Green Scorecard to keep tabs on environment policies
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A coalition of environmental groups launched Tuesday its “Green Scorecard” for the 2019 elections, aimed at raising awareness of the voting public on the proposed environmental policies of senatorial candidates.

“Green Thumb Coalition’s Green Scorecard aims to bring forth environmental issues at the center stage of electoral campaign period, and to encourage the public and candidates to seriously consider a green electoral agenda,” said Norie Garcia of Bantay Kita, in a news conference in Quezon City.     

Bantay Kita is one of the convenors of the coalition.       

She added, “Knowing where candidates stand in key environmental issues will not only enable us to choose the legislators that we need but also to hold them accountable, once elected, to promises they are going to make during this period.”

Among the issues touched upon by the scorecard are: biodiversity preservation and ecosystem integrity; natural resource and land use management and governance; sustainable agriculture; waste management; climate justice; energy transformation and democracy; mining, extractives, and mineral resource management; upholding human rights and integrity of creation, and people-centered sustainable development.

The coalition also rated President Duterte based on statements he made as presidential aspirant in contrast to decisions he made as elected Chief Executive.

“It is worth noting that mechanisms provided by our 15-year-old Renewable Energy Law were only implemented under Duterte’s administration, and so is the tax on imported coal. However, we cannot overlook how the approval of coal plant projects and coal operating contracts have been made easier at the expense of the public and communities with the President’s issuance of Executive Order 30 last June 2017,” noted lawyer Avril de Torres of the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development.

“As a result, the Philippines has been derailed in achieving the global initiative to address climate change. This also jeopardizes the price of electricity in our country and our capacity to achieve clean, affordable electricity, as coal assets are expected to become stranded,” she added.

Meanwhile, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero said, “Our battle against waste, both domestically produced and those coming from overseas, has yet to be won. While our nation’s waste production continues to swell, foreign garbage dumping persists as well.”

She added, “To make the matter worse, waste-to-energy incineration is disturbingly being touted as the way out of this garbage overload aggravated by the relentless production, consumption and disposal of single-use plastic packaging, and by foreign waste importation. We need pro-health and pro-environment politicians, especially among the aspiring senators, representatives and local goverment officials, who will speak and stand up for real solutions to our waste and pollution woes.”

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