• STOP NATIONAL ROAD CONSTRUCTION AT MT. GUITING-GUITING NATURAL PARK (SIBUYAN ISLAND, ROMBLON)
    Remember that Mt. Guiting-guiting is Sibuyanon’s remaining terrestrial life-support system. If we attempt to destruct its ecological balance without proper scientific and sociological bases under the principles of sustainable development, we will all suffer the consequences. At the heart of Sibuyan Island is the Mt Guiting-Guiting Natural Park (MGGNP). It is the only remaining mountain in the Philippines with relatively intact habitats along its entire elevational gradient. Mt. Guiting-Guiting’s plant and mammal biodiversity is amongst the richest in the world (Heaney and Regalado 1998, Goodman and Ingle 1997, DENR 1997) Be it known that Bayay Sibuyanon and those who seek the stoppage and investigation of this project are not against development but shall continue to promote and adhere to the targets and indicators of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable development and precautionary principles must always be considered in implementing projects in ecologically sensitive and disaster prone areas. The ‘Priority Sites for Conservation in the Philippines: Key Biodiversity Areas’ document by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), now BMB, of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) exposes that there are one critically endangered, four endangered, and eight vulnerable species of biodiversity in Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park, which includes the endangered Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat, Nyctimene rabori, and a vulnerable Sibuyan pitcher plant, Nepenthes sibuyanensis. The project is not included in the Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park Management Plan. Almost every year, new biological species are being discovered. In 2008, a new species of stick insect has been discovered, the Pharnacia magdiwang. In 2010, a new species of shrew has been documented, Crocidura ninoyi. Gekko coi or Leonard’s Forest Gecko, named after famous taxonomist Leonardo Co, was known in 2011. And in 2012, a new owl species has been found, Ninox hilippensis spilonota; in 2014 a pitcher plant named after a Sibuyanon slain environmentalist Armin Marin, Nepenthes armin. In the same year, a rare endemic species of a tree skink Lipinia vulcania was recorded and a new species of lizard called Pseudogekko isapa sp. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources describes Sibuyan Island having "relatively rich biodiversity": "There are approximately 700 vascular plant species, including 54 species that are endemic to the island.  These include Nepenthes sibuyanensis J Nerz (Sibuyan Pitcher Plant); Heterospathe sibuyanensis Becc. (Bil-is), Pinanga sibuyanensis Becc. (Tibañgan), and Orania palindan var. sibuyanensis, a wild palm; Alpinia sibuyanensis, Phyllanthus sibuyanensis, Cyathea sibuyanensis Copel. (Tree Fern); Agamyla sibuyanensis Hilliard & BL Burtt (Sibuyan lipstick plant); Myrmephytum beccarii Elmer (Sibuyan ant plant); Begonia gitingensis Elmer (Guiting-guiting begonia).  Of the 700 plant species in the Island, 180 species can only be found in the Philippine archipelago.   There are numerous endemic species in Mt. Guiting-Guiting that occupy specific habitats.  These are found mostly in primary forest with elevation of 100 meters or higher (Madulid, Domingo, 1997).  The endemic species found in the protected area are as follows: • Sararanga philippinensis grows gregariously and form distinct clumps in Peat swamp forest along riverine/riparian forest at low altitudes. • Heterospathe sibuyanensis and Ardisia sibuyanensis located in primary forest at medium altitudes; and • Nepenthes merrillii and Alpinia sibuyanensis most of these are found in primary forest between 100 and higher elevations.    A total of 130 species of birds have been recorded in Sibuyan, of which 102 are either known or presumed to be breeding residents.  These are: Cinnamon Bittern-Lapay (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus), Celestial Monarch (Hyphothymis coelestis), Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris forbesi), Rufous –lored Kingfisher (Halcyon winchelli nesydrionetes), Pygmy Swiftlet (Collocalia troglodytes), and Philippine Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus philippensis). Sibuyan is also home to nine (9) native non-flying terrestrial mammal species,  four (4) of which are endemic rodents (Goodman and Ingle, 1993).  This are: Greater Sibuyan forest mouse (Apomys sp. B), Lesser Sibuyan forest mouse (Apomys sp. C), Sibuyan striped shrew-rat (Chrotomys sp. A), and Sibuyan giant moss mouse (Tarsomys sp. A) .  Out of nine fruit bat species found in the island, only one (1) species, Sibuyan Pygmy fruit bat (Haplonycteris sp. A) is endemic (Goodman & Ingle, 1993).   Dugongs (Dugong dugong) have also been sighted within the municipal waters and dolphins and whales are also expected to be visiting the area.   There are nine (9) recorded species of lizards and geckoes two (2) which are classified as endemic and rare. Gekko romblon, the Romblon narrow-disked Gecko, appears to be limited to Tablas and Sibuyan Island."
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  • No to Coal in Bohol
    Alarmed that there are sectors in the Provincial Government along with investors and power providers who are poised to endorse a backward idea of a coal-fired power plant in the island, we demand that our leaders to lead us in achieving Bohol’s Goals that include, among others, Environmental Protection and Management; and, Responsive, transparent and accountable governance. Drawing from our earlier manifesto, we echo the call, this time, taking a firm stand against whatever plans and machinations there might be to utilize coal in generating power within our province. We have united behind the following arguments: 1. THAT COAL IS DIRTY AND DEADLY. Coal damages both people and planet. Existing and proposed coal power plants in the Philippines can cause up to 2,410 premature deaths annually according to a 2015 Harvard study. Coal burning emits substances which contribute to smog, haze, lung disease, and respiratory illnesses; as well as neurological and developmental damage in humans and other animals (US Energy Information Administration, 2017). Coal mining contributes to soil erosion, water pollution and loss of biodiversity. It is directly linked with climate change as it is responsible for 46% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, inducing natural disasters. 2. THAT COAL IS COSTLY. While there is still a popular perception that coal is sold cheaply, a research by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) revealed that coal use actually brings with it additional costs that are not traditionally taken into account such as: (1) Subsidies to coal producers; (2) Air pollution estimated to cause more than 6,000 global deaths annually; and, (3) Greenhouse Gas emissions that undermine targets under the Paris Agreement on Climate. If we monetize these impacts the total cost of coal is estimated to be around USD 11 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), more than double the cost of competing renewable energy based on recent renewable auction results. 3. THAT GLOBALLY COAL IS NO LONGER A VIABLE OPTION. The recent falls in solar Photo Voltaic prices have led India to cancel new coal capacity, in addition to rising concern about the impacts of coal use on air pollution. In China, this concern led to a moratorium on new coal plants in 28 out of 31 provinces. With the tide turning against coal across the world, there is real concern that investments made today could soon be impossible to operate on environmental, public health and cost grounds, leaving a legacy of stranded power stations as the last monuments to the age of coal. (IISD, 2017) WE REJECT the proposal or plan of private or government investors in establishing a coal-power plant in the province of Bohol because it is tantamount to a violation of the existing laws and commitment for the Boholano people; WE DECLARE that renewable energy is the way forward. A 2013 World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report said that in 2011, at least 384 renewable energy service contracts were awaiting approval from the Department of Energy, equalling to 6,046 MW of generation capacity. Currently, there are 13 operational coal-fired power plants with a combined installed capacity of 4.937 MW; WE STRONGLY SUPPORT the development of renewable energy sources as the way forward for our beloved Bohol that claims to have ecological and cultural tourism as its main path for sustainable development being one of its primary economic drivers. WE ENJOIN our fellow Boholanos and residents to join us in this worthy cause to save our environment from this threat of destruction for our sake and the future generation. WE DEMAND as citizens and voters that the Sanggunian Panlungsod of Tagbilaran City and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bohol shall recognize the negative impact of coal-based power generation and the need to shift to renewable energy sources by passing Resolutions to support calls for “a moratorium on the establishment of carbon-intensive and fossil-based technologies”; and interpose its objection on any proposed coal-fired project within our province; WE ALSO URGE on the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Energy to deny any applications for coal-fired and other fossil-based power plants within Bohol; and implement the mandate for the development and use of renewable, sustainable energy sources and technologies.
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  • #SaveSAID
    MC-SAID is an institution dedicated to the total development of deaf children, providing for equal opportunities for learning. It was founded in 1974 and completely integrated in Miriam College system in 2007. MC-SAID is an important part of the community as it is the only school in the Philippines with complete continuum education from basic to graduate studies for deaf children. It is important as it nurtures them to develop emotional, social and cognitive abilities that are crucial towards their drive for self-actualization and community. The plans to close MC-SAID by 2019 is due to low number of enrollees and seeming lack of funds to sustain operations. Parents are only given a year to look for an alternative school that can cater to the special needs of their children. The abrupt decision to close MC-SAID is prioritizing who gets access to education. It means one is less valuable than the other. It means leaving people behind. We, concerned individuals and alumni of Miriam College, are appealing to the Board of Trustees of Miriam College to reconsider their plans of closing Miriam College - Southeast Asian Institute for the Deaf (MC-SAID) by the end of school year 2018-2019. We further appeal to the Board of Trustees to rethink this closure by extending MC-SAID's operations beyond 2019 and creatively exploring more viable alternatives that will be mutually beneficial for the school and its students. Miriam College should give itself considerable amount of time to find innovative solutions to their existing challenges, looking for better alternative rather than full closure of MC-SAID. Miriam College have been expanding other areas of their academic community. It is within their scope to do the same for MC-SAID. Similarly, they should also provide adequate time for parents and students to consider all possible options for their children. The essence of having a special school for deaf children is that they require special attention. Miriam College should involve them in exploring for more acceptable and reasonable solutions, rather than passive recipients of unfair decisions. The future of the children is at stake, which makes them the biggest stakeholders to the issue. Miriam College is an institution that “commits itself to creating and living within our school community the very changes we seek to realize in society”. One of their core values, Justice, espouses rejection of discrimination of any kind against any individual or any group. We hope Miriam College will stand true to its mission, vision and core values by continuously providing equal opportunities of learning for deaf children. #SaveSAID
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  • Uphold the Philippine Ban on Waste Incineration
    Incineration, including so-called "waste-to-energy" (WTE) incineration facilities (i.e. burning waste to produce electricity), is neither a good way to manage waste nor to produce electricity. In fact, it is proven to be the most expensive, most polluting, most energy intensive and most inefficient way to manage waste and generate electricity: 1. Incineration is a major source of cancerous dioxins and furans, which are regulated under an international treaty, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; and 2. It is also the most expensive way to produce electricity--WTE facilities cost more to construct and operate than coal or nuclear plants. But the government--through Congress and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)--are aggressively promoting WTE incineration thinking it will magically solve the country's waste problems. House Bill 2286 seeks to repeal the incineration ban in the Philippine Clean Air Act (RA 8749) and amend the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) in order to allow the entry of WTE incineration technologies in the Philippines. And the DENR is even paving the way for waste incineration, instead of of doing their duty to protect the environment. The Clean Air Act guarantees every Filipino’s right to breathe clean air and right to a healthy environment. The ban on incineration supports this. Waste incineration aside from being a major source of cancer-causing emissions, also produces particulate matter, which is identified as a leading cause of premature deaths. The bill also undermines the country’s landmark waste law, RA 9003, which calls for an ecological approach to waste management. Incinerators, and WTE incineration facilities threaten human health, pollute our air, land and water, harm our economies, contribute significantly to global warming, and fuel an unsustainable system of consumption and wasting. They have no place in an ecological waste management system, and in today's emerging circular economy. Congress and the DENR must realize that incineration is not a feasible waste treatment option. Instead, they must work toward real solutions and adopt the Zero Waste approach to waste and resource management. This can start with the strict implementation of RA 9003 which does not only save money, but also creates jobs, improves public health and mitigates climate change.
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  • Peoples Petition for Sustainable and Ecological Food System in the Philippines.
    We are experiencing a food emergency with hunger in the Philippines categorized as a “serious problem” in the 2015 Global Hunger Index. In the past 15 years (1999-2014), the number of Filipino families who rated themselves as hungry rose from 8.3% to 18.3% based on the Social Weather Station’s (SWS) self-rated hunger survey. The SWS survey also revealed that 13.4% of families suffer from involuntary hunger in 2015. The victims of hunger are mainly children and women with where 20% of children below 5 years old are underweight, 30% are underheight, and 8% are wasted; while 31% of adults 20 years old and above are overweight or obese mainly due to increasing consumption of unhealthy food. There is minimal support for building on-farm biodiversity and promoting access to diverse diets to address nutrition security and build farm resilience against the impacts of climate change. Our farms, especially those under industrial production, depletes our soils and poisons our water and air with extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Ironically endangering the very environment that supports food production. Our trade rules and incentive measures favor more corporate food production, whereas more than 80% of our food is still produced by small holder Filipino farmers, who remain poor, hungry and malnourished. While the Philippine Constitution and laws is replete with provisions on food security, there is an urgent need for greater coherence, convergence and synergy on the various programs of government on food which are presently governed under different departments and agencies. Our Constitution explicitly statesd that the State shall defend the right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition. We have yet to realize this Constitutional rights owing to a lack of policy framework that advances the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and the Filipinos’ right to define our own food and agriculture systems. The essence of food security and sovereignty is the total and full development of every Filipino living a life with dignity. Join us! Together, let us advance as sustainable/ecological food system for all Filipinos.
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  • Make Parrotfish fishing illegal and all coral reef fish
    Overfishing will wipe out 59 reef fish species. A study shows that some of the largest fish that swam in the coral reefs around the Philippines have all but disappeared following decades of unsustinable fishing. That includes iconic and valuable species such as the green bumphead parrotfish, the humphead wrasse, the African pompano, thw giabt grouper, and the mangroove red snapper. Fishermen must understand that over fishing reef fish will affect not only most species but our corals health, specially if we lost another parrotfish species.
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  • Stop Legazpi City Flying Lantern Release
    1. What goes up must come down, and farmers in ­particular have become increasingly ­concerned that livestock might swallow a lantern's wire or ­bamboo frame, or, even worse, that fires might break out in hay barns. Elsewhere, coastguards say lanterns, which can travel for several kilometres and to an ­altitude of 1,000m before the candle burns out, are routinely mistaken for distress flares. A handful of east Asian countries, such as ­Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, have already introduced bans, particularly in the lead up to ­major festivals. (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/02/sky-lanterns-danger-farm-animals) 2. Countries like Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Spain, Germany, and parts of Canada and the USA have actually already banned the release of sky lanterns. (http://www.wheninmanila.com/why-we-should-not-release-balloons-skylanterns/). 3. However, the worst part of the fallout from the activity is the impact on local fauna. Reports of animals dying painfully, typically strangled by old lanterns' wires or suffocated by undecomposed paper, are frequent during this time of year. Some visitors are no doubt already aware of this, particularly following the high-profile death of an owl in the U.K. a few years ago. The bird was found suffocated and partly burnt inside the remains of a lantern... Humans are also at risk. The light emitted by lanterns sent en masse at night has been proven to be disruptive to aircraft pilots. As such, some countries like Malaysia have banned the use of sky lanterns in and around certain cities in order to prevent fatal accidents. (http://www.chinapost.com.tw/editorial/taiwan-issues/2017/02/10/491229/pingxis-sky.htm) 4. Though they are undoubtedly beautiful, even the biodegradable lanterns can be incredibly harmful to both the environment and wildlife. Sky lantern litter takes quite some time to decompose, and the wire frames have been known to strangle and maim wild animals and livestock. They also pose a significant fire hazard. Not only have they caused multiple wildfires, a sky lantern was also responsible for a massive fire at the Smethwick Recycling Plant in West Midlands, England. (http://earth911.com/living-well-being/events-entertainement/environmental-impact-traditions/) 5. With Save Philippine Seas, know more about the ills and harms of sky lantern releases here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/savephilippineseas/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1318238384932367
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  • Keep Them in the Wild: Turtle and Shark Adventure ( Ocean Adventure Subic Bay)
    Since 2014, 5 false killer whales, 6 bottlenose dolphins, and 1 sea lion, have died in captivity in one marine park alone in the Philippines. There could be more unrecorded deaths since then in other marine park establishments. The attractions of Ocean Adventure Subic Bay harm marine life and do not teach people about the protection of marine animals. Moreover, it should be established that holding, grabbing, and poking any form of marine life can cause them great distress and inflict injuries. In cases of rescued marine animals, such as sea turtles, they should be immediately put in rehabilitation and be released afterwards. Additionally, feeding the fish, or any other marine animal for that matter, breeds dependence among them, which is dangerous to their health. (They become reliant on the food source being fed) This practice further disrupts the ecological balance because the alteration in behavior it costs fish and other marine life also prevents them from feeding on algae growing on corals. Lastly, keeping any marine animal in enclosed spaces decreases its lifespan. Say no to marine animals kept in captivity. Let’s keep them in the wild!
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  • CLSU: A Smoke-free Campus
    In line with the University President’s declaration of our university being a smoke-free campus, we are asking you, us, students to please help us in our signature campaign for our president to have this campaign as a concrete basis in including vape or e-cigarettes in the prohibited smoking paraphernalia.
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  • Reappoint Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary
    Gina Lopez has been the only DENR secretary that has enforced our environmental laws without fear or hesitation. She has extensively visited and documented the environmental degradation of mine sites, watersheds, coastal areas, and forests, all over the country. She has comprehensively sought, listened and decisively acted on the complaints of affected communities. She is qualified to this position considering her knowledge of environmental issues and her previous experience managing development initiatives such as social enterprises, eco-tourism and the rehabilitation of the Pasig River. To ensure the continued advance for real change in your administration, Gina Lopez is imperative because: a) She can inspire people within the agency and the communities to commit towards a green economy; b) She has a solid history of being able to work with other government agencies local governments, and private sector and civil society groups to implement an integrated area development approach that is crucial to helping the poor; c) She can check and possibly end corruption in the DENR, as she herself has shown that she has zero tolerance for corruption; d) She can effectively communicate the environmental challenges we face, and inspire millions of citizens to address the issues they face at ground level. We realize that as President, you have to make choices and follow the law. But in the case of Gina Lopez, you yourself correctly recognized that powerful economic interests and corrupt politicians have obstructed your resolve to bring change to DENR. We must not allow this betrayal of the country, and the betrayal of our environment to remain unchecked. Mr. President, millions of Filipinos – especially the poor – are relying on your will to make the right decision. It is in this spirit that we, along with many of our fellow Filipino citizens, ask that Gina Lopez be re-appointed as DENR secretary.
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    Created by Reappoint Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary Movement Picture
  • Rep. Ronald Zamora and Rep. Wes Gatchalian should inhibit from the CA confirmation hearing
    We need your help to tell Rep. Ronald Zamora and Rep. Wes Gatchalian that they should inhibit themselves from the deliberations of the CA. We also raise concern on the conflict of interest concerning Sens. Panfilo Lacson and Alan Peter Cayetano who received campaign support from the Zamoras. We believe that the objectivity of these members of the CA are compromised. Alyansa Tigil Mina has always been public with its call for reforms in the mining industry. However, in this case, we believe that the decision to confirm Sec. Lopez should not only be about her position on mining, but more importantly, on her competence and track record. Sec. Lopez is the only DENR appointee to show firmness in implementing environmental laws despite the lobby of business firms. The number of endorsements and statements of support from communities and civil society organizations submitted to the CA are proof of strong confidence in her track record and leadership. We strongly back her drive against corruption and support her vision of social and environmental justice for the welfare of the present and future generations. Sources: [1] http://www.nickelasia.com/about-us/board-directors-and-officers [2] http://www.wellex.com.ph/category/our-history/board-of-directors [3] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/23/reuters-america-exclusive-philippines-allows-suspended-miners-to-ship-out-nickel-ore.html [4] http://www.rappler.com/nation/160270-denr-closes-mining-operations [5] http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/885169/lacson-having-second-thoughts-on-lopez-confirmation [6] http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections-2013/31990-campaign-contributors-team-pnoy-2013-elections#cayetano
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  • ASEAN, ACT TO PROTECT THE OCEANS FROM PLASTIC AND MARINE DEBRIS!
    The ocean is drowning in plastic. The ocean is filled with 275 million tons of plastics. The cumulative quantity of plastic waste available to enter the ocean from land is predicted to increase by an order of magnitude by 2025, and is projected to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050. A 2015 study named five ASEAN member states as the biggest sources of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. These are: Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. ASEAN countries, due to their lengthy coastlines and high plastic usage, are some of the primary sources of marine plastics globally. With the Philippines as chair of this year’s ASEAN Summit, this is an opportune time to call on the ASEAN member states to take concrete measures against plastics pollution in the high seas to stop environmental degradation and dwindling of marine life in the region. ASEAN needs to work together to set appropriate regulations and encourage businesses to take responsibility for their environmental impact and consumers to take action.
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