Duterte told to back crop duster ban in Davao | Inquirer News

Duterte told to back crop duster ban in Davao

/ 12:05 AM May 29, 2016
DUTERTE PRESSCON / MAY 26, 2016 Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte is seen during his press conference dawn Thursday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City. Senator-elect Leila de Lima said on Wednesday said local officials who would resort to vigilantism in the fight against crime could expect to be summoned to the Senate for investigation. The former Commission on Human Rights chair lamented that the controversial stance of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte in dealing with crime had spawned the likes of Tanauan, Batangas, Mayor Antonio Halili, who has ordered a “walk of shame” for arrested criminals in his city. PHOTO BY JEOFFREY MAITEM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte is seen during his press conference dawn Thursday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City. PHOTO BY JEOFFREY MAITEM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

DAVAO CITY—An environment group is appealing to presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to ban aerial spraying nationwide, nine years after the city council, under Duterte as vice mayor, passed an ordinance banning the practice.

The Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (Maas), which has been lobbying former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and outgoing President Aquino to issue an executive order (EO) implementing the ban, is now asking Duterte to do it.

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“He said during his campaign that he would implement nationwide what he has achieved in Davao City,” said Maas president Dagohoy Magaway.

“I hope he will include the aerial spray ban,” he said.

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The implementation of the city ordinance, however, has been put on hold pending the decision of the Supreme Court, after a group of big banana plantation owners challenged its constitutionality in court.

Passed in 2007, the landmark ordinance sought a ban on aerial spraying after communities living near plantations complained of the effects of toxic pesticide drift on people’s health.

The group Maas and its national support group, the National Task Force Against Aerial Spraying (NTFAAS), have lobbied past administrations to issue an EO banning aerial spraying to no avail.

“With Mayor Digong assuming the presidency in July, hopes are high among Maas members that the aerial spraying issue will be finally resolved,” Magaway said.

Maas is among environment groups that submitted an eight-point environmental agenda to the incoming ruler on May 19, which includes a ban on aerial spraying of pesticides.

Magaway said his group is urging Duterte to issue an EO to ban aerial spraying nationwide while the high court has not ruled on the constitutionality of the ordinance.

He said should Duterte issue the EO, “government agencies will be able to act promptly, without fear of censure, to stop practices that contaminate and endanger the environment and health of communities.”

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He said several local government units, among them Surallah and T’boli towns in South Cotabato, followed the lead of Davao City and passed ordinances banning aerial spraying.

“The mayor knows firsthand the negative impact of aerial spraying in the communities,” Magaway said.

“Knowing him, he will not prioritize corporate economic interest over the health and welfare of our communities,” he said.

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TAGS: crop duster, Digong, Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying, National Task Force Against Aerial Spraying, Regions, Rodrigo Duterte, Rodrigo Dyterte
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