The Freeman celebrates a hundred years!
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2019 - 12:00am

Tomorrow, Feb. 22, The Freeman will be celebrating its 100th year of existence…with moments of interruption during World War II. Just a few weeks ago, the University of the Visayas (UV) celebrated its 100th year since Papa Inting and Mama Pining, the founder and co-founder of the school build it, not realizing that it would last a hundred years. Today UV and The Freeman are managed by the second generation Gullases – Dr. Jose Gullas and Eddie Gullas – and I’ve been writing in this newspaper known for its no nonsense journalism that is totally fair and without fear, serving the people of Cebu and its neighboring islands with the truth and factual journalism. Kudos to The Freeman staff and the Gullas family!

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I just got a comment from my good friend, fellow Cebuano Atty. Antonio Oposa who wanted to clarify what I wrote in a text message when he said, “I just read your column, just a little not…the case was filed in Jan. 1999 in the RTC of Imus. The trial took three years, then to the Court of Appeals for almost 4 years then finally to the Supreme Court that decided this case in Dec. 2008 one month short of ten years of litigation. I was one committed soul without resources, without even moral support, waged a lonely battle against practically the whole government. Buang nga Cebuano! Instead, the Cebuano was the object of ridicule for being the lawyer of the fish who cannot pay attorney’s fees.”

Atty. Oposa will be in Cebu City this Friday to talk at the St. Theresa’s College (STC) about certain laws we should all be aware of. For instance Republic Act. 6716 An Act Providing for the construction of water wells, rainwater collectors, development of springs and rehabilitation of existing water wells in all Barangays of the Philippines. This is a law few local government officials know even exists, much more all the barangay captains that the DPWH should provide them with water wells with their own funding. This law was enacted on March 17, 1989. Has this law been implemented fully by the DPWH? We should ask these officials.

Then there is an Executive Order No. 774 Reorganizing the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change signed by then Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This shows you what a remarkable President she was in her time.

Please read Section 2 of this Executive Order. “Task Group on Solid Waste Management – (a) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall lead a Task Group in the implementation of solid waste management. It shall target the reduction of solid waste generation by fifty percent (50%) within the next six months. All local governments are hereby enjoined to fully implement the law on solid waste management. The President or the PACC on Climate Change shall visit the regions, provinces, towns and cities every week until it is proclaimed that the Filipino people shall have fully integrated into the mainstream of their thought their personal environmental responsibilities and thereby effectively implement the Solid Waste Act.

(b)The DENR shall report to the President in person or through the PACC every Friday during the weekly visits to offices and regions to campaign for responsible solid waste management.

(c) With the Department of Health, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System shall enjoin the private sector, such as sludge excavation contractors and water concessionaires, to undertake a methane recovery program from human and animal waste and convert it into cooking gas and other forms of energy.”

Section 12. Task Group on Agriculture. – (a) All Agricultural lands shall be immediately identified and delineated with clear boundary markers on the ground. Every effort shall be exerted to cleanse the fields of chemical pollutants, and extend and persuade owners and caretakers to produce nutritious food crops in a sustainable manner.

(b) Public open places space along sidewalks and portions of roads and parking lots, which shall be rendered irrelevant by the mind-shift to non-motorized and collective transportation systems, shall be devoted to productive use through sustainable urban farming. These spaces shall be planted with, among others, nutritious fruit crops, vegetables, spices and medicinal herbs. All persons who live in the city who wish to care for a plot of arable land to plant their vegetables shall be provided a stewardship agreement. This agreement shall bind the holder to sustainably use the land, plant it with food and other plants like nutritious vegetables, fruits, flowers, spices, etc. and receive benefit from its produce.

Thank you Tony for telling me about these laws that few people knew existed and thanks for always fighting for what is good for the Filipino people

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com

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