Feature: Environment as pressing political issue
by JMD Abangan
Tagum City, Davao del Norte (31 March) -- Never before given much a thought during previous election season, global warming and climate change became the latest political concern that came out during the first day of local campaign period.
Usual issues such education, poverty alleviation, local infrastructure needs,among others still rang loud among the public during the first of the series of candidates forum in Davao del Norte held at the Girls Scout of the Philippines (GSP) in Mankilam, Tagum City.
But concerns on global warming and climate change stood out among the issues as a concern never before discussed and tackled local political candidates.
The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) XI together with the Commission on Election Davao del Norte Provincial Office first held a candidates forum in Tagum City in 2007 but invited candidates missed questions on global warming and climate change which was not raised before them.
In this year's local political campaign season, a child brought to attention of political candidates concerns regarding global and climate change during the first of the series of Candidates Forum 2009 of Davao del Norte.
Representing Tagum City child ambassadress, Marvy Rico asked invited candidates Rodolfo del Rosario for Davao del Norte governor; and Victoria Suaybaguio and Rogelio Israel for vice governor what they can do to save the next generation from adverse effects of such global phenomenon.
In answer to the child's question, candidates made commitments to strengthen policy implementation on tree planting and tree growing; and to see to it that provisions of the Environment Code of Davao del Norte would be taken to the fullest especially at the local level.
Meanwhile, Congress Manuel "Way Kurat" Zamora of the first district of Compostela Valley vowed to taken on the crusade of saving community from global warming and climate change even as he would retire from politics after his term ends in June this year.
In an interview, he called on local candidates to think of ways to save the next generation from the effects of the global phenomenon which he said, is bringing enormous changes on earth.
He suggested local government officials to consider putting up a one-hectare local forest in every barangay.
"Kung igangon ang mga tawo pwede sila adto sa ila garden nga himoong gamay nga lasang aron magpubugnaw," he said explaining the project would reduce power consumption and would be good for a healthy lifestyle.
He also talked about the need to start evacuating the coastal areas, and settle at higher grounds to escape from the rising water levels around the world, that would eventually bring floods, submerging low lying areas.
"Let us think how the next generation should live and survive from global warming," he said.
Along with his advocacy on global warming, Zamora said he will also be active on organic farming which he said is also helpful in checking effects of the global weather phenomenon. (PIA XI) [top]