MANILA — Since our inception on July 24, 1999, AGHAM has obtained the recognition as the science and technology organization most vocal and active on issues concerning the environment, public utilities, food security & self-sufficiency, scientific & mass culture and advocacy for national industrialization. We are glad that in more than one occasion, our work and position on issues has made front-page news.
We are a national organization of scientists, engineers and advocates dedicated to make science and technology serve the people through direct community service and advocacy. We have chapters in government
offices, in Los Banos and the NCR as well as individual members from Baguio, in the Visayas, in Iloilo and Cebu and in Mindanao.
We have figured prominently since 1999 in various issues concerning the MERALCO refund (2002) and other campaigns against power rate hikes (2005). We has been active in filing opposition to power rate hikes at
the Energy Regulatory Commission since 2004 and has also filed petitions on several issues to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals together with other interested parties. We have participated in these issues together with progressive groups like Bayan Muna and its allies.
During the height of the Hello Garci controversy, we have been one of the first to offer to test the tapes. In the Wowowee tradgedy, we pointed out the science behind stampedes as well as the economic reasons that push the people to risk their lives. We have joined multisectoral mobilizations on different issues concerning not only
science and technology but also general concerns such as oil price hikes, Balikatan, US military presence and other gut issues of the day.
Since 2001 until now, we have joined TXTPower and served as its secretariat while fighting against the imposition of text taxes as well as unreasonable rates and pricing of telecommunications companies. Together with Bayan Muna and Anakpawis, we participated in Congressional hearings at the House of Representatives and the Senate on issues such as the EPIRA, mining, genetic engineering and science budgets. We have also stood consistently in calling for increased R&D funding and campaigning against science budget cuts since 1999.
We have worked with the people of Rapu-Rapu and Defend Patrimony! in pointing out the folly of Lafayette mining operations. This engagement against mining transnational corporations and our work with affected
communities and groups have led to our help in drafting a People’s Mining Policy which puts the interest of the people first rather than expedite foreign mining plunder. We have also stood with workers in investigating the effects of chemical exposure as well as with farmers in trying to help them improve their production and resisting transnational control in agriculture while marching with them calling for genuine land reform.
We have also consistently put out newsletters since our founding anniversary and maintained a website (www.agham.org ). We have programs for science education with our People’s Science School as well as the
Science for the People Colloquim that we have been conducting since 2001. In addition, we have also joined in international conferences and other alliances such as the International Alliance Against Transnational Corporations (IAAATNCs) and the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS).
Our eight year advocacy work has shown us that the most consistent and firm political party in adopting our Science and Technology Agenda, drafted in 2001, has been the partylist BAYAN MUNA. We support their
programs since the product of any scientific and technological undertaking is most meaningful when used to uplift the lives of the broad masses of our people and not just the few elite. It is historically untrue that science and technology development is separate from the concerns of the people. We believe that we need to put people first in the development of science and technology, and only a genuine people’s party– Bayan Muna– can articulate this in congress.
If there is any confusion due to this, it is not caused by us. Unlike some groups who try to appropriate our established name, we are consistent with our advocacy for science and technology for the people, and we have always supported a party true to its name– Bayan Muna, People First!###
Dr. Giovanni Tapang
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