Water Tops Environment Agenda of Davao Bets in First District

May. 07, 2007

DAVAO CITY — The environmental agenda of most of the council candidates from Davao City s first district showed their concern for the citys water quality and supply and the protection of the watersheds, something that brings a spark of hope for environmental groups who have been working intensively for this particular issue.

Of the seven candidates, one of whom is a neophyte, five said they will come up if not strengthen and implement existing laws with legislation that will protect water resources and rehabilitate damaged ones.

We are so happy and hopeful that the consciousness of most of our local lawmakers from the first district was on the protection of the watershed which will obviously make a good impact on our desire to keep the supply of water of the city clean and enough, said Lia Jasmin Esquillo, one of the convenors of the Green Vote 2007.

We hope that they will make true these promises, Esquillo added.

Known for his bias for the environment, councilor Leo Avilas environmental agenda is topped by the implementation of the buffer zones in agricultural plantations, a measure seen to lessen the contamination of water resources with chemicals used in banana and pineapple plantations.

Avila also said that he will still push for the optimal use of rain water and the enactment of an ordinance for waste water/sewerage treatment plant. Avila was behind the anti-smoke belching and anti-aerial spraying ordinance and co-sponsored the watershed code of Davao and the marine protected area ordinance, among many other environment-related ordinances.

Councilor Pilar Braga anchored her environmental agenda on the full implementation of the water code and the aerial spraying ordinance. Braga was behind the water code of Davao , a legislation that was hit by a snag pending the completion of the implementing rules and regulation yet to be signed by the Office of the Mayor.

Braga was the main champion behind the citys water code.

Councilor Angela Librado-Trinidad would push for watershed-based initiatives to assure the people of the Davao of a continuous supply of potable water.

Librado-Trinidad is also pushing for a sound ecological program that will protect and conserve marine and land-based sanctuaries. In her agenda, Librado-Trinidad also said that she would come up with a policy agenda which will discourage expansion of banana plantations and to map out areas vulnerable of banana expansion.

Librado-Trinidad, who is known for her stand against genetically modified organism with her proposed ordinance that required a mandatory segregation of consumer products containing genetically engineered ingredients, also expressed her opposition to mining.

For his part, councilor Peter Lavia said it is appropriate to come up with a program for sustainable development, environmental protection, urban planning for optimum use of land and water resources.

Newcomer Randy Ponteras said there must be a stricter monitoring and regulation of the use of ground water while saying that he will also push for the maximum use of rivers/surface water and rainwater. Ponteras, a professor at the University of Mindanao , also said that there has to be a comprehensive land use planning for the city.

Meawhile, the environmental agenda of councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta, who was behind the mangrove adoption and rehabilitation project at barangay Lasang, was on the sustainable development or economic development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Through reconciliation of development projects with the regenerative capacity of the immediate natural environment, Acosta said.

Veteran councilor Bonifacio Militar, on the other hand, listed five agenda: legislations about effective tool in educating the public on environmental issues; strengthen methods of waste segregation at the barangay level and promote cooperativism; rehabilitation of coastal areas & appropriate funds for this; strengthen anti-smoking ordinance; and review laws that affect the environment and make appropriate resolutions and ordinances.

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