The proposed New Centennial Water Source - Kaliwa Dam Project (NCWS - KDP) is a threat and perhaps a disaster waiting to happen to Quezon province and some parts of Rizal province that might even annihilate the Dumagats and Remontado tribal people living in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges.
The project being part of the 'Build, Build, Build' program of the Duterte administration to be financed by China is a ₱12.2 billion (US$231 million) mega dam that aims to ensure water supply for the fast-growing metropolitan Manila and surrounding areas.
We, from the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc., (PMPI) a network of civil society organizations, rights groups, peace and faith-based institutions are joining the call to altogether stop and abandon the plan to build this dam which will endanger the indigenous peoples' livelihood, tradition and more importantly their lives.
The NCWS-KDP will be constructed inside the declared Kaliwa Watershed Forest Reserve, under Proclamation No. 573, s. 1968 and under Proclamation No. 1636 in 1977. It will drown 291 hectares of forest from the total 9,800 hectares in Infanta Kaliwa Watershed, including the sacred site of Dumagat-Remontado in the areas of Tinipak in Barangay Daraitan, Tanay, Rizal province. The dam construction will endanger the rich biodiversity in the Sierra Madre and also adversely affect the whole ecosystem in the surrounding areas including the symbiotic relationship between the tribal people and their ancestral lands.
“We do not agree that in the name of development, our brother and sister IP's should be sacrificed and displaced from their ancestral lands if ever these dam projects will push through. We are against any form of development that would sacrifice the lives of other living species in the forest and river ecosystem. We need to take into account the rights of people and Mother Nature in any development plan and projects,” National Coordinator of PMPI,Yolly Esguerra, said.
PMPI calls on the local government particularly the Executive Committee of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Region IV-A (Calabarzon) which endorsed the proposed multi-billion peso dam project to heed the voice of its constituents.
Our Actions are our Future. This year’s theme of the World Food Day Celebration couldn’t articulate more the significance and urgency of the need to address the increasing magnitude of poverty and hunger worldwide.
We, from the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc., a network of civil society organizations, rights groups, peace and faith-based institutions hope that the 2018 World Food Day celebration manifest the very essence of it, particularly to effect change to the lives of Filipino people living in extreme poverty and hunger.
Our country is an agricultural country and as ironic as it gets, the people who are providing us food, our farmers and fisherfolks are among the poorest of the poor according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). PSA record shows that these sectors have the highest poverty incidence in 2015 at 34.3 percent and 34 percent, respectively.
The survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) from September 15-23, 2018 revealed that 13.3% or an estimated 3.1 million families experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months. While 821 million people or one in nine of the world's population faced food shortage in 2017 according to a UN report.
These numbers are alarming and warrant urgent and strategic actions. However, our government either put aside the issue or address it in depraved way.
In the Philippines, farmers have been struggling to keep their livelihoods afloat because of debts they cannot repay for seeds and chemical inputs owned by business companies. This is on top of the concerns on the impact of climate change to agriculture, the emergence of genetically modified organisms (GMO) that threatens the very ecosystem, the lack of new farmer practitioners and thus further threatening food security. Likewise, the enactment of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) exacerbates the condition of the lives of people especially those who are living in below poverty line.
In Bukidnon, a young girl shows her passion towards agriculture at a very young age. Eleven-year old Diding is a rice breeder, when most girls her age are doing other things than being an agriculturist.
At the age of 6, Lourdes Geraldo or Diding has successfully bred her own rice line making her the youngest rice breeder in the Philippines, and probably in the whole world.
As she turns 11, she is now producing her rice lines with her father and siblings in their 4-hectare DIFS (diversified) farm in Sitio Tomigbong, San Luis in Malitbog town.
Walking around their sloping and misty farm early in the morning, one can get the feeling of being at the vineyard scenes of the academy award-wining movie “walk in the clouds.” It’s worth reflecting to observe how the plants and the diversity of life rhymes in full harmony with nature.
Diding’s 4 rice lines are proven adaptive to their local climatic condition which made their farm more resilient to the changes in the weather patterns happening nowadays. But aside from rice breeding, Diding is also growing vegetables, root crops and flowering plants because she knows how useful it is to have a diverse genetic resources.
But how did this happen?
Diding was taught on rice breeding by her father, Mr. Eugenio “Eunie” Geraldo, one of the steadfast farmer leaders of MASIPAG Mindanao responsible for the expansions of organic agriculture in the far-flung communities in Northern Mindanao which are left behind by most government extension workers. Eunie is very passionate in educating people and in empowering his fellow farmers.
Eunie addressed one of the challenges faced by the organic farmers – passing on their knowledge to their children. So he taught Diding at her young age together with his children to ensure that his knowledge, practices and principles will live on to the generations to come.
Five years before he becomes a senior citizen, Eunie has a smile on his face and full of hope in his eyes that his children will sustain and broaden what he started: a sign of fulfilment that not all farmers enjoyed.
Diding brings a lot of hope not only to her family, but also to the entire Filipino farmers.
Sounds like Japanese? It actually is.
Fermented organic matter or Bokashi is a popular bio-fertilizer in Japan, using from-plate-to-farm concept.
A community in the island of Leyte use food leftovers from the kitchen as garden fertilizer, through this natural process. They have been producing organic vegetables for their daily consumption, and even for the local market.
For this month’s Sapat Dapat winner, we are pleased to present a community in Tanauan, Leyte: barangay Magay.
Rebuilding back better with scraps
Barangay Magay has been using this technology for almost 2 years. In such a short time, they have already a list of success stories because of this practice.
Bokashi is the new “kitchen scrap disposal system” for the memberes of Magay community. They collect food leftovers, such as peelings, expired food, and the likes, and process these using their Bokashi kits, in order to raise healthy organic vegetables in their communal garden.
Bokashi is often referred to as a type of ‘composting,’ but it is actually an anaerobic fermentation process, resulting in a much different end product than that produced via composting.
Nothing is wasted. The solid parts become organic soil fertilizers, while the liquid part, called the Bokashi juice, is used as foliar fertilizers (sprayed on the plants leaves).
This initiative aims to build the capacity of the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in Tanauan, while providing them with sustainable livelihood that is eco-friendly.
After the devastation brought by the super typhoon, the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation assisted rebuilding the community through its relief and rehab projects in partnership with other organizations. The Bokashi Project is a fruit of their projects' phase transition, from rehabilitation towards recovery, capacity-building and preparedness of the community by providing them with sustainable livelihood.
“We started this project in December 2013,” said Sr. Zaida Villareal, an Augustinian nun. “We actually started from scratch, from scraps: what mostly were left after the whole island was ravaged by the storm.”
She added that Bokashi can be done in small all large scale, but the product is very useful.
“Unlike composting, this can even be done by urban dwellers as it does not produce odour,” Sr. Villareal added. “Aside from that, you get to re-use your food scraps, instead of throwing them somewhere else.”
Bokashi 101: What is it exactly?
Bokashi HQ defines Bokashi practice as a composting method of quickly breaking down organic wastes. Unlike conventional composting, Bokashi makes use of Effective Microorganisms (EM) that are added to the organic waste stored in a Bokashi bin. It is more of a fermentation process than a conventional composting process.
Air is not required for the organic matter to ferment. Because of this, the process is odour free and makes for a perfect kitchen compost bin.
The system can be completely sealed, which removes any worries about insects or animals making a nuisance of themselves. It was introduced by Dr. Teuro Higa, a professor from University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, around 1982.
Living with Bokashi, living healthy
Two years after, the community is not only living healthy. Bokashi practitioners are also taking care of the environment, without the use of harmful chemical for their gardens and farms. Alongside the practice of s, the community also promotes proper waste segregation. Because of this, recylcing is easy.
The leaders of barangay Magay are also selling Bokashi kits and implements. They also provide educational session for people and other communities who want to learn the practice.
To know more about the practice, visit the website of the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation.