ELECTORAL AGENDA FOR THE 2022 ELECTIONS

I. Context

We are in a crucial time of human history. We are confronted with challenges that threatens the very existence of humans.

Scientists are convinced, more than ever, that we are in the brink of extinction. Unless governments around the globe would make bold move to reverse the impact of climate change, nature, where all lives (including humans’) depend upon, will completely transform into something that cannot support life.

This pandemic has reflected how in bad state our ecosystems are and the impact to human society of the encroachment to wild. Scientists say that COVID-19 will not be the last unless we change our relationship with nature.

In May 2022, Filipinos should be making another history of radical changes given the current dire and dismal situation we are currently in. WE NEED NEW BREED OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO CAN LEAD THIS CHANGE.

The Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) a social development and advocacy network composed of more than two hundred thirty (230) non-government organizations, people’s organizations, and faith-based groups is committed to working and partnering with various civil society groups including government to engage in efforts that would address the needed changes, towards promoting integral development and social transformation. 

PMPI values the empowerment of the communities to make them partners for development. The network embraces the concept of development for all, development of both humans and all creation in the earth community.

In this light, we see the May 2022 election as an opening to lobby for the adoption of policy framework and actions with as many candidates, both national and local, on the following as key social issues needing urgent policy change:

  1. Mining and Extractives
  2. Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
  3. Disaster Risk Reduction Management
  4. Sustainable Agriculture and Fisheries
  5. Good Governance, Peace, and Human Rights
  6. Rights of Nature and Eco-centric Development

These agenda will be shared to the candidates in the hope that they adopt this policy framework partially or fully as they develop programs for a better Philippine society. If adopted, we commit to monitor the implementation of the said policies in the next 6 years of their administration.

A. Anti-Mining Campaign and Extractives

PMPI is engaged in a national anti-mining advocacy that seeks to address the issues of the clusters and its partner communities that are adversely affected by mining. In the present administration, the lifting of the nine-year moratorium on new mining agreements has opened the immense possibility of exposing the country’s natural resources to wanton exploitation despite the meager economic gains. Therefore, PMPI forwards the following electoral agenda:

  1. Stop corporate large scale extractive activities – mineral mining, black sand mining, deep sea mining; reverse the lifting of the moratorium on large scale mining and review all mining contracts; prioritize rehabilitation of destroyed habitat due to mining and compel mining corporations to rehabilitate it.
  2. Push for the passage of national environmental protection bills – National Land Use Act (NLUA), Forest Resource Bill (FRB), Alternative Minerals Management Bills (AMMB), Rights of Nature, et.al
  3. Uphold and support local autonomy in protecting their environment; support local legislations for environmental protection (i.e., Tampakan Environmental Code)
  4. Establish mechanisms to ensure stricter implementation of laws against environmental crimes; hold companies accountable on waste generated from the production of their products. (i.e., EPR bill).
  5. Strengthen the implementation of the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) process for all development projects in IP communities; pass a law requiring the mandatory monitoring on the distribution of royalties among IP communities where mining companies operate.

B. Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction

Climate change is one of the major threats to humans and the environment as reflected to the frequency and the increasing number of disasters. PMPI believes that these disasters exacerbate vulnerabilities of the poor at the same time putting more pressure to the already destroyed ecosystem. While there is a need to respond to the impacts of disasters, there is also a need to make accountable those responsible of climate change. And in responding to the devastating impact of disasters, PMPI seeks to strengthen the capacities of its partner communities by proposing effective mechanisms to augment their current strategies in mitigating the effects of disasters. Thus, the PMPI would like to advance the following electoral agenda:

  1. Adopt policies against investing in dirty energy and destructive projects, like coal and mining; Advocate for renewable sources of energy and fuels for transportation; push for the implementation of energy transition plans; conduct energy audit of government offices; Push for massive tree planting and protection of trees as they are the cheapest and the best solution to trap carbons.
  2. Push for policies against the construction of new coal powerplant as well as its gradual phaseout; specifically, prohibit coal mining in Bataan and Masinloc; explore regenerative and renewable alternatives. No to nuclear energy and revival of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
  3. Create a sustainable and climate resilient housing program for urban poor communities in danger zones; assess existing condition of relocation sites and ensure the improvement of the infrastructures to withstand disasters and make services available to the communities. Create sustainable and green cities; establish more parks than malls; encourage biking; encourage urban food garden.
  4. Make the People Survival Fund (PSF) available to communities and CSOs; ensure that the process and requirements can easily be complied with. Increase local disaster preparedness budget to empower communities as first responders to disasters.
  5. Develop policies and programs that will support farmers to be able to adapt to the impact of climate change. Establish local Organic Agriculture Board
  6. Protect the Philippine rivers systems from pollution and degradation; study thoroughly and review projects along the river system that would involve reclamation, dredging, construction of causeway and jetty ports. Ensure rehabilitation instead of reclamation of destroyed ecosystems. (i.e., Laguna de Bay reclamation, Bulacan Aerotropolis).
  7. Develop a clear and more comprehensive plan to implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) based on IPCC reports. Push for the country’s meaningful participation in the climate talks to make accountable developed countries to the impact of climate change to developing countries like the Philippines.

C. RIGHTS OF NATURE AND ECOLOGY-CENTERED DEVELOPMENT

The current development paradigm is causing more harm to the environment and to people than good. People’s relationship with nature is about nature’s use and value to people, and blind to the reality that everything, including human life comes from and sustained by nature. Thus, PMPI is pushing for a policy that will recognize nature as having rights to exist, evolve, thrive and regenerate as well as recognize people and nature’s interconnectedness and interdependence. PMPI therefore is proposing that the next administration recognize the inherent rights of nature. We propose the following actions and policies:

  1. Certify as urgent the Rights of Nature Bill filed in Congress by Sen Riza Hontiveros and Kit Belmonte, including the National Land Use Act and other green bills currently pending in Congress.
  2. Review and accounting of the ecosystem services and institute policies protecting rich biodiversity areas.
  3. Respect and support local government’s projects and policies to protect their ecosystems and key biodiversity areas.
  4. Review water related laws; develop a comprehensive watershed protection law; review the mandate of the National Water Resource Board.
  5. Help provincial governments craft water codes that will protect water resources and manage wise distribution of the resource; the Water Code of Bohol can be a template.
  6. Strict implementation of policies on garbage management and segregation of plastic; invest in research and development programs that will make this resource useful again.
  7. Promote initiatives on sustainable tourism and ecotourism; support community actions to protect biodiversity hotspots.
  8. Protect the rights of IPs to their ancestral lands; support the preservation of the indigenous cultures

D. GOOD GOVERNANCE & HUMAN RIGHTS

As we approach President Duterte’s last year in office, his administration is challenged by widespread human rights violations. His war on drugs only targeted impoverished Filipinos which led to numerous deaths and disappearances. Also, the rule of law deteriorated significantly during his term. In advocating for transparency, accountability, and people’s participation at all levels of government institutions, the PMPI calls on the next administration to prioritize the following:

1. Protect human rights

  • Pass Human Rights Defenders bill into law; address issues related to red-tagging of HR workers in relation to ATA; repeal Anti-Terror Law; ensure people’s participation in the mechanisms that will be established.
  • Dismantling of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC); create accountability mechanism for NTF-ELCAC to monitor released government funds.
  • Address issues faced by women in conflict with the law; pass a law covering said issue; ensure that provisions in the law will address gender-based discrimination experienced by women PDLs
  • Address Human Rights of internally displaced people; pass Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) bill into law; investigate and address alleged HR and displacement issues by NMIPs in BARRM; and support a local law that will truly ensure the full inclusion of NMIP rights in BARRM.
  • Pass a Transitional Justice (TJ) law for victims of extrajudicial killings; (similar to Marcos HR victims claims)

2. Push for eco-centric and participatory governance. Employ mechanisms whereby it is aimed towards reducing carbon footprint; increase eco-centric initiatives at the local level; review of the local government code of 1991 to strengthen the protection of the environment and participation of people in governance.

3. Call for proactive health disaster response

  • Pass a law increasing the salary and benefits of health workers; Address corruption issues related to COVID-19 funds (i.e. Philhealth issues and dealings of the government with Pharmally).
  • Aggressive contact tracing and free covid testing; boost sequencing efforts in PH for early detection of cases.
  • Prioritize the development of a community-based health response to any pandemic and disasters

4. Strengthen structures of accountability of government officials. Increase penalties for erring government officials under Republic Act No. 6713

5. Ensure protection against foreign aggression and exploitation in the West Philippine Sea. Enforce the 2016 arbitrary ruling; uphold UNCLOS ruling

E. SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE & FISHERIES

PMPI continues to advocate and support the adoption of sustainable agriculture to attain food sovereignty, farmer’s empowerment, and ecological balance. In the next administration, the following agenda are proposed to improve the current situation of our farmers and fisherfolks:

  1. Provide incentives to motive farmers who will be engaged in organic and sustainable farming and sustainable fishing including the protection of fishing grounds and establishment of local bodies mechanisms (as prescribed in the Organic Agriculture Act) to support organic agriculture.
  2. Scrap Rice Tariffication Law. Provide market support by linking farmers directly to consumers. Address importation of agricultural products which harms local farmers.
  3. Suspend GMOnizing or commercialization of basic food crops;  promote healthy food production systems  and technologies; pass the food labeling bill.
  4. Protect Filipino fisherfolks’ rights to fish in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Assert our rights (Hague ruling) to Philippine territories within the WPS to protect and secure our marine resources.
  5. Intensify integrated coastal resource management and suspend review development activities like mining, dams that affect biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine ecosystem.

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