with NORDIS reports
BAGUIO CITY — Katribu Partylist declared that climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives must be pursued at the community level as it commended and welcomed the the draft climate change ordinance of Negros Oriental. This came as the dismal results of the Climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark hit the news.
“There is not much to expect from the Copenhagen Accord. KATRIBU Partylist would rather rely on the strength of local communities in mitigating the effects of climate change through sustainable practices”, Beverly Longid, President of KATRIBU Partylist asserted.
She added that global initiatives like the proposed climate change ordinance in Negros Oriental must be strengthened, supported and promoted.
“The fight against Climate Change should be won on the ground by local communities because the impact of the climate crisis is severely felt at that level”, declared Longid,
The Negros Oriental provincial board environment committee is currently hearing a proposed ordinance that seeks to consolidate the efforts of individuals, institutions and the provincial government to address risks posed by climate change to vulnerable sectors and communities.
Longid, an Igorot of Bontok and Kankanaey, said that indigenous peoples have also been undertaking adaptation and mitigation measures since time immemorial to deal with climate change as manifested in their daily toils as defenders of their ancestral lands and nurturers of the environment.
Indigenous peoples, not only in the Philippines but also in the entire world have customary laws and practices that protect the environment and promote biodiversity. Our sustainable livelihoods and practices certainly contribute to mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change.
Indigenous farmers, for instance, follow traditional knowledge on resource management that works with the laws of nature. They grow varieties of crops to sustain biodiversity and practice organic farming that do not rely on pesticides that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
KATRIBU Partylist, together with the indigenous peoples it seeks to represent, vows to protect ancestral lands and resources. Without forests, there would be no water for irrigating the swiddens and the rice lands we till, without which our food security and livelihoods are threatened, Longid said.
The group also expressed concern that the Philippines is ill-equipped to face the challenges of climate change. Food security, health, and the general welfare of Filipinos including indigenous peoples are at stake. Ironically, indigenous peoples are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change even if we contribute the least to the climate crisis.
Reacting to the Philippine delegation’s decision to lobby and support the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, Longid said that this only reflects the weak stance of the Arroyo government on environment issues.
Considering its poor record on protecting the environment and its proclivity to accommodate foreign interests, the Arroyo government was expected to buckle under the pressure of the US and other developed countries during the climate negotiations in Copenhagen, said Longid.
The Copenhagen Accord was brokered by the United States and was approved after rich countries bullied their way into its passage. Several developing countries including the Philippines reportedly helped in brokering the deal. It allowed for a market mechanism, carbon-trading, which allows carbon emissions as long as the emitting country pays governments, companies and forest-owners for keeping the forests intact. # nordis.net
By WENDY ATUBAN
BAGUIO CITY — Applications for participation in the annual Session Road in Bloom starts on January 12, organizers said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Session road in bloom is one of the main features of the yearly Flower festival in the city. It is a week long market encounter housed in a line of boothes on both lanes of the Session road.
2010s Session Road in Bloom is scheduled on March 1-7 next year. The Executive Director of the event Malou Caliste said the activity showcases goods and products from the Cordillera, Baguio and its sister cities and whosoever wants to apply and sell their produce,” added Caliste.
The establishments along Session road are given priority, other interested applicants are advised that it is still a first come first serve basis policy as usually there are a lot of applicants.
Requirements include: properly filled up application form, business permit, passport-size ID, electric form if the stall would need additional energy for their products, list of items/product to be sold, and proposed sketch or lay-out of their pavilion.
Grounds for disqualification include: noncompliance to product sold, noncompliance of pavillion specifications (HRAB standards) and noncompliance of health and safety requirements.
Space for each pavillion is the same with last year which is 4.5x4m. Regular fee for each stall remains to be 18,500. Plant outlets with landscape are discounted and amounts to 11,500 each.
Organizers of said event said they will be strict in observing preset bounds for the trade fair. Trade fairs outside of set bounds are not allowed. # nordis.net
By WENDY ATUBAN
BAGUIO CITY — Local businessmen in the city look forward to the annual flower festival to reverse considerable financial losses incurred after the two disastrous typhoons that recently hit the city, an official said on Tuesday during a media briefing.
After city tourism promotions projects backed out on the typhoons’ aftermath, the private sector claims to have lost up to 100 milion and has not yet recovered, said Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio Chairman and Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. Executive Chairman Anthony de Leon at the same time adding that, “Baguio is on the road to recovery in terms of tourism.”
Local businesmen lost 100 million between October to November, said de Leon.
However, in the first few days of the Christmas season, the hotels are enjoying 90-95% occupancy, he added. From Dec 26 to January 3 occupancy of hotels is expected to hit 100%.
The famous Panagbenga flower festival of the city held every February is a big tourist attraction. That’s why the private sector is banking on that to reverse the financial setback incurred this year and to yield full recovery for the tourism industry.
The coming year’s flower festival is expected to yield hundred billion profit for the private sector. This, said de Leon, is “timely because we (private sector) need this type of promotion to reverse the setback from the past months.”
2010’s Panagbenga is being propped up to the full this early. # nordis.net
It is an election year. With all that has happened in the country’s economic and political scene just last year is basis that can be used to make some resolutions for the new year especially in the selection of new officials.
Considering that many of us have always made the choice for the lesser between two evils these past so many elections maybe for this election the standards can be raised.
On the party system and platforms, there has not been much difference between the traditional political parties in their platform, loyalties or services to their constituents. As seen in the practice among politicians they can transfer from one party to the other anytime it pleases them. If the party declared a platform the party member still has the choice to implement it or not or simply ignore it. Some call this party unity, which is not.
Accountability, while all candidates declare during the campaign period that they will serve the people to the best of their ability they actually only mean to be the voters’ fair weather friends. Especially if in the past year they condemned workers who go on strike as a means to call the attention of authorities to look into their unpaid wages, unsubmitted insurance payments, unsafe workplace, etc.
Or, instead of listening and coming to terms with the peasants’ plea for land to till soldiers are sent to resolve the situation with force.
Even members of the fourth estate whose only task is to keep the public informed are dealt with the use of assasins.
Individually, government officials maybe innocent of actually implementing anti-people acts, even if it was simply ministerial, but as party members or LGU members, or council members they have not stood to question policies formulated by their organizations. Surely they still stand accountable for ‘wrong’ moves done by their administration.
All good hearted and ordinary citizens will effect a great change in our governing system should it be resolved by all to intelligently seek and choose to seek out the best well-meaning peoples leader for the candidate in the coming elections.# nordis.net
By REV. LUNA DINGAYAN
“She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus – because he will save his people from their sins.” — Matthew 2:23
Distortion of Christmas
Christmas is perhaps the most widely celebrated Christian festival, yet it is also the most distorted in terms of its original meaning. For instance, our Seminary staff attended this weekend the wedding of our friend’s daughter in Cavite. On their way home to Baguio they were accosted by a police officer in Metro-Manila actually asking for money as Christmas gift in the guise of violating a traffic rule. Then, the other day we were on our way to Isabela passing by the Sta. Fe road when a group of local officials put a rope across the highway to stop every passers-by and ask for “donation” for their supposedly barangay fiesta in the “spirit” of Christmas. The “donation” is supposedly out of the willingness of the heart.
In Baguio City and elsewhere, you find people going around during the Christmas season asking for their “Christmas gift.” Even indigenous peoples, like the Mangyans and the Aetas, and some elderly people from Mt. Province have come to learn that the Christmas season is a time for them to go down to the lowlands or to the city to ask for “Christmas gift.” We really don’t know where they got this distorted view of Christmas. Perhaps, this is one of the negative consequences of the commercialization of Christmas, so that when Christmas season comes, people think more of what they get rather than what they give.
Whose Birthday, Santa Claus or Jesus?
By just merely looking at the Christmas decorations hanging around in the homes, in the malls, and other public places, we could already imagine whose birthday people are actually celebrating. Certainly, it is not Jesus’ birthday; it is more of Santa Claus’ birthday than of Jesus Christ our Lord. We could see more of Santa’s images than of Jesus. This is symptomatic of what people think about Christmas. Santa traditionally represents material gifts each one would desire to get during the Christmas season. Hence, commercial establishments promote Santa more than Jesus because of the consumerist attitude it generates profitable for business.
But that is precisely the opposite of Christmas. Christmas is a season of giving and not of getting. Of course, we gratefully receive what is heartily given to us, but it is different when we are the ones going around asking people for material things that are supposedly “Christmas gift” , sometimes using all sorts of gimmicks and manipulation all in the name of the child born in Bethlehem. This is precisely the opposite of what Jesus intends to be and to do in being born into this world.
Meaning of Jesus’ Name
According to the Scriptures, Jesus was named Jesus because he will save his people from their sins (Mt. 2:23). Jesus did not remain a child; he grew up into maturity to fulfil the meaning and purpose of his life. And in the fullness of time, he offered his life in the service of the people. He cured the sick, gave light to the blind, fed the hungry, and forgive the sinners. In the words of the Gospel of Mark, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Mk. 10:45).
Indeed, giving not getting is the motto of Jesus’ life. For Jesus, giving what we are and what we have is the very expression of love. As the saying goes, “you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” Genuine giving, however, is not something that is manipulative or forced on us, but something that comes out of the abundance of a grateful and loving heart.
May you have a meaningful Christmas!# nordis.net
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
But the poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.— Gustavo Gutierrez
The people of the world will again face the coming of a new year. Euphoria will fill the athmosphere. New Year explossions will jolt the air. Here in the Philippines, scents and smokes of firecrackers will fill the wind. New Year Parties will be every corner.
For many believe that every new year, there will be new life for each one.
For the poor especially the lowly workers, only the number of the year changed. Their sorry situation did not. From the start of the year to the last month, it will be the same for them: poverty is in the air.
As usual, job scarcity, retrenchment, massive lay-off, underemployment, non-payment of SSS and Pag-ibig premiums, union busting here and there, anti-worker government policies being legislated setting aside the demand for a true wage hike, tagging of labor leaders as well as organizers as enemies of the state followed by enforced disappearances and Extra-Judicial Killings will occupy the whole year round.
So what else will be new?, only on that this year falls another national elections if ever there will be such. And if there will be none, the same much-hated President again will add to the missery of the Filipino workers as well as the rest of the Filipino people. Same misery, same life.
But thanks as it is free to hope that soon there will be a change. And for the workers together with the people who love a meaningful change, they know there will soon be genuine social change. Time will not tell, the people of the world will tell.
There will come a time that every time a year will pass, the quality of life will grow better. That, one can tell, New Year, new life. Imagine the life of a worker, every New Year, he will have a new perspective in the production. Another plan to improve the production to serve the people will sprout forth the experience of the past.# nordis.net
By ADELA WAYAS
“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they will eat between the New Year and Christmas.”(thinkexist.com)
December is the busiest month for the people. The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ always requires a long preparation. People think of what to food to prepare long before the date, where to celebrate and what gifts to give to their love ones. They decorate their houses with bright christmas lights and lanterns.Then after Christmas comes the celebration of the New Year that demands another preparation. This is the usual surface scenario during Christmas and New Year’s day. And then it takes a few days more for the euphoria to die down. Then it is another year of struggling to survive the next 365 days.
While surfing on-line, I read that quotation and I draw two points from it. First, not all people are thinking of what to eat on Christmas day or New Years’ day. Second, most of the people are really worrying of what to put in their stomach not only on Christmas or New Years’ day but everyday.
In the first place, poverty in the country is prevalent. Though people believe that somehow they have to celebrate the birth of the Christ with the best dishes on the table and they would find ways to have something on the table during Christmas and New year’s day. Still there are more people who do not have anything to eat at all on any day of the year. How would the hungry be able to worry if the other people are very happy celebrating Christmas and New Year?
If ever you pass the streets nowadays, I am sure you can also see that there are people especially the children sleeping on the corners and ignoring the noisy happy street. I am sure not all of them have a full stomach nor have eaten any.
They worry of where to get their next meal. It becomes their problem of food or how they will feed their family. All throughout of their lives their problem is how to live.
For me, as long as my family is complete and safe it is okey by me, even if there is nothing to prepare for Christmas or New Year or even birthday celebrations. What is more important to me is there’s enough food to eat every day of our life. But then for some life is not that easy, there are times that there is no food to eat.
It will be helpful for us to reflect why is this so. Search and find the roots of our poverty. We may just find the solution how to change this situation.
Poverty will never end if there are people who are greedy and think only for their self. We must strive also to live but without stealing what is meant for the people. We should be very vigilant and know how to fight for what is really for us.
2010 is another challenge for us. It will be another year to educate ourselves and reflect from the past. It will be another year to make a difference in life and for the other people. It will be another year of asserting our rights as national minorities and people of this land.
This coming election, we must elect for the right politician one who will serve. Let us start helping the poor uplift their life even just for a little through the leaders we will vote. Assert for what is for the people so that in the coming years and Yuletide and New Year celebrations and everyday there will always be something to eat.# nordis.net
By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
Benguet SP support their cause
BAGUIO CITY — Families and clans affected by a geothermal project in Daclan, Bokod, opposed anew the project as it caused stress on the social environment and disrupts the peaceful relationships of indigenous peoples in the area.
Bonded under the Kalesay ni Emaga-ngan (Bokod) Association, Inc., they doubt that the geothermal project adheres to sustainable development and undermines their rights as indigenous peoples.
“To put another energy project in Bokod which already hosts two hydro-electric dams, and provides water to another mega dam (San Roque) downstream is subjecting the natural environment of Bokod to too much environmental stress,” the Kalesay ni Emaga-ngan statement said.
The residents in their statement said that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples’ Benguet office process of consultation and consent acquisition is insufficient.
Nordis learned that in an NCIP Benguet office facilitated free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) consultation held on May 14, the affected residents rejected the project.
Despite questions and protests, another FPIC process was held on August 20 which resulted to a favorable consent on the project.
“No matter how well meant the NCIP might be, the process is inherently flawed. Proper consultation of people for an application of this magnitude could not be properly contained in a single process,” it said.
The residents pointed out that the process does not allow the acquisition of consent of all areas to be affected by the project. “It does not have any environmental impact measurement, but relies solely on what the proponent states in their application,” they pointed out.
Support from local legislators
As the NCIP allegedly failed to recognize the peoples position against the project, the residents utilized venues to advance their position.
Last week, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet conducted a hearing on the geothermal project in Daclan, Bokod.
They came out with a resolution that the FPIC process shall be started again based on their findings and support on the residents claim that the process was questionable, a resident explained.
The residents claimed that they have learned their lesson from the past when resources of Benguet were exploited for various “development projects.”
They enumerated the projects which include the Ambuclao and Binga dams that displaced their people, the mining of Mankayan and Itogon, and the San Roque Multi-purpose dam.
“We learn that seemingly bright promises will likely be empty ones. More so, we learn that there are no short-cuts along the road to genuine development. We learn that there is a need for careful, holistic, and well planned development projects,” the statement said. # nordis.net
By CONYAP G.
BONTOC, Mt. Province — Various sectors held a dialogue with the 54th IB of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on their bid to seek justice for the victims of human rights violations and to mitigate the effects of the military presence in the province. A resolution was also made by the sectors urging the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to resume peace talks.
The Mt. Province dialogue with the AFP based in Mt. Province was sponsored by the Bontoc-Lagawe Diocese of the Roman Catholic church headed by Bishop Rodolfo Beltran, the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines under Bishop Brent Alawas, the Local Government Unit of Bontoc headed by Mayor Franklin Odssey and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA).
The participants present excluding the AFP also agreed that reinvestigation and investigation of alleged human rights violations be done immediately and for the Peace Executive Council (PEC) to assist in this. They said that in the interest of justice, victims and survivors should be indemnified by the AFP and commitments previously made be given. The participants also called for the immediate pull out of military and para-military personnel from the province and the dismantling of the AFP and Civilian Auxilliary Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) detachments in the communities.
To date, the 77th CAFGU IB, the 54th IB, Task Force Montanyosa and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are n the province. They are located in their main Headqarters at Bontoc and in various detachments in Tocucan, Guinaang, Natonin, Barlig, Bauko, Besao and Tadian.
The CPA called on the gov’t. to stop the state sponsored Oplan Bantay Laya and terrorist attacks against the CPA and other progressive organizations.
Mayor Odssey and Bishop Beltran delivered their message in support of efforts to seek peace and to resolve the roots of the armed conflict through non-violent means. Odssey said that the PEC should be strengthened to serve as center for human rights. The Epicopal Northern Diocese in the Philippines (ENDP) in the person of Fr. Lioba spoke of the development programs of the church in the countrysides.
Vice-governor Loy Claver spoke of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), which is an agreement between the NDFP and GRP signed during the presidency of Joseph Ejercito Estrada. It clearly defines the rights and violations in the conduct of war and states the rights of civilians as well as combatants.
A resolution urging the NDFP and the GRP to resume their peace talks was drafted and signed by all participants excluding the representatives of the AFP. A certain Lt. Sta. Maria and Terricampo say that they are not in authority to sign as this is a matter that has to be referred to their superiors.# nordis.net
By RODA TAJON
VIGAN CITY — A staff of a non-government organization (NGO) in the Cordillera Administrative Region has been charged with cases filed about 20 years ago in Quezon Province.
Rodolfo Reyes, 42, a Provincial Staff of the Cordillera Disaster Response and Services, an NGO linked with people’s organizations in Cordillera provinces, has been accused of kidnapping with serious illegal detention by combined forces of 503rd Brigade Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Air Force (PAF), Military Intelligence Company (MICO) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
At around midnight of December 17, some 20 men led by Capt. Jean Bustos went to the Reyes’ residence in Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur to serve the Alias Warrant dated November 29, 1988 docketed as Criminal Case No. 22 Kidnapping with Serious Illegal Detention for a certain “Ricardo Reyes A.K.A Bong/Elis/Eking,” signed by Hon. Felix A. Caraos of Municipal Trial Court (MTC) Candelaria, Quezon.
Reyes denied the charges and insisted that he was not the person they were looking for because his name is Rodolfo. The security forces, however, insisted that he was the one they were looking for and even showed a picture of Ricardo Reyes. Reyes said that the picture would not confirm the identity of the accused. After a series of explanations, Sto. Domingo Chief of Police Arsenio Ramos offered Reyes protective custody to avoid further threat on his security and to explain his side on the charges against him.
Reyes and his family decided to accept the offer of Ramos out of fear for their security. He and his family with their Barangay Captain Juanito Tacad arrived at the police station at around 1:30 AM with the combined security forces escorting them.
Ramos assured Reyes and his legal counsel, Atty. Randy Kinaud, that he would be released after lunch should they find no evidence against him. By 10 AM, Reyes underwent medical examination to ensure his family and the court of his physical condition. At around 2 PM, Reyes was released by the police.
Ilocos Human Rights Alliance (IHRA) and Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), human rights organizations in the Ilocos and in CAR expressed their condemnation of the recent attacks by the military and the Arroyo regime against people’s organizations and NGO’s.
According to them, the Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2, the counter insurgency program of the government, should be blamed for persecuting civilian activists and NGO workers.
IHRA and CHRA further said that the AFP is rushing to meet its deadline on the OBL and that the case of Reyes is a clear manifestation of the desperation of the US-Arroyo regime to crush the people’s movement.
Rudy, as his colleagues called him, currently serves as the Provincial Staff for Abra of the Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services (CDRDS), working closely with people’s organizations in Abra such as KASTAN and Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA). # nordis.net
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) Spokesperson Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan said the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army is in the same sinking boat as the Ampatuan private army and other armed groups pampered by the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.
In an e-mailed statement sent to the media, CPDF said the most recent in the long-running series of splits in the CPLA led to the formation of a new and reformed group. “…But it is composed of the same old opportunist elements,” stated Naogsan.
According to Naogsan, the ouster of Mailed Molina and the new group headed by Arsenio Humiding is a result of a quarrel inside the CPLA. Naogsan added that the same thing repeatedly happened to the CPLA in the past as various factions squabbled over funds, weapons and jobs in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“As an armed group devoid of any ideological mooring, the CPLA serves as a special para-military force for AFP counter-insurgency operations in the region. Its members were involved in horrible human rights violations such as the abduction, torture, and murder of Cordillera Bodong Association chairman and Cordillera People’s Alliance vice-chairman Ama Daniel Ngayaan and the killings of scores of Cordillera activists and civilians,” Naogsan further stated.
Naogsan added that various factions of the CPLA serve in the private armies of warlord-politicians in Abra and other Cordillera provinces. He said that CPLA members served in the private army used by the Dy clan to land-grab in Isabela province. Naogsan said that in the past years, the Philippine National Police has been complaining about the armed robberies, extortion, illegal logging, land grabbing, drug dealing, gambling protection rackets and other crimes done by the CPLA.
“The current CPLA interim leadership keeps on harping on the same tired issues of the integration of more of their members into the AFP and the continuation of their supposed peace-talks with the government. This underscores their confused and laughable position. Peacetalks are held between adversaries. The CPLA is not an adversary of the government. In fact, the CPLA is pleading for more of their members to be integrated into the reactionary armed forces,” Naogsan added.
Naogsan said the CPLA even raises the issue of their imaginary peacetalks and their threats of going back to the hills whenever they demand more financial assistance and projects from the government. He lambasted the CPLA and said they should be ashamed calling themselves rebels or a “liberation army.” Naogsan said that the CPLA is simply a criminal armed group being used by the military in counter-insurgency operations against the New Peoples Army (NPA), the rest of the revolutionary movement and the people.
“The CPDF calls upon the public not to be deceived and to vigorously reject the purported new and reformed CPLA. It is nothing more than an armed gang of lapdogs begging for crumbs from an increasingly isolated regime. The CPLA must be immediately disarmed, disbanded, and punished for the various abuses and human rights violations it committed against the Cordillera people!” ended the statement.
Last month, the CPLA launched “Oplan Dalus” issuing a special order creating a task force to investigate involvement of CPLA members in squatting and demolition activities in Dontogan, Piripin Bato and Dreamland all in Baguio City. The Task Force was also ordered to make a special investigation on Molina’s involvement in other activities by representing CPLA without the supposed collective nod of the group. # nordis.net
By WENDY ATUBAN
BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources looks forward to a zero importation of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) an ozone-depleting chemical, in January next year.
On Wednesday, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of DENR-CAR announced that by January of next year, there will be a total freeze on the importation of CFCs. Banned CFCs includes CFC 11, CFC 12, CFC 13, CFC 113, CFC 114, CFC 115, and R 502.
This action is triggered by the government’s target of gradually phasing out all Ozone Depleting Substances in accordance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, in which the Philippines is a signatory.
This protocol which has 194 member countries as of March 2009, was aimed at reducing and eventually phasing out the production and consumption of ODS among the signatory countries.
DENR-CAR Regional Executive Director Regidor De Leon said the country has been successful in gradually phasing out imported CFCs. Importation of CFCs gradually dropped from 3,382 metric tons in 2005 to 169 MT last year. Next year there will be no more importation said De Leon, adding, only those in the Philippines will be cleared next.
“Butas butas na ang ozone layer kaya globally nag-aact para iligtas ito (the ozone is too punctured that’s why everybody around the globe acts to save it),” he said during the press briefing on Wednesday. “The problem,” he added, is the “depletion of the ozone layer.”
The Montreal Protocol blames human things that emit too much unwanted substances in the atmosphere for the fast depletion of the ozone layer.
Marie Pina Rodas, Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) officer of the Pollution Control Division of the EMB, said CFCs which are used in various industries as refrigerant, propellant, solvent and cleaning agent and found in things like foams, air conditioner, refrigerator, among others, are capable of destroying the ozone molecules in the atmosphere resulting in the thinning of the ozone layer.
The ban on importation, which is projected to be totally realized in 2010 started in 1995, aims to drastically reduce amount of CFC in the Philippines. Rodas informed all CFCs are imported because the country cannot manufacture it.
Alex Luis, officer in-charge of the Pollution Control Division of the EMB, said even if the CFCs’ impact on climate change is not significant compared to carbon dioxide, the phasing out of this substance will help save the ozone layer.
However complicated ozone depletion to the ordinary man is, the Department of Trade and Industry through officer William Sabado, said ordinary citizens can share in the global effort of saving the ozone layer. He advised the people to patronize CFC-free products by looking at the labels.
Likewise, people can also use the alternative for CFC which is the hydrocarbon. Rodas added, those with cars could convert their aircon systems to CFC-free system. Same goes for those households with CFC refrigerators. Other things using CFCs include pesticides, fire extinguishers, foam, aerosols, spray cans, chillers and freezers, air conditioners, etc.
Meanwhile, Luis recommended “proper disposal of garbage in order for CFC to be contained properly.” He explained if wastes are properly disposed of with proper segregation, all materials emitting CFCs will be contained properly. # nordis.net
By CONYAP G.
BONTOC, Mt. Province — Acknowledging that the militarization of Indigenous Peoples’ territories such as the case in some parts of this province and in the Cordillera region as not an isolated case, a newly accredited partylist representing the indigenous peoples urged respect for laws and t IP lands.
The group asked for an end to the militarization of IP territories saying the Philippine government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) must respect and uphold the laws covering IP rights as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
The UNDRIP clearly states that the armed forces must respect Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of IPs not only with regards to government and foreign projects, but of military deployment as well.
Beverly Longid, Katribu PartyList president and first nominee said intensive militarization of IP communities, which she said is national in scope, serves both as counter-insurgency measure and as security forces backing foreign economic interests and investments in the country.
IP territories are said to be militarized due to their rich mineral resources that are moslty covered by local and foreign economic interests.
Longid said that when IPs assert their ancestral land rights, they are tagged anti-government and thus a target for military operations.
They are also said to be often tagged as New Peoples Army guerillas or sympathizers just because they live in the hinterlands.
Longid called for the the government to stop the recruitment of civilians and IPs into the Civilian Auxilliary Forses Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and other para-military groups because she said recruitment of natives into the CAFGU and other para-military groups only increases incidents of inter-tribal conflicts and human rights violations in the areas.
Displacement of IPs is an outright effect of militarization as they are forced out of their communities everytime there are military operations in their areas.
Economic and livelihood activities such as pasturing cows, gathering firewood, and traditional mining are disrupted during operations.
These effects are on top of the fact that IP communities are difficult to access thus, services by government and private institutions are hard to come by. # nordis.net
By WENDY ATUBAN
LA TRINIDAD — Acknowledging that the “true measure of success is not financial but the amount of help given to host communities,” SN Aboitiz Power Corp., Inc. turned over to some Benguet municipalities donations in cash and in kind as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) on Wednesday at the Capitol here.
SNAP Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Rubio led the turn over ceremony, handing officials of the province checks amounting to five million and some items.
950, 000, 000 of the five million went to Shakilan Bokod municipality, 700,000 for the building of waiting shed in Ambuklao, 749,225 went to barangay Tikey, 200,000 from the CSR fund of Gov. Nestor Fongwan went to the Fianza Memorial High School, 100,000 from the CSR fund of mayor Galwan went to the Binga National High School, and another 300,000 from the CSR fund of Fongwan was alloted for the establishment of a computer room at the Fianza Memorial High School.
The indigenous peoples of Tinongdan municipality were also given a check amounting to 1,000,380.
Aside from the cash donations, SNAP also gave the province one 17 foot rescue boat plus several vests which Engr. Rubio said can be used during disaster response.
Through the CSR fund of Mayor Mario Godio, needs of the provincial police were also furnished. Awarded were five units computer, five units printer, five digi cameras, one LCD, and a laptop that was promised to be given later. Nine units of computer were alos handed to officials of Itogon for the use of the Alternative Learning School there.
On the other hand, Gov. Fongwan presented SNAP a certificate of appreciation for the services rendered thru their CSR. Likewise, he thanked the power corporation for the company’s role in uplifting the lives of the people and in being partners to the local government during the aftermath of the disasters brought about by typhoon Pepeng and Ondoy.
“We don’t regret not opposing the entry of the power corporation because they are proving they are cooperative partner in uplifting the lives of the people in the communities,” he added. # nordis.net
By LEILANIE ADRIANO
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — Fearing that Cory’s magic will work on her son, presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino who has been soaring high in past surveys, Imelda Marcos and her children feel they need to be protected.
No other than a member of the Marcos clan, governor Michael Marcos-Keon revealed this on Dec. 17 evening after he finally broke his silence saying this was the main reason why he and his relatives ended up as “enemies” in the May 2010 elections which up to this time, “hurting” him because he could not simply “evade” the call of the Ilocos Norte electorate telling him he should run and defend his “pride and dignity as a person” and to protect the interest of everybody.
The sports czar of the province who trained champions told than a thousand employees of the Capitol during their Christmas program at the Ilocos Norte Convention Center on Thursday evening “it was not my style to surrender.” As a sportsman who believes in “honor, fairness and sportsmanship” he said he just made the “toughest decision” in his entire life and decided not to withdraw—win or lose. “But I say this with a heavy heart because I don’t want to hurt relatives,” he added.
Keon denied making a statement that “Ilocos is for Marcos but not Villar” and that the story published in a national daily was “taken out of context.”
Imee’s candidacy against first cousin Michael, son of the late former governor Elizabeth Marcos-Keon was a complete surprise to the Ilocanos. It has been bruited about she decided to run at the last minute after brother Bongbong was taken in as guest candidate by the Nacionalista Party under Sen. Manuel Villar.
He reiterated that when the Marcos family helped him elected as governor of Ilocos Norte in 2007, he was already with the administration (Lakas party) while his cousins have always been with the opposition. “We have an understanding within the family and never did we talk about implementing this,” Keon said.
He also added that it was not him who brought all the mayors of Ilocos Norte to Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition because all the 23 Ilocos mayors were already with the administration when they run in previous elections and they remained up to this day except for mayor Bonifacio Clemente of Paoay, Ilocos Norte who is now with Nacionalista Party.
While it is true that blood is thicker than water, Mrs. Marcoses also told newsmen in an earlier interview that her children have “political integrity” to defend on.
For her part, Mrs. Marcos has reiterated that her running for a House seat in the province’s second district was for “justice—for the widow, orphans and the dead.” The Marcos family claims they have long been deprived of justice because up to this date, they had been longing that finally, the body of the late president Ferdinand Marcos in a refrigerated crypt at the Marcos mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte be put to rest and that he shall be given an honorable burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as his rightful right as a former president of the Philippines and the most bemedalled hero in history. # nordis.net
By ADELA WAYAS
BAGUIO CITY – City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) officer-in-charge Cordelia Lacsamana told the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod that the city can reduce thevolume of its waste by increasing its efficiency to recover the present volume of biodegradable waste.
Lacsamana told the council that “out of what we collect and that will leave us about 35 percent of the total waste volume that will be for hauling out.
According to her, this is possible if the city sets up all the technological intervention needed to aid waste management in the barangays.
Setting up of materials recovery facilities (MRF), said Lacsamana, in target areas in the city. Lacsamana said they have submitted observations for consideration by the technical group.
A proposed MRF site was identified to be at the upper potion of the parking lot of Wright Park in Lualhati Barangay. Familiarization workshops with the equipments will be given to the residents of the concerned barangay. Lacsmana included that Bakakeng Central MRF is on the process of procuring equipment and the purcahse of composting drum facility.
Meanwhile, Philippine Military Academy (PMA) offered an alternative site on the satellite MRF development in the academy. Lacsamana said the city and the PMA will enter into a memorandum of agreement for the use of the facility after it has been inspected. Also, a city engineer who heads the technical team prepared a pre-site development plan estimated to be P6 million except the equipment.
Camp John hay and Teacher’s Camp agreed to the city’s request for setting up of an MRF and promised to offer their respective sites, Lacsamana added.
To put up a centralized MRF at Irisan for biodegradable processing and so with the MRF in Bakakeng, said Lacsamana, is planned to be operated in the next year.
According to her, City mayor Reinaldo Bautista requested an extension to use the Irisan controlled dump facility before the National Solid Waste Management Commission. A representative from the commission was sent to validate the civil works in the area and there are positive signs that the city could reuse the area.
On the other hand, Lacsamana said due to the lack of cooperation of the city barangays the no-segregation-no-collection policy was not fully implemented and failed to its objective to reduce waste in the city.
She said their office is implementing a more aggressive information campaigns from barangay to barangays to implement the policy.# nordis.net
Underneath the never-ending and intensifying political conflict is the permanent and worsening crisis of the economy. The raging economic crisis feeds the growing dispute among the various factions of the political elite contending for control of political power and monopoly of economic spoils – a conflict that has become more pronounced and increasingly vicious under the nine-year old Arroyo administration.
With the 2010 national elections just less than six months away, recent political developments paint not only a scenario of massive fraud and violence unprecedented in the country’s electoral history but more and more a scenario of no elections (No-El).
By joining the 2010 elections as a congressional candidate in Pampanga, Mrs. Arroyo single-handedly raised the stakes in the upcoming polls. The Nov. 23 Ampatuan Massacre which was triggered by the local electoral conflict in Maguindanao is just the first in the many cases of expected election-related violence in the coming months.
For Mrs. Arroyo and her allies, the arena is much, much bigger than the second district of Pampanga. What is at stake is control of government itself and her filing of candidacy is just the first step in the ruling party Lakas-Kampi’s grand plan to preserve and consolidate its control of political power. The scheme, which Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita has already practically confirmed, is to change the form of government from presidential to parliamentary through Charter change (Cha-cha) with Mrs. Arroyo as Prime Minister.
Key to this sinister plot is clinching a Lakas-Kampi victory in next year’s polls – from the president to the members of the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as officials of local government units (LGUs). With government resources at their disposal, Lakas-Kampi enjoys a huge election war chest, the patronage of local government officials including warlords, and a formidable fraud machinery. All these will certainly be utilized to the hilt.
At the minimum, Mrs. Arroyo’s congressional bid at least assures her of a government position that she can use as leverage against lawsuits as well as security for her family’s many economic interests.
With such high-stake, extremely contentious national polls, the scenario of a failure of elections and transition government also remain a strong possibility. It does not help that the Comelec has not made any significant effort in assuaging public apprehension about the reliability of its Automated Election System (AES) which many critics and experts fear is designed to fail.
Finally, the most drastic option that the Arroyo administration is very much prepared to resort to in order to stay in power is martial law. The regime is using the public outrage created by the gruesome killings of 57 people, including 30 journalists, to lay the ground for a possible declaration of military rule in other parts of the country using warlordism, terrorism, or even insurgency as an excuse and thus scuttle the holding of the scheduled elections next year.
Under Section 15 of the Omnibus Election Code, elections can be postponed if the holding of free, orderly, and honest elections becomes impossible due to “violence, terrorism, or other analogous causes”.
With Lakas-Kampi still holding a considerable clout in the House of Representatives, and Supreme Court justices except Chief Justice Reynato Puno being Arroyo appointees, prospects of these institutions upholding the constitutional safeguards against martial law are gloomy.
There is still a very long road ahead in the people’s struggle against the illegitimate, corrupt, fascist, and anti-people regime. The 2010 elections – if the people are able to ensure that it pushes through as scheduled – will be a complex battle. Then there is the Cha-cha agenda that Mrs. Arroyo and Lakas-Kampi will relentlessly push for. And lastly, the need to ensure that the new administration will take an active role in making Mrs. Arroyo and her allies account for their crimes and abuses, and that no political compromises will be made.
The key is for the Filipino people to remain vigilant every step of the way. # nordis.net
By REV. LUNA DINGAYAN
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”— Proverbs 14:12
People have different reactions about this Advent and Christmas Season. For the numerous victims of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, this season seems to be dark and gloomy, instead of being joyful and celebratory, due to death of loved ones, and destructions of properties and livelihood that would surely make life even more difficult.
Moreover, this season has brought us worldwide weeping and mourning for the brutal killings of at least 57 civilians and media people in Maguindanao. This is considered to be the worst media killing in the entire world history of mass media. Consequently, President GMA declared Martial Law in Maguindanao. But thank God, it was lifted after a few days of heated debates over its necessity, and it did not spread throughout the country as feared by many.
Thus, with all these developments, how could we joyfully celebrate Christmas? Nevertheless, the Christmas story continues to tell us that God has come to us in Jesus Christ our Lord to give us hope in the midst of hopelessness, light in the midst of darkness.
Matthew 2:1-12 talks about the story of the Wise Men from the East who visited the baby Jesus born in Bethlehem. From the story itself, we could glean at least two ways of life: Herod’s way of life, and the Wise Men’s way of life.
Our way of life is very important for as the Book of Proverbs says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”(Proverbs 14:12).
Herod’s Way of Life
Herod’s way of life could be described in two ways: First, it is the way of greed for power.
According to Biblical scholars, the Roman Emperor appointed Herod to be King of the Jews simply because he was the only one left among possible appointees to the throne. Herod himself was able to annihilate all other possible rivals. No wonder he was very much upset when he heard from the Wise Men that a baby was born to be King of the Jews. Herod would not allow anyone to succeed him to the throne.
And the Biblical story says that everyone in Jerusalem was also upset, because the people knew the ways of King Herod (v.3). They could almost anticipate the shedding of innocent blood.
The people were not mistaken. For not too long after that, cries of anguish were already heard in the neighboring towns of Bethlehem. Innocent children were massacred upon the orders of King Herod (v. 16).
The way of greed for power did not die with Herod’s death. Herod’s spirit is very much alive today. The gruesome massacre in Maguindanao would show to us the evils brought about by the greed for power. Indeed, Herod’s way of life seems to be right, but it leads to death.
Moreover, Herod’s way of life is the way of deception. According to the Scriptures, Herod called the Wise Men to a secret meeting, and gave them instructions, saying: “Go and make a careful search for the child; and when you find him, let me know, so that I too may go and worship him”(v.8).
King Herod projected himself to be a very pious, a very religious ruler. But deep within himself, he was actually plotting how to eliminate the Child who was supposed to be the object of his worship. In effect, Herod was trying to use religion to deceive the people and to satisfy his greed for power.
The use of religion for vested interest and political purposes is not new to us.
Politicians convicted of heinous crimes would usually carry the image of the Virgin Mary to show to the world that they are religious and therefore innocent of any wrong doing. Elections are again forthcoming. And surely, politicians would again seek the endorsement and blessings of religious leaders to advance their election bid.
The Wise Men’s Way of Life
On the other hand, the Wise Men’s way of life could also be described in two ways: First, it is the way of truth.
No doubt the Wise Men had been searching for truth. In fact, they had come all the way from the East in order to discover, to prove, and to see for themselves the truth that a child was born, indeed, to be the King of the Jews, as shown by the bright star in the East. This is probably the reason why they were called Wise Men, because to be wise is to know the truth and to uphold the truth. This is also what an educated person is all about. To be educated is to come to know the truth and to uphold the truth.
This is the best antidote to the way of life of people with the likes of King Herod. People who have come to know the truth and uphold the truth have better things to do in life than raping, and killing people.
This is the way of life of Efren Peñaflorida, the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year from Cavite City. He uses his education to teach poor street children in Cavite City, who could not afford to go to school. Using his Kariton Classroom, he goes around where the children are and teach them where they are.
Moreover, the Wise Men’s way of life is the way of giving and not of getting. The Wise Men went to Bethlehem not to grab for themselves the power of the child born to be King of the Jews, but rather to really worship him and offer him their gifts. Jesus, later on in his teaching ministry, said, “Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it” (Mt. 10:39).
This may sound paradoxical. But this is the very essence of Christian life. The mark of a genuine Christian is the ability to share what we are and what we have. As St. Francis of Assisi prayed, “For it is in giving that we receive. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life”.
A New Way of Life
As long as Herod’s way of life continues to influence our way of life as a nation and as a people, Advent and Christmas seasons may come and go, but things remain the same. There can never be real newness in our life.
Our hope as a people and as a nation lies in the way of life of the Wise Men from the East, for this is the way of God in Jesus Christ Himself – the way of truth, the way of giving. According to the story, the Wise Men “returned to their country by another road, since God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod.” (v.12)
Merry Christmas and a happy new year!# nordis.net
By MANNY LOSTE
After the Nacionalista Party now headed by presidential aspirant Sen. Manny Villar forged an alliance with the Marcoses’ Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) with Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. as its senatorial bet, the Koalisyon ng Mamamayang Makabayan or MAKABAYAN, for short, which is fielding Representatives Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza as its senatorial bets, opted to launch their candidacy as independents instead of running under the NP-KBL umbrella.
The Makabayan bets pointed out that forging an NP-KBL alliance was a patent mistake as it would have revived the moribund KBL, by a party – the NP, which was actually demolished by the late dictator Marcos when he declared martial law.
Talk of a victim resuscitating his own victimizer. But such things happen when people lack a longer view of things.
Recognizing his mistake, Villar decided to scrap the newly-minted alliance opting instead to invite Bongbong Marcos as a guest senatorial candidate of the NP, while at the same time adopting Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza as senatorial bets under the same party.
In addition, he reiterated his commitment to do justice to the victims of martial law by pursuing the indemnification case for the victims of human rights violations under martial law and by pursuing the recovery of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.
With such a public commitment on basic human rights issues, the Makabayan candidates returned the gesture of Villar by publicly endorsing him and his vice-presidential bet, Loren Legarda – a first time in Philippine politics when the legal Left has endorsed a presidential and vice-presidential bet.
While matters have apparently been worked out between Villar and the Makabayan bets, the same cannot be said between them and Bongbong Marcos.
In fact, Satur Ocampo has openly declared that they cannot suppport Bongbong’s candidacy for the senate even if they are lined-up in the same party.
The reason is rather simple. Bongbong continues to take the line of his mother, Imelda Marcos, that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos has done nothing wrong in imposing martial law and depriving us our democracy for 14 long years. This revisionist version of recent Philippine history might have prevailed, if there were no living victims of the late dictators’ reign.
Unfortunately for the Marcoses, many among the the rank and file of Makabayan are living witnesses to the abuses and excesses of Marcos and his cohorts. Chief among them is Satur Ocampo himself.
How could they possibly endorse a candidate – Bongbong, in this case – who continues to deny the pains and sufferings of his countrymen during the dark years of martial law.
But such is the nature of traditional politics in this country that given enough time and money, the villain can be transformed into a hero, and wrongs can be officially certified as rights.
Time has a way of making things hazy, but there are those among us who would not let “bygones be bygones” because if we do so, we will never learn as a people from our past mistakes. We will never move forward, but instead keep moving in circles like what is happening now.# nordis.net