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.