Environmental and climate issues that the Marcos, Jr. administration should prioritize – Alyansa Tig
Article | June 29, 2022
A day before his inauguration as the 17th President of the Philippines, Marcos, Jr. hasn’t appointed his DENR Secretary, and our alliance is alarmed by this. During the electoral campaign, he was seen as the least “green” candidate, mainly because of the lack of clear environmental and climate programs that his administration will implement. Having the environment and climate portfolios as a blind or weak spot in the new administration is unacceptable.
Alyansa Tigil Mina recommends that the following environmental and climate matters be prioritized by the Marcos, Jr. regime:
1. Appoint a DENR secretary who is a genuine environmentalist and not a political accommodation from his political supporters. The new DENR Secretary must also be not related or linked to beneficial owners of corporation or industries that are under the regulatory functions of DENR. The new administration can recognize the technical bureaucrats within DENR by appointing or promoting technically-competent people to senior management levels.
2. Immediately convene an environmental summit that will involve affected-communities and environmental groups to assess and craft this administration’s environmental and climate program;
3. Convene a multi-stakeholder dialogue to tackle current mining issues, to involve the DENR-MGB, the mining industry and mine-affected communities and their support groups. Main concerns should cover assessment of EO 130 or the Mining Policy of the Duterte Administration, reviewing the ban on open-pit mining and the suspension of illegal mining operations;
4. Marcos, Jr. should craft his first 100-days “Green Agenda”, separate and distinct from this general first 100-days agenda which we assume will center on economic and social services;
5. Immediately revoke the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and assign DENR as the lead agency for EITI-Philippines;
6. Instruct the 19th Congress to prioritize the enactment of the Green Bills – i) Alternative Minerals Management Bill or AMMB, ii) Sustainable Forestry Management or SFM bill, iii) National Land Use Act or NLUA and the iv) Indigenous and Community Conservation Act or ICCA;
7. Ensure that the Philippines becomes a safe country for environmental rights defenders by eliminating the risks and threats faced by environmental activists.
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