The 3rd Philippine Environment Summit ends today in Cagayan de Oro City with the expected passage of resolutions formulated by participants during the three-day event.
Dr. Angelina P. Galang, Green Convergence Philippines president, said a team headed by Green Con PH Board Director Carlos Garcia and Marie Marciano is collating the resolutions and synthesizing them for discussion and approval during today’s closing plenary.
“We are encouraging programs that are really along the lines of nature,” Galang said. “Although positive itong ating summit, some of the programs of our government are very much against nature, although some stand out.
For instance, Galang cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent pronouncements that while he would ban private reclamation projects in Manila Bay, he would still allow those given prior approval or backed by local governments.
Fisherfolk organization Pamalakaya said Duterte should instead come out with an executive order to stop and ban all reclamation projects in the entire bay region.
“President Duterte should prohibit reclamation projects with no exception, as exempting government projects could be an excuse of private development firms … [to] engage in a joint venture agreement with local governments,” it added.
The president previously said he would ban any proposed reclamation projects that might destroy the environment.
A Rappler report dated February 18 with data from the Philippine Reclamation Authority shows there are 19 Manila Bay reclamation projects in various stages of implementation, of which 17 involve either a local government unit or a government agency, and 12 still in the application stage,
Philippine Reclamation Authority general manager Joselito Gonzales said four reclamation projects in Manila Bay have been approved as of December, last year.
The summit is also expected to generate other resolutions related to the breakout session topics discussed during the 3-day Summit which carries the themes of Safe Food, Healthy Environment, and Sustainable Economy.
Among these topics are Indigenous Peoples Eco-Governance, Organic Agriculture, Disaster Risk Reduction Management, and Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Barangays; Community Co-Governance, Non-Timber Forest Products, Ecotourism, and Youth and the Environment; Ecosystems Protection, Bamboo: Sunrise Industry for the Philippines, Education and the Environment, and Spirituality and Sustainability.
The biennial Summit was first held in 2016 in Luzon at the SM Mall of Asia, Metro Manila, while the 2018 event was held in Visayas at the Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City. The 2020 Summit will be the first time that Mindanao hosts the event.
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