Green groups give Duterte failed mark in year 1

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2017 03:23 PM

President Duterte, in his speech during his visit at the 4th Infantry Division Advance Command Post in Butuan City on June 17, 2017. Robinson Niñal Jr., Malacañang Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's efforts in addressing key environmental and social issues on his first year in office received a failed mark from Green Thumb Coalition.

Green Thumb Coalition, a group of organizations caring for the environment, gave Duterte an 11/60 mark on their "green scorecard."

The group said they based the score on policies and actions on land use, energy, food security, mining, climate justice, waste, people-centered sustainable environment, and human rights. 

Green Thumb said the administration's "pronouncements on environment and social justice were not backed up by clear policy agenda and concrete actions."

FAILED MARKS

The group said the administration's move to allow 35 more coal plants to operate by 20/20 does not live up to his promise in fighting climate change.

Green Thumb reiterated that the administration focused too much on the drug war, and has neglected more important issues.

Among these are still pending bills such as the National Land Use Act and Administrative Order 35, which calls for an inter-agency committee on extra-judicial-killings and enforced disappearances.

There was also no update on the energy review launched last June 2016. This could have addressed the high cost of electricity.

"Ang energy review ang susuri sa kawastuhan ng pagsingil ng kuryente…epekto ng pagagawa at paggamit ng enerhiya sa kalugsugan, kalikasan at kabuhayan ng mamamayan," said Green Thumb's Arvin Buenaagua.

The group said there was also no comprehensive food security plan. More support should be given to the National Food Authority and National Irrigation Administration, it added.

SHORT-LIVED STINT OF GINA LOPEZ

Green Thumb also expressed dismay at the short-lived service of former environment secretary Gina Lopez, whom they think, could have brought the much-needed changes in the sector. 

Judy Pasimio, executive director of Purple Action for Indigenous Women's Rights, said Lopez was the "strong woman" in the mining industry who could put up a fight against big corporations.

PASSING MARK ON CLIMATE JUSTICE

President Duterte, meanwhile, got a passing grade from Green Thumb Coalition in terms of addressing climate justice, with a grade of 4/6.

The group said they gave 2 points for addressing carbon emission, and another 2 points for demanding a climate finance from developed countries.

However, the coalition said the government received zero marks in terms of implementing an energy policy review.

"Ang pangulo ang chair ng climate change commission. Siya dapat ang nagpapausad ng energy policy review," said Philippine Movement for Climate Justice representative Glenn Ymata.