Saturday, April 2, 2011

Legarda squeezes protection for indigenous people

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 3, 2011-Senator Loren Legarda who chairs the Senate Committee on Climate Change and Cultural Communities committee said that there is a need to squeeze out concern over the consequences of climate change that affects the lives of indigenous people (IP) who are threatened by extreme weather events brought by climate change as the IP are more vulnerable to their livelihood, health, food security, cultural integrity and lands.

Legarda explained that the IP contribute the least with respect to carbon emissions due to their simple, sustainable lifestyles and practices where they are most affected by the consequences of climate change.

The report from Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education (Tebtebba) declared that the issue of climate change is not just an environmental issue but also has economic and cultural dimensions explaining that as they struggle with each flood, landslide, drought or typhoon, they are displaced from their lands or are left to battle food and water scarcity as well as widespread outbreaks of vector-borne diseases.

Legarda said that the occurrence radically changes IPs way of life, threatening their sources of livelihood, traditional knowledge and practices, especially their sustainable practices in the management of their land, water and forest resources; thus, she authored Senate Resolution No. 158 last September 2010 directing the Committee on Cultural Communities to conduct an inquiry on the implications of the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program to the indigenous peoples of the Philippines.

She said that in order to contribute to the global fight against climate change, REDD is a mechanism to create an incentive for developing countries to protect, better manage and wisely use their forest resources by reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

Legarda furthered that IPs are the primary guardians and beneficiaries of the said program as stewards of the country’s forests, which are home to many indigenous cultural communities.

“There is a need to ensure that REDD program is implemented properly in the Philippines to identify the pros and cons for the indigenous peoples’ reforestation program,” Legarda ended. (Jason de Asis)

COMSTE to present “ice cream program”

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, April 3, 2011-The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), Manila Observatory (MO) and University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) will present the Integrated Evaluation of Coastal Research Enhancement and Adaptive Management otherwise known as “ICE CREAM” program which was initially funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on April 5, 2011 at the Klima Conference Center of the Manila Observatory from 1:30 to 5:00 in the afternoon.

It aims to investigate climate change impacts on the coasts and adapting wisely to a changing Philippine coastal environment where the program consists of eight projects examining the changing coastal erosion, sea level rise, and water quality; changes in oceanographic processes at different scales; changes in ecosystem patterns and processes; and changes in fisheries harvest.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of COMSTE said that the program intends to produce vulnerability maps and coastal profiles; coastal and ecosystem scenarios; decision options:  cost-benefit analyses, science-based governance processes, and system guidelines; and monitoring, evaluation, and response feedback systems (MERFS).

He added that the results of the different studies will address the different responses such as modeling decision support for Coastal Resource Management strategic action plans, fisheries ecosystem adaptive management strategies for enhancements and conservation (FEAMS-EC), and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Support Network Integrated Coastal Management (MSN-ICM) resilience seas network. (Jason de Asis)

Aurora top cop relieved over rash of crimes

CAMP RAVINA, BALER, Aurora April 2, 2011-A turned over ceremony of the Aurora’s top cop of the Philippine National Police will be held on Monday at Camp Victor Ravina in the midst of the rash in crimes and alleged lapses in law enforcement of the police.

Chief Supt. Alan La Madrid Purisima, regional director of the Camp Olivas-based PNP Regional Office 3, told newsmen that he has relieved Senior Supt. Rosvi Manulid and replaced Senior Supt. Jojo Gumban as the choice of Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo among the list of three recommendees of the National Police Commission.

Purisima said that Gumban who is the chief of the regional headquarters support service will be designated as the officer-in-charge who will take over the police force in the province.

Manulid served as provincial director for only seven months. Last September, he replaced Senior Supt. Romulo Esteban, his “mistah” in the 1984 batch of the PNP Academy, who also served for only a year.

Earlier, it was reported that Angara-Castillo has expressed preference for the designation of Senior Supt. Benjamin Hulipas but Purisima said Hulipas was not included in the list of recommendees.

Manulid’s relief was considered a foregone conclusion since a month ago after Angara-Castillo expressed dismay over the recent rash in crimes in the province and the failure of police to stop illegal logging.

Angara-Castillo said she was particularly disappointed that when Manulid took over as provincial director, there was a surge in crimes, including a P1-million broad daylight heist. “Even during day-time, there were crime incidents,” she said, adding that before the latter came in, the province had the lowest crime rate among the seven provinces in Central Luzon.

“When he came, we were the most peaceful. I wanted to maintain that distinction so he had to go,” she said, adding the surge in crimes would adversely affect Aurora’s aggressive tourism campaign.

Angara-Castillo said that she herself was not spared from the outbreak in crimes. She cited that recently, she lost her generator to thieves who broke into her house.

She recalled confronting Manulid about the incident, even warning him that if her generator would not be produced in 24 hours, Manulid would suffer the consequences. The generator was recovered by police within the 24-hour period.

Angara-Castillo said the fact that the stolen generator was recovered by police indicated that if they wanted to, they can do their job efficiently. She said she has long been complaining to Manulid and his men the lack of police visibility in the province.

Commenting on his relief, Manulid said insofar as he is concerned, he has done his best although this has failed to satisfy the governor. “I have no regrets,” he said.

Before a new set of recommendees was laid down, Manulid has been scolded a number of times by Angara-Castillo over alleged lapses of the police. Once, she chided him in front of local officials and newsmen during a meeting of the provincial government-led task force against illegal logging for the inability of lawmen to prevent the passage of trucks in police-manned checkpoints.

But what broke the camel’s back, sources said, was the occurrence of five consecutive robbery-holdup and theft incidents in the province.         

At least twice, Manulid was adjudged police officer of the year in Central Luzon in the late 80s. To his credit were 28 medals and 31 letters of commendations. (Jason de Asis) 


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