BY HANNAH FAITH DORMIDO
April 22, 2008 – 1:37 p.m.
“As long as the Arroyo administration remains in power, we expect a bleak future for the people and the environment,” Kalikasan-People’s Network for the Enviroment, said in a statement.
Three hundred environmental advocates and members of multi-sectoral organizations, headed by Kalikasan- PNE, staged a “Human Chain in Defense of the Environment” in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources today, April 12, to commemorate the International Earth Day.
“Earth Day is a day for our environment, patrimony, and most especially for the brave people of our land who struggle to protect it from narrow, senseless, and profit making objectives,” said Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator of Kalikasan- PNE.
Bautista said the Arroyo administration is the “most disaster prone” in the country’s history and cited seven major disasters in the country during the eight years of Mrs. Arroyo; the 2001 Camiguin flashflood tragedy, 2003 Southern Leyte Landslide Disaster, 2004 Aurora-Quezon landslide tragedy, 2005 Semirara oil spill, 2006 St. Bernard landslide disaster, Guimaras oil spill, and Bicol mudslide tragedy.
“These disasters are brought about by the failure of the government to properly manage our environment and natural resources. Its economic policies in mining and logging are oriented towards the extraction and commodification of our natural resources to serve as raw materials for export,” said Trixie Conception of Defend Patrimony, a multi-sectoral alliance opposing the mining liberalization policy of the government.
Conception said the Arroyo administration approved 359 mineral agreements covering 514, 949 hectares of land mostly from forests and mountains as of 2007. She said faster deforestation and soil erosion in the country are effects of the extraction of minerals by private and foreign corporations.
According to Kalikasan- PNE, our present economic and political situation has brought the environmental crisis and disasters and has been worsened by the globalization policies of the Arroyo government.
“A change in the administration right now is a requirement for the country to be able to genuinely rehabilitate our environment and utilize our natural resources for the common good. Then maybe we can truly celebrate Earth Day in the Philippines,” Kalikasan- PNE stated today. (Bulatlat.com)