Tag Archives: Organizations

[Featured site] sigawngkabataan.wordpress.com

Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition 

sigawngkabataan.wordpress.com

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It’s an independent coalition of Students/ Youth organizations, young workers/professionals.

Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition was established on August 18, 2013 by a group of youth leaders at the PSLINK national headquarters.

Public Service Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK) played a major role to its formation through trainings, exposure and educating the members.

sigaw ng kabataan coalition

OBJECTIVES

Establish solidarity among youth /youth-serving organizations, student council/government, professionals, Young workers and out of school youth for the promotion of the social, moral, political, economic and professional well being of its members and the youth sector through collective bargaining and other concerted activities
Coordinate and cooperate with other organizations wherein its activities are chiefly concerned for the common good of the youth and the community.
To strive for adoption of legislation, policies and other measures that will promote the economic, social and general well-being of all the members in particular, and the youth, in general.
To ensure that the internationally recognized fundamental rights and principles of the youth are universally implemented.
Mission:

To promote a sustainable development in the empowerment of the youth in participation to the social, economic and political progress in our country.

Vision:

Sigaw ng kabataan coalition is a leading network of organizations, working in solidarity to achieve progressive goals. We develop a legacy of leaders that will initiate greater change and establish a humane,just and peaceful society.

Visit sigawngkabataan.wordpress.com

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[Announcement] Report cases of attacks, threats, and killings of journalists and media workers. -CMFR

Report cases of attacks, threats, and killings of journalists and media workers -CMFR

Report cases of attacks, threats, and killings of journalists and media workers -CMFR

Defend press freedom. Report cases of attacks, threats, and killings of journalists and media workers. You can send us a direct message here or an email (staff@cmfr-phil.org) about the details of the incident. You can also share this photo to inform others with the hashtags #PressFreedomWatch and #endimpunityinPH

CMFR

Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility

Visit and like https://www.facebook.com/CMFR.Philippines

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.

[Blog] The Power of Love: Against All Odds By Jose Mario De Vega

The Power of Love: Against All Odds
By Jose Mario De Vega

I completely understand and I have no illusion whatsoever that the stand I am taking today will be met with paeans of criticism, condemnation, rebuke, mockery and barrage of renunciation by the bastard herds considering the very fact of the seeming abnormality, unconventionality and oddness of the case I am about to discuss and defend, no matter how indefensible it may seem.

Mario De Vega

A couple of days ago, a Filipino rock icon shocked the whole show business and perhaps, the entire nation, too.

The case: He is a sixty year old man who admitted to the whole world that he is in-love and seeing a sixteen year old girl.

Initially, due to my pressing tight schedule (it’s the finals week and I am marking volumes of bloody papers, recording and encoding a lot of grades) and the nature of the case, I’ve decided to stay away with the same, yet after seeing what in my view are strings and series of utterly unfair commentaries, super below the belt reactions and completely malicious and unjust accusations leveled against the said singer and his poor girl, I’ve decided to put away, so to speak my work for a while and come out into the open to take up the cudgel for them!

As a radical philosopher and an activist professor, I cannot keep my silence, especially seeing that a grave injustice and a great slander is being committed repeatedly and on a daily basis against this odd couple.

As already noted, Ka Freddie is one of our world famous artist and one of our Living Legend on the art and craft of music. Needless to state, the guy is so famous and so popular, not only here but also abroad.

Now, it seems now that he at present, perhaps the most detested man in our society and country.
Nonetheless, this writer is not concern here with popularity and personalities, but rather my aim is to somehow harmonize no matter how hard and difficult it is the substantive question of private and public interest.

As an independent observer and in a sense, a judge, I am not swayed by the opportunistic, moralistic and hypocritical bandwagonism of “hooting throng” and “moral drums” that may make us, in fact sadly, a great number of our people, to see things through the prisms of prejudice, ignorance, arrogance and conservatism.

I have no need for that and I completely renounce and denounce that!

As a social scientist, I always bear in mind that when I dissect, study and analyze an issue or an event or a problem for that matter that affects society and our community I must be governed by rationality, humanity and objectivity.

In doing so, I must cast all personal feelings aside, to be objective and fair in my social analysis and academic endeavor.

This shocking issue before us must be resolved with total objectivity and impartiality, on the basis not only of the established facts and the applicable law, but also of the higher question of individuality and humanity, and not of some holier than thou mentality, moral cartel, some so-called established convention, time-honored values, long held beliefs, historical traditions and fixed culture.

I admit that on the level of the law, the icon’s act is illegal. I also submit that that on the sphere of socially accepted norms and prevailing morality, his conduct is ‘immoral’ and socially unacceptable.

I say that with a heavy heart, but still I say them nonetheless; yet in admitting that the act that he committed is illegal and immoral; is there a sense in which wherein we can still somehow justify his act of defying the socially accepted norms and established traditions and beliefs?

I know that my contention is controversial, but I will argue that though the icon’s act is illegal and immoral, his act of loving a young woman is justifiable still in a certain extent, because love is blind and love is the most powerful feeling ever known to man.

On that sense, I will defend his act as being ethical! It is ethical in my view by virtue of that fact that he just followed what his heart is telling and/or commanding him and he did not violate anybody’s or anyone’s specific rights!

To love is to be human and to be truly human is to true to one’s self against the whole world!

The Question of Public and Private Sphere of Human Action

Indeed, “the laws of a society ultimately have an ethical purpose: to protect the members of a community from harm, to maintain a system of law and order so that tranquility will prevail, to provide wholesome conditions so that individuals can pursue their diverse purposes, to insure the general welfare, and to maximize the opportunities for happiness.”

All of these are being carried out by the state through its agency the government to protect the general welfare and defend the public interest.

Hence, any action committed or done by a citizen within the public sphere is exactly within the domain of the government.

Nonetheless, a society especially a democratic one is not unlimited in its scope of power and societal control in all the sphere of human activities and individual conduct, by virtue of the fact that not all actions are within the province of the public.

There are areas in human affairs in which the public and the state and the government have no right to intrude or invade. That domain or sphere is the zone or sphere of Individual Human Privacy.

Every time I say that the government has no right to legislate morality, I am specifically referring to private morality in contradistinction with public morality.

To illustrate: the government has no right to tell me how the hell I am going to live my life, but it is the primary business of the government to prohibit me from killing someone or raping someone or burning and/or destroying the property of another individual.

The former is within my right to privacy, while the latter is within morals of the public and the government based on the public interest rule does have the legal power and the political right to command me and all citizens for that matter not to do those nefarious things and criminal acts, because we are all member of the body politic.

What I am against is the herd mentality of the public opinion that “does not respect idiosyncratic styles of living and seeks to regulate or suppress them.”

The Private Domain of Human Act

To quote Professor Paul Krutz:

Society should respect the right of an individual to control his or her personal life. The zones of privacy that society should not intrude upon without good reasons are a person’s body, possessions, beliefs, values, actions, and associations, insofar as these pertain to his or her own private sphere of interest and conduct.”

It is my firm view that society has no right to meddle with the private lives of Ka Freddie and his girl. I do not see any violation of the public interest with regard to their relationship.

Nonetheless, I readily admit that by virtue of the fact that his girlfriend who happens to be a sixteen year old is a minor in the eyes of the law. Hence, the government can enter this issue to tell Ka Freddie that the girl is this a minor and he has to wait for another two years belong they can go on with their relationship.

My problem with these issues is the following:

1. Does the government have the right to tell the young girl what is good for her?

2. If the parents of the said girl gave the blessing of her relationship to that old man, what would be the violations?

3. Does the public interest in general shattered or violated or prejudice because of this case?

On number one: now, because of the spike of the crimes being committed by minors, some legislators wish to lower the age of criminal liability. Following the same line of reasoning, can we also lower the age for any individual when to fall in love?

On number two: does the government have the right to supersede the power or discretion or consent of the parents in the case under consideration?

Can the government say: “Hey, Mama, Papa, we know that you are the biological parents of this girl, but we are the political government and base on the public interest rule, we considered and viewed your consent as unwise and wrong, hence we are overriding your decision?

On number three: what aspect or part or domain or spheres of the public interest were violated by this odd case of these lovers?

The Power of Love

I do not want to be romantic about it, but how many times have we heard the expressions love is blind and love conquers all in our lives?

According to Professor A. C. Grayling:

“The Greeks had different words for love’s different manifestations. They spoke of agape, altruistic love (in Latin caritas, which gives us — but that with a cold ring — our word ‘charity’). They spoke of ludus, the playful affection of children and of casual lovers, and pragma, the understanding that exist between a long established married couple. They spoke of storge, the love that grows between siblings or comrades-in-arms who have been through much together, and of mania, which is obsession. And they have allied the latter with eros or sexual passion. They thought that love in all its forms was divinely inspired, in the case of the last by Aphrodite. But divine inspiration was not always welcome; manic eroticism, they said, was often inflicted as a punishment by the gods, and its unreasoning and distracting character interfered with what they most valued namely intellect and courage. Both Plato and Aristotle, in their different ways, therefore placed friendship at the summit of emotional life, and consigned the love that craves bodily expression to a lower plane…

“In making these distinctions the Greeks showed an alertness to the fact that close relationships subserve a variety of ends. People need emotional satisfaction of many kinds, but chiefly those that stem from giving and receiving companionship, affection, and the affirmations of being liked and approved. People might occasionally enjoy solitude, but never loneliness; they need to feel connected and valued. All of the six loves of the Greeks are connections, and all but mania bring a sense of self-worth.”

I have quoted liberally and at length from the Professor’s work to highlight to the people not only the different kinds of love but also its power and force.

The great French philosopher Blaise Pascal once said that: the heart has a reason which the mind does not understand.

To correlate the truthfulness of that pronouncement, let me quote Russell Crowe who played the role of Professor John Nash in that utterly brilliant and powerful film on love and reason, “A Beautiful Mind”:

“What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career – the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found. I am only here tonight because of you…[looking at and speaking to Alicia]

“You are the only reason I am. You are all my reasons. Thank you.”

Another icon, Gary Granada said in one of his songs the following lines:

“Kailangang umibig, kailangang ibigin; kahit na dusa ang kakambal
Ang hahanapin at hahagilapin ng puso ay pagmamahal…”

To all those who condemn or criticize a person or an individual who is in-love are ignorant and idiots of the worst kind; wait till the day when they themselves fall in love and they will also do the bad and mad things that they previously criticized. History and Life has proven that again and again!

I am not condoning, but neither I am condemning Ka Freddie’s affection and feelings. I completely respect that! Who the hell am I to tell him that what he is feeling is merely a spurt of the moment and it is just lust? I am not him? And he is not me! Hence, no one but him can certainly say what the hell he is truly feeling!

I just hope that whatever he is feeling to his girl, it is not mania or eros!

I am hoping that it is somewhere between agape, ludus and pragma.

As Pink said in the opening line of her famous song, “Just Give Me A Reason”:

“Right from the start
You were a thief
You stole my heart
And I your willing victim
I let you see the parts of me
That weren’t all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them…”

I am truly hoping that their love no matter how odd and peculiar it may seem may survive and grow against all odds!

As the time-honored saying goes: Love conquers all!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[Announcement] Call for Abstract Submission-7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights-PNGOC

Call for Abstract Submission-7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights-PNGOC

Abstract submission guidelines
7th APCRSHR300-500 word abstract addressing any of the topics of the parallel sessions of the planned 7th APCRSHR program. The abstract should include the objectives, methods/strategies, results, and future directions (beyond 2014).

Formats can include paper or poster presentation.

In the selection of the papers and posters for presentation, priority would be given to those that address the objectives 1-4 of the conference.

Standard presentations are usually between 10-15 minutes and this would be followed by a ten-minute open forum.

All submissions will be anonymously reviewed by a panel of international reviewers/experts. Scholarships will be provided to the selected paper presenters.

Deadline for receipt by Secretariat: June 15, 2013

For more information, contact:
7th APCRSHR Secretariat
Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health & Welfare, Inc.
E-mail address: 7thapcrshr@gmail.com
Telefax: (632) 852-1898
Website: http://www.pngoc.org

Or Contact: Dr. Eden Divinagracia, Convenor (erdivinagracia@gmail.com)
Dr. Pilar Ramos-Jimenez, Chair, Scientific Committee (lalayjimenez009@gmail.com)

For more details visit www.7apcrshrmanila.org/abstract-submission-guidelines.html#.UPEVACVlSP2

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[Event] From journalism to novel writing: what is there in between? Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines

FROM JOURNALISM TO NOVEL WRITING: WHAT IS THERE IN BETWEEN?
Public Event · By Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines

Friday, May 18, 2012
7:30pm until 10:30pm
FROM JOURNALISM TO NOVEL WRITING: WHAT IS THERE IN BETWEEN?

a talk by DIFFERENT COUNTRIES* author CLARISSA V. MILITANTE

This is the May edition of the Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines’ OPENBOOK series.

*Militante’s first novel, Different Countries (Anvil Publishing), was long listed in the 2009 Man Asian Literary Prize.
Entrance: P150

Reservation/Inquiries: 0917-9378617 (Ime); 09088945174 (Jofti)

https://www.facebook.com/events/352971514765692/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

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.

[Statement] We demand climate justice now!

We demand climate justice now!

The international climate negotiation is not the only arena of our struggles for climate justice. But it is a critical one which now more than ever requires much stronger concerted efforts  — to counter moves by powerful governments, international institutions and global corporations that will bring more harm to people and planet, and to fight for global measures that will stave off catastrophic climate change and enable people to deal with present and future impacts.

To pave the way for more powerful collective campaigning – several organizations worked together on a call for a  “Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice” that is directed at all governments and the international climate talks and effectively combines “inside” and “outside” actions.

The call serves as an appeal and invitation to work together in advancing the demands outlined. These demands are expressed only in general terms in the Call but certainly should be expanded and substantiated based on unities already reached by clim ate justice movements and updated to address current developments. We urge you to join the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice and sign on to the call as an expression of your commitment!  Please contact: DemandClimateJustice@gmail.com

We are movements and organizations engaged in many struggles for a new world – a world in which the needs, interests, rights and aspirations of peoples everywhere have priority over the profit of corporations and the excess of elites. In the years ahead, our solidarity and collective action is extremely crucial.  Climate change is already having devastating impacts globally and is accelerating. The window for preventing the breach of tipping points and stopping climate catastrophe is rapidly closing.

Climate change is more than multiplying the sufferings of people already burdened by the global injustices of hunger, dispossession and violation of human rights. It is a crisis that also threatens to wipe out vast populations and profoundly change life on Earth. We must act with clarity, cohesion and courage if we are to stabilize the Earth’s climate system and secure a just and sustainable world.

Like other global crises, climate change arises principally from historically unequal economic and social structures, from practices and policies promoted by rich, industrialized countries, and from systems of production and consumption that sacrifice the needs of the many to the interests of a few. The affected peoples of the world bear little responsibility for the climate crisis yet suffer its worst effects and are deprived of the means to respond.

Addressing these challenges requires profound social transformation in all countries and at all levels – local, national and global.  It requires a rapid shift to systems and methods of production and consumption that are compatible with the limits of the planet and are aimed at meeting the needs of peoples rather than the relentless pursuit of profit.

Part of the process of profound social transformation is fighting for and achieving immediate concrete results in terms of drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and enabling people to deal with the impacts of the climate crisis.
It is in this light that we are engaged in the fight for an international climate architecture that is rooted in science, equity and justice.

Rather than honoring their historical responsibilities and legal commitments, governments of rich industrialized countries have been trying to reverse Climate Convention principles and dismantle existing agreements. This effort started with the so-called Copenhagen Accord, was advanced by the Cancun outcomes, and was further served by the adoption of the Durban Platform.  Among other things, they are seeking to impose a domestic “pledge and review” system, deregulate multilateral climate rules and promote false solutions such as the expansion of carbon markets. Their efforts must be met with intensified resistance.

As part of a broader struggle to achieve climate justice, reparations for climate debt and a profound global transformation – we demand from all governments that if international negotiations are to mean anything, they must deliver outcomes that will:

Prevent catastrophic climate change and ensure just and fair sharing of drastic emissions reductions. Limit temperature rise to well below 1.5º C and bring it down to 1º C as fast as possible; Rich industrialized countries to fulfil their existing legally binding commitments and undertake drastic emissions cuts without offsets in line with their fair share of the global carbon budget that takes into account historical per capita emissions; Offsets and other loopholes must be removed; The US must commit to comparable targets, based on its historical responsibility;

Stop false solutions. Stop the implementation and pursuit of false solutions such as carbon trading, market-based approaches to forests, soil and water, large-scale geo-engineering and techno-fixes, nuclear energy, mega hydro dams, agro-fuels, and clean coal;

Ensure adequate and appropriate finance on the basis of countries’  responsibility for climate debt and obligation to make reparations to all affected peoples. Rich, industrialized countries to cover the full costs of enabling peoples of developing countries and other affected communities to deal with the impacts of climate change (including past, present and future losses) as well as the costs of enabling developing countries to shift to equitable, post carbon sustainable systems; Climate finance must not be in the form of debt-creating instruments and should be channelled through a democratic and accountable global fund that is independent of other international financial institutions and upholds the principles of direct access and country-determined, participatory decisions on the use of funds.

Ensure appropriate technology transfers without intellectual property barriers. Developed countries must ensure free sharing of safe, appropriate and ecologically and socially sound technologies; Advance the transformation to equitable, democratic, post-carbon systems.

Take decisive steps towards the profound transformation of the system based on equity, science and the rights of peoples to live well in harmony with and respect for Mother Earth. Transform social and economic structures and technologies and re-orient policies to move away from profit-driven, growth oriented, high-carbon, elite-dominated exploitative systems and instead ensure a just transition to people- driven, equitable, and democratic post carbon sustainable development.

We call on governments to end years of delay and meet their moral, historical and legal obligations.

We urge all movements, peoples’ organizations, civil society groups and all concerned citizens to come together in a Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice!

Signatories as of December 2011

INTERNATIONAL & REGIONAL NETWORKS & ORGANIZATIONS
ActionAid
Africa Trade Network
African Water Network (AWN)
Alternatives Asia
Asia/Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty (APNFS) Asia/Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development Asian Reigonal Exchanges for New Alernatives (ARENA) Focus on the Global South
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Ibon Foundation, Inc.
International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights International Forum on Globalization (IFG) International Lawyers.org
Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
(JSAPMDD)
LDC Watch International
Migrant Forum Asia (MFA)
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Social Watch International
South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy Third World Network (TWN)
World Council of Churches

NORTH AMERICA & EUROPE
Jubilee Australia AUSTRALIA Council of Canadians, CANADA Polaris Institute CANADA
FERN Belgium
11.11.11 Belgium
Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale ITALY
Fair Watch ITALY Legambiente Onlus, ITALY
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EWNI) Ecologistas En Accion, SPAIN
Solidarity Sweden Latin America, Sweden
Global Justice Now, Swedish Solidarity Network, Sweden
World Development Movement, UK Jubilee Debt Campaign, UK
Jubilee Scotland, UK
Nord-Sud XXI
Friends of the Earth USA
Global Justice Ecology Project Media Program, USA Jubilee USA Network
Sustainable Energy and Economic Network – IPS, USA Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), USA Center for Earth Jurisprudence,  Orlando, Florida, USA Biofuelwatch, USA
AFRICA Benin
Groupe de Recherche et d’Action pour la Promotion de
l’Agriculture et de Développement (GRAPAD)
Burundi
ADISCO Burundi
Chad
Association Pour le Marketing Social au Tchad
Democratic Republic of Congo
Ligue Pour Le Droit De La Congolaise (LDFC)

Djibouti
Organisation de Bienfaisance et de Développement
Ethiopia
Enda-Ethopia

Eritrea
Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights

Gambia
Worldview – The Gambia

Ghana
GrassRootsAfrica

Guinea
Centre du Commerce international pour le Developpement
(CECIDE)

Guinea Bissau
AFARD Guinea Bissau

Ivory Coast
FNDP of Cóte d’Ivoire

Mali
CAD Mali CMDE/ASIAP GIP BIO

Mauritania
Association Bien Etre Familial & Developpment Durble (ABEFDD)

Morocco
Association Marocaine pour l’Environnement et la Santé (AMES) Forum Civil Démocratique Marocain
Association Marocaine pour les Nouvelles Technologies de
l’Information et de la Communication (AMTIC)
Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches en Sciences Sociales (CERSS)

Niger
Association Nigerienne des Scouts de l Environnement
GOULBI NGO Niger

Nigeria
Centre for 21st century issues (C21st)) Nigeria

Republic of Central Africa
Groupe d’Action de Paix et de Formation pour la Transformation
(GAPAFOT)

Senegal
Union pour la Solidarité et l’Entraide (USE)

Sierra Leone
Friends of the Earth Sierra Leone

Somalia
Somali Organisation for Community Development Activities

South Africa
Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) Amandla Magazine
Center for Civil Society, University of Kawazulu Natal, Durban
CJN! Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Democratic Left Front South Africa
Economic Justice Network of the fellowship of Christian Councils
ECOPEACE Party
Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) South Africa
Masizakhe Youth Development Club, Gugulethu, Cape Town
Zwartkops Conservancy, Port Elizabeth

Togo
GARED
APED-TOGO
LATIN AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN

Brazil
FASE Solidarity and Education – Brazil
Bolivia
Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático
Solon Foundation – Bolivia

ASIA and the Pacific
Afghanistan
Sanayee Development Organization
Bangladesh
Aid Accountability Group
Bangladesh Krishok Federation
Coastal Livelihood, Ecology and Adaptation Network
Equity and Justice Working Group
HumanityWatch Jatiyo Sramik Jote Nabodhara
Online Knowledge Society
Resource Integration Centre Right to Food Movement Solidarity Workshop
SUPRO
Unnayan Onneshan
VOICE
China
Green Zhejiang
India
Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha Beyond Copenhagen Coalition Himalaya Niti Abhiyan – HNA
Indian Social Action Forum – iNSAF
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers
Indonesia
Binkai Indonesia
GEMA ALAM Nusa Tenggara Barat
Insitute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) Indonesia
Konsorsium pendukung Sitem Hutan Kerakyatan
KRuHA Water Coalition Indonesia
Peduli Nanggroe Atjeh
Sawit Watch
Solidaritas Perempuam (SP) Indonesia
WALHI (Friends of the Earth) Indonesia
Korea
Energy and Climate Policy Institute (ECPI) Korea
Lao PDR
United in Volunteering Association
Malaysia
Consumers Association of Penang
Friends of the Earth Malaysia
Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization
Maldives
Maldives NGO Federation (MNF)
Nepal
All Nepal Peasant Federation (ANPFA) All Nepal Women Association (ANWA) Campaign for Climate Justice Network Nepal Jagaran Nepal
NGO Federation of Nepal
Right to Food Network Nepal

El Salvador
Friends of the Earth El Salvador
Haiti
Plate-forme haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement
Alternatif

Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN)

Pakistan
Anjaman Mozareen Punjab
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee

Sri Lanka
Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform
National Fisheries Solidarity Movement of Sri Lanka

Philippines
Action for Nurturing Children and Environment
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura Assalam Bangsamoro People’s Association BITS Policy Center
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) Cebu Alliance for Safe Environment Ecological Society of the Philippines EcoWaste Coalition
Faith-based Congress Against Immoral Debts
Farmers Forum – South Cotabato
Freedom from Debt Coalition and its chapters in Socsargen, Iloilo,
Negros, Cebu and Southern Mindanao
Gitib Inc.
Integrated Rural Development Foundation
Kalayaan Philippines
Kalimudan Culture & Arts – Mindanao
Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) Koalisyon Pabahay ng Pilipinas (KPP)
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lunsod (KPML) – National and NCR
Miriam PEACE
Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA)
Partido Lakas ng Masa Partido ng Manggagawa Partnership for Clean Air
Peoples Movement on Climate Change
Philippine Network of Rural Development Institutes
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
SANLAKAS
Sarilaya
Sagip Sierra Madre
Tambuyog Development Center Task Force Food Sovereignty WomanHealth Philippines

Yemen
Al-Jawf Women Organization for Development Dar Al-Salam Organization (Peace House) Human Rights Information and Training Center
Japan
ATTAC-Japan
New Zealand
Climate Justice Aotearoa, New Zealand

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.

[From the web] Remembering Jose ‘Ka Pepe’ Diokno: One who stayed -InterAksyon.com

Remembering Jose ‘Ka Pepe’ Diokno: One who stayed

Theodore Te
February 25, 2012

As someone who suffered as much as he did for his country, no one would perhaps have begrudged him a flight out of the country. It speaks so much of the character of the man that he stayed. And that in staying, he persevered. And that in persevering, he fought. And, that in fighting, he led. And that in leading, he inspired.

In those dark days when law was strangled by a dictator‘s mailed fist, no matter that it would often be cast in a velvet glove, he stayed, fought, led, and inspired.

When the idea of rights was aspirational and the idea of fighting for one’s rights, let alone those of others, was unpopular because they proved literally hazardous to one’s health, if not continued existence, he stood firm and held fast. When the idea of law was simply what the dictator willed and the rule of law was his signature on a piece of paper, he, and a handful of others, dared say to the face of the dictator that such a perversion of law was not acceptable and that when the law becomes meaningless and itself oppressive, then the people are justified to looking beyond the law to claim their rights.

When many of the nameless, faceless among us suffered the same lot he did, and worse – to be accused wrongly, to be charged falsely, to be detained indefinitely, or simply to be rendered literally gone, without anyone to raise a hue and a cry – he grieved in solidarity, for he (and his family) knew of that pain, that suffering; but his grief did not allow him the luxury of inaction, instead it spurred him to action.

Together with his old friend and comrade Tanny, one who also stayed, he would fight for those who, unlike him, had no pedigree; he would give voice to those whose voices were suppressed momentarily or stilled forever. He and Tanny (and another named Joker) would bring together other like-minded spirits and brave-hearted souls to say loudly to the dictator “NO!” when all around the dictator, his sycophants were whispering sibilant yesses.

He would fight with what he had, what he knew, and what he held dear: the law that he learned at his father’s library and by his father’s side, the intellect that was given to him by his Creator, the love of country that was innate in him, the sense of justice that he himself was deprived of by the dictator and the support of family, friends, comrades and kindred souls who never left him. Against the devices of the dictator, they were not much but they were enough.

He would speak, over and over again, of law, of development, of sovereignty, of peace, justice, of change and of hope – everywhere he felt he could make a difference. In that deep gravelly voice with a distinct diction, he would also teach. He would teach lawyers, law students and members of the basic sectors; he would talk about paralegalism, about a new kind of lawyering which he would call “Developmental Legal Aid“, he would teach people to be aware of their rights, to be aware of their situation; he would teach people that their right to self-determination would bring with it the right to hope because change would come only when those who desperately need change desire it equally desperately. For many people, lawyers, law students and ordinary people oppressed by the dictator’s “rule of law”, he would change the way that people saw the law, their rights and their country.

Memorably, he would sum up what filipinos were fighting for in his inimitable turn of phrase, “to sing our own songs.”

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[In the news] A court playhouse for child witnesses- INQUIRER.net

A court playhouse for child witnesses.
By Fernan Gianan, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 4th, 2012

 A day in court may also be playtime for children. Right inside the Hall of Justice building in Virac town in Catanduanes, a corner playhouse was put up and inaugurated by Executive Judge Lelu P. Contreras of the regional trial court on Dec. 16.

Other courts usually designate small rooms or playpens, Contreras said.

Children who come to court in Virac, either as crime victims, witnesses or companions of litigant parents, can now stay in the playhouse, an alternative facility to the courtroom where the atmosphere may be gloomy, unfamiliar and even threatening.

Colorfully painted and draped, the wooden playhouse at RTC Branch 43 offers toys, a plastic slide, books and a bed—in case a young visitor decides to take a nap.

During the blessing ceremony presided by Rev. Fr. Renato dela Rosa, San Miguel parish priest, on Dec. 16 last year, the special guest, Nancy Cua, the wife of Gov. Joseph Cua, was so impressed by the facility that she pledged to donate a television set and electric fan.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[Event] KAMAYAN FORUM Oct.21 Climate Change – What is to be Done?

KAMAYAN FORUM Oct.21 Climate Change – What is to be Done?

Throughout the world, the Philippines ranks third in the list of countries most vulnerable to climate change, a study by a United Nations agency and a German organization has warned, in a report published last week by Philippine Daily Inquirer.

It also estimated their susceptibility to damage based on the state of their economy and infrastructure, and the countries’ ability to respond to these disasters through preparedness measures and early warning systems. It also studied their ability to adapt to future disasters due to climate change. Filipino scientists said the Philippines would get more rains in the coming years due to climate change.

In this context, the 21-year old Kamayan para sa Kalikasan monthly environmental forum will discuss the progress and obstacles of climate change education in its 260th session on Third Friday, October 21, 2011, with the head of the Philippine Climate Change Commission, Sec. Lucille Sering, as main resource person. Commissioner Heherson T. Alvarez is also expected to come. Other invited speakers will be coming from among leaders of the nationwide and local environmental conservation organizations. All concerned citizens, whether or not members of such groups are invited to join the forum. ….

Kamayan para sa Kalikasan has been convened on the third Friday of every month (10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) through free lunch since March 1990. It has never missed a scheduled session since it was started then by the Clear Communicators for the Environment (CLEAR).

In 2002, CLEAR was joined as co-convenor by the SanibLakas ng mga Aktibong Lingkod ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA), headed by Marie Reyes-Marciano, founding president, who has been the forum’s lead moderator since that year. It has been fully sponsored all these 21 years by the Kamayan-Saisaki-Dads Restaurant along EDSA, near the SEC/Ortigas area, in Mandaluyong City, which has also been its regular venue.

CLEAR Vice President Ed Aurelio Reyes, the forum’s lead organizer, said CLEAR and SALIKA are hoping that the people who come to the forum would bring out with them and radiate among all the people within their respective spheres of influence the spirit of understanding, unity and passionate environmental advocacy that pervades the forum’s sessions.

[Blogger] Climate Change and the Indigenous People: Communicating Adaptation, Impact and Mitigation for Sustainable Sectoral Development

Climate Change and the Indigenous People: Communicating Adaptation, Impact and Mitigation for Sustainable Sectoral Development*

by Rodrigo Rivera

* A reflective discourse originally presented by the blogger to Dr. R. Guioguio for the requirement in a post-graduate course on Philippine Communication Environment, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 2010. Permission for reprinting is granted as long as proper citation is observed, according to the principle of creative commons’ sharing of online resources.

Climate change is a major environmental problem that represents social and economic threats to everyone in the globe. Risks have become higher as the potential danger of natural disasters looms to almost unmanageable extent – longer periods of rain, harsher storms, prolonged dry spells, extreme heat and cold temperatures, more frequent hot days and nights, flash floods, forest fires, rising sea level, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and the warming global temperature are among the many signs that “mother earth” is now ringing a sick call to all her children.

The peril resulting from climate change is no way particular to creed, wealth, faith, age, gender, race or color. It spares no one. The ecology of all things in the world suggests that every creature will experience the impact of climate change.

Climate change is a global concern, but it has impact which is specific to communities and sectoral groups. The problem is too broad to manage for a sector, yet there are enormous possibilities for a sector to contribute to its resolution; at least for their own adaptation, to mitigate climate change impact and to sustain community-base development. The indigenous are communities of people who contributed the least to the problem of climate change, but they are not spared from its impact. Economically and socially marginalized, the indigenous far greatly suffer from the impact of climate change and to international mitigation measures.

What is the potential impact of climate change to the indigenous people? What are  the existing and needed adaptation means to climate change specific to sustain survival and livelihood of the indigenous? How important is a communication framework in climate change impact mitigation for the indigenous people? These questions call for some reflective thinking.

Read full article @ rodrigo75.wordpress.com

[From the web] Senate passes People’s Survival Fund vs climate change – www.senate.gov.ph

The Senate has passed on second reading the People’s Survival Fund bill authored by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Enrile said the fund is allocated specifically for climate change adaptation efforts.
“The PSF is for local government units and communities that today stand at the frontline of the climate crisis. It is a fund that intends to provide incentives for early adaptation actions by dedicating finances for local resilience-building needs.”

The Senate President observed that vulnerable Filipino communities, particularly women from farming communities, “stand in the frontline of the greatest crisis our world has ever faced.”

The veteran senator said that “development planning must no longer be conducted in vertical silos, where issues like climate change are treated as sectors rather than as drivers of the entire development process. Doing so will create more momentum in the reform of risk governance and coherence in policy making.”

Enrile added that the urgent need is to “arrest the governance chaos prevailing currently over the administration of climate finance, so that monies can flow to national priorities and to those who need funding support the most.”

According to Enrile, “It is not enough to name the problem. We need to make the right investments now–in effort as well as in the redirection of public finance.” The Senate President observed: “Change has to begin with changes in our thinking. It is time for us to distinguish disasters that are episodic in character from slow onset impacts induced by climate change, which may impose even greater, more enduring calamities on our people.”

Enrile pointed out that government intervention on climate change and disaster risk reduction should be “more targeted” to reflect prevailing conditions in the country.

He noted that the rains of June and July which inundated towns and cities in the Visayas and in Mindanao again caused the loss of lives and the destruction of properties and sources of livelihood in those parts of the archipelago. “Adaptation finance should always be seen as an investment, and not a cost,” Enrile said.

“We need to scale up innovative local initiatives and the first step is for national government to establish a fund dedicated to local governments and communities,” Enrile said.
The PSF bill will be deliberated upon by the Senate on third and final reading before it is sent to the Lower House for approval.

source: http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2011/0811_enrile1.asp

[Petition] Stop Nurse Exploitation! through FALSE Volunteerism Practices and Non-Accredited Training Programs

[Online signature campaign by ANG NARS. ANG NARS is a non-profit, non-stock organization advocating for promotion and protection of the socio- economic- political- professional rights of Nurses with the responsibility and accountability to provide safe quality Nursing Care to the Filipino people.

Contact details:
Unit 208 #305 GJ Bldg. Quezon Ave. Quezon City 1103
Telefax: (+632) 448-0826
angnars@yahoo.com.ph]

Our country’s Nurses constitute the LARGEST number of health professionals in all settings. Nurses work with patients 24 hours a day from the time of admission to the day of discharge from the hospital.

Over 400,000 of our country’s Registered Nurses are EXPLOITED by many healthcare institutions through FALSE Volunteerism Practices and Non-Accredited Training Programs (BON-CPE Council Accreditation), where they are made to work with the full responsibilities of an employed staff Nurse, without any form of compensation, benefits, and employer protection. Most are even required to pay while rendering Nursing Care services.

Because these Nurses have obtained the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have passed the Nurses Licensure Examination, they are fully qualified to practice safe Nursing Care to patients, families, and communities, as per RA 9173, the Nursing Act of 2002. However, these young Professionals are charged exorbitant fees for these “so-called” trainings, and are left to submit to this blatant form of exploitation.  Furthermore, they are deceived with empty promises of employment and the misinformed belief of improving their resumes though “Volunteer” or “Training” Certificates.

These practices prevent new Nurses from being hired, because all available Nurse Plantilla positions are filled up by these unpaid “Volunteers” or “Trainees”. These healthcare institutions have no need to hire anymore, as they can get Nursing services for FREE through the EXPLOITATION of our Nurses.

Lastly, as per the International Council of Nurses’ (ICN) November 2010 Asia Nursing Workforce Forum, Training and Volunteer certificates are NOT recognized abroad as work experience.

These exploitative practices have existed for more than 15 years. It was temporarily halted in 2008, through the efforts of the PNA. In January 2011, the issue broke out again in the media, but the exploitation stopped only for ONE WEEK. The effect is always short-lived, as government support in this issue is not continuous.

Today, there are many Private and Government hospitals still engaging in this EXPLOITATION. They now go by different names, masquerading as “Specialty Programs” such as Nurse Residency, Basic Skills Training, Clinical Advancement, and Post-Graduate Trainings.

The whole Philippine population is deeply concerned in this situation, as these hundreds of thousands of Exploited Nurses are our brothers and sisters, spouses, parents, and our children.

The Filipino Nurses are clamouring for jobs they are already trained to do. Give them what is due starting with a decent salary.

Uphold the respect for the dignity of Nurses
and the right of the Filipino People to quality healthcare!
Nurses take care of the health of our countrymen, but who takes care of our dear Nurses?

We, the Filipino People, implore our Government, and our “People’s President”, Benigno S. Aquino III, to put a STOP to the exploitative practices against our Nurses’ Constitutional and God-Given Human Rights.

Please click here to sign. Signature Campaign Form

[From the web] The right to live a life of human dignity (CHR on RH Bill) – www.chr.gov.ph

13 May 2011
THE RIGHT TO LIVE A LIFE OF HUMAN DIGNITY

Good afternoon.

The past few weeks made us witnesses to impassioned debates surrounding the Reproductive Health Bill, with one side of the bench labeling itself as pro-choice and the other, pro-life. Controversial social legislations such as this generate heated public attention and for good reason – it opens up a democratic space for the public to participate in the creative process of legislation. Unfortunately, the cacophony of opposing positions and disparate opinions seems to have drowned out focus on what the issue is really about: THE RIGHT TO LIVE A LIFE OF HUMAN DIGNITY.

More than morality and anti-poverty, Reproductive Health is foremost about Human Rights. Reproductive Health is about the right of every person – regardless of sex, gender, age, social status, political or religious conviction – to the highest attainable standard of health. It is about the right of the woman to know how to take care of herself, take full control of her body and make life-changing decisions. It is about the right of everyone to information and the right to an informed choice on whether or not one wants to bring a new life into the world. It is about the right of the woman, the man and the child to live a life free from threats of diseases, hunger and want. It other words, Reproductive Health is about every single person having a shot at a life worthy of a human being. All these are human rights which the government of the Philippines is obligated to respect, protect, fulfill and promote under our Constitution and the various international treaties we signed and ratified.

The Commission on Human Rights, as the Gender Ombud under R.A. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, shall issue a comprehensive advisory on Reproductive Health in the next few days. In the meantime, may we enjoin the public to be guided by reason and not be overwhelmed by inordinate passion. After all, we are actually on the same side when we say that we are anti-abortion, anti-corruption, anti-poverty, pro-life and pro-choice.

LORETTA ANN P. ROSALES
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights

[In the news] EDITORIAL – Climate change and corruption | The Philippine Star News Opinion

EDITORIAL – Climate change and corruption | The Philippine Star News Opinion.

Philstar.com

Here’s another reason to intensify efforts to fight corruption: the scourge that has derailed almost every major infrastructure project in this country and held back development efforts is also detrimental to climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, according to Transparency International.

In a report released last week, the global watchdog against corruption listed the Philippines among several countries most vulnerable to climate change, particularly its visible effects — drought, typhoons, rising sea levels and flooding. At the same time, the Philippines rated poorly in Transparency’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, garnering a dismal score of 2.4 in terms of corruption risk on a scale of 0 to 10, with zero being the worst. Government effectiveness, meanwhile, was rated a middling 55.0.

Read full article @ Philstar.com (link above)

[Petition] Petition against mining in Homonhon island

PETITION AGAINST MINING IN HOMONHON ISLAND

TO: HIS EXCELLENCY, BENIGNO C. AQUINO III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacañan Palace, Manila

ATTENTION: THE SECRETARY
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and

THE DIRECTOR
Mine and Geo-Sciences Bureau

PETITION
_______________________________________________________

A PETITION FROM THE PEOPLE OF HOMONHON ISLAND SPEARHEADED BY HOMONHON ENVIRONMENT RESCUERS ORGANIZATION – HERO, A PEOPLES ORGANIZATION IN THE ISLAND OF HOMONHON, GUIUAN, EASTERN SAMAR CALLING FOR THE TOTAL STOPPAGE OF ALL MINING ACTIVITIES IN HOMONHON ISLAND, URGING THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO CAUSE AN INVESTIGATION ON THE LEGALITIES OF ALL MINING RELATED ACTIVITIES BEING UNDERGONE AND PRESENTLY ENGAGING BY ALL MINING FIRMS/CLAIMANT WITHIN HOMONHON ISLAND, DEMAND INFORMATION ON THE GEOLOGIC, ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT AND HABITABILITY STATUS OF THE ISLAND, SEEKING HELP AND ASSISTANCE FOR AGRICULTURAL AND ECO AND HISTORICAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT FOR HOMONHON, DEMAND TO RECLASSIFY ITS LAND USE TO ALLIENABLE AND DISPOSABLE LAND AND URGING TO TAKE MEASURES FOR THE CREATION OF A LAW DECLARING OR PROCLAIMING THE WHOLE ISLAND OF HOMONHON A PROTECTED AREA IN RELATION FOR ITS HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE, VULNERABILITY TO NATURAL CALAMITIES BEING A SMALL ISLAND AND TO SAVING OF AND RESTORING ITS NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND HABITAT TO WIT:

That, Homonhon is an Island with a small land area supporting to Eight (8) Barangays and home to more or less Ten Thousand (10,000) people. It is topographically bounded by wide areas of deep seas and characterized by big and violent waves being exposed to the Pacific Ocean. In many instances during the stormy season which oftentimes consumes 3/4th of the year, the Island becomes isolated from the rest of the world. With severe destruction of its dry lands due to mining activities, natural calamities are inevitable leaving no safer place for its inhabitants to survive.

That according to Records, Homonhon Island is still classified as Timberland irrespective of its long time occupation and cultivation by our ancestors abd we hereto demand for the reclassification of its land use to become agricultural.

That, the natural environment and ecosystem of Homonhon Island is already suffering from the adverse effect of mining and other illegal activities against nature such are severe degradation of its natural environment, severe potable water shortage and depletion of the sources an means of subsistence of the Island people and had left the habitability of the Island to a critical condition whereby violates our right to development and a healthy and balanced environment.

That, the people of Homonhon Island had not been justifiably informed of the mining plan for the Island and the environmental impact statement along with the geologic and ecological study on the areas affected by mining and the preventive measures and contingency plan to address for potential environmental consequences, hence, these are violations of PD 1586 and RA 7160 Sec. 26 and 27 or a violation of our right to be informed on matters of public concerned.

That, mining in Homonhon Island was, had never been and we believe, will never be sustainable in all sense of the word. The Island had experienced mining operation for more than Twenty Five (25) years and the prospects of socio-economic progress perceived to be brought by the extractions and production of minerals had remained a myth, or had it been realized, it would have had manifested now in the lives of the majority of Homonhon people. The Island’s economy and its facilities should have had improved to a certain level, but yet, Homonhon Island generally remained poor and under-develop. With the systematic seizure and encroachment of the farms, farmlands and watersheds by these mining firms manifested with the posting of “No Trespassing” placards at the passageway and within the farms itself, residents are apprehensive to go farming causing them economically unstable. Thus, mining does not only destroy the eco-system, it also deprived of the right of the people in Homonhon Island is not only unaccommodating and unhelpful, it also deprived the right of its people to their means and sources of subsistence, their right to livelihood and their freedom of movement and we hereto demand for social justice.

That, fishing and farming is the very still main sources of income and livelihood of most of Homonhonanons and these are the strength and determination that we considered as the baseline for a sustainable development. Mining hampers the development of the Island for it destroys the primary resources that provide space and substance to the work and livelihood we are accustomed to and satisfied to do.

That, as rational beings, we, Homonhonanons definitely do not despise development, and by a long way acquainted with the situations in the Island being its inhabitants, we are convinced that only through the introduction and promotion of efficient farming and fishing technology and other agricultural development projects along with the rehabilitation of its forestlands and watersheds can the Island moves to progress. A variety of crops and fruit trees had been proven to thrive in the area over the years and it has been the primary sources of income of many of the Island folks which brought them to become economically secured. By awarding these farms and farmlands to miners, the threat for the destruction of these valuable crops and other means and sources of subsistence is present and this may infuse chaos to the residents and generate disagreements with the people openly pushing for mining in the area.

That, we never wanted to become another Bagacay of Western Samar or Guinsaugon of Southern Leyte, and they like.

That, mining per se is not bad but digging massively and destroying gradually and leisurely the environment of small Islands like Homonhon and Manicani is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.

That, according to Wikipedia, an encyclopedia of knowledge, Homonhon Island was the first landfall of Ferdinand Magellan and his crew on March 16, 1521. This event signaled for the birth of a new nation later called the Philippines, our nation, hence, its value is worth protecting and saving from any form of environmental destruction or degradation for it is vital to our history and our national identity.

That, as citizens of the Republic, we come to claim our right to information on matters of public concern, our right to freedom of expression, our right to means and sources of subsistence, our right to self-determination, our right to development and a healthy and balanced environment, and above all our right to life and dignity as persons, and we say “No to Mining in Homonhon Island”.

That, we seek the sincerity and political will of all government agencies concerned to support, assist and help in the promotion for the sustainable development of Homonhon Island by putting an end to the mining activities within and by allocating enough resources and technologies for the promotion of agriculture and eco and historical tourism for the Island for these, we are more convinced the Island and its people can be more productive, self-sufficient and become economically secured thereby contributing their share of responsibility towards the realization of the development goals of our nation.

With these and more, OUR prayers and hopes that all concerned for this matter may gave appropriate and preferential actions to our calls.

Done this 16th day of July, 2010. Homonhon Island, Guiuan, Eastern
Samar, Philipines

[From the web] President Aquino’s stand on responsible parenthood – www.gov.ph

The five-point position on responsible parenthood of President Benigno S. Aquino III:

1. I am against abortion.

2. I am in favor of giving couples the right to choose how best to manage their families so that in the end, their welfare and that of their children are best served.

3. The State must respect each individual’s right to follow his or her conscience and religious convictions on matters and issues pertaining to the unity of the family and the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.

4. In a situation where couples, especially the poor and disadvantaged ones, are in no position to make an informed judgment, the State has the responsibility to so provide.

5. In the range of options and information provided to couples, natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented as equally available.

Posted April 18, 2011

Reference: Press briefing with Secretary Lacierda after the meeting between the CBCP and members of the Cabinet, November 19, 2010

http://www.gov.ph/2011/04/18/the-five-points-president-aquino%E2%80%99s-stand-on-responsible-parenthood/

[In the web] World Bank Under Fire for Role in New Global Green Fund – ipsnews.net

By Marwaan Macan-Markar

Victoria Tauli Corpuz AIWN Photo by UN jenny rockett

BANGKOK, Apr 6, 2011 (IPS) – The World Bank is facing mounting opposition from a broad network of green and grassroots activists over its role in a new global Green Climate Fund (GCF) aimed at helping developing countries combat the ravages of climate change.

“In spite of the climate and economic crises, the World Bank continues to finance fossil fuel projects at an alarming rate, promote false solutions to the climate crisis, and use funding instruments that increase indebtedness of developing countries,” charged a coalition of nearly 100 local and international civil society organisations in a letter released here during on- going negotiations at the first of three U.N. climate change conferences to be held in the lead up to the Durban COP17 summit in late November.

“The World Bank is not suited to advise in the design of a fund that must ensure fair and effective long-term financing based on the principles of environmental integrity, equity, sustainable development and democracy,” noted the two-page letter, whose signatories included global groups like Action Aid and International Rivers, regional groups like the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance and local groups like the Bolivian Climate Change Platform.

The letter was addressed to Patricia Espinosa, Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs, and to Christina Figueres, the head of the Bonn-based climate change secretariat of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

It was at last December’s UNFCCC summit in Cancun, Mexico that a landmark blueprint emerged creating the GCF, which is aimed at financing efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and to help communities adapt to the havoc created by climate change in the developing world.

The Bank was named as the new fund’s interim trustee for the first three years, until a more permanent financial architecture is built to steer much needed assistance to the world’s poorer nations.

A report by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s climate financing advisory group released on the eve of the Mexico climate change summit estimated that 100 billion dollars a year is needed for climate change initiatives in the developing world.

Other estimates point to a higher figure – upwards of 400 billion dollars annually in the South – reveals the Jubilee South Asia-Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), a regional network of grassroots activists.

The GCF has been mandated to start forking out these new funds by 2020, which, according to the UNFCCC, will take the form of grants or concessional loans.

But the Bank’s record of programmes under the guise of ‘development’ in the poorer nations makes it the wrong choice to play a permanent role in administering the GCF, says Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, convener of the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network, a regional grassroots group based in Manila. “They are not a trusted institution in the developing world.”

“There is a fear among activists and some developing country governments that the Bank will secure approval to run the day-to-day operations of the GCF,” Tauli-Corpuz told IPS. “That will result in more obstructions for the poor and the vulnerable victims of climate change.”

“Climate finance is part of the reparations for climate debt owed by rich, industrialised countries to the peoples and countries of the South,” argues Ahmed Swapan of JSAPMDD. “The climate debt must be collected, managed and disbursed by an institution that is democratic, accountable, transparent and governed by a board with a majority coming from [the] South.”

Activists are concerned about a potential conflict-of-interest if the Bank secures the role as the secretariat of the GCF, since the Washington, D.C.- based multilateral financial institution will also have a part as a co-financier and implementer of projects.

As troubling is the Bank’s record in existing climate change funds, such as the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which was established in 1991 to help developing countries adapt to the challenges of climate change. “To get funds from the GEF, countries had to go through implementing agencies like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank,” said Matthew Stilwell, policy adviser at the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, a Geneva-based think tank. “They had to jump through hoops, making it difficult to access funds.”

Consequently, developing countries are “advocating for more direct access to the funds” of the GCF, Stilwell told IPS. “They have learnt lessons from the past.”

But in the rooms of the U.N. conference centre here, where climate change negotiators from 190 countries are meeting from Apr. 3 – 8 to shape a new global environmental deal, the sources of funding for the GCF are also on the table.

“It will be new sources of funding,” Jozsef Feiler, the chief climate change negotiator for Hungary, currently the president of the council of the European Union, told IPS.

Yet activists are not convinced, given suggestions by negotiators from the developed world that funding would be from a combination of public and private sector sources.

“Funding should be from public sources, new and additional to official development assistance,” says Michelle Maynard of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance. “The principles are simple: providing climate finance is a legal and moral obligation for rich countries.”