Over the past several decades, multinational corporate Goliaths have helped to write and rewrite hundreds of rules skewing tax, trade, investment and other policies in their favor. The extraordinary damage these policies have caused has become increasingly apparent to the communities and governments most directly affected by them. This, in turn, has strengthened the potential of a movement that’s emerging to try to reverse the momentum. But just like David with his slingshot, the local, environmental and government leaders seeking to revise rules to favor communities and the planet must pick their battles carefully.
Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013, and by 12 December it had left behind 5,982 dead, 1,779 missing, 27,022 wounded (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council), about 4 million displaced, and estimated damages amounting to more than PHP 35.5 billion — making it the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record. This super typhoon revealed the country’s level of vulnerability and adaptive capacity and exposed a serious governance weakness: policies on the environment and climate change are not adequately supported by budgets.
BETTER known as the “Gateway to the Cagayan Valley,” the province of Nueva Vizcaya is land-locked by Sierra Madre in the east, Cordillera in the west and the Caraballo Mountain ranges down south. With a highland character and hilly terrain, 70 percent of which is forestland, the province is a vital watershed of its own and for all provinces downstream including Isabela and Cagayan.
On Dec. 22, Bridget Forbes, a senior civil engineer and Kyle Johnson, a water resources engineer graduate student, will fly out to help those affected by the typhoon that hit just a little over a month ago.
It was said to be one of the most intense tropical storms to ever hit land in the world. With rain and winds up to 195 mph and waves up to 30 feet tall, Typhoon Haiyan caused an immeasurable amount of destruction in the Philippines and relief efforts continue to be sent.
The project to construct the water supply system of the Humayingan Elementary School in Lian, Batangas, was facilitated by the communications among the Feed the Hungry, Inc. (FtH), the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM). The on-line discussions, led by Ms. Angelita Sese, FtH Program Director for Infrastructure, began in mid-2013 and resulted in a memorandum of agreement (MOA) among the three organizations to implement the project, with the Philippine Association of Metropolitan Washington Engineers (PAMWE) as the main donor.
PANAGAT-Camiguin (Panaghiusa sa Nagpakabana nga Mananagta sa Camiguin) held its Strategic Planning Workshop and Christmas Party last December 13, at the Ferrabrel Resort in Mambajao, Camiguin. The overall direction of the plan is to promote PANAGAT as the leading federation carrying the fisherfolk agenda in the province.
On December 1, 2013, PRRM-Bataan and partner stakeholders receive an award of recognition from the Provincial Government of Bataan and the Bataan Tourism Foundation, Inc., for continuous partnership in the annual celebration of the Pawikan Festival.
PRRM, together with the representative of the Department of Education, handed over livelihood start-up funds to the Carolotan Women Sector Society for Development, Inc. (CWSSD) in Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya, last 25 November. The PhP75,000 livelihood fund was part of the community grant fund entrusted to PRRM through the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Micro-Lending (IP-SMILE) Project of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Philippine Response to Indigenous Peoples and Muslim Education (PRIME) of the Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Nueva Vizcaya.
The Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), through its headquarters in Manila and area offices in the Negros Occidental and Iloilo provinces, are monitoring the situation and assessing the types of immediate and medium-term assistance that can be provided. In addition to the two provinces, PRRM also intends to contribute to relief and rehabilitation efforts in the provinces of Bohol, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Aklan, and Capiz. Field assessment will be conducted in these areas within the next week.
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Trustee Treasurer Emeritus Luis L. Garcia and family view the Sen. Manuel P. Manahan photo exhibit set up at the ground floor lobby of the PRRM building.
Members of PRRM’s Board of Trustees (BoT) read the minutes of the previous meeting and other corporate documents during its regular quarterly meeting last 17 October at the PRRM Building.
In line with its 61st anniversary, PRRM President Isagani R. Serrano made a round of courtesy calls to newly elected local government officials in provinces, municipalities and cities where PRRM operates. The quick but meaningful visits intended to learn the plan of the new or continuing local regimes, share what PRRM is doing, and explore possibilities of working together towards a common dream of resilient and sustainable communities.
Photo courtesy of GMA News Online Author Benjie Castro