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Kamayan para sa Kalikasan

217th

monthly

session

 J O U R N A L

 J O U R N A L

    THE WEBSITE VERSION  

    POST YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM

73rd Issue.

March 2008

 
     

Special Kamayan para sa Kalikasan ACTION CALL raided at the end of its March 28, 2008 session:   "Let's ALL join the WORLDWIDE 'EARTH HOUR.' Tomorrow night, 8-9pm, let's pause all use of electricity to help slow down Global Warming. And PLEASE convince at least a few other people to heed & forward this message. Thank you!"      Tayo'y manghawa...      sa pagiging mga...      aktibong may-taya!

February Forum Echoes 

JPEPA: ‘Done Deal’

Nearing Senate OK?

BY THE TIME Kamayan para sa Kalikasan could take back to its discussion table the topic that is the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnernership Agreement (JPEPA), the explanations and arguments had all been presented to the ratifying jury, namely, the Senate of the Philippines.

    The solid arguments against ratification were voluminous. And the people, safe for the most focused like the core leaders of the Magkaisa-Junk JPEPA Coalition (MJJC), were getting their minds flooded with them.
   

Full Story 

Challenge: Frequent Kamayan-type Discussions Everywhere

People asked: focus talk

on environmental topics

IT’S REALLY AN improvement that family members, co-workers, vendors in neighboring stalls, classmates, and drivers waiting for their turn to be dispatched are now talking about Lozada and Neri, about the rice crisis, the worsening of summer heat. There was a time when all our countrymen could talk about were the latest gimmicks and gossip in showbiz, the latest trivial bickering among politicians, the latest personal scandals in our own communities. What would definitely be a much bigger improvement is when we start talking, aided with hard facts, about the worsening environmental crisis that affects us all, and about what each of us can do about it – to mitigate it and to adapt to it for the sake of ourselves and our children.

    That would bring some of our idle banter to more productive discourse, to concrete planning, and to real action for real results.
   

Full Story  

OTHER SECTIONS:

EDITORIALS: 

 

BOXED FEATURE:

An Ambitious Aim

Wasting What We've Won

Kamayan: A Forum for 'Green Synergy'


FOOTER QUOTE:

         “As long as you (CLEAR leaders) are there, I am here, Kamayan is here, behind you.”

VIC-VIC VILLAVICENCIO, President, Triple-V Restaurant Group. Message to the inaugural session of Kamayan para sa Kalikasan, March 1990.

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  EDITORIALS     

An Ambitious Aim

FOR THE PAST 18 YEARS, we have been talking at the Kamayan para sa Kalikasan monthly environmental forum. We have had a modestly successful track record in initiating concrete action, and spawning more awareness among citizens from various walks of life. We have brought together in 216 monthly sessions (so far) many decision-makers and opinion leaders from various sectors and localities of the country.

    Some of these opinion leaders have indeed spread the word about our topics of urgent concern, after having participated or at least listened intently enough to the discussions to be able to share the points with enough self-confidence to their respective spheres of influence after the forum sessions. Like all the others, they also enjoyed the free food served by Kamayan-EDSA every month all these 18 years.

    After 18 years of Kamayan para sa Kalikasan forum's monthly sessions at Kamayan-EDSA, we shall now undertake to add thousands of informal but informative sessions that can be held every day of the month: 'kamayan para sa kalikasan' at the family dinner table (if many families still have that habit of talking during meals); 'kamayan para sa kalikasan' in the classrooms; kamayan para sa kalikasan at breaktime or even during office hours (to be organized, encouraged or even just allowed, by environmentally conscious companies) 'kamayan para sa kalikasan' in the jeepney and tricycle terminals, in the market stalls, in the fishing boats; 'kamayan para sa kalikasan' in restaurants of whatever name,'kamayan para sa kalikasan' everywhere!

    Each gathering would be one real 'kamayan' for coming to talk understand one another, 'kamayan' for ag reeing on some points, on some plans, 'kamayan' to keep talking and sharing information and views, 'kamayan' to express our harmony among ourselves and with Mother Nature.

    We have to motivate the people to learn well enough to spread further the environmental facts and points, to learn well enough to act individually and together to save the only environment that we (still) have. We have started setting up systems (including a forum manual and a website) to provide these facts and points to all who would join this grand project in natural broadcasting 'word of mouth' funded mainly by our individual and collective WILL POWER.

    We all have to act to slow down and stop the accelerating environmental destruction, to keep it from reaching the imminent point where it would become irreversible and irreparable. Can we join up to spread that word? Can we join up to make spreading that word part of our active response to this challenge?

    Today, March 28th, at our 18th Anniversary session, Kamayan para sa Kalikasan will focus on bringing this forum everywhere. How will we do that? The more important question is how determined are we to do that??? The organizers of the Kamayan para sa Kalikasan believe that enough people will respond honorably to this challenge, at least to pass on the call by spreading the word, in thousands of informal but informative 'kamayan' sessions that should follow every session that we hold here at Kamayan-EDSA in the months and years to come.

    And, yes, we also very thankfully celebrate today our 'debut,' our 18th birthday!

 

TOP


Wasting What We’ve Won

WHEN the Communicators League for Environmental Action and Restoration (CLEAR) was born as an organization 18 years ago, and it launched an environmental forum project originally intended mainly for media people to attend, we were up against a problem that really looked too formidable to confront: the mass media decision-makers were predisposed to almost ignore the environment as an important beat for reportorial coverage. All who have cared for life and Mother Nature, who gradually, and with all those reporters who started CLEAR with us and rose in rank within news organizations, have succeeded in raising environmental accounts in the editors’ hierarchy of newsworthiness. Prime newspaper space and broadcast time now carry environment-focused items.

The formidable problem of the early 1990s has been licked. We have a new problem to confront: Most of the information materials the green organizations and journalists have been able to get published are not really being maximized by the people, not even by their advocates and activists. They are just glad that these items make it to the media. These make them smile. Only when we finally succeed to make informative and educational discussions frequent and widespread will all these advocates and activists and other people see more value in reading intently all the environmental items they see and hear carried by the mass media. This challenge is also formidable. But overcoming it is a crucial imperative. And we shall overcome.

 

TOP

  FORUM FOCUS         

Challenge: Frequent Kamayan-type Discussions Everywhere

People asked: focus talk

on environmental topics

IT’S REALLY AN improvement that family members, co-workers, vendors in neighboring stalls, classmates, and drivers waiting for their turn to be dispatched are now talking about Lozada and Neri, about the rice crisis, the worsening of summer heat. There was a time when all our countrymen could talk about were the latest gimmicks and gossip in showbiz, the latest trivial bickering among politicians, the latest personal scandals in our own communities. What would definitely be a much bigger improvement is when we start talking, aided with hard facts, about the worsening environmental crisis that affects us all, and about what each of us can do about it – to mitigate it and to adapt to it for the sake of ourselves and our children.

    That would bring some of our idle banter to more productive discourse, to concrete planning, and to real action for real results.

Without losing our sense of humor, we have to realize that the continuing environmental destruction is not at all laughing matter. It’stoo important a concern to substitute laughter for action. Neither sighing. And It’s too important a concern to leave to government to address. We have to do something to rescue our environment. We have to talk about the problem, plan our moves and act together for our own survival and for the lives of future generations. Let's all get into the talk and really get into the walk!

    All environmental advocates and activists are being called to act in the mold of active stakeholders as persons responsible to ourselves and our posterity and determined to succeed for own individual and collective survival, and all stakeholders are going to be called to become conscious and active ones. For this reason, SALIKA, now the more active co-convenor of this forum project has asked SanibLakas CyberServices to prepare a website to support the expansion of the Kamayan forum's participation base.

    This and a manual also being prepared will help participants to bring the message of each session clearly and effectively to many other people. They will no longer be contented being 'audience' listening only for their own learning,

    The Kamayan para sa Kalikasan monthly forum was started way back in March 1990 and has not skipped a beat since. Co-convened by the Clear Communicators for the Environment (CLEAR) and Sanib-Lakas ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA), and fully sponsored by Kamayan, the forum is held at Kamayan-EDSA on the third Friday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free lunch courtesy of Kamayan. It had a minor adjustment of schedule this month due to the third Friday being Good Friday.

 

TOP 

 

  FORUM ECHOES           

February Forum Echoes 

JPEPA: ‘Done Deal’ Nearing Senate OK?

BY THE TIME Kamayan para sa Kalikasan could take back to its discussion table the topic that is the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), the explanations and arguments had all been presented to the ratifying jury, namely, the Senate of the Philippines.

    The solid arguments against ratification were voluminous. And the people, safe for the most focused like the core leaders of the Magkaisa-Junk JPEPA Coalition (MJJC), were getting their minds flooded with them.
 

In contrast, the apologists of the administration's stand for immediate ratification had a so-so performance in making their case during the Senate hearings and got chastised by Senators, including Senate trace committee chair Sen. Mar Roxas who would side with them, anyway.

    For the forum's aim of consolidating the arguments, main speaker Atty, Golda Benjamin of MJJC made a well-organized presentation that neatly dove tailed with that of would-be forum guest Sen. Jamby Madrigal (who had to beg off at the last minute but sent a full statement she wrote specifically for this Kamayan forum session on JPEPA. In that brief statement, Madrigal said the proposed treaty (1) gives undue advantages to foreign investors and traders over their Filipino counterparts doing business in their home country; (2) violates the Philippine Constitution and negates existing national laws; and (3) has detrimental effects on the Philippine economy and environment.

    Atty. Benjamin explained all the points fully, presenting hard facts that she had earlier presented to Senate trade and foreign affairs committees.

    Anxiety has lingered over when and how the senators would vote. Although largely pessimistic because the process has so far showed all the signs of a 'done deal,' forum participants expressed willingness to be pleasantly surprised.

 

TOP 

Batangas is World Environment Day national site

BATANGAS City, alone or together with Batangas province, will be the national site of World Environment Day commemoration in the Philippines this year. There will also be substantial activities in Metro Manila on June 5. For 2005, Tagbilaran was chosen to be national site but the provincial government of Bohol joined in and enriched the celebration a great deal.

 

TOP 

  BOXED FEATURE          

‘Kamayan': A Forum for Green Synergy

Here are some of the salient points excerpted from our explanation 3 years ago as to what makes Kamayan Forum tick, and how has it lasted for almost two decades by now:

Plurality of Views -- Kamayan Forum has posed a unique challenge because it involves as active participants even those parties that hold positions in diametric opposition to those held by stakeholder communities and environmentalist civil society organizations. Efforts have consistently been made to get all sides to a controversy represented in the forum’s sessions but some of the adversaries choose to shy away, invoking schedule conflicts with their priority activities. The non-unanimity of views, even among representatives of environmentalist groups, has made the sessions rich and exciting.

No Neutrality; Only Fairness -- The forum organizers and moderators make it a point to clarify in all the sessions that Kamayan will never promise or claim to be neutral when it comes to environmental conservation, for no one can be neutral on such matters. What we promise and deliver is fairness in the discourse.

Perspective: Collective Stakeholdership -- One important point that has often been emphasized is that we are first and foremost human beings that are together in actual collective stakeholdership, despite adversary positions adopted by the organizations and institutions we are in for the time being. “Twenty years from now, we will probably no longer be attached to these transitory positions in these come-and-go offices, and we will all be just human beings and Filipinos who would stand to be benefited or jeopardized by the longterm effects of present policies and acts on the environment.”

Passionately Antagonistic Views -- Passions do not only tend to soar prematurely in some sessions, and passions have sometimes been at high level beforehand and merely brought into the forum hall. Addressing such high-tension, even toxic, situations the moderators have had to think quickly of points of commonality between the antagonists. In a few cases in our 216 sessions so far, we have had to cite as out of order certain speakers, notably including one senator and an overpassionate evironment advocate. Both were rudely talking out of turn to interrupt their adversaries in discussion, even after repeated warnings to stop such unruly behavior. It has sometimes been a big challenge for the moderators and the panel speakers to keep their cool after other speakers had lost it.

Openness to Opposing Views -- We should all seek to view things from other people’s vantage points, we should try in earnest to clearly understand the positions that clash with us, so we can be better informed in either decreasing the element of wrath in the conflict or in opposing those same views more firmly than before. There is need for clearer understanding of respective positions among personages and groups within the environmental movement itself.

Radiating the Synergy -- CLEAR and SALIKA are hoping that the people who come to the forum would bring out with them and radiate among all the other persons within their respective spheres of influence the spirit of understanding, unity and passionate environmental advocacy that pervades the forum’s sessions. We have come across comments from people who frequently come to the effect that they are increasingly growing tired and impatient with just talking and hinted that they were itching for action.

Source: Kamayan Forum Journal, 15th Anniversary issue, March 2005.

 

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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 Communicators’ League for Environmental Action and Restoration (CLEAR) and Sanib-Lakas ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA), fully sponsored by Kamayan.  

 
   

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