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Kamayan para sa Kalikasan

218th

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

74th Issue.

April 2008

 
     

The vital waterways linking Laguna de Bai and the Manila Bay is a river system much like the capillaries of our bloodstream. This system of rivers, of our lifelines in the big city, is seriously clogged not only by polluting garbage but by high-tech and high-financed but haphazard engineering mega-projects that trap large sections of the metropolis in worsening floods of stagnant water, like the Pateros river basin is increasingly getting to be. Come to the Kamayan para sa Kalikasan forum session on Third Friday April 18 (10:30am-2pm at Kamayan-EDSA, and we will talk about clogged lives and what we can do to remedy this gross injustice... upang muling umagos ang Pateros!

March Forum Echoes 

Green Topics urged

for Talk of the Town

THE KAMAYAN forum was celebrating its 18th anniversary last month when the forum topic centered on expanding its spirit well beyond the walls of its regular venue, Kamayan-EDSA.

     After reviewing the history of the forum project by way of marking its “debut” birthday, the forum participants agreed to take up the challenge to bring the Kamayan forum’s zeal, spirit and dialogue ethics into their fgatherings...

    

Full Story 

Can We Stop the 'Callous Clogging of Lifelines' in the City?

‘Engineered floods’ to fully

‘drown’ Pateros town

DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTES into the rivers, creeks and esteros has largely been blamed for the clogging of our river systems, our waterous lifelines, in the Big City. Yet, there have been serious allegations that place at least part of the blame on hi-tech engineering works that have been highly suspected of accounting for the flooding in parts of this system, with the Pateros River basin as a case in point, and the Napindan Flood Control and the diking effect of the ongoing C-6 project as targets of concern.

     This carries implications for the cities of the National Capital Region, especially the communities within the region’s only remaining municipality, the drastically-shrunken Pateros.

    Full Story  

OTHER SECTIONS:

EDITORIALS: 

 

BOXED FEATURE:

Dead Rivers and Clogged Ligelines

Stubbornness for Suicide

Pateros Basin: Issues Faced by a Dying River


FOOTER QUOTE:

         “Earth Day Network's theme for Earth Day 2008 will be ‘A Call for Climate ‘ It is linked to a global effort to get people to call their national leaders on Earth Day and demand immediate, fair action on climate change.”

          --EARTH DAY NETWORK ( international )

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VANISHING WATERWAYS: Comparison of ‘before’ and ‘after’ maps indicates the vanishing capillaries of lifelines especially between Pateros and the Lake of Bai.  Diking for C-6 project fully closes all outlets from Pateros River Basin to the Lake

Source: PatRi-Borg .

  EDITORIALS     

Dead Rivers and Clogged Lifelines

EARTH DAY in the Philippines focuses on water. At this month’s session of the Kamayan para sa Kalikasan forum, we zero in on clogged waterways, on dead or dying river systems. Clean rivers flowing into the lakes and sea are like the blood stream in our bodies. Clean, running rivers are a source and sign of healthy living; they are also a venue for play, enjoyment and celebration. Dirty, clogged and stagnant ….must mean the loss of all that.

      Today, at this forum, we have the opportunity to get a comprehensive analysis of the sorry state that the Pateros River Basin has degenerated into. From this case we see the monumental neglect, inefficiency and malice that went into the killing of a once life-giving river system. The culprits are numerous, as are the killing instruments.

      We all recall that a few months ago the Philippines was in the news because of a dubious honor: two, out of thirty of the dirtiest rivers in the whole world were reported to be found in Bulacan. Many other rivers, some in urban center, are also dead or dying. Years of neglect have turned them into garbage dumps.

      But the Pateros analysis tells us it is not only garbage that cause the clogging and drying up. Mega-projects, have also brought into the line up of culprits faulty engineering and doubtless, corruption. We have also to add to the list of killing instruments, the callousness, inconsiderateness, sheer inefficiency, conceit and arrogance. Clearly, what has caused the clogging are not just garbage and inappropriate structures, legal and illegal. The causes are attitudes, and acts of betrayal.

    Over and above the numerous evil attitudes and accumulated omissions, there is an element that has been obscured. This is the fact that disregard for the natural dynamics of rivers, and their life-supporting function was due to a disregard of others’ needs. The advantage of a few blinded them to what was good for the rest of the community.

      The other side of the coin is that no communal claim to clean rivers was present. The river is nobody’s property. No one in particular cared about protecting it or keeping it clean and flowing. Once some people and factories started dumping garbage into it, more followed with impunity. Afterwards nobody minded about the loss of the river.

      Now that it has become a menace, some regretful thought is given to it. But it is already late in the day. What would have saved the rivers from deteriorating……?

      The demise of the rivers reveal the lack of a communal appreciation for a healthy river system; no collective deep interest in managing the immediate environment where people live for their collective benefit. If we consider at all some form of action to rehabilitate our rivers up to any extent possible, then this missing element has to be set in place, before all other scientific solutions. We cannot hope to revive the rivers without re¬establishing the sense of community and collective concern.

      But we cannot reclaim community until we learn to value one another.

 

      (A.C.)   TOP


Stubbornness for Suicide

AS WE PREPARED this issue of Kamayan Forum Journal, we also prepared to troop to the Senate building this coming Monday, April 21, for a series of mass actions that would be part of last-ditch efforts to convince that “Upper Chamber” of Congress not to force the country to commit suicide.

     We were informed of Malacañang's sustained barrage of lies about the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), the proposed treaty that the administration negotiated in secret, signed in a hurry, and now wants ratified with no further delay.

      Its line: “We cannot afford not to ratify. We can’t afford to be excluded.” Earlier, the JPEPA apologists have been giving the people the logic that we have to sacrifice even out health and environment for the economic gains JPEPA purported¬ly promises for our country. The wrong premise is that we will have a net gain for the economy from JPEPA.

      Later, they claimed that while JPEPA sets tariff rates on Japanese toxic wastes to be dumped here, we can ignore this hazard because our laws ban them from entry. So, why agree to have tariff rates in a treaty? JPEPA ratification spells no real gains for our country, and it will spell destruction for our economy, environment and whatever little we have for sovereignty. But Arroyo and her minions are stubbornly pushing us all to hara-kiri. We can only wonder how big the bribes are for such stubbornness.

      (E.A.C.R.)  TOP

  FORUM FOCUS         

Can We Stop the 'Callous Clogging of Lifelines' in the City?

‘Engineered floods’ to fully

‘drown’ Pateros town

DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTES into the rivers, creeks and esteros has largely been blamed for the clogging of our river systems, our waterous lifelines, in the Big City. Yet, there have been serious allegations that place at least part of the blame on hi-tech engineering works that have been highly suspected of accounting for the flooding in parts of this system, with the Pateros River basin as a case in point, and the Napindan Flood Control and the diking effect of the ongoing C-6 project as targets of concern.

            This carries implications for the cities of the National Capital Region, especially the communities within the region’s only remaining municipality, the drastically-shrunken Pateros. rivers, creeks and esteros has largely been blamed for the clogging of our river systems, our waterous lifelines, in the Big City. Yet, there have been serious allegations that place at least part of the blame on hi-tech engineering works that have been highly suspected of accounting for the flooding in parts of this system, with the Pateros River basin as a case in point, and the Napindan Flood Control and the diking effect of the ongoing C-6 project as targets of concern.

For this reason, and with the forthcoming Earth Day 2008 paying due attention to our water bodies, the environmental forum Kamayan para sa Kalikasan focuses its 218th session on April 18, to ask: “Will Engineered Flooding Drown Pateros?” Invited to come are Pateros River Basin Organization Executive Vice President Ernesto R. Gonzales; Environment Secretary Lito Atienza; Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Edgar Manda; and Mayors Joey Medina, Freddie Tinga and Jejomar Binay of Pateros, Taguig and Makati, respectively, to be among the main speakers on the panel of resource persons during this session of the forum.

    Contrary to the simplistic impression abetted by the government, it is not mainly the garbage dumping problem that clogs Metro Manila's rivers, our lifelines in the big city. It may either be inept hi-tech engineering, or callous apathy (or both), in terms of mega-projects like hydraulic gates and dikes (like the C-6 mega-project) that have upset the divine design for the waterways system between the freshwater Laguna de Bai and the salty sea in Manila Bay, as orchestrated by the alternating of the rainy and dry seasons.

    In a paper titled “Pateros River Basin: An Ecological Sacrifice for the Economic Globalization of Metro Manila, Philippines," Dr. Gonzales outlines the issues being faced by the river basin and highlightes the consistent policy of neglect and marginalization perpetrated by the national and local government instrumentalities upon the people of Pateros town. He singles out the flood control project at Napindan, Taguig and the ongoing diking of the lake with the construction of the C-6 lakeshore highway project, as culprits behind the perennial flooding of Pateros and clogging of its waterways. The economist and community leader said this has been another case where the greed has abetted gross injustice to spell death to a once healthy and prosperous community, for the sake of what the affluent consider as “development.”

 

TOP 

 

  FORUM ECHOES           

February Forum Echoes 

 

Green Topics urged for Talk of the Town

 

THE KAMAYAN forum was celebrating its 18th anniversary last month when the forum topic centered on expanding its spirit well beyond the walls of its regular venue, Kamayan-EDSA.

      After reviewing the history of the forum project by way of marking its “debut” birthday, the forum participants agreed to take up the challenge to bring the Kamayan forum’s zeal, spirit and dialogue ethics into their families’ mealtime gatherings, their office conversations, their classroom discussions, and their light banter in their local market stalls, barbershops and public vehicle terminals.

      “Environmental topics will become ‘talk of the town,’ if we emerge from every session of our live sessions here with the strong will to spread the word,” veteran forum moderator Ding Reyes told the participants last March 28, adding that “We would be able to maximize on every session we attend because we would be listening enough to be able to share with many others the various factors and nuances about each of the green topics and not merely tell others what the discussion was all about.”

      As support tools for all who would heed this call to expand all venues of the environmental discourse, all the way to the nipa huts in remotest barangays and the fishing boats at sea, one of the co-convenors of the Kamayan forum has initiated internet-based projects. Sanib-lakas ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA) requested SanibLakas CyberServeces to create a web site and a topics-specific e-mail list group for the past and future topics discussed in the monthly live forum.

    The web site was uploaded during the forum’s 18th anniversary and the “kamayanforum” e-group was reconfigured to accommodate only postings directly referring to forum topics.   

 

 

TOP 

   BOXED FEATURE          

 

Plight of Pateros River Basin:

 Issues Faced by a Dying River

By Ernesto R. Gonzales, Ph.D

(Fellow, London School of Economics; Convenor, Pateros River Basin Rehabilitation Conference September 2007; Executive Vice President, Pateros River Basin Organization PatRi-BOrg)

Pateros River is dying. It is just like an unflushed toilet being used by a total of two million residents of the cities of Makati, Pasig,Taguig and the only municipality of Metro-Manila, Pateros. At the backdoor of the prestigious The Fort in the City of Taguig, is a winding eight kilometers of a river that became a stagnant sewerage deposit of residents trapped by expanding industrialization of the Economic Globalization in the area.

The extent of the extinction of this once beautiful river was the recent incident of meningo coccimea in the river-based Baranggay of Pateros called "Aguho." Moreover, Pateros became a stigma of dengue which is a common knowledge among all the resident doctors of Medical City of Pasig City. The current focus of attention and funding to the Pasig River area spells a considerable neglect of the Pateros River and Its Basin which was literally obliterated by the construction of the Flood Control Program in the Metro-Manila Region. Today, Pateros River stinks right at the backyard of the prestigious Ayala District, The Global City of the Fort and richest cities of Metro-Manila, i.e. Makati, Pasig and Taguig. While Pasig River has already received hundred millions of dollars grant and loan program, there wasn't any extended for the Pateros River Basin.

At present, a dike cuts across the lakeshore area of the Pateros River Basin which would serve as the "skeletal reference" of the grand C-6 Highway system which will connect Laguna, Metro-Manila Region, Quezon and the Bulacan Provinces. This dike has literally enclosed the Pateros River Basin and its two million residents. Two pumping stations were constructed at the mouth of the River of Tipas and Taguig which will prove to be fatal if not properly modified as early as possible because of the scenario of flooding due to the onslaught of the Climate Change which had drastically increased the amount of rainfall a dozen folds.

There are hundred thousands poor families of marginal farmers and fishermen in the Pateros River Basin who are beginning to feel the displacement that is due them in the coming years. On the face of the lack of subsidies from government, neither safety nets for their displacement and marginalization, the current situation will lead to increased cases of hunger and malnutrition in the said River Basin areas.

The latest announcement of President GMA for a 90 Billion Pesos investment earmarked for Taguig City in these lakeshore areas, becomes a clear signal as to where all of us are going in the face of this "Call" of a "Dying River Basin". (Nota Bene: Pateros River was once the cradle of youth of Andres Bonifacio during the early years of his "Katipunan ng Mga Taga-ilog or Tagalog of Emilio Jacinto's Kartilya ng Katipunan. As Andres Bonifacio had inspired millions of aware Filipinos Today, the rehabilitation of this Dying River Basin could symbolize our dream to unite our efforts together as one People to start the colossal Great Works of the Filipino Race to Rebuild a Dilapidated Nation due to the neglect of some of his Leaders.)
 

Source: Information Office, PatRi-BOrg

 

 

TOP 

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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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