The Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC) together with Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment and AGHAM Youth organized the forum entitled “Development for whom?: The State of the Philippine Environment Under the Duterte Administration,” on July 26, 2017 at the PUP Institute of Technology. The forum presented an analysis of President Duterte’s SONA, particularly, looking at his pronouncements in relation to his administration’s economic and development blueprint, which is the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.
“Has change really come?” asked Owen Migraso, CEC Executive Director to students and organizations who attended the forum. Lia Alonzo, CEC Research and Advocacy Coordinator, presented a review of the PDP 2017-2022 particularizing on its proposed policies on environmental protection and management of the country’s natural resources. “The PDP is no different from previous policies framed under the neoliberal agenda, instead it will reinforce policies that have been detrimental to the environment and the people,” explained Alonzo.
Also spoke in the forum are representatives of fisherfolk organization PAMALAKAYA (Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas) and lumad school ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development) from the CARAGA region. “Change has not come to us, the military continues to harass and threaten our school, our communities,” said Ronald Bague, a teacher from ALCADEV. “The interest for mining and other extractive industries in our ancestral lands continue to intensify leading to our displacement and dispossession of ancestral domains,” added Bague.
Salvador France, Vice Chairperson of Pamalakaya also shared their state of the fisherfolk in the country who are experiencing dispossession and violations of their rights. “We would like to send a strong opposition to Dutertenomics and the plan to intensify building of infrastructures or what they call the Build Build Build, as well as large-scale coastline conversions and reclamations, this will impact both communities and the environment,” added France.
Leon Dulce, Campaign Coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (KALIKASAN-PNE) also presented prospects for pro-people and pro-environment policies under the Duterte administration, “Only through collective action that we can achieve genuine change,” Dulce explained.
The forum concluded that Duterte’s PDP 2017-2022 is not new at all, and is not the change the people are expecting. This economic and development blueprint is just a reiteration of an export-oriented and import-dependent economy as well as an invitation to further plunder of our environment and natural resources, and would lead to further impoverishment of the people.