The Group of Environmental Socialists, in partnership with the Greening Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (CHMSC) Task Force, Fraternal Order of Eagles-Bacolod Eagles Club, and the La Consolacion College-Bacolod environmental community issued a manifesto following last Tuesday’s energy and environment summit at the CHMSC-Talisay City campus, which drew nearly 70 to the event, including students, community group representatives, non-governmental organizations, and the media.
The summit urged local and national leaders, along with various groups, to be firm in maintaining environmental laws that protect, preserve, and expand natural resources.
Andres Untal, who spoke at the event, emphasized the role government has in advancing rights for balanced and healthy ecology. He also discussed the importance of saving, protecting, and defending the country’s last remaining frontiers, which he said were in a “critical state.”
Untal also talked about the current state of forests in Negros with the ongoing buying and selling of land within the Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP), which he said would impact the local watershed.
The summit called on local government units to review activity within the NNNP and Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park as fraudulent actions may negatively impact the parks’ development.
Other speakers included Rhoderick Samonte, who spoke on the “inevitable truth about climate change” and how each individual and organization can address, what he characterized as, “the greatest threat to humanity.”
“Stop patronizing illegal structures,” he said. “What we want is not what we need.”
Meanwhile, Gerry Arrances elaborated on how coal-fired power plants affects public health and the environment.
He also discussed a study that claims humanity has 11 years left on earth.
“Anti-coal advocacy must be applied in business sectors and school promulgations,” Arrances said.
The last speaker, David Tan, talked about sources of energy available in Negros.
He said individuals have a right to demand a clean source of energy cheaper than coal.
Additionally, the summit also highlighted the “No Plastic” policy, which they believe should be adopted by local government units across the island.
The subsequent manifesto will be lobbied before all concerned government agencies./WDJ