Duterte son backs Pa on oil palm plantation

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


DAVAO City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte supported the decision of his father Mayor Rodrigo Duterte allowing foreign companies to invest in Paquibato District, stressing that oil palm plantation is better than mining.

"Nganong ila man babagan kung para na sa kaayuhan sa mga tao diha? Gwapo na nga development as long as naa sa sakto nga pamaagi. Mas gwapo na kesa mining (Why would they oppose something that would be for people's development in the area. It is better than mining)," he said.

The younger Duterte also hit militant groups for opposing such plan.

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"Kaning mga militante usahay mag sige lang syagit pero pag abot sa panahon igo ra man pud sila mag reklamo. Ug kana inyo gina offer di ninyo na ganahan, kani ngano di man ninyo ni hunahunaon? Wala man pud sila ginabuhat ana sa gobyerno (Militants protest and always complain. They have not contributed any help to the government)," he said.

He said environmental groups should also suggest the government alternative programs for people's livelihood.

He said militants should also consider helping the farmers improve their lives.

Duterte said now is the right time for Paquibato District residents to allow the foreign companies.

Meanwhile, Jean Lindo, co-chair of Panalipdan Southern Mindanao, said environmentalists also push for "societal development".

"We try as much as possible to follow guiding principles like wholism. We support decisions that are integrative, for instance, we take into consideration biodiversity. Converting forests into palm oil plantations contribute further to deforestation. Our biodiversity is dependent on our forests. In the process that we reduce our forest cover the flooding problem worsens," Lindo told Sun.Star Davao through Facebook chat.

Lindo said environmentalists only want projects like, for instance, people-managed bamboo farming or sustainable food agriculture, that contributes to the genuine economic development of the people, which, at the same time are climate solution that do not have the negative impacts like of the palm oil plantation.

Lindo recalled that palm trees were among the numerous types of trees that were toppled down during Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha).
Also, Lindo said that decisions of the government "should be anchored on people's rights."

"Think of the small people who will be displaced by big projects. How will this displacement translate into genuine development?" she said.

"Then, projects should be sustainable. Where is sustainability when people are downgraded as workers at the mercy of corporations and they themselves become even more vulnerable when LPAs or storms come?" she added.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 26, 2014.

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