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No rice shortage in Bukidnon?

Measuring my rice has been the tease at home — something that has caused me ‘hunger’. When you are carrying heavier load than you should, you know what I mean.

I did try to eat less of it every time I remember; most of the time I failed.

So when the rice shortage news was carried in broadsheets the tease hit me even more. There was a friend who said I was to be blamed. I was also blamed for the protests in Tibet. Read More…

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Rehab sought on Bukidnon’s Mt. Kitanglad

 The provincial board of Bukidnon has approved a resolution seeking more funds for the rehabilitation and reforestation of the Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park. Read full report here.

In a resolution approved on January 30, the provincial board “significantly and zealously” requested Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr., Second district Rep. Teofisto Guingona III and First district Rep. Candido Pancrudo, Jr. for additional funding for the park.
The four officials were asked to allocate at least P1 million each for reforestation and rehabilitation of the mountain, which was declared a protected area in 2000 by Republic Act 8978.

The resolution did not specify, however, how the allocation would be allocated.

As a protected area, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was supposed to get annual budget from the national government to maintain, conserve and rehabilitate the mountain, a source from a non-government agency working in the area, said.

This was confirmed by an environment official. “Very minimal allocation is downloaded to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) from the General Appropriations Act every year so we rely on the local government,” said Agustin Lilangan, a desk officer at the Protected Area Superintendent office.

This should be a priority indeed as the whole of Bukidnon is considered a watershed.

I used this as an update this month considering the concern’s urgency. Please come back for more entries. 🙂

Upward legal battle

From the office of councilor Nenita Orcullo in 2004, when it was first proposed, Davao City’s ordinance banning aerial spraying seems bound for the Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals granted the plea of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association for a 60-day temporary restraining order — stopping the city government’s ban for two months.

The city government might want to appeal the TRO, but is likely to focus on PBGEA’s major petition, which questions the Regional Trial Court decision on the ordinance’s constitutionality and validity.

Read the latest on the issue at Mindanews.com.

BizTalk: Shaping up to cut cost

I haven’t covered the Mindanao Shippers’ Conference in June but in the sidelines I heard one of the organizers talk about the high cost of freight as among the bigger concerns there.

I was reminded of this when I interviewed Maritine Industry Authority officer in charge Virgillio Armonia last week.

He said small shippers should pool their cargo to minimize freight cost as shipping lines charge by container van.

Armonia stressed that the practice for now is costly because most of the shippers are not organized, as this report on MindaNews.com presents.

What’s the significance of this? The small shippers referred to are mostly growers and marketers of fruits and vegetableproducts. Many of them consolidate ouput from small to medium scale farmers in countryside communities. Read More…

Spray planes grounded

Airplanes used by banana firms to spray chemicals over plantations were grounded following the Davao City Regional Trial Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the city’s aerial spray ban ordinance.

The judicial clearance left no more blocks to execute the ordinance passed since six months ago.

Banana growers have alerted the media of an appeal at the Court of Appeals citing they have prepared for the worst.

Earlier, they have warned that the implementation of the ban would cause serious implications to the banana export industry.

Read the report on MindaNews.com.

Legal battle over spray ban goes to higher court

The verdict is out: the court has upheld as valid and constitutional the city ordinance banning aerial spraying in plantations. In a decision dated September 22, Judge Renato Fuentes of Regional Trial Court Branch-17 junked the petition of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) questioning the constitutionality of the ordinance, the Interface for Development Initiatives Inc. said. Read the rest of the story on MindaNews.com.

But the banana growers, standing in a legal defeat after being favored with a preliminary injuntion three months ago, will appeal the case in the Court of Appeals Branch in Cagayan de Oro City, insisting the ordinance is unreasonable and invalid.

PBGEA said they have prepared for the worst and have rallyied lawyers to prepare for the appeal as soon as possible. Read the rest of the story on MindaNews.com.

Other sectors hailed the decision, read reaction here.

Mining and Mindanao: what fate awaits communities?

A friend Penelope Sanz, an anthropologist and a part-time journalist, has gone deep into both probing mining communities and met with mining firms.

I think she has an extensive and intensive field work on mining in Mindanao. I have always wanted to cover communities as there are both interesting and shocking stories to tell from the mouths of people there.

She has written on how the mining industry has affected human rights and the lives in general of the indigenous peoples. But most newspapers were not able to publish it for some reasons.

So when I found some of her articles from old files I decided to post them here. Read More…