MANILA, July 19, 2013—Environmental advocates called on the president and members of Congress to defend the country’s natural resources and protect people’s rights through enactment of three environmental bills.
Advocates from SOS Yamang Bayan, Sagip GUBAT and Campaign for Land use Policy Now networks said the President should recognize concerns for the environment in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.
The groups are urging for the enactment of the National Land Use Management Act (NLUMA), Forest Resources Bill (FRB) and Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).
“Two years ago, we asked the president: “gawing luntian ang tuwid na daan.” Unfortunately, he failed us. Now we call on the government again to prioritize these three environment bills that will address land use problems, deforestation and minerals management as well as to protect the rights of Filipino communities to a thriving environment and livelihood opportunities,” said Erwin Quiñones, national coordinator of SOS Yamang Bayan.
Quiñones added that these legislative measures will contribute to the rehabilitation and stability of the ecosystems and will raise the capacity of Filipinos to fight the impacts of climate change and a growing population.
“NLUMA already has the support of President Aquino which he mentioned in his SONA in 2010 and certified as urgent piece of legislation in last Congress. However, the bill was derailed in the Senate after it was reverted back to the Second Reading with the motion of reconsideration at the last minute by some senators. It was also excluded in the list of agenda during last 2 session days in the Senate ending its chances of being passed into law in last 15th Congress,” the networks shared.
The three environmental bills have been filed in both Houses of Congress as House Bill no. 108 and Senate Bill no. 63 (NLUMA), House Bill no. 95 and Senate Bill no. 45 (FRB), and House Bill 984 and Senate Bill no. 43 (AMMB), respectively.
The groups are challenging members of the 16th Congress to be ‘Green Heroes’ and immediately discussed and pass the environmental bills. (Jandel Posion)