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Heal Toxics is a member of the International POPs Elimination Network

This website provides resources on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) such as pesticides, dioxins, PCBs, and wastes. Valuable examples of community monitoring of health and environmental impacts of toxic chemicals are also furnished.

Further, there is an entire section devoted to chemical safety in its proper socio-political context or in relation to issues such as globalization and people's empowerment.

 

Earth Day: Float Protest Parade in the Philippines

 

Environmental groups led by Kalikasan- People’s Network for the Environment held a Float Protest Parade in Quezon City to celebrate Earth Day last April 22.

A big float presenting the state of the Philippine environment, effigies, and giant stilts representing the people’s environmental struggles were the highlights of the protest parade.

The group projected the effects of globalization policies and programs to the environment and challenged all presidential candidates to put forward their environmental platform this coming May 10 elections.

Kalikasan, a HEAL Toxics member, is among the environmental groups in the Philippines who recently formed EnviVote (Vote for the Environment Now Alliance) to push an electoral platform for the environment. Other members of EnviVote include AGHAM, Center for Environmental Concerns, Haribon Foundation, Pamalakaya, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Earth Island Institute, KAMP, PFEC, and Searice.

In a statement, Kalikasan said that the policies and programs of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo implemented during her 3-year term failed to improve the state of the Philippine environment and contributed to the fast depletion of the country’s natural resources.

In 2003, Arroyo formed a policy shift from “tolerance” to “promotion” of mining operations in the country, becoming more lenient in approving mining applications of transnational corporations.

Thus, the government allowed mining companies into protected areas, such as the Bauxite Mineral Resources in Samar Isalnd and the Candian-owned Crew Minerals Corporation in Mindoro Island.

The government is also challenging a Supreme Court decision declaring that 100% ownership of mineral resources by foreign companies is unconstitutional and violates Philippine sovereignty.

As experiences in countries such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea show, the most devastated environments can be found in communities where there are mining operations fully owned by TNCs, Kalikasan said.

EnviVote is lobbying for a genuine program to rehabilitate and protect the environment, and is calls for the presidential candidates to vouch for the following calls:

1. Ban commercial logging until sufficient rainforest cover for the country has been achieved. Proppagate indigenous tree species.
2. Stop the commercialization of genetically-engineered products until they are proven safe.
3. Repeal the Philippine Plant Variety Protection Act. Stop bio-prospectig and biopiracy.
4. Promote native agricultural varieties and indigenous agricultural practices.
5. Ban the land-use conversion of agricultural lands and natural ecosystems like mangrove areas.
6. Enforce a ban on incinerator plants.
7. Declare a moratorium on the construction of coal-fired power plants.
8. Amend the Clean Air Act by instituting mechanisms that will not allow oil companies to pass on the burden of paying for cleaner oil products to consumers.
9. Stop the construction of large dams.
10. Rehabilitate and protect watershed areas.
11. Immediately rehabilitate biologically dead rivers.
12. Immediately upgrade, expand, and develop a national sewage syste.
13. Promote environmental programs such as the Ecological Solid Waste Management and community-based programs; ensure state subsidies that shall promote the success of such programs for the benefit of the people.


©heal toxics, 2003
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