• Keep Bohol GMO-Free
    In our continued tracking of any GMO-permeation in Bohol, we are deeply alarmed and concerned by recent pronouncements from the top leadership of the provincial government of Bohol and the regional office of the Department of Agriculture in openly supporting and promoting GM crops, and laying out plans of establishing plantations, specifically of BT corn and golden rice, in Bohol – which, if deemed constituent to prohibited acts in Bohol’s GMO-Free Ordinance that include the rather unfortunately broad-phrased “any activity whatsoever for the propagation of or experimentation related to GMOs” in the province – if not directly violative of said ordinance, at the very least, desecrates the very intent of Bohol’s GMO-Free ordinance, that is, to protect and ensure the health of both our people and the environment from the negative threats and impacts of GMO cultivation. The Province of Bohol has clear policies in safeguarding the health of its people and ensuring the conservation and sustainable management of its environment. And with lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the urgent need to intensify Bohol’s agenda for food self-sufficiency, food security and nutrition must veer from grandiose industrialist agriculture solutions and should be oriented towards the development of resilient, sustainable and equitable food systems that are attuned to the local context, culture, and natural biodiversity. Bohol’s food revolution will be ultimately Bol-anon, and it will be GMO-free. ABOUT BOHOL's GMO-FREE POLICY In 2003, through the combined efforts of grassroots stakeholders, civil society, non-government organizations, and the provincial government of Bohol, the province of Bohol, with the passage of Sanggunian Panlalawigan (SP) Resolution No. 2003-235, declared itself GMO-Free or free from genetically-engineered or modified organisms (GMO), or products of genetic engineering or genetic manipulation of an organism’s genome using modern biotechnology to produce transgenic plants, animals and micro-organisms with novel traits. To further safeguard the health of Boholanos and protect the ecological integrity of Bohol from the possible disastrous ill-effects of genetically modified organisms, the SP resolution was cemented with the enforcement, shortly thereafter, of Provincial Ordinance No. 2003-010 or “The Safeguard Against GMOs”, which decrees that “no person shall conduct any laboratory or field-testing or any activity whatsoever for the propagation of or experimentation related to GMOs of any plant, animal, or microorganism in any area within the territorial jurisdiction within the Province of Bohol”. This legal instrument, along with our sustained monitoring and proactive thwarting of attempts at introducing and allowing the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops in our province, remains a landmark achievement for Bohol, oft- cited and benchmarked by other local government units (LGUs) in their bid to prevent the introduction of GMO production in their towns and provinces.
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    Created by Bohol Eco Alliance Picture
  • Petition: Laguna Govt to Issue E.O. Ordering LGUs to procure all Farm Produce from Lagunense Farmers
    Hon. Gov. Ramil L. Hernandez Provincial Governor Province of Laguna Dear Gov. Hernandez: Greetings of Health and Peace! This is to respectfully request to your good office, through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist to formulate and issue a policy ordering all the Local Government Units (LGUs) of Laguna to prioritize purchase of crop and livestock produce from Lagunense Farmers, and incorporate these produce to local relief programs. As we all know, our local farmers are some of our most important frontliners amidst this COVID-19 pandemic; and among others, are very vulnerable in this trying times. Moreso, for the longest time, the sector of agriculture in the Philippines is 'crying' for concrete support and continuous improvement (modernization, human resource development, policy developments, etc.). I personally believe that the current administration is doing its very best to make Laguna farmers empowered, and to genuinely uplift themselves from impoverishment. Now, in this aggressive pandemic, our Lagunense brothers and sisters--the farmers need us more than ever. Honorable Governor, can we "utilize" of this crisis to show how we really care for our local agricultural sector, as well as our farmers? Let us formulate a mechanism to legally purchase their produce, help them sustain their livelihoods, and inspire them to continue their noble works, especially at present where we badly needed to ensure sustainable production of healthy, affordable and safe food. From my perspective, an Executive Order ordering all Laguna LGUs is a concrete stepping stone. If only your office can issue such order, it will now become a strong push factor for the province, alongside all the coordinating LGUs to once again support our local farmers. Through this, we can at least attempt to help lighten farmers entrepreneurial burden, and help in the distribution of food supply in the region. In addition, I strongly believe that the policy can even make way for Lagunenses households to maintain balanced diets, thus guarding each and everyone's nutrition. Finally, It is recognized that pursuing this mode of support for farmers is not the end-all and be-all of this pandemic. But then, as we advocate for better ecosystem in the local agricultural system, such petition will surely be of great help. I do hope that this petition will be heard. Above all, we must work hand in hand in proactively responding to this pandemic, and ensuring that no sector will be left behind. Thank you very much and more power! Respectfully yours, Justin Paolo Interno, a Lagunense and Licensed Agriculturist City of San Pedro, Laguna
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  • Stop Mining in Zambales and Stop the Construction of the Ferro Nickel Plant in Candelaria
    Pagbati mula sa Candelaria, Zambales. Ang Candelaria, Zambales ay isang maliit at tahimik na bayan sa hilagang Zambales. Nang mga nakaraang taon ay nababasag ang katahimikan at kapayapaan sa aming lugar dahil sa pagmimina sa aming kabundukan. Sa karatig bayan ng Sta Cruz kasi ay may apat na malalaking minahan ng nickel, at ang mga latak mula sa mga minahang ito ay umaagos at sumisira sa aming mga ilog, dagat at mga palayan. Pinasara ang mga minahang ito noong 2016 ng DENR sa pangununa ni Gina Lopez dahil sa mga pagsira sa kalikasan (gaya ng pagputol ng mga puno at paninira sa watersheds at walang mga safety measures kaya umaagos ang mga latak sa ilog) ngunit isa-isa silang nakabalik sa operasyong taong 2018-2019. Ngayon po ay higit kaming nangangamba sa Candelaria dahil sa panukalang pagbukas ng minahan at planta ng WestChinamin sa aming bayan. Ang WestChinamin ay may dalawang panukala: una ay magmina ng 3,500,000,000 kilo ng lupa kada taon mula sa aming kabundukan at ikalawa ay magtayo ng planta ng Ferro Nickel na mag proproseso ng mga mininang ore sa Candelaria, Zambales. Karamihan sa mga mamamayan ng Candelaria ay tutol sa panukalang ito ng WestChinamin sa kadahilanang ayaw namin masira ang aming kapaligiran. Ang pangunahing hanapbuhay sa aming bayan ay agrikultura kaya mapeperwisyo ang kabuhayan ng marami kapag natuloy ang panukalang mina at planta ng WestChinamin. Sa katunayan noon Oktubre 2018 ay nagpasa ng resolusyon ang Sanggunian Bayan ng Candelaria na gawing mining free ang Candelaria at ipabasura ang panukala ng WestChinamin na magtayo ng Ferro Nickel Plant. Maliban sa ordinansa, ang mga mamamayan mismo ay lumalagda sa mga petition papers na tumatanggi sa pagmimina sa aming lugar at sa pagtatayo ng planta. Malinaw na ayaw ng nakararami sa Candelaria ang pagmimina sa aming lugar. Sa kasamaang palad, ngayong taon ng 2019, ay muli na namang binubuhay ang panukalang ito. Hindi po kami pumapayag na itayo ang Ferro Nickel Plant. Gagamit sila ng strip contour mining sa pagmimina. Puputulin ang mga puno sa kagubatan upang mahukay at matuklap sa pagmimina ang lupa at aagos ang mga putik sa mga palayan at kabahayan. Mawawalan ang mga magsasaka ng kabuhayan dahil kapag wala nang puno ay mawawala ang tubig, at pwede ring matabunan ng putik mula sa mga minahan ang mga palayan. Magkakaroon ng baha at magiging maalikabok ang paligid. Aagos din ang putik sa dagat at lalayo ang mga isda, mawawalan ng kabuhayan ang mga mangingisda. Ang mga kemikal na gagamitin ng planta gaya ng coal at sulphuric acid ay aagos at magiging sanhi ng pagkasira ng mga ilog at tubig-inumin. Maraming isda at maiilap na hayop ang mawawalan ng tirahan. Mawawalan ng malinis na tubig pang-inom at magkakasakit ang mga tao mula sa mga kemikal. Lumalapit po kami sa inyong tanggapan upang idaing ang mga sumusunod: 1) Mapilit po ang WestChinamin na magmina at itayo ang kanilang Ferro Nickel Plant sa Candelaria. Nagpameeting po ang WestChinamin kasama ang Mayor at mga miyembro ng sangguniang bayang sa bawat barangay ng Candelaria mula noon Okt 9-18 upang ipapanood sa mga mamamayan ang video tungkol sa mina at nagsalita ang mga managers ng WestChinamin. Si Mayor din po ay nagsalita at sinabing mahusay ang plantang ito. Wala pong open forum at di pinayagan ang mga mamamayan na magtanong sa mga taga WestChinamin at sa mga namumuno ng bayan. Sa pagkakaalam po namin ay bawal ito, ang may panukala ng proyekto ang dapat tumatawag ng meeting at hindi dapat i-endorso ng mga nasa gobyerno ang isang proyekto bago pa ito makakuha ng mga permit mula sa DENR. 2) Bago at habang nagpapameeting sa mga barangay ang WesChinamin ay namigay sila sa mga dumalo ng limang kilong bigas, asukal at kape, at iba pang regalo. May pa –raffle pa sila upang mas marami ang dumalo sa kanilang mga pa-meeting. Pinasulat ang pangalan at pinapirma ang mga mamamayan kapalit ng bigas at raffle ticket. Ngayon po ay pinangangambahan ng mga mamamayan na ang pagpirma nila sa attendance sheet ng meeting ay gagamitin ng WestChinamin na pruweba na sang-ayon ang mga mamamayan ng Candelaria sa panukala nila. Isa itong malinaw na panlilinlang sa mga tao. 3) Pinipilit po ng WestChinamin at ng Sangguniang Bayan ang mga Sangguniang Barangay na magpasa ng resolusyon upang iendorso ang proyekto ng WestChinamin. May mga usap-usapang tinakot, pinagbantaan at sinusuhulan ang mga miyembro ng mga Sangguniang Barangay upang i-endorso ang proyekto. 4) May mga konstruksyon na ng mga gusali sa Barangay Taposo, at mga daan sa barangay Sinabacan at Uacon patungong Taposo na gagamitin ng planta sa transportasyon ng kanilang ore. May mga daang tubig ng irigasyon at batis ang kanilang tinabunan upang magawa ang mga daan. Paglabag po ito dahil wala pa pong permit ang planta at sinira nila ang daluyang tubig ng mga sakahan upang itayo ang mga gusali at daan. 5) May illegal mining na nagaganap sa Barangay Uacon, malapit sa Duplac. Matagal na po itong naipag-bigay alam sa DENR at inaantabayanan namin ang resulta ng inyong imbestigasyon. Sana po at samahan ninyo kami sa aming kampanya. Umaasa po kami sa mabilis na aksyon ng mga kinauukulan upang hindi mabigyan ng permit ang Ferro Nickel Plant at tuluyan nang isara ang mga minahan sa Zambales. Follow us on our facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/Uacon-Mining-Operation-1203562866328111/ https://www.facebook.com/SaveUaconLakeAndMalabonRiver/ #SaveCandelaria #FerroNickelPlant #AntiMining #AntiFNP #NoToFerroNickelPlant
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    Created by Concerned Citizens of C.
  • Stop Reclamation! Save and Defend Manila Bay!
    The coastline of Manila Bay stretches along Cavite, Parañaque, Pasay, Manila, Malabon, Navotas up to the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan. It holds a prominent place in glorious stories of the past as it witnessed battles that changed the course of our history. Now, it is facing an environmental war against ecologically destructive dump-and-fill projects, also known as reclamation, which is described by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as “an irreversible form of environmental degradation.” Reclamation projects pose grave threats to our natural life support systems as these destroy our mangroves, seagrass beds, wetlands and other marine habitats which are sources of life to humans and non-humans alike. The sites of these projects are vulnerable to ground shaking and liquefaction that raise red flags to people’s safety when earthquake and flooding occur. Dumping and filling of critical marine support systems in Manila Bay are not only violating our environmental laws—these deprive our artisanal fisherfolk of their livelihood and sustenance. We enjoin you to strengthen our efforts to defend and protect our country's natural resources. Stop dump and fill projects that threaten life both in land and sea! Sign this petition and let our voices be heard. Stop reclamation! Save Manila Bay! #BuhayAngManilaBay #ManilaBayIsAlive #StopReclamation #SaveManilaBay
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    Created by UP Marine Biological Society (UP MBS) Picture
  • Make Cebu Adopt a Healthier and Climate-Friendly Food System
    HEALTH & NUTRITION: Our country is confronted with a double burden case of malnutrition: children are underweight, while adults are obese or overweight. This is associated with the increasing intake of fats, oils, sugars, syrups, and processed food; and decline in consumption of fruits and vegetables. ( https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/hunger/84126-double-burden-malnutrition-obesity-urbanization ) LIVELIHOOD & CLIMATE EMERGENCY: On top of that our country is also regularly plagued with intense storms and drought that affects our farmers and disrupts our food system. Did you know that livestock contributes as much to climate change as all cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships in the world combined? That's 14% of all greenhouse gases! ( https://business.inquirer.net/262567/neda-ph-agriculture-losses-growing-due-to-climate-change | https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/426910)
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    Created by Judy-Ann Nulla
  • OPPOSE COAL FIRED POWER PLANT IN PALAWAN (and the rest of the country)
    Palawan is an island that has prided itself in being the "World's Best Island", home of the UNESCO heritage sites: Tubbataha Reefs and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park, not to mention its other local human and wildlife inhabitants that have benefited from the clean air, water and land from it being coal-free. Back in 2014, former president Aquino said that Palawan needs adequate energy to cater to the 10 million tourists projected for 2016. “A lot of these tourists will be going to Palawan. I am sure you are aware of all the developments that are happening here plus iyong airport, i-u-upgrade din natin. And all of that plus the upstream and downstream industries will need power. And if it’s not available, then practically we are saying, parang wala na rin iyong tourism na big industry dito or iyong growth, or projected growth." (see https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/606179/aquino-not-keen-on-coal-free-palawan) But growth at what expense? Would locals not prefer a future of clean air, clean water, clean land and thriving wildlife over throngs of tourists promising "growth and development"? And what then would tourists actually keep coming for if the island's health is compromised with an unsustainable coal plant and other unsustainable infrastructure built with a short-sighted goal in mind? But civil society movements and some LGUs have shown that we can resist this from happening. They realize that there's so much at stake, and so much we need to protect. (see https://businessmirror.com.ph/2018/08/05/lgus-going-green-rejecting-coal-projects/) Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, who is one of the lead convenors of the civil society group Save Palawan Movement (SPM) said: “Kapag natayo ‘yan, magsisisihan na tayo sa impact. Ang hirap na nyan matanggal once that is set up. The basis that it is of national significance, with all due respect, is not sound because all they have to do is to look at the Palawan Island Power Development Plan (PIPDP). Coal is not a least cost option. Ang least cost option doon ay combination of mini hydro with diesel and bunker. We have enough power supply”. (see https://palawan-news.com/denr-gives-go-ahead-to-palawan-coal-plant/) Furthermore, the civil society group in Palawan, among others who oppose the building of new coal plants, has claimed that, apart from negating any advances we make in addressing climate change, coal power projects are dangerous to human health as it releases a number of airborne toxins and pollutants, among them mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and other particulates.
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  • Make Iriga City adopt a Healthier Food System
    HEALTH & NUTRITION: Our country is confronted with a double burden case of malnutrition: children are underweight, while adults are obese or overweight. This is associated with the increasing intake of fats, oils, sugars, syrups, and processed food; and decline in consumption of fruits and vegetables. ( https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/hunger/84126-double-burden-malnutrition-obesity-urbanization ) LIVELIHOOD & CLIMATE EMERGENCY: On top of that our country is also regularly plagued with intense storms and drought that affects our farmers and disrupts our food system. Did you know that livestock contributes as much to climate change as all cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships in the world combined? That's 14.5% of all greenhouse gases! ( https://www.greenpeace.org/philippines/press/3472/worlds-scientists-call-on-city-mayors-to-reduce-meat-in-canteens/ ) Suportaran ta, maray na salud asin karayan ta! SIGN THE PETITION. -- Image credits: Jericko Magistrado
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    Created by Jason Salvadora
  • McDonald's: Prioritize Sustainability Now!
    As the biggest fast food chain in the world with 37,000 restaurants and 69 million customers each day, McDonald’s uses “nearly 2.8 tonnes of packaging every minute, representing nearly 1.5 million tonnes of packaging per year” according to Resource. Packaging is perhaps their most pressing issue. McDonald's continues to produce thousands and thousands of tons of solid wastes periodically. Not to mention, the emitted millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases from the production, transportation, and waste management of their packaging. Sources: 1. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/sustainability/how-mcdonalds-plans-fight-climate-change 2. https://resource.co/article/mcdonald-s-recycling-and-waste-management-insufficient-says-french-report-11870 Please read this Open Letter for McDonald's: https://wp.me/p6weqS-19c
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    Created by Dana Marie Perez Picture
  • Stop the field trial and impending direct use of Golden Rice!
    Golden Rice: A Narrow View in Addressing Malnutrition Golden Rice, a rice variety that is genetically modified to produce Vitamin A, is touted as a solution to Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in the Philippines. However, Golden Rice will only bring more problems to health, environment and farmers rights. Here’s how: • Rice, the staple food of Filipinos, will be subjected to unsafe genetic modification • Golden Rice is a concern of everyone; if something unexpected turns out in the process of genetic engineering the consequences would be catastrophic. Golden Rice proponents will subject the Filipinos’ staple food to a technology that is not proven to be safe, more so effective. Genetic modification alters the original genetic make-up of the organism, producing new chemical products that can have negative, unintended and uncontrolled consequences. GE crops can pose harm to those who will eat it, proof of which are the numerous peer-reviewed studies stating that GE crops are unsafe to eat. • It will be nearly impossible to recall GMOs as they are capable of reproduction. GMOs contaminate our food and agriculture thru cross pollination, seed mixing or thru accidental or intentional releases. Our rice varieties, totaling to about 4,000 varieties whose genetic diversity can be tapped to combat climate stresses and alleviate nutritional problems, are at risk of contamination. • Golden Rice does not offer new solutions. Beta carotene, which Golden Rice promises to deliver, is a nutrient that exists naturally in many food crops. It is present in crops in quantities greater than Golden Rice, such as malunggay, kalabasa, saluyot, kamote, carrots and other green leafy vegetables and yellow colored fruits and root crops. While widely available, easily grown and contains more beta carotene than Golden Rice, poverty hinders the Filipino people access to these safe and nutritious foods. Add to this the absence of fats in their diets required for the absorption of Vitamin A. • VAD exists among the population, but there are existing and proven steps in curbing Vitamin A deficiency. These interventions include fortification of food and Vitamin A supplementation by the Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines. To date, the percentage of children aged 0-5 years with VAD have already went down to about 15% in 2008, mainly from these interventions. Same goes in the case of pregnant and lactating mothers, wherein the cases of VAD also dropped within the threshold level. • Golden Rice undermines food safety, health of the environment and farmers rights • Consumer rights to information and food safety is being put at the wayside, such as the absence of labels in foods containing GMOs. The pro-Golden Rice also group ignores safety tests, and to date no tests were conducted to ascertain safety of Golden Rice. Children’s’ rights were also disregarded, as was seen in the case of the secretive and illegal Golden Rice feeding trials to young Chinese children. • There are also no studies on allergenicity and toxicity of Golden Rice, which should be first established in animal feeding trials before feeding trials on humans commence. It is shameful that the pro-GR camp will subject communities in the Philippines, which will target children, to be used as experimental rats in the feeding trials to ascertain efficacy of Golden Rice. • Questions are also being raised about Golden Rice’s role in curbing VAD. Is Golden Rice a food or a drug? If it is a drug that will cure VAD, proper dosaging of Golden Rice should be implemented and regulated, which will deem it very impractical and may pose problems such as overdosing due to overconsumption. • The pro-GR camp is using victims – the children suffering from VAD - as leverage to rush the approval of the said crop. They have also held groups against the introduction of Golden Rice responsible for the death of children suffering from VAD. These claims are baseless, as Golden Rice is still not ready for release and no proofs of its effectivity in addressing VAD were presented. IRRI, the lead proponent in the development of Golden Rice, divulged that the yield of Golden Rice is very low and would take another two years before it will be ready for cultivation. • The regulatory agencies in the country are lax and pro-GMO. To date, there is also no single law that governs GM commercialization or protection of the people from unwanted effects brought about by GM crops. • Golden Rice will ensure corporate control in agriculture • Golden Rice is a product of private corporations using the public institutions to mask their intent in controlling food and agriculture. Golden Rice is a property of Syngenta, one of the biggest Agrochemical TNC in the world. Syngenta has partnered with IRRI and created the Golden Rice Human.
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    Created by Stop Golden Rice! N. Picture
  • ONE MILLION SIGNATURES FOR THE FUTURE: No to Manila Bay Reclamation, No to Bulacan Aerotropolis
    Salus populi est suprema lex! The welfare of the people is the supreme law ! This is the moment for the one million signatures for the defense of our ecosystems and habitats! One million voice to say NO to Manila Bay Reclamation, NO to Bulacan Aerotropolis and NO to worse flooding! YES to pro-environment and pro-development model that upholds quality life for the greater majority! The NAIA lockdown in August this year, however an isolated incident, was played up and what ensued were seemingly orchestrated efforts from government and business interest groups to speed up the final approval of San Miguel Corporation’s New Manila International Airport. Despite prospects for NAIA rehabilitation, and the expansion of the Clark International Airport to address air gateway woes, however at less cost and less toll for the environment, in all indications, in as far as the Bulacan Provincial Government and Bulakan town’s local authorities are concerned, it’s all systems go for the proposed P735B worth Aerotropolis in Taliptip, Bulakan, Bulacan. The game changer, as tagged by one of SMC bigwigs, the Bulacan Aerotropolis is a multimodal facility, with a mega airport, seaport, industrial and commercial complex, residential and entertainment hubs, which shall sit on a 2500 hectare expanse on the coastal area of Taliptip. Weeks before it was approved by the NEDA Board chaired by President Duterte in April 2018, hundreds of mangrove trees have been cleared in “SMC-acquired” coastal waters, allegedly initiated by SMC men. Interestingly, a DENR representative revealed, the whole of Taliptip coastal side is classified as timberland, is non-disposable and inalienable, and may only be used for aquaculture. Monsoon surges and heavy rains in August have submerged surrounding communities and towns for a number of days. “Wala pa ang airport nyan”, as observed by most of the affected residents. While the proponent obscures reclamation as the base for the implementation of its project, a San Miguel Holdings Corporation’s executive disclosed that recognizing their host province as perennially flood-prone, they are ready to spend for flood mitigating infrastructures as spillways and dams, “if necessary”. Spillways and dams? For whose gain and whose loss ultimately? Development for whom, and at what expense? Though yet under procedural process, displacement of hundreds of families in Taliptip’s influence communities is impending, and nothing is certain but the mere “promise” of a relocation site. Scientists assert reclamation’s disastrous impact on the environment compounded with social and cultural implications: deforestation, loss of biodiversity, food insecurity, prolonged massive flooding, liquefaction and soil subsidence, storm and monsoon surges along coastal villages ,among others, adversely affecting the vulnerable sectors of society. As advocates for the defense of livelihood, communities and the environment, we are urgently called to band together to form the broadest network to oppose this gigantic profit-driven development project! Let us come forward by the thousands of voices, by a million hands and feet marching to signify our collective stand. Tell the government we are for development, so long as it includes us. Please affix your signature below and make history!
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  • Everybody has a Right to Compassionate, Plant-based/Vegan Food, Give us Access to it!
    There is a growing number of people all over the world, and in the Philippines who are shifting to a vegan diet and lifestyle. It is a conscious choice to show love and respect for animals and Mother Earth, and to care for one's own health and well-being. People like these should not be marginalized by having practically nothing to choose from in school, office, and hospital canteens, restaurants, hotels, and other food establishments. There are a number of vegan groups on Facebook in the Philippines, such as Vegan Philippines, Manila Vegans, Vegans of Manila, among many others. These are proof that there is a growing interest in a vegan diet in the country. The members of these groups are vegans, transitioning, or vegan-curious. Aside from the people who are in vegan groups, there are countless others who prefer healthier, more ethical, and more environment-friendly food choices. There are so many reasons why a vegan diet is becoming the food choice of many: 1. COVID-19 is one of the many zoonotic diseases that have caused a lot of death and suffering in the Philippines and the rest of the world. There are also other emerging diseases from animals that could cause another pandemic such as various strains of the swine flu virus and the bubonic plague. There is no better time than now to support and promote plant-based/vegan food in the country to build health and immunity, and to prevent another pandemic from emerging. 2. Compassionate/Vegan food is an ethical choice as it does not use any animal ingredients that cause needless suffering and death to animals. Animals are sentient beings that should not suffer and die for people's taste buds. Everyone could thrive on a balanced vegan diet. There is no need to kill animals for food. See the documentary Earthlings for more information. 3. Vegan food is better for the climate. With worsening climate change, shifting to vegan food drastically reduces one's carbon footprint. A meat-based diet has been found to generate more carbon pollution than the entire transport sector. An Oxford University study found that meat-based diets result in 7.2 kg carbon emissions a day, while only 2.9 kg for a vegan diet. Recently, the DENR started promoting a plant-based to help address climate change. Also, see the documentary Cowspiracy for a better understanding of this. 4. Vegan food is kinder to Mother Earth. With the antibiotic-laden animal waste being generated by the poultry and livestock industry, so much soil and water are being polluted every single day. Livestock is fed with corn, soybeans, and grains, which require a huge amount of fertilizers and pesticides. There is also an inefficient conversion of calories of crops for food converted to animal feeds. More people would be fed by directly using grains for food than if they were converted to animal feeds. 5. Vegan food is healthier. Whole foods, fresh fruits, and vegetables are more alkaline and thus prevent many types of illnesses. Studies have shown that blood from vegans fight off cancer cells. There are also numerous studies showing vegans have a lower risk of cancer, as well as lower rates of diet-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Canada has revised their dietary guidelines with much emphasis on plant-based food. For more information on health benefits of a plant-based diet, see the documentary What the Health. People who make an effort to make conscious choices for animals, for their health, and for the planet should be provided access to these kinds of food. By providing compassionate food choices, it could also make businesses thrive. Owners of vegan restaurants and shops claim most of their customers are not even vegan but vegan-curious, who are more than happy to try healthier, more earth-friendly, and ethical food choices. This means that given alternatives, more people would start to choose better. Even non-vegans deserve to have a choice when they want to try healthier, more ethical alternatives. Vegans would like to alleviate the needless suffering and death of animals and in the process also protect the earth, the climate, and themselves. Why should hotels, restaurants, canteens, and grocers not provide vegan choices to them? In fact, everybody should have access to vegan food. The future is vegan, let us create it now by supporting and promoting vegan food.
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    Created by Shiela R Castillo Picture