MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo R. Duterte mentioned on Monday topics of climate change and National Land Use Act during his second State of the Nation Address in front of members of the Philippine Congress.

In his speech late afternoon yesterday, Duterte mentioned climate change in the context of happenings in Mindanao: “My fellow citizens: What I have said so far about the events in Marawi and its neighboring environs is only a part of a looming problem, which will cut across all classes and all sectors of society and eventually affect the entire country from north to south, from east to west, given the fact that Mindanao supplies a great part of our country’s food requirements,” he said.

Duterte added: “I refer to climate change, which could bring drought and long dry spells affecting food production in Mindanao, given the fact that Mindanao is unusually warming. I ask all agencies involved in food production to look into this and act accordingly.”

Later in the speech, Duterte advocated in front of legislators the National Land Use Act, a policy highly supported by green groups.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaking in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa on July 24, 2017. Photo: Valerie Escalera/Presidential Photo

“Also, I am appealing to all our legislators to immediately pass the National Land Use Act, or NLUA, to ensure the rational and sustainable use of our land and our physical resources, given the competing needs of food security, housing, businesses, and environmental conservation.”

Duterte further explained: “Ours is a rich country. Wealth that this country is endowed with [is] a gift from God to be utilized for the [people’s] welfare and the common good. I do not believe that this gift was given to us to be merely viewed or appreciated, but to be extracted from the earth and utilized to make life worth living.”

Meanwhile, the Green March Alliance, which is composed of the Green Thumb Coalition, Power for People (P4P), Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! (CLUP Now), Forest Resources Bill and SOS – Yamang Bayan networks, held a “Green SONA” late last week to point out urgent demands and calls on green issues:

On Biodiversity and Ecosystem Integrity

  • Implement the total log ban in natural forests
  • Enact laws that will ban logging in natural forests, expand restored areas, and promote participatory governance of our forests (Forest Resources Bill)
  • Enact the Forest Delineation Bill consistent with the provisions of NLUA and FRB
  • Enact the Expanded National Integrated and Protected Area Systems Bill

On Natural Resource and Land Use Management and Governance

  • Complete agrarian reform
  • Enact the National Land Use and Management Bill (NLUA)
  • Declare a moratorium on all land conversion
  • Address land grabbing and other forms of natural resource grabbing

On Sustainable Food Sovereignty

  • Develop a comprehensive people’s food policy
  • Address poverty, food insecurity and safeguard the livelihood of farmers through ecological agriculture
  • Ensure people’s access to safe, healthy and nutritious food
  • Eliminate illegal, destructive and unregulated fishing
  • Establish the Department of Oceans, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
  • Protect twilight reef ecosystem such as the Philippine (Benham) Bank
  • Defend and protect the teritorrial jurisdiction of the Philippines
  • Adapt and implement appropriate management schemes for the fisheries resources
  • Enact a moratorium on reclamation projects

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is joined by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez before he delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa on July 24, 2017. Photo: Karl Norman Alonzo/Presidential Photo

On Mining, Extractives and Mineral Resource Management

  • Declare a moratorium on large-scale mining
  • Enactment of Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)
  • Pass fiscal reforms in mineral extraction
  • Implement the suspension and closure orders of erring mining companies based on the results of the mining audits
  • Implement DAO 2017-10 banning open pit mining method for copper, gold, silver and complex ores
  • Implement DAO 2017-17 compelling all mining companies to participate in PhEITI

On Energy Transformation and Democracy

  • Rescind permits of new coal-fired power plants
  • Implement a transition plan to increase use of renewable energy
  • Repeal EPIRA

On Human Rights and Integrity of Creation

  • Condemn all forms of human rights violations including the killing of environmental activists
  • Investigate and prosecute human rights violators and state oppressors
  • Stop environmental defenders killings and harassments
  • Lift martial law in Mindanao! This further creates tension, division and foster hatred among the tri-peoples of Mindanao. This provides a platform for increased vulnerabilities of community leaders struggling against mining and land grabbing.

On Climate Justice

  • Demand rich countries to fulfill their obligations drastic emissions cut and ramp up contributions for climate finance
  • Review country’s nationally determined contributions for mitigation actions and commit to reduce greenhouse gas emission even without conditionalities
  • Review and revise the PDP to ensure an integration of a climate justice perspective
  • Revise air quality and emissions standards
  • Accelerate public investment on climate mitigation and adaptation programs

On Waste Management

  • Strictly observe the ban on incinerators
  • Strengthen implementation of the Clean Air Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and Clean Water Act
  • Repeal the National Solid Waste Management Commission Resolution No. 669, s. 2016 providing for the waste-to-energy guidelines promoting burn disposal technologies
  • Implement a comprehensive policy on the use of plastics and other nonbiodegradablematerials from production to consumption
  • Re-export all illegal trash shipments from Canada to its origin

On People-centered Sustainable Development

  • Certify as urgent the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill
  • Revise the Philippine Development Plan to achieve UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
  • Abandon neo-liberal policies that cater to corporate interests and reinforce inequality
  • Ensure livelihood and basic social services for relocated communities

Posted by RealTalk

RealTalk provides data-based analysis and perspective on issues mostly meddled by propaganda pretending to be objective information and topics that can be better viewed using numbers, facts, and official documents.

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