Galicha of the Climate Reality Project, MGB-IVB Regional
Director Roland de Jesus, PNP General Orville Gabuna, Ret., and
Dr. Tomas Faminial of Romblon State University and Romblon
Ecumenical Forum Against Mining (Photo credit: Dennis Evora/Romblon
June 27, 2016
MANILA - Led by Governor
Eduardo C. Firmalo, residents from seven municipalities of Tablas
Island lodged a complaint today at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)
Region IV-B against an offshore mining application of Asian Palladium
Mineral Resources, Inc. (APMRI).
In April of this year, APMRI
filed an application for Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA)
for the exploration of palladium, platinum and other related mineral
deposits in certain municipal waters in Tablas Island with a total of
about 10,000 hectares.
Accepting the complaint, MGB
Regional Director Roland de Jesus said that "we are mandated by law to
facilitate the mining application process and we are also mandated to
inform the stakeholders to know their stand and sentiments."
According to Director de
Jesus, the bureau is always open to engagement with the civil society
and communities as they are committed to inclusiveness and
transparency. The complaint will be forwarded to the Panel of
Arbitrators for resolution.
In a letter both addressed
to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) outgoing
Secretary Ramon Paje and incoming Secretary Regina Paz Lopez, Governor
Eduardo Firmalo said that "the Province of Romblon, as a whole, we
would like to inform your god office that we strongly object to the
application of Asian Palladium Mineral Resources, Inc., to conduct any
mining activity in the water areas of the island. No to metallic
mining both on land and under the water has long been the united stand
of the people of Romblon."
The LGUs and communities
were technically assisted by a special committee created by Romblon
State University (RSU), with the formal complaint compiled by Romblon
Ecumenical Forum Against Mining (REFAM) and the Alliance of Students
Against Mining (ASAM), which included 81,630 signatures, resolutions
from the municipal, barangay and non-government organizations.
The complaint enumerated
reasons of opposition such as protection, preservation and saving rich
marine resource and livelihoods of fisherfolks, for the people of
Romblon and the next generations to come; and Romblon is composed of
critical island ecosystems.
Bishop Ronelio Fabriquer,
chairperson of REFAM, said that "the people of Romblon will continue
to oppose any mining activity as we take care of God's creation which
should be used sustainably addressing our present needs without
compromising the capacity of the next generation to survive."
In 2011, Governor Firmalo
signed a moratorium on metallic mining and REFAM mobilized 10,000
people to oppose another mining application which eventually
backed-out due to lack of social acceptability.
Rodne Galicha, co-chair of
the Economic Development Committee of MIMAROPA Regional Development
Council (RDC) and country manager of The Climate Reality Project said
that "the stance of the provincial government of Romblon and its
people is consistent with Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) targets
especially on sustainable communities, climate action, and life below
"Tourism and agriculture are
the best industries for Romblon and the region as a whole, considering
our fragile island ecosystems and beautiful destinations and
cultures," said Galicha.
Those who lodged the
complaint were Professor Tomas Faminial of Romblon State University,
Joje Mesana of ASAM, PNP General Orville Gabuna, Ret., from the
municipality of Looc and witnessed by Rodne Galicha of The Climate
left to right: First Secretary and Consul Edna May G. Lazaro,
Amb. Antonio A. Morales, Ms. Lites M. Viloria, Cehief Executive
Officer of Edukasyon.ph and Mr. Daniel J. Macusi, Jr., Client
Engagement Manager of Edukasyon.ph
enterprise www.Edukasyon.ph calls on Philippine Embassy in Singapore
June 23, 2016
MAKATI CITY –
Representatives of educational technology social enterprise
www.Edukasyon.ph paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Antonio A. Morales
on 20 June 2016 at the Philippine Embassy in Singapore.
“Our team is honored to have
met with the Philippine Ambassador to Singapore H.E. Antonio A.
Morales. We are happy to be one of the Top 100 Echelon Asia
qualifiers. We are happy to represent the Philippines and share the
work that we are doing to help OFWs, particularly parents, on finding
the right education for their kids,” said Ms. Lites Viloria, CEO of
Edukasyon.ph was in
Singapore recently for the E27 Top 100 Echelon Asia. Edukasyon.ph is
one of the ten Philippine start-ups who made it to TOP100 Echelon
Asia. The Top 100 Echelon Asia brought together shortlisted start-ups
from 14 countries across Asia. Key investors and start-up community
leaders judged the start-ups, and one start-up from each TOP 100
Qualifier will be crowned the Judges’ Choice.
“We are proud of our
Filipino start-ups that are making waves in Asia with their work that
helps improve the lives of fellow Filipinos overseas through the web
technologies they are developing. Education is a concern of every
Filipino, specially our OFW parents who are working hard to ensure
their kids are able to get to school,” said Amb. Morales.
Edukasyon.ph is a website (www.edukasyon.ph)
that helps Filipino high school students and parents search, apply and
pay for the right senior high schools, colleges, tech-voc courses that
will help them get to the careers they aspire to. It has over 7000
schools and 4000 courses that can be found all over the Philippines.
“We want to help our OFW
parents participate in their children’s education regardless of how
far they may be. As www.Edukasyon.ph reaches out to more parents
across the world, www.Edukasyon.ph is bringing the Filipino youth
closer to their dreams. We believe introducing www.Edukasyon.ph and
the work it does to the different embassies and consulates across the
world is one of the many steps we have to take in order to provide our
parents quality information that can lead their kids to jobs,” said
Henry Motte-Munoz, Founder, www.Edukasyon.ph. “www.Edukasyon.ph
intends to participate in the different information sessions and
Filipino community meetings that are regularly organized by the
Philippine Embassy in Singapore. And we will be
tapping www.Edukasyon.ph volunteers based in Singapore to conduct these
sessions,” Munoz added.
On the value of these
activities, Amb. Morales said “We welcome initiatives such as these
that reach out to our OFW parents in improving the educational choices
of their kids back home. We look forward to seeing more home-grown
digital initiatives like this that bring families together and improve
www.Edukasyon.ph was established by
French-Filipino Henry Motte-Muñoz in 2014. A graduate of the London
School of Economics and Harvard Business School, Henry was inspired to
launch an education website in the Philippines because of the poor
sources of information on academic opportunities in the country and
overseas. He is the only Filipino who made it to the Class of 2015
Asia 21 Young Leaders, a network of young leaders from across the Asia
Pacific, representing the private, public, and non-profit sectors.
Henry is one of 10 Filipinos included in the Forbes 30 under 30. The
list features young entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders in Asia
across 10 fields.
conservation groups call on Duterte to end illegal fishing in 6 months
June 21, 2016
QUEZON CITY – A week
before President-elect Rodrigo Duterte assumes office, leaders of
fisherfolk and marine conservation groups bared their recommendations
toward improving the lot of fishing communities and the health of the
country’s marine ecosystems by putting an end to crimes happening at
sea and in coastal communities. In a presentation to media today, the
groups also called for the creation of a separate Department of Oceans
and Fisheries to be able to better plan, monitor and implement reforms
and contribute towards food security.
“We are here to request for
a dialogue and to remind incoming President Duterte of his campaign
promise to address fishers’ and marine issues, and to end very high
poverty incidence among people directly relying on seas for food and
for a living. His administration will play a critical role in the
country’s transition to sustainable fishing. We expect nothing less
than strong, resolute implementation of the amended fisheries law
against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF). Doing less
is a disservice to millions of Filipinos who have been clamoring for
change,” said Vince Cinches, oceans campaigner of Greenpeace
According to data from the
Philippine Statistics Authority in 2014, the poverty incidence among
fisherfolk reached 39.2 in 2012, the highest among the basic sectors
of society, followed by farmers at 38.3%, and children at 35.2%.
“Coherent and holistic
programs should especially be quickly put in place that recognize our
vulnerability to climate change. We need focused and sustained efforts
in combating crimes against the oceans and to allow a better playing
field for our small fishers and fishing communities. We strongly urge
the incoming administration to target an end to illegal fishing within
their first six months of office,” said Dennis Calvan, executive
director of the NGOs for Fisheries Reform.
During the election campaign
period, fishers, marine conservationists and environmental groups
pushed for the 10-Point Blue Agenda to be taken up by the Presidential
candidates. This includes the delineation of municipal waters; the
implementation of traceability mechanisms for fishery products;
sustainable fishing; and capacity-building for fisherfolk to better
adapt to climate change.
“To ensure the
sustainability of our fishery resources and secure the livelihood of
our Filipino fishers for long-term economic prosperity and food
security, we strongly support the creation of a Department of Oceans
and Fisheries for improved fisheries governance and strict enforcement
of Republic Act 10654,” said Joann Binondo, overall project manager of
the WWF – Partnership Program for Sustainable Tuna.
“We call on the new
administration to immediately address the crime of illegal fishing and
start rehabilitating our overfished waters. We look forward to seeing
political will in the new government’s campaign against crime to
include its focus on prosecuting plunderers of our oceans, to protect
the people’s right to healthy marine ecosystems and ensure food
security for all Filipinos,” said Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos, vice
president of Oceana Philippines.
10,000 Filipinos march in Batangas City, where the 600-megawatt
coal-fired power plant is proposed, to demand to the next
administration to cancel all proposed coal plants nationwide and
hasten a transition to renewable energy. The campaign is part of
a worldwide movement and the first in Asia to join "Break Free
from Fossil Fuels 2016", a global wave of peaceful actions
within 12 days and across six continents, including Indonesia,
Nigeria, Brazil, the United States, Germany and Australia.
(Jimmy A. Domingo/Greenpeace)
Saying yes to coal
plant construction, Batangas city council leaves dirty legacy
By The Climate Reality
June 20, 2016
QUEZON CITY – With a
vote of 6-4 in favor of the dirty coal plant to be built in the city
of Batangas, the council gave a company locational clearance for the
building of the new coal power plant (2 boiler units of 300 MW each)
in the city.
Rodne Galicha, Philippine
manager of The Climate Reality Project, a global movement founded by
Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, said that "the
council denied its people especially the children of their right to a
healthful and balanced ecology in favor of a facility which
historically emits the biggest cause of extreme weather conditions. In
so doing, the council left the next generations of Batangas a dirty
legacy. Allowing coal plants is tantamount to sleeping with the killer
of thousands of lives when Typhoon Haiyan hit the country."
"The science is clear, hence
countries adapted the Paris Agreement to address the cause and
ill-effects of the climate crisis. Sustainable Development Goal 13
aims to 'take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact'
and every local government unit is tasked to achieve its targets."
"We assume that the council
is informed about the Climate Change Commission's Resolution 2016-001
signed by President Benigno Aquino III affirming the commitment to
mainstream a low-carbon development pathway in accordance with the
country's commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in the light of the submitted Intended
Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to significantly and
conditionally reduce carbon emissions by 70% by the year 2030.
Eventually, the president signed Executive Order 206, s. 2016, stating
clearly that 'consistent with the Philippines contributions under the
UNFCCC, the government hereby adopts the policy of ensuring
sustainable RE resource management in the country."
Given the recent
international and national policies, the council of Batangas City
would have shelved the proposal pending the national policy review and
framework development ordered by government and the fact that existing
development framework and policies fall under the Sustainable
Development Goals. We hope that the new set of councilors be
enlightened by science; strengthened by the will of the people and be
guided by their city's mission: "To improve the quality of life of the
citizens through sustained efforts to attain a balanced
agro-industrial development; to promote a business-friendly
environment; to generate more employment opportunities and to
adequately provide the basic infrastructure utilities, facilities and
social services necessary for a robust and liveable community."
Why we care? Apolinario
Mabini, a Batangueno, in his "Ang Tunay na Sampung Utos" says:
"Kaya habang di pa napapaui
ang mga patuto ng bawa't bayan o kaharian, na itinayo at inaalagan ng
mga lahi at angkang walang pinagsasakitan kundi ang kanilang sariling
kaginhawahan, sa kanya lamang dapat kang makisama sa ganap na
pakikipag-isa, tungkol sa hinahangad at pag-aari, upang magkalakas ka
hindi lamang sa pakikilaban sa kaaway ng lahat, kundi naman ng maidaos
ang lahat ng pinupunta ng kabuhayan ng tawo." (Because of this, while
the borders of the nations established and preserved by the egoism of
race and of family remain standing, you must remain united to your
country in perfect solidarity of views and interests in order to gain
strength, not only to combat the common enemy, but also to achieve all
the objectives of human life.)
The Climate Reality Project
is a member of Piglas Pilipinas movement in which on May 4 mobilized
8,000+ people in Batangas City, where JG Summit Holdings aims to put
up a 600-Megawatt coal fired power plant that is set to occupy a
20-hectare site in Barangay Pinamucan Ibaba, Batangas City.
The people demand the
cancellation of the coal plant in Batangas as well as all 27 other
proposed plants in the Philippines.
Group alarmed by
Oplan RODY expansion in provinces
By Samahan ng Progresibong
June 18, 2016
QUEZON CITY – A youth
group expressed alarm after more local government units and their
respective police commands have begun implementing or are planning to
duplicate Oplan RODY or Rid the Streets of Drunkards and Youth in an
effort to curb vices and petty crime.
The Samahan ng Progresibong
Kabataan or SPARK has asked city officials to suspend the
implementation of their ordinances and make it in tune with the recent
societal changes brought about by programs of the national government
such as the K-12 program of the Department of Education as well as the
student employment program of the labor department which commenced
only in 2009.
Oplan Rody is reportedly to
be in full swing in the cities of Quezon City, Las Piñas, Manila,
Pasay, Caloocan, Malabon, Mandaluyong and Makati.
Recently, the cities of
Bacoor in Cavite and Lipa in Batangas have as well “activated” their
long-standing ordinances to prohibit minors outside their homes from
10pm to 4am. Police officials in Mandaue City in Cebu province also
intends to implement its curfew ordinance which was passed in 1999.
The Mayor of Baguio City has also publicly expressed his support for
“On one side, we admit that
local government units have the responsibility to curb petty crime and
vice but then again it counteracts other programs that the national
government has implemented only recently,” said Joanne Lim, member of
the National Secretariat of SPARK.
The Diliman-based activist
lamented that the city mayors and police have mindlessly and
indiscriminately enforced their “Jurassic” ordinances in an effort to
get into the good side of the next administration without taking into
account the day-to-day struggles of commuting and working students.
“If Oplan Rody’s
implementation in Metro Manila systematically and indiscriminately
victimized students in the past weeks, how much more if implemented as
well in the cities and municipalities around Metro Manila where they
are enrolled and employed,” Lim reasoned.
“If only students do not
suffer from horrendous traffic jams, flooded streets in the rainy
season and inadequate public transport systems on a daily basis then
it can be implemented as early as 10pm but that is not the case. The
immense volume of people travelling to and from Cavite, Rizal and
Laguna, many of them students will require longer travelling hours”.
“Senior High students as
well as working students will need more latitude and consideration
from authorities,” she said.
Lim added that, “to
implement the curfew in the manner which is done as seen on television
is not only traumatic but also indiscriminate. Such draconian measures
and methods cannot be implemented without violation of human rights
because all minors found past 10pm, are under the presumption of
criminal activity not unless proven to be enrolled or came from their
graveyard shift at work”.
GPH-NDFP Joint Statement to pursue peace talks
June 17, 2016
QUEZON CITY – “On
June 15, we received two good news for peace and human rights
advocates,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said in a
press conference of advocates led by Pilgrims for Peace.
Representatives of the
National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) panel and the
incoming Duterte administration signed Wednesday a joint statement to
hold the formal peace talks in July. Also, on Wednesday afternoon,
political prisoners Sharon Cabusao and Isidro de Lima were released
from the Taguig City Jail and the Special Intensive Care Unit-1 at
Camp Bagong Diwa.
“We welcome the Joint
Statement of the NDFP and the peace panel of the incoming Duterte
government. We fully support the efforts to finally address the roots
of the ongoing civil war through the peace talks, which the Aquino
regime had intentionally bungled in the last five years,” Palabay
said. The Joint Statement said the July peace talks would also tackle
the Amnesty Proclamation for all political prisoners.
“We hope that all political
prisoners – victims of illegal arrest, torture and detention because
of their activism and political beliefs – will be immediately
released, as the GPH’s obligations under the Comprehensive Agreement
on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)
and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG),”
The fabricated charge of
illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Cabusao, de Lima
and NDFP peace consultant Adelberto Silva was dismissed by the Bacoor
Cavite RTC Branch 19. The said court granted Silva’s motion to
dismiss, saying that the search and seizure conducted during their
arrest is "unreasonable," as the purported evidence is the "proverbial
fruit of the poisonous tree."
Said Court decision is
similar to the basis of withdrawal of charges against the 43 health
workers or the “Morong 43”, whose arrest and detention, like Cabusao,
de Lima, Silva and all political prisoners, is illegal because the
charges against them are fabricated and “planted; and their right to
due process was grossly violated in the conduct of the illegal search
“At least 297 out of 509
political prisoners (as of May 31, 2016) were illegally arrested under
BS Aquino. Almost all of the 509 were slapped with trumped-up criminal
charges to hide the political nature of their arrest,” Palabay said.
“Let us bring home more
political prisoners by standing up for them and with them. The Aquino
regime, as in the past regimes, violated their rights because they
stood up and fought for the people's rights and welfare. Let us hold
these regimes accountable for the injustice done to political
prisoners. Let us bring the political prisoners back to their families
and to the people they unselfishly served,” Palabay concluded.
brand impressed Paris with a stunning collection on the Seine river
joined "Queen of the catwalk" Jessica Minh Anh on her iconic floating
June 17, 2016
PARIS, France –
Jessica Minh Anh celebrated another phenomenal catwalk success in the
fashion capital yesterday with Philippines based brand Miranda
Konstantinidou as J Summer Fashion Show 2016 lightened up the Seine
Guests were strategically
seated facing the multi-faceted glass windows of Le Jean Bruel to
watch models walking in front of them as if they were walking on
A perfect portrait of modern
beauty with limitless energy, Jessica Minh Anh opened the highly
anticipated showcase in a striking multi-colored exotic creation by
Miranda Konstantinidou. Following the stunning catwalk producer is a
youthful line up of models in intricate silk dresses teamed with
architecturally cut statement jewelry. Miranda’s collection, which
added a lot of excitement to classic chic, defined the concept of
“extroverted but relaxed” luxury.
J Summer Fashion Show 2016
also premiered innovative designs by Lebanese haute couturier Antoine
Kareh, Polish designer Teresa Rosati, Pakistani talent Syeda Amera,
Icelandic jewellery brand NOX, Saudi Arabian designer Ot Kutyr Turk
Jadallah, and Ukrainian brand LaFress.
The red carpet event was
supported by Compagnie des Bateaux Mouches, DJ Battle, SLA Academy
Paris, Neville Salon London, Opéra Cadet, Singer France, The Invite
Shack London, Surrey Banners, and First Hotel Paris among others.
For more info, visit
www.jmodelmanagement.co.uk and follow @jessicaminhanh on Instagram for
the catwalk video release.