Posts Tagged Medium Term Philippine Development Plan
Environmental groups assailed the recently approved Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2011-2016 released by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) the other day for supposedly lacking provisions to concretize President Aquino’s social contract with the Filipino people.
At a press briefing held inQuezon City, groups belonging to the Caucus to Green the MTPDP expressed apprehension that the key inputs by citizens’ groups to “Green the MTPDP” were omitted.
Led by the private think tank La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) they said citizens’ groups inputs in the areas of food self-sufficiency based on sustainable, ecological and organic agriculture, disaster risk reduction and management, improved ecosystem, soil and water management, and sustainable, off grid, decentralized, community based, efficient and new renewable energy systems were noticeably absent in the MTPDP that was approved by the Neda Board.
“We were particularly distressed that the proposal for a ‘Green Audit’ that will allow a continuing review and adjustment of the country’s development plan in terms of its consistency with environment sustainability was also omitted,” Jonathan Ronquillo, environment campaigner of La Liga, stressed.
The provision for a “Green Audit” originally formed part of the draft Chapter on Environment and Natural Resources. It was, however, unilaterally excluded in the final draft MTPDP, Ronquillo stressed.
Worse, Ronquillo said that disaster risk reduction, mitigation and recovery projects, were also delisted from the Investment Priorities Plan for 2011 based on short economic returns.
“It seems that our pleas for President Aquino to lead the path toward ‘greening’ the MTPDP, to break free from the failed development track of the previous administration, was not considered, or worse, ignored,” he said.
“We have implored the Aquino administration time and again not to relent in pursuing conservation, protection and rehabilitation of our environment and natural resources as it is the best socio-economic safety net for our largely ecologically-dependent and highly vulnerable communities.
According to Ronquillo, in its relentless pursuit of growth, the previous administration failed to recognize the already over-stretched carrying capacity of the environment and natural resources.
“More than anything, the previous MTPDP failed to consider that the environment is the social security system of the poor, and without environment sustainability, millions of Filipinos would be denied the opportunity for sustainable growth,” he lamented.
He said because of this, poverty has not been curbed, food security has not been achieved, and our national vulnerability to climate change has increased. Clearly, the last decade was a lost decade for environment sustainability and sustainable development and more could have been done towards this end. This is the challenge that President Aquino’s MTPDP should address, the groups added.
‘Green’ medium-term development plans, group urges Aquino
FRIDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2011 JONATHAN L. MAYUGA / CORRESPONDENT
PRESIDENT Aquino was dared yesterday to “define clearly and reveal” the country’s growth and development “blueprint” for the next five years through a well-crafted Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2011-2016.
The challenge was hurled by leaders of citizens groups that included former members of the Cabinet, as well as experts from academe under the “Caucus to Green the MTPDP.”
Led by the private think tank La Liga Policy Institutes, the group wrote the President to express its deep concern that the MTPDP being crafted by the National Economic and Development Authority, would not be able to address the challenges posed by climate change.
The group said the draft “needs improvement” particularly in the areas of food self-sufficiency that should be based on sustainable, ecological and organic agriculture, disaster-risk reduction and management, improved ecosystem, soil and water management, sustainable, off grid, decentralized, community-based, efficient and new renewable-energy systems, expressing concern over the increasing vulnerabilities of the country to climate change.
Plans and programs around these areas, they said, should ensure that growth and poverty-reduction strategies contained in the MTPDP are not just climate change-responsive but sustainable as well. They said there was a need for the Aquino administration to “green the MTPDP,” which integrates concern for the environment in the overall development plans of the government.
They said this would effectively give the country a clear break from the failed development path taken by the previous administration which, they said, disregarded the country’s “carrying capacity” against the backdrop of continuing environmental degradation and the worst impacts of climate change, such as typhoons, floods and even drought.
Among those who signed the letter were former Agrarian Reform secretary Horacio “Boy” Morales, former Tesda director General Edicio G. de la Torre, former Environment secretary Elisea “Bebet” Gozun, former National Treasurer Leonor “Liling” Magtolis-Briones, dean Oscar B. Zamora, UPLB Graduate School; dean Rex Victor O. Cruz of the UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources; dean Ma. Victoria O. Espaldon, UPLB School of Environmental Science; and dean Domingo E. Angeles, UPLB College of Agriculture.
Their call to “Green the MTPDP” was made as the nation commemorates the 25th anniversary of Edsa People Power revolution on February 25. They said Edsa’s promise of a better future was something to look forward to, with the President taking the lead.
They asked the President to issue the necessary directive that would start the “Green Audit” provided under Chapter 9 of the draft MTPDP, which covers the environment and natural resources, allowing for a continuing review and adjustment of the country’s development plan in terms of its consistency with environmental sustainability.
“Any plan for the country’s growth and development will unfortunately be an exercise in futility if it does not integrate concerted, extraordinary and urgent actions on climate-change adaptation and on our strategic transformation to a low-carbon economy. Together we must insist to ‘green’ the MTPDP, to make the MTPDP climate-change responsive,” the letter said.
“Looking at the situation we face today, it is apparent that the previous MTPDP did not go far enough.In its relentless pursuit of growth, it failed to recognize the already overstretched carrying capacity of our environment and natural resources,” they said.
The previous MTPDP, they said, failed to consider that the environment is the social-security system of the poor, and without environment sustainability, millions of Filipinos would be denied the opportunity for sustainable growth.
“As a result, poverty has not been curbed, food security has not been achieved, and our national vulnerability to climate change has increased. Clearly, the last decade was a lost decade for environment sustainability and sustainable development. This situation must be reversed,” they said.
They lauded the President’s logging plan, which they said was an indication that he has the political will to do things. “We hope you do not relent in pursuing conservation, protection and rehabilitation of our environment and natural resources as it is the best socioeconomic safety net for our largely ecologically dependent and highly vulnerable communities,” they said.
Bid to intensify organic farming draws support
By MARVYN N. BENANING
January 25, 2011, 6:19pm
MANILA,Philippines— Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala’s bid to promote organic farming nationwide has drawn support from Go Organic!Philippines.
Go Organic!Philippinesis comprised of environmental defenders and farmers who have been promoting the use of natural materials for fertilizer, like bokashi, farm waste and manure, as substitute for petroleum-based agricultural inputs.
Roland Cabigas, Go Organic! convenor, said his group is supporting Alcala’s campaign. They said they are likewise calling for the incorporation of sustainable, organic and ecological agriculture in the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2011-2016 as part of the government’s over-all anti-poverty strategy.
Cabigas said President Aquino himself should take the lead in pushing for the adoption of a sustainable, organic and ecological agriculture as a climate change action strategy in view of the unfavorable weather conditions triggered by climate change, such as La Nina, which causes massive landslides and severe flooding, and El Niño, which causes agricultural drought.
La Niña has been battering the country with severe rains since October.
On the other hand, El Niño has been tagged as the culprit behind the long dry spell that had gripped the country for nine months before being replaced by La Niña.
Both climactic aberrations would affect the country’s food production output and threaten to wreak havoc on the food security targets of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Cabigas said sustainable, organic and ecological agriculture promotes broad-based growth through food and nutrition security and increases farmers’ incomes.
He said it is also part of the strategy against climate change since organic farming reduces carbon emissions and blunts the impact of both La Niña and El Niño.
“It also addresses our vulnerability to climate change. Hence, it creates an improved policy environment coupled with investment priority for sustainable, organic and ecological agriculture. By supporting it, organic farming can actually be one of President Aquino’s legacies,” Cabigas said.
Together with its partner non-government organizations and people’s organizations under the “Caucus to Green the MTPDP,” La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) also crafted a paper containing some recommendations to Alcala.
Citizens’ groups urge Aquino: Green the MTPDP!
Sunday, 19 December 2010 00:00
CITIZENS groups called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to integrate environmental sustainability, climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction plans in the overall anti-poverty program of his administration. The “Caucus to Green the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan [MTPDP]” initiated by the La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) issued the call during a press conference in Quezon City on Friday, saying that President Aquino could actually make Christmas truly happy for the Filipinos not only this year, but for the next five years, by “greening” the MTPDP. The Caucus to Green the MTPDP includes the following individuals and organizations: Lawyer Elpidio Peria, lawyer Jun Quicho, Alternative Budget Initiative-Environment Cluster (ABI-ENVI), Education for Life Foundation (ELF), Go Organic!Philippines, Haribon Foundation (Haribon), Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), KAAKBAY, La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga), NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NFR), One Organic Movement, Partido Kalikasan (PK), Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and World Wildlife Fund Phils. (WWF).
The participants to the caucus agree that the President should be able to make a clean break from his predecessor’s tradition of disregarding the carrying capacity of the Philippine environment, the impacts of global warming and climate change, and the havoc that it brings in the event of disasters and calamities that eventually wipe out clean whatever little economic “gains” of the government in one typhoon day, such as Ondoy and Pepeng.
Roland Cabigas, managing director of La Liga said the President’s promise was to make the MTPDP process transparent by allowing meaningful citizens’ participation.
Cabigas said that “while the draft MTPDP chapters on agriculture and environment already includes proposals from La Liga and the Caucus to Green the MTPDP, citizens’ groups must continue to be vigilant to ensure that gains on these chapters will not be overturned or cancelled out in the other chapters of the MTPDP. He also added that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), which is crafting the MTPDP, should be able to recognize the diversity of Philippine nongovernment organizations for the process to be inclusive and be called a broad citizens’ participation.
“Every Filipino has a stake in the MTPDP. Kailangang makialam ang lahat dito [Everyone should act on this],” Cabigas said, adding that the MTPDP will directly affect the lives of 90 million Filipinos in the next five years under Mr. Aquino’s watch.
As such, the group calls for increased participation and vigilance in the MTPDP process, urging the NEDA to allow more inputs based on citizen groups’ perspectives of the “needs, more than wants” of a favored few.
More importantly, a broad citizens’ participation in the MTPDP process, he said, will ensure that the next MTPDP will be more coherent and consistent with President Aquino’s “daang matuwid” battle cry during the presidential campaign, which saw citizens’ groups rallying behind him.
The group vowed to engage the NEDA and national line agencies by submitting specific recommendations for agriculture and environment and natural resources chapters of the MTPDP entitled Ensuring Environmental and Natural Resources Sustainability to Increase Climate-Resiliency and Adopting Sustainable, Organic and Ecological Agriculture as a Priority Strategy for broad-Based Growth.
The recommendations are product of a series of continuing parallel process by citizens’ groups under the Caucus to Green the MTPDP.