Group seeks Supreme Court ruling on aerial spray ban-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
ENVIRONMENT group Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (Maas) has issued an appeal to Supreme Court Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to issue a ruling that will uphold a Davao City ordinance, banning aerial spraying practice in banana plantations.
"We are hoping that through Sereno's leadership, the Supreme Court will continue to issue landmark rulings in favor of the environment. We also hope that she will uphold the legality of Davao City's ordinance against aerial spraying," Dagohoy Magaway, Maas president, said in an interview Friday.
He said the Maas network had initiated a grassroots campaign against the dangers of the agricultural practice in banana plantations that led the passage of the city ordinance banning aerial spraying in all agricultural areas.
The Department of Health (DOH) has affirmed the City Council ordinance when it conducted a study documenting toxic effects of pesticide drift on the health of residents in communities surrounding the plantation areas, according to Mael Paranial, Maas spokesperson.
Paranial said the ordinance was questioned by the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) that led to a court battle, resulting to a ruling issued by the Court of Appeals (CA), which favored the PBGEA.
"The case has been elevated to the Supreme Court," Paranial said.
He said Maas and other environmental groups in Davao Region will continue their campaign against aerial spraying for the welfare of the environment.
Reports said the Commission on Human Rights also backed the campaign when it issued a memorandum declaring aerial spraying of pesticides as an act violating the basic human right to a healthy environment.
"Even now, in the absence of the Supreme Court ruling, such aerial spraying has been making a comeback in some areas of Davao City," Magaway said.
He said the health of the rural folks remain at risk from the pesticides drift that resulted when spray planes fly over the plantations.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 16, 2012.