MANILA, Philippines—A day after Earth Day, senatorial hopeful Teodoro Casiño challenged his fellow candidates to a debate on issues plaguing the environment and to reveal their environmental platforms.
“At a time when the Philippines and the rest of the world are experiencing climate change and worsening disasters, it is imperative that public servants know not only how to make the economy work, but also how to protect the environment,” he said.
“I think it is very important to know where candidates stand in terms of environmental degradation and resource development,” the three-term congressman added in a statement.
Casiño said there should be a forum where the candidates could discuss environmental issues and allow the public to ask questions. “The public needs senators who have long-term solutions to address climate change and other environmental issues instead of those who are mouthing motherhood statements to achieve their personal interests,” he said.
He said the government should prioritize biodiversity protection and the wise use of natural resources. “Renewable energy should also be developed and promoted to make electricity affordable and cleaner in the long run,” he added.
Casiño said he has long been an advocate of the environment, noting the investigations he had called for regarding reclamation, mining, genetically modified organisms, and the grounding of ships in the Tubbataha reefs.
“Often, these are issues affecting not only the environment but also the community — indigenous peoples, local livelihood and social services,” he said.
Casiño is the author of the People’s Mining Bill, which pushes for a pro-people and pro-environment mining industry, One Million Solar Roofs Act, which provides for incentives and financing facilities to encourage the use of solar energy by small electricity consumers, and the Meatless Monday Bill, which encourages the consumption of vegetables to promote good health and help lessen carbon emissions.