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Kamayan para sa Kalikasan

  240th

monthly

session

 

 J O U R N A L

    THE WEBSITE VERSION  

    POST YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM

96th Issue

February 2010

 
     

 

FORUM OVERVIEW (click here)    MAIN NEWS SECTION (right below)   OTHER SECTIONS (click here)

The mandates are exacted from populations through ballots they are made to cast periodically. But in many cases, suffrage has only meant getting the people to participate in the forging of their own chains.

 FORUM ECHOES           
.

Only citizen groups

can save planet now

AFTER the participants heard the explanations and narrations of the climate change process that ended in the UN-convened summit in Copenhagen, Denmark last December, they agreed on a consensus that the needed broad-based efforts to mitigate the crisis and to effectively adapt to it cannot be left to governments and inter-government talks.

   

“We will now have to depend on Civil Society actions, es­pecially at the level of grass­roots communities to make possible the rescue of our planet  to sustain life as we have known it,” according to the main   forum speaker Marie Marciano, who had attended as delegate both the summit and a series of preparatory conferences.

 

 

 

 

full story

 FORUM FOCUS         
 For Deeper Stakeholder Empowerment

 ‘Greening the Electorate’

for stronger, more assertive

stakeholders in survival

THE Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change last December was a pathetic debacle of the Human Race. The supposedly-"sapiens" species clearly failed to defeat the "profit-making-as-usual" attitude of the powerful governments and corporate giants ignoring an acute and even worsening danger to the whole planet and to the whole of Humankind. Profit "logic" has forced the nations of the world into passively agreeing to an idiotic mass suicide mode. Oneness of All is, apparently, still very far off from present levels of our supposed “homo sapiens sapiens wisdom." 
 

full story

 

OTHER SECTIONS:

EDITORIALS: 

 

Active Stakeholdership should

Reflect on our Votes!

BOXED FEATURE:

Elections and the Environment

OTHER ITEMS:

WED 2010: Preps now on for Bacolod fest


FOOTER QUOTE:

     “A country where citizens have the power whether directly, through their organizations, or through their representatives who genuinely represent them. And when these don’t, they can be recalled. They’re not omnipotent. They are not passing down their power like an ancestral domain to their children”

          AKBAYAN REP. RISA HONTIVEROS, explaining her vision for Philippin politics to an interviewer from the Manila Bulletin.

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  EDITORIAL       

 Active Stakeholdership

Should Reflect on our Votes

THE legitimate collective and individual inter­ests of the Filipinos can only be served well and effectively asserted, especially if under threat or in instances of official and unofficial violation, by convincingly motivating the overwhelming majority of the people to mobilize themselves in their teeming tens of millions to exercise active stakeholdership over these interests.

Officials and leaders that carry motivations other than earnest public service can never be relied upon to manage our collective af­fairs to our collective advantage. Having separated their interests from ours they, almost invariably, enrich and perpetuate themselves in power as most of us sink ever deeper in worsening poverty. How about us, at least as consumers which we all undoubtedly are? One glaring proof of our altered indolence, of our lack of active stakeholdership, has been our inability over all these decades to build and sustain astrong consumer-protection movement! As voters, we have just been submitting entries to a “guess-the-winnners” contest!

Consider for a moment our obvious vital biological needs as human beings, namely our need to have sustainable access to enough safe food to eat, enough safe water to drink, and enough safe air to breathe. Government officials in the Philippines and other countries, motivated by interests other than noble, and supported with explanations by experts similarly driven, have been coming out with overt and covert policies that threaten seriously, or even destroy outright, our collective chance for such sustainable supply.

The sustainable supply of safe food and water, for instance, can only be guaranteed by a healthy environment, as prudently and creatively managed within sustainable economics. The interdependent sys­tems for safe food, for healthy environment and for sustainable eco­no­my have continually been jeopardized by projects and schemes that promise to promote convenience and to satisfy human greed, as if that were possible at all!

Our chance for survival has continually been eroded by such decisions of the greedy and short-sighted officials, using glib-tongued apologists and brutal military might to have their way pushed against the reservations, nay outright protests, of people with enough information and common sense.

Thus the current urgent imperative is for us, the people, to be fully motivated to act together, in our tens of millions, to break free from apathy and spectatorship and engage instead in actions that would save ourselves and our country from complete disintegration and ruin. We don’t have much time left, with apathy, defeatism and divisiveness plaguing our ranks, in the face of the worsening plan­etary climate change crisis.

Stakeholdership is a fact of life, of our individual lives and our collective life. We are all in this together. But we need to move from de facto stakeholdership to conscious stakeholdership. And, conscious of our individual and collective stakeholdership, we would surely feel deeply the imperative of acting effectively to promote and protect our individual and collective stakes.

For real pro-people systems to be set up and sustained, we have to build, even if painstakingly, an atmosphere of good citizenship: having enough political will to ensure good governance, a social milieu where individuals, groups and social institutions, including governance bodies, that are truly committed to the promotion and practice of the following values and principles:

1. Value of Life. Uphold the value of Life – human life, quality of life of people, quality of life of the com­munity itself, and the life of the natural environment which is the community’s home — as immeasurable and therefore can not be assigned a monetary price. In making decisions, therefore, it is imperative for the community to consider which of the options would best promote the Life of the community and of its home.

2. Truth. As a living channel of reliable information for the community, real servants of the people should seek out and systematically collate all important data involving the environment of the community and shall spread any information labeled with its status of certainty, i.e. whether it is a proven certainty, a likelihood, a possi­bility, etc. Because the community needs complete and reliable information, all who spread inaccurate data label­ed as “certain” should be made to lose their credibility.

3. Community’s Right to Decide its Affairs and its Future. Uphold the citizens’ right to decide issues that af­fect their common welfare. Organizations should help the community form its decisions on the basis of a free flow of information and opinions in open and honest discuss­ions, and should exercise significant suasion on govern­ment units concerned to consider fully such decisions. Ba­sic principles of democratic governance mandate that in the conservation and disposition of a community’s natural and social resources, the community’s will should be de­cisive, and on issues affecting larger scopes of govern­ance (municipal, provincial, etc.) the expressed will of the small communities forming the larger constituencies, through their synergized thoughts and decisions, should be considered decisive.

4. Value of Unity and Synergy. In all actions, be guid­ed by the Prime Directive: build and strengthen the unity of the people. Link up the unlinked, coordinate the uncoordinated and seek to act as living bridge among organizations or sections of the population that are not relating enough or at all, or are even hostile to one another. The best interests of the community can only be fully established and effectively asserted through unity and strong synergy (many people working really closely together, teaming up on the basis of their commonalities and diversities) to counteract the pressures of entities that tend to harm these interests.

5. Indivisible Basic Rights. Organizations’ leaders snd members ought not undertake any act or even pro­nounce a declaration that would violate any of the basic rights of the citizens to freedom of thought and of express­ion, freedom of association and of collective ac­tion, or any of the basic human rights of the persons within or outside the community. They should exert best efforts to help the community members to recognize and effectively assert their human rights which are an inseparable consequence of their dignity as human persons.

AREN'T WE ALL STAKEHOLDERS in whether or not these values are alive in the systems, in our social milieu, and upheld actively by the majority? Shouldn’t our votes reflect this fact? Have most of us have really given up on even just dreaming for this?

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  FORUM FOCUS         

 For Deeper Stakeholder Empowerment

 ‘Greening the Electorate’

for stronger, more assertive

stakeholders in survival

THE Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change last December was a pathetic debacle of the Human Race. The supposedly-"sapiens" species clearly failed to defeat the "profit-making-as-usual" attitude of the powerful governments and corporate giants ignoring an acute and even worsening danger to the whole planet and to the whole of Humankind. Profit "logic" has forced the nations of the world into passively agreeing to an idiotic mass suicide mode. Oneness of All is, apparently, still very far off from present levels of our supposed “homo sapiens sapiens wisdom." 

In fairness to the entire Humankind, only a small but financially-, politically- and militarily-powerful minority rammed its profiteering “logic” against the more prudent sensibilities of the vast majority of earth inhabitants.

But the conditions obtaining on the planet are such that the majority is extremely vulnerable to being held by the neck by a profit-fixated elite among nations, and within individual nations.

This has led some of the dismayed participants in the years-long inter­national discourse over climate change to give up on government and inter-government will and capability to turn the global warming situation toward a slowdown and a u-turn very soon. The hopes have recently been pinned on Civil Society, the respective citizenries of the countries supposed to be served fully by the governments that operate on the basis of their mandates and consent. The mandates are extracted from populations through ballots they are made to cast periodically, but in many cases, suffrage has only meant getting the people to participate in the forging of their own chains.

In the Philippines, supposed to be a show window of a working democracy in Asia, the electorate is largely vulne­rable to the manipulative workings of a system where democracy is maintained only in appearances but not in essence. Accurate count has been highlighted as the most crucial imperative’ distract­ing the citizenry from paying attention to the quality of the votes to be counted, in terms of the candidates’ fidelity to their respective popular aspirations and legitimate interests, including  their very survival. In this year’s national and local elections, “trapo” culture rules the minds and behavior of both the candidates and the electorate, proving that the evils of “trapo” politics cannot be validly blamed entirely on the “trapo” politicians.  

Candidates are fixated on winning, by fair means or foul, no matter if none of them convincingly exhibits the desire and capability to serve the peo­ple’s interests. Voters are largely fixated on supporting candidates main­ly on the basis of vaunted “winna­bility” and the prospects of their offer, primarily to their active supporters, of undue advantage over other voters in terms of various benefits. Two questions that always crop up while considering a candidate are “Can he win?” and “What is in his possible victory for me or for my family or small group?”

The state of the environment both in the nationwide scale and within each locality has been held hostage by government officials who are often very vulnerable to pressures from powerful proponents of environmentally-destructive projects and to temptations of personal windfall. In this context the February 19, 2010 of the Kamayan para sa Kalikasan monthly environment forum, will focus its discussion on Greening and Helping Empower the Electorate.” The "Greened Electorate" shall be composed of well-informed passionate guardians of the natural envi­ronment as active, outspoken and demanding stakeholders, who would exact clear commitments from candidates and will not allow the latter to take them for granted. We can't afford to be any less; literally, our lives are on the line!  

The invited resource persons include Manny Calonzo, president of the Eco-Waste Coalition; Don Flordeliza, chairperson of Philippine Centre for Transformative Politics;  Roy Cabonegro, Secretary-General of the Partido Kalikasan; Andy Rosales of Maging Tapat Movement;  David D’Angelo, of the Pang-masa network; and a representative of KPNE.

They will all be asked to present and explain their respective efforts to wean voters from fixation on winnability and turn them into veritable jurists demand­ing for observance of their rights, judg­ing and exacting apt recti­ficaion and retribution on whatever improper behav­ior and pronoun­cements may come can­didates, of the Commission on Elections, the military, and all other organized and informal players in the electoral exercise this year. The Kamayan Forum is convened on the third Friday of every month, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kamayan-Saisaki restaurant along EDSA (near SEC, Ortigas) in Mandaluyong City. -


top

  FORUM ECHOES           

Only citizen groups

can save planet now

AFTER the participants heard the explanations and narrations of the climate change process that ended in the UN-convened summit in Copenhagen, Denmark last December, they agreed on a consensus that the needed broad-based efforts to mitigate the crisis and to effectively adapt to it cannot be left to governments and inter-government talks.

   

“We will now have to depend on Civil Society actions, es­pecially at the level of grassroots communities to make possible the rescue of our planet  to sustain life as we have known it,” according to the main   forum speaker Marie Marciano, who had attended as delegate both the summit and a series of preparatory conferences.

“We will now have to depend on Civil Society actions, es­pecially at the level of grassroots communities to make possible the rescue of planet earth to sustain life as we have known it,” according to main forum speaker Marie Marciano, who had attended as delegate both the summit and its pre­paratory conference in Bali, Indonesia; Bonn, Germany; and Barcelona, Spain; among oth­ers. She clarified she ,meant the citizenries of the various coun­tries of the world, whether org­anized or not.

The first speaker, PRRM President Isagani Serrano, explained the general process of the talks and the detailed specifics. Both speak­ers confirmed the narrations of fellow dele­gate Bernarditas Muller.

 

 

 


      top

  OTHER ITEMS         

WED 2010: Preps now on for Bacolod Fest

Initial preparations have started in Metro Manila and Bacolod City for the tenth commemoration of the annual United Nations-mandated World Environment Day (WED). in early June, the organization’s co-chairman emeritus (one of two) and secretary-general, Ed Aurelio Reyas, informed the KFJ. 

Reyes has been in touch with Bacolod City functionaries, namely, xxx and xxx, assisted bt Ms. Judith Sualog, who have been tasked to work out details with the WED-Phils. Manila office before the plans can be approved by Myor Evelio Leonardia of Bacolod.

The Negros Occidental city in Western Visayas was chosen among three Visayas nominees by the WED-2009 Annual Assembly held last June in Batangas City. In his communication to city functionaries, Reyes shared information on the minimums expected of host cities and what they can add as activities that can also raise funds.

WED-Phils. will soon open nominations for a Mindanao city to host WED-2011.

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   BOXED FEATURE          

Echoes from KFJ’s Editorial of March 2007 

Elections and the Environment 

LET US STRIVE for democracy, but only for real democracy, which is the productive and beneficial synergy of the human bodies, human minds and human spirit of all for the interests of all.  Let us be shorn of all partisan snobbishness and personality-oriented biases, so we can all be worthy advocates and beneficiaries of democracy, of the rule of law and of human equality, dignity and harmony.

That way, we can extricate ourselves from the ridiculous situation with two warring camps of “democracy-lovers”: one partisan camp self-righteously calling upon us all to “defend” democracy while the other partisan camp self-righteously calls on us to fight to “restore” it.

Democracy has to be a synergy of all human social and natural capa­bilities to address all human needs in every big and small community, where the bigger-scope communities are synergies of smaller-scope communities, all the way to the family and the individual human.

The people’s self-empowerment process through the “magical” application of the principle of synergism is the only way the people can be empowered. Not by proxy empowerment whereby an entity seeks the people’s help to capture and consolidate political power and promises to exercise such power consistently in the service of the people’s “objective class interests,” earnestness assumed.

Neither by token empowerment whereby an entity already in power grants bits of high-publicity seats of participation in decision-making processes to representatives of the people but making sure to protect its own narrow interests from being really disturbed by such repre­sentatives.

Only the people’s direct self-empowerment can work to establish real democracy.

In the words of the late Prof. Nito Doria of UST Social Research Center: “If progress is to be shared and enjoyed by all, then it must be the achievement of all, the result of concerted effort of a responsible citizenry to make progress a way of life for the nation; not the result of some singular heroic effort of some exceptional individual who does not exist except in myth.

“A responsible citizenry, however, is just a concert of responsible individual citizens liberated, informed and empowered, and made responsible for their own welfare, It must necessarily be in that sequence of development, for one cannot expect to make a responsible citizen out of one who remains un-liberated, un-informed and un-empowered.

“A strategy for national progress must be an exhilarating liberating factor in the nation’s life, one that will free the Filipinos from the disquiet and listlessness generated by failed models of dogmata that have shackled their mind for centuries and inevitably made them dependent on and beholden to the patronage of oppressive power.

“Such a strategy can be no less than a new conceptual scheme, no less than what Thomas Kuhn in a landmark dissertation, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, refers to as a ‘paradigm shift.’ ”

If we may add a paraphrase of what we state in the previous section, “failure to have such a strategy has been our consistent strategy for failure.” And we bring in Albert Einstein, describing insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting to get a different result. We cannot possibly solve problems with the same thinking we had when we created them.”


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   BACKPAGE.AD         

 

THE SPACE BELOW IS RESERVED FOR THE AVERAGE CANDIDATE’S PLATFORM ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IF THEY DON'T HAVE ANY PLATFORM YET ON THE  ENVIRONMENT, DEMAND THAT THEY MAKE & PRESENT ONE SOON.

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All are invited. to the  Kamayan para sa Kalikasan Environmental Forum held regularly, since March 1990, on the 3rd Friday every month, 10:30am-2pm at the Kamayan Restaurant along EDSA, Mandaluyong City. It is convened jointly by the Clear Communicators for the Environment (CLEAR) and SanibLakas ng mga Aktibong Lingkod ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA), fully sponsored by Kamayan.  

 
   

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