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Green groups demand for 'green audit', inclusion in MTPDP 2011-2016

ENVIRONMENTAL groups belonging to the Caucus to Green the MTPDP expressed serious concern over the removal of the “green audit” provision in the latest draft chapter on Environment and Natural Resources of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2011-2016.

Led by the nongovernment organization La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga), the group wants the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to reconsider its unilateral decision to omit the provision for a “Green Audit” in Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s MTPDP, saying such may again lead to another lost decade for environment sustainability suffered by the country during the previous administration.

The group has been calling for Pres. Aquino to make a clean break from the failed development track of his predecessor, which, among others, disregarded the country’s overstretched carrying capacity that led to a decade of environmental blight.

They said that the continuing degradation of the environment that heightens our vulnerability to disasters adversely affecting the Philippines, make a business-as-usual attitude in national development planning very dangerous for a country already feeling the brunt of climate change.

Jonathan Ronquillo, environment campaigner of La Liga, said the new administration can address the environmental challenges faced by the Philippines head-on though the conduct of a “Green Audit”.

Conducting a “Green Audit”, he said, will mainstream conservation, protection and rehabilitation of the environment and natural resources as it will allow for a continuing review and adjustment of the country's development plan in terms of its consistency with environment sustainability.
The proposal was already included in previous drafts of the MTPDP, as proposed by citizens’ groups engaging the MTPDP processes but the said proposal mysteriously went missing in the latest draft released by NEDA as of last month.

“The conduct of a “green audit” should be institutionalized and be made integral in the MTPDP 2011-2016. We need to know where we stand as far as the country’s carrying capacity is concerned and we need to know which path our MTPDP will lead us to,” Ronquillo stressed.
Earlier, the Caucus to Green the MTPDP, through a letter, asked Pres. Aquino to issue the necessary directive that will start the "Green Audit" as provided in the Environment Chapter of the MTPDP 2011-2016.

Aside from the “Green Audit” in the Environment Chapter, the members of the Caucus to Green the MTPDP have also recommended that the same be institutionalized in the other chapters of the MTPDP, to ensure that they comply with citizens’ group’s demand to give premium to conservation, protection and rehabilitation efforts.

“Clearly, the last decade was a lost decade for environment sustainability. Pres. Aquino should lead the path towards "greening" the MTPDP by breaking free from the failed development track of the previous administration,” Ronquillo said.

The “Caucus to Green the MTPDP” includes Action for Economic Reforms (AER), Alternative Budget Initiative-Environment Cluster (ABI-ENVI), Angkan ng Mandirigma UP Diliman Chapter, Asia Intercontinental Networks of Organic Farmers, Batas Tomasino, UST, Bluewater Consultancy, Convergence for Community-Centered Area Development, Earthday Network Phils., EcoWaste Coalition, Education for Life Foundation (ELF), Go Organic! Phils., Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Haribon Foundation, Haribon Foundation, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), Institute for Philippine Cooperative and Social Enterprise Development (IPCSED),Intercontinental Network of Organic Farmers Organizations (INOFO Philippines), Interface Development Interventions, Inc (IDIS) of Davao, Mindanao, KAAKBAY, Movement for the Advancement of Sustainable Agriculture (MASA), One Organic Movement (OOM), Partido Kalikasan (PK), Partnership for Clean Air, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), RESILIENCE, Nurturing Disaster Ready Cities and Communities, Rice Watch and Action Network (RWAN), Saganang Buhay sa Liga ng Bayan Foundation, Inc., Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society, Inc. (SSMESI), Sibol ng Agham at Technolohiya, Inc. (SIBAT), Sierra Tourism Consultancy, Social Watch Philippines (SWP), World Wildlife Fund Philippines and Zero Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines

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