PBGEA invites poison docs for a look-see at aerial spraying
Davao City (6 June) -- The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, Inc. (PBGEA) on Wednesday invited Dr. Allan Dionisio and his study team to have a look at the ramifications of aerial spraying.
The offer came in the wake of a tumultous "Public Inquiry" on his team's health and environmental assessment of Sitio Camocaan. The forum, hosted by the municipal government under Mayor Franco Calida, brought to the fore the lingering suspicion of Hagonoy residents that the study was done to reinforce a certain Dr. Romeo Quijano's hidden agendum of destroying the Philippine banana industry.
Dionisio, in his opening statements, was quoted as saying that his team "do not know anything about aerial spraying and the kind of formulations used in said spraying."
"We need to learn exactly how aerial spraying works," said Dionisio even as he emphasized that the burden of proving the safety of pesticide-control and management methods rests on the users and manufacturers.
Their study which was done four years ago and presented to the public only last May 12, 2009 found aerial spraying as "the probable cause of health problems in Sitio Camocaan" albeit a parallel study in Sitio Baliwaga in Sta. Cruz town where there is no aerial spraying found residents having more health problems.
It is the position of our Technical Committee composed of plant pathologists and public health specialists that "aerial spraying is the safest and most efficient means of fungicide-control" contrary to the insistence of Dr. Annabelle Yumang and the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (MAAS) that "ground spraying is the best option."
Studies have demonstrated that ground spraying cannot cope with the dreaded Sigatoka infestation in Davao's plantations and that it drenches the workers more than the banana leaves.
We hope that they will reconsider their position calling for a ban on aerial spraying as its implications to people's health and the national economy will be disastrous and irreversible as well as to the peace of mind and livelihood of the thousands of residents dependent on the banana industry. (pr/PBGEA) [top]