Lapu-Lapu on the Red List

by Henrylito D. Tacio The Philippines is home to at least 27 species of grouper, more popularly known as lapu-lapu. Unfortunately, six of these species are now considered as either “vulnerable” or “near-threatened,” according to a report which appeared in “Philippine Daily Inquirer” recently. According to Ronnel W. Domingo, author of the report, the 27 species were identified by Apolinario V. Yambot through “molecular inventory.” For the first time in the Philippines, DNA fingerprinting and barcoding was used in identifying the species. “Through the database that we came up with based on the study, we found that some species that fish growers thought were not available locally were, in fact, thriving in our waters,” Yambot, head of the Biotechnology and Analytical Laboratory Project of the Central Luzon State University, was quoted as saying. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species listed six of the identified species as “vulnerable” or “near-threatened.” It includes humpback grouper which thrives in the waters of Davao, Zamboanga, and Cebu. Domingo listed the following species to be also on the red list: black saddled coral grouper, orange-spotted grouper, black marbled grouper, Malabar grouper, and leopard coral grouper. It is now a common knowledge: Chinese restaurants are not complete without a bubbling tankful of grouper. Asia’s most demanded reef fish, grouper fetches up to P6.000 per piece in Hong Kong and Singapore. In the blockbuster movie, “Drunken Master,” steamed grouper was one of the many dishes Jackie Chan’s character requests during an attempted meal-theft. Most of the fish comes from the Philippines, as the country is considered the center of...

ADDU High School tops National Search for Eco-friendly Schools

The High School (HS) Unit of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) was proclaimed the winner of the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools, High School Division, at an awarding event on 20 November at SM City North EDSA in Quezon City. A plaque and a cash prize of Php 50,000 were received by Fr. Michael I. Pineda SJ, HS principal. “Winning the 2013 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools is our contribution to the Church, the Society of Jesus, and the Ateneo de Davao University’s mission of a more vigorous environmental protection,” Pineda said. “It is also a sign of hope. The national award shows that we can instruct and form future leaders who will help heal and save the wounded creation,” Pineda added. The ADDU High School forms students to be men and women for others and for the environment through participation in treeplanting, mangrove reforestation, and coastal cleanups. In 2011, ADDU took its green initiatives to the next level by launching its greening program called Ecoteneo, beginning with Ecological Solid Waste Management. The high school students, in rotating assignments by classrooms, monitor the waste segregation bins to ensure that waste materials are placed in the proper bins and that liquids are removed from plastic bottles. With effective segregation and a shift away from plastics as food packaging, within a year residuals were reduced from 57 percent of its waste stream to 38 percent. In 2012, junkfood and softdrinks were banned from the campus for both health and environmental reasons. Also in 2012, Ateneo HS students shared the school’s segregation practice and donated segregation bins...

Update on the FPIC Process at Brooke’s Point, Palawan

Two FPIC processes have been attempted so far by the Lebach Mining Corporation (LMC) in Brooke’s Point, Palawan. The first community assembly for the FPIC process took place on August 6-11, 2012. The second community assembly meeting took place on March 18-22, 2013. Five (5) barangays – Ipilan, Aribungos, Barong-Bargon, Mambalot, Maasin – were surveyed by the first Community Consultative Meeting (CCA), with IPs in 3 of the barangays (Maasin, Ipilan, and Aribungos) submitting their opposition to the Palawan NCIP. While there is no exact figure of the anti- and the pro mining supporters, a conservative estimate averages around 300 anti-mining and pro-mining attendees in every barangay. Of this number, approximately 200-250 individuals are anti-mining and about 50-100 are pro-. With the help of Ancestral Land Domain Watch (ALDAW); Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI); and Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), Inc.; the IP leaders petitioned the Palawan NCIP to declare the FPIC as null and void after the required Pre-Condition Certificate, allegedly issued by NCIP ADO-4, was revealed to be falsified. Additionally, the FPIC process undertaken by the company had only addressed the issue of “utilization,” not of “exploration.” The petition asks for the following: Declare the second Community Consultative Meeting null and void; Resolve the petition filed at the first CCA; Make the Lebach Mining Corporation to be accountable for illegal exploration using false FPIC certificate. The follow-up CCA for the second FPIC process was held on March 18-22, 2013. It was likewise declared a “failure” due to the unresolved issues from the first CCA meeting. Here, barangay captains were faced with last-minute changes for the CCA meetings;...

Press Release from Alyansa Tigil Mina: Green groups slam Atienza’s anti-Buhay track record

Sibuyan Island, ROMBLON – An environment group in Romblon scored Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay) party-list representative-elect Lito Atienza’s anti-life background on environmental protection. Backed by a strong Catholic charismatic renewal group El Shaddai, BUHAY party-list got three seats for the next congress as it gained victory garnering 1,265,992 votes equivalent to 4.74 percent of the total votes cast. According to the website of Buhay, the party-list’s core principles are based on the Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine Flag: for God, people, environment and country. In being maka-kalikasan or pro-environment, Buhay believes that the Creator gave us abundant and overflowing natural resources which must be developed and used justly for the benefit of all Filipinos and the next generation – not only for the chosen few. Buhay further sees that the Philippines was formed by God to be emulated by the world through the promotion of good and effective governance. But Sibuyan Island Sentinels League for Environment Inc. (Sibuyan ISLE) director Rodne Galicha said in a statement that the background of former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Lito Atienza as future lawmaker goes against the very principles of Buhay. “One working day, on December 23, 2009, before Atienza resigned as DENR secretary to run in Manila as mayor, he signed five mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) permits and three exploration permits. What was questionable? All these are midnight deals. How come? December 24thwas non-working holiday, 25th a regular holiday, 26th is a Saturday and 27th is Sunday. He resigned December 28th, Monday.” Atienza stayed as head of DENR from 2007 until 2009 under the baton of...

Conference Publications Now Available for Purchase

The following conference publications are now available for purchase at the Office of the President and at the ADDU Publications Office. Call (082) 221-2411 and ask to be connected for more details on how to order your copy. Proceedings of the International Conference on Mining in Mindanao (January 26-27, 2012) @ Php.300                     Proceedings of the Stakeholders’ Caucus on Executive Order no. 79 s. 2012 (July 18, 2012) @ Php.150                       Proceedings of the Conference on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining in Mindanao (November 15-16, 2012) @ Php.450 Share...