destroyed.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[In the news] Cancel large-scale mining, Aquino urged –

Cancel large-scale mining, Aquino urged
By RIO ROSE RIBAYA
December 30, 2011, mb.com.ph

  MANILA, Philippines — A progressive group Friday dared President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to cancel large-scale mining and logging nationwide in a bid to ensure that deadly floods like the one caused by tropical storm “Sendong,” which killed more than a thousand residents in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan will not happen again.

Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmerenciana de Jesus said President Aquino does not need to form a fact-finding mission to determine who must be blamed for the Mindanao disaster, saying he only needs to point fingers to the government’s inaction on the protection of the environment.

“This is a disaster waiting to happen because of large-scale mining and logging activities in the region,” De Jesus.

Read full article @ mb.com.ph

[In the news] 2 weeks after ‘Sendong,’ survivors’ mental needs wanting – UN – InterAksyon.com

2 weeks after ‘Sendong,’ survivors’ mental needs wanting – UN
by Ria Rose Uro, InterAksyon.com, December 31, 2011

  ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – The United Nations said survivors of the deadly flashfloods that devastated this city when tropical storm “Sendong” struck on December 17 are badly in need of mental health care services.

In its December 28 situation report, the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Action said providing psycho-social support services to flood evacuees should be among “the key priorities” in disaster response.

OCHA noted that these services remain limited to those staying in evacuation centers as it stressed that these “must be expanded to include affected populations who have chosen to remain in their areas of origin or with relatives.”

In a December 26 report, the agency said such services have reached only “a small percentage of the affected people.”

It estimated that around 250,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance arising from the disaster.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[In the news] Military dares communist rebels to extend ceasefire to entire 2012 | Sun.Star

Military dares communist rebels to extend ceasefire to entire 2012 | Sun.Star.

By Ivy C. Tejano
Thursday, December 29, 2011

  THE Army’s 10th Infantry Division dared Thursday the National Democratic Front/Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (NDF/CPP/NPA) to declare ceasefire for the entire 2012.

Brigade General Ricardo Rainer Cruz III, assistant division commander of the 10th Infantry Division, said it could be better if the communist rebels will extend their ceasefire in 2012, instead of the 13-day ceasefire for Christmas and the victims of Tropical Storm “Sendong”, which hit Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.

“It is time for the communist rebels to take a break and return to their families. Let’s declare 2012 ceasefire so for the community to develop their living, and not only because there is a disaster. This is great kasi magkakaroon tayo ng katahimikan starting next year,” Cruz said in a press conference Thursday.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

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