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Bishop Pacana: Let there be no silence in the peace process

While praying for silence in the battlefields, Bukidnon Bishop Honesto Pacana called on both government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to keep on talking and never to allow times of silence in the peace process.

Pacana said the silence of the guns is not enough unless there is continuing dialogue between the two parties.

The bishop described to MindaNews the peace process situation at the moment as “experiencing silence.” He said the ongoing hostilities are a proof of that as he appealed for a continuing peace process.

He has called for prayers among the Catholics for peace as they celebrate Christmas in his homily for the first morning mass on December 16 at the San Isidro Cathedral.

He has appealed to the faithful to include in their prayers peace in the country, especially in Mindanao.

Pacana said even if Bukidnon is not directly within conflict areas related to the GRP-MILF problem, it has its own peace issues.

Read a full report on MindaNews.com.


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The Outsider

Traveling to communities have brought me to many experiences —mostly encounters of acquiantances.

You just don’t get to meet a person or group of people, you get to meet and have a chance to be in touch with their culture, their history, and their varying experiences.

The different-ness and uniqueness at the point of my contact with them result to dialogues (and sometimes when less fortunate about it, insightful frictions). It makes for wonderful insights, some of which figure in some of my writings/ reports. Read More…

Time to harvest?

The Bukidnon Forest Incorporated has initiated its clearance process to cut down trees in its industrial forest plantation project in Bukidnon. Read news report here.

This must be subject to scrutiny especially viewing it from the firm’s reported dismal record of reforestation since it started operating in 1989.

The firm might be good in cutting but are they as good in planting? This should be considered in the approval of its application for Environmental Compliance Certificate.

Its Industrial Forest Plantation Management Agreement (IFMA, yes silent “P”), which will expire in 2016, should be reviewed if they have cut more than they planted.

Communities near those areas subject for reforestation and cutting should be empowered to monitor this endeavor.

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. 🙂