Summit tackles preparations for future calamities

ENVIRONMENTAL groups and agencies under Writ of Kalikasan have gathered to tackle different environmental issues during the People's Environment Summit on Wednesday, January 10, in Limketkai Atrium, Cagayan de Oro City.

Undersecretary Orlando Ravanera, the head of Sulog, said the summit aims to increase the awareness of the people in the city on the environmental issues that are still present and to inform the public of its nature.

"But this is no ordinary gathering, because we will inform them the nature of the problem kay sila, (because) they do not know nga ang Cagayan de Oro diay, dili ni natural [ang problem] (that the problem in Cagayan de Oro is not natural), this is manmade," Ravanera said.

Ravanera said knowing the nature of the problem will help the people to prepare for calamities in the future.

Ravanera also mentioned that environmental laws have not been properly enforced as illegal logging and mining are still prevalent.

"Kung naa pa tay forest, dili ta mabahaan dinhi (If only we still have forests, we wouldn't be experiencing floods)... Now we are asking what happened to the environmental laws?" Ravanera said.

The Sulog head also demanded accountability against certain operators involved in illegal logging and mining.

“To all illegal loggers, enough is enough. The sins of our few loggers are now upon our people. Kada baha sa Cagayan de Oro, kinsa man ang gapangamatay? Mga pobre. Asa man sila? Naa sa ilang mga mansion! (Every floods in Cagayan de Oro, who were killed? The poor. Those illegal loggers? They are in their mansion!)”

Although the event was open to the public, the People's Environment Summit was mostly participated by students from different schools and members from various cooperatives all over the city.

Topics such as the Disaster Mitigation and Risk Reduction Management, the Environment Scenario in the next 50 years, and Biyaya ng Pagbabago to advance Environmental Integrity through Federalism were also discussed.

The Writ of Kalikasan, provided for in 2010 by the Supreme Court, is a legal remedy that protects one’s Constitutional right to a healthy environment, as outlined in Section 16, Article 2 of the Philippine Constitution. (With reports from Cyrill Garcia, USTP intern)
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