10M Filipinos sign petition to include climate change in government agenda PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 December 2015 14:48

Ten million Filipinos signed a petition demanding government to beef up efforts to protect the environment.

The figure represents about 10% of the Philippine population. For several environmental groups, this reflects the growing awareness and concern of Filipinos on environment and climate issues despite “government’s lack of political will” on the matter.

“There has been no concrete policy reforms, there has been no significant action from executive and legislative... [there has been] lack of commitment or political will both from congress and judiciary to create this momentum of really passing new laws or resolving constitutional issues about the environment, mining and forest,” Jaybee Garganera of Alyansa Tigil Mina National said.

Gina Lopez of the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya foundation said the environment must not simply be put at the sidelines because protecting nature is good for the economy and can even alleviate poverty in the long run.

“Nakita natin when you clean Pasig river, economy comes up, if you take care of eco-tourism, people make more money,” Lopez said.

Environmentalists has called on the candidates in the 2016 elections to include issues on climate change as part of their platform.

“If we have 10 million signatures that don’t want mining in this country, the environment must be a top political issue… And all people running for president must realize poverty is connected to the environment,” Lopez said.

“Running for 2016 elections, these are 10 million voters who want the environment to be part of discussion, to be part of the debate,” Garganera meanwhile said.

The announcement of the 10-million signatures coincides with the ongoing climate summit in Paris. Environmentalists then hope this will lend a credible support to the Philippine position on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and seeking for genuine climate finance.