March 22, 2010
The League of the Youth for the Environment (LYFE), a University of the Philippines based alliance of environmental groups, reported earlier at a press conference the results of their survey and background check on national candidates in the May 2010 elections. The survey report entitled “ENVIRONMENT VOTE 2010: Who’s the greenest of them all?” aims to help voters choose the most pro-people and pro-environment political leaders in the coming May 2010 national elections.
“The people have the right to know their candidates’ stand and track record on critical environmental issues to help the voters choose and put in office the most pro-people and pro-environment leaders.” said Loi Manalansan, convenor of LYFE.
Presidential candidates Sen. Jamby Madrigal, Nicanor Perlas and Sen. Manny Villar ranked top three in the list of greenest presidential candidates while Sen. Richard Gordon, ex-President Joseph Estrada and Sec. Gilbert Teodoro earning instead the ‘mean’ list. On the vice-presidential bets, Sen. Loren Legarda, Mayor Jejomar Binay and Perfecto Yasay were on top of the green list while Jay Sonza and Bayani Fernando were at the end.
A similar ranking for the senatoriables had Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Risa Hontiveros and Rizalito David in the green while Kit Tatad, Ompong Plaza, Ralph Recto and Juan Ponce Enrile in the ‘mean’ list.
For those running for party list, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, Katribu, Akbayan and Cibac landed positively to the green list based on their replies to questionnaires.
“The issues and questions were chosen on the basis of their importance and effects to the nation, especially to the grassroots sectors comprise of the majority of the Filipino people and first hit by environmental disasters and widespread poverty,” explained Manalansan.
The questionnaire was sent by e-mail, fax and via social networking sites to the presidentiables, vice presidentiables, senatoriables and partylists groups. In addition, background checks were done on all the candidates with available on-line records for their positions on ten (10) major national environmental issues.
These questions range from the recommissioning of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, commercial logging, the Mining Act of 1995, coal power plants, the Visiting Forces Agreement and the JPEPA. Other issues such as the clean up of toxic wastes in the former US bases, commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and aerial spraying of pesticides on plantations were also raised. Their campaigns and plans related to climate change were also taken into consideration. These are the critical national environmental issues that have far-reaching effects, especially to grassroots sectors who are majority of the Filipino people.
For every environmental friendly answer or record, the candidate or group were given one (1) green bean point. One (1) mean bean (black) was also awarded for every environmental destructive answer/record that they might have. These bean counts are then added together for the final tally that was used to rank the candidates.
“It is our task to elect officials that will push for a healthy nation and the common good. A clean and balanced environment is definitely a prime concern since the development of the people and nation rests on it,” ended Manalansan.
Secretary-General, Agham Youth UP Diliman