When monster typhoon Yolanda, a.k.a Haiyan, hit central Philippines on November 8, 2013, then and there began a horrific experience our country never had before. We thought we were ready for it. It turned out no one could really be prepared for what we saw.
In one go, Yolanda left us with over 6,000 dead, close to 2,000 missing, over 28,000 injured, 3.4 million families or more than 16 million persons affected in nine regions, and about a billion US dollar cost of damages in lives and property.
PRRM is no stranger to disaster relief operations. It had responded to at least three disaster situations before Yolanda—the hunger crisis in the sugar island of Negros in 1986, the earthquake in North Luzon in 1990, and the world-renowned Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption in 1991. More recently, PRRM was also involved in the 2009 Ondoy disaster in Metro Manila, and the most recent tragedies in Bicol and Mindanao.
Speech at the High Level Segment Open Dialog Session
RTD 2: “Desertification/land degradation and climate change—what role for the land in the ongoing negotiations for a new climate change regime at Copenhagen?”
29 September 2009 UNCCD COP9 Buenos Aires
Presented at the workshop “Human Rights and Human Development: Policy Implication and Monitoring” at the University of Pavia organized jointly by the Human Development, Capability and Poverty International Research Center at IUSS, UCODEP and Commune di Arezzo, Italy on 9-10 June 2009.
Oddly, the current global recession may be a blessing to the environment and the world, since less growth implies less stress on the environment and emissions need to be slowed down. Here’s a golden opportunity to deliver on social and environmental justice which is a necessary condition for securing our path to sustainability. Developing countries, for instance, must avoid the unsustainable path taken by the industrial ones and shift to clean production and consumption at once. Only a fairer deal will lead to sustainability: a bail-out for the eradication of world poverty, rehabilitation of the environment, stabilization of the climate system is fair and mandatory. This will not be possible, however, until the rich change the way they produce and consume and learn to live within sustainable limits.
PRRM VP Isagani R. Serrano discusses country initiatives in realizing the goals of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). He said that Asian developing countries should emphasize the MDG on health and education as these would directly benefit the poorest of the poor.
This was the gist of his speech during the INAFI Asia Conference on Microfinance and the MDGs held March 12-13, 2007 at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), in Bangkok, Thailand.
He said that “while the region as a whole is on course to achieve a large majority of the MDG targets by 2015, none of the region’s developing countries is individually on track to meet at the targets.”
“Considering present trends, many (countries) are likely to miss vital targets, including those for infant mortality, HIV prevalence, and access to water and sanitation,” he added.
The ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda wants regional integration but the Bank’s big owners would not let him have his way.
Kuroda envisions an Asia-Pacific region much like the European Union and wants the ADB to move in this direction. “Regional cooperation and integration is an idea whose time has come,” Kuroda insisted. “Imagine an Asia-wide economic community, a community of nations where borders are fully open to trade and investment and that offers competitive, complementary markets for the benefit of all its members as well as the rest of the world. If we can envision this, I know we can achieve it.”
In 2002 Social Watch-Philippines commissioned five teams of local experts to do case studies on the extent to which commitments to social development have been reflected in local development plans in four provinces and one city. The study sites included the four provinces of Nueva Ecija, Camarines Sur, Guimaras, and North Cotabato, and the City of Dumaguete. The commitments referred to here are those pledged to by the Philippine government in the 1995 Copenhagen Social Summit,1 the Geneva 2000 World Summit on Social Development or Copenhagen+5,2 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the 2000 Millennium Summit.3.
The revolution has arrived… And indeed the revolution was on everybody’s mind, before everybody’s eyes. Mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and friends sat by the radio throughout that sleepless night, all on edge, thinking of the revolution. That night, an exodus of privilege made ghost towns of exclusive villages in the suburbs…
Activist and development CSOs and people’s organizations, though still in the minority, are at the cutting edge of social change processes as they engage in activities that impact directly on the larger society. They usually band together into larger social coalitions and movements to leverage their influence on public policy and government practice. Their work in educating, organizing, and mobilizing people around the issues of human rights, equality, social and economic justice, and environmental protection have made possible some of the most dramatic events in Philippine history. Their actions do not always seem “civil,” but they are certainly high in civic spirit, motivation, and initiative.
The Conference bannered the theme “Building a Common Future Together”. The sub-themes were (1) ASEAN Identity and Media; (2) Economy and Trade; (3) Human Dignity; (4) Natural Resources and Environment; and (5) Women, Youth and Indigenous Groups.
Slowing down can be the single most effective action to save the world. It’s a very radical way of looking at things, at how to get out of the present mess. Liberals may dismiss slowing down as a refuge of the weak-hearted and conservative, as more precaution than cure. They may be right, but in any case we say to them: it’s payback time. Give it a break. Slow down.
After five years from the Millennium Summit and ten years from the Copenhagen and Beijing summits the Philippines is still struggling to deliver on its social commitments. A generation of less educated, less healthy Filipinos living in a much degraded environment is a very real possibility.
The paper describes community development in rural Philippines in the context of rapid globalization. Globalization — here defined simply as a process of opening up and linking distant cultures, with both its positive and negative connotations — unleashes its material (economic, political, social) and symbolic (icons, messages) power on rural communities. Though largely unprepared for the consequent changes in their lifeways, these rural communities either disintegrate or develop their own ways of coping and discover effective strategies to fight back and rebuild solidarities, locally and beyond their borders.
Ten years gone by since the Copenhagen and Beijing summits and the Philippines is still struggling to deliver on its social commitments. The government would be compromising long-term sustainability by not investing enough in the development of our human resources. Then our country might wake up to a scenario nobody wants: a generation of malnourished, less educated, less healthy Filipinos, living in insecure environments. Instead of social cohesion we may have a society more divided by 2015.
Stop the New Round Coalition-Philippines or SNR was an ‘enterprise’ or a project authored and run by “political entrepreneurs” who knew the WTO stuff well enough and were steeped in spotting, creating and seizing opportunities amid many challenges to achieve a specific objective. the author had made an excellent narrative and examination of this success story of “political enterprise and entrepreneurship”. The lay of the land, as it were, had been solidly established. I’m particularly impressed with the nuanced analysis of outcomes and impact.
March 8, 2014, Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Quezon City, Philippines