Total ban - is it possible?-A A +A
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
TTAL ban is bannered in the daily news concerning issues as logging, mining, smoking, liquors, weapons as guns, gambling, narcotics and drugs, human trafficking and sex slave crimes, prostitution, child labor age requirements, traffic laws restrictions. During election seasons, these are prohibited. Electioneering outside the time limits set for it, "epals", political dynasties, private armies. There are bans on treasure hunting, fishing of outsiders inside our territorial waters, land reclamation, and quarrying. There are specific laws and provisions on all these human affairs embodied in the Constitution of the National Government and the Local Government Units. We are not lacking in laws. In fact, we have too many of them but there had been too little in the strict implementation of these laws. Corruption, bribery, "compadre system," transfer of blame, finger pointing, circumventing the laws as far as an influential and rich citizen can go, greed are behind all the maladies that beset our country. When the lawmakers become the lawbreakers this is the worst crime our society will experience. Let us nip it at the bud.
The constitution has clear laws regarding our natural resources, peace and order, labor laws, and election laws. These must be reviewed, amended or revised when needed. A total ban on all of the situations involved here is impossible. There must be a qualifying statement referring to the necessity of a total ban proclamation. Take the logging provisions for our forest resources. Forests classified as virgin forests require a total ban restriction. This is to ensure the sustainability of this vital resource for all generations yet to come. This is a matter of life or death for all people concerned. There are legal timber forest resources where trees can be cut to serve man's needs. These are with demarcation limits, ages of trees to be cut, and how many can be cut down at a given time. Provisions for reforestation are strictly followed.
All similar guidelines are well defined by the concerned government agencies. Presently, the ban on mining is a much discussed issue. Care and conservation for our natural resources are embodied. The president had issued new guidelines concerning this. The DENR has instruments as the Rapid Rural Assessment and the Environmental Management Board to determine short and long term impacts of mining on the land itself, the community, safety measures, disposal of wastes, and the country's economy. Before a mining company is permitted to operate, it must comply with all these guidelines. All illegal mining concerns existing today must be persecuted and convicted. No one is above the laws.
This is the framework to be considered in the implementation of a qualified ban (not total in all cases) according to the situations involved, the citizens, and its limitations. It is not simple. Exhaustive studies must be made. Surveys, census, pros and cons arguments, and the consensus of the majority which should be the beneficiary of any project under study must be done.
During the election season, the Comelec must be strict in promulgating its ban with an "iron hand". Let us follow the law no matter who gets hurt or brought to jail for his offense. Everyone does it anyway should not be tolerated. The gun ban, liquor ban, electioneering outside the required time set for the purpose must be caught and prosecuted.
This exposé on what ails our society in promulgating bans should be an eye-opener for our law enforcing officers. They must be vigilant and strict in maintaining peace and order in all sectors of the citizenry. They must maintain the sustainability and wealth of our environment and to top this all, they must enhance the sense of morality, well-being, and integrity of all Filipinos.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 05, 2013.