News Flash

September 01, 2015, Tuesday
  • Local gov’t offers P 50K reward for the arrest of the killers of a 10-year-old girl in Tanay, Rizal. 28 minutes ago |
  • Thousands of fishermen expected to troop to Luneta on Wednesday to protest the amended Fisheries Code. 32 minutes ago |
  • Ombudsman to file a motion for reconsideration at SC after it granted Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s petition to post bail. 42 minutes ago |
  • Ombudsman Morales says she’ll decide in 1 month if a case may be filed vs. Abad & other gov’t ofcls. on DAP disbursements. 43 minutes ago |
  • Ombudsman Morales says she has started a probe on the role of Pres. Aquino, DBM Sec. Abad & other gov’t officials on DAP disbursements. about 1 hour ago |
  • Weather forecasters say about two to four storms will hit PH in September. about 1 hour ago |
  • Maynilad & Manila Water warn of water supply interruptions in some areas in NCR with the onset of El Nino. about 1 hour ago |
  • Some fishermen complain the Amended Fisheries Code contains too many restrictions. about 1 hour ago |
  • Comelec reminds OFWs that the deadline for their registration is on October 12. about 1 hour ago |
  • Comelec lengthens voter registration days from Monday to Saturday and on holidays. about 1 hour ago |
  • 12-year-old girl dies in fire that hit their home in Sitio Masikap, Quezon. about 1 hour ago |
  • Search on for mountaineer swept away by strong waves while crossing a creek in San Jose, Tarlac. about 1 hour ago |
  • Landslide hits Villaviciosa town in Abra forcing at least 166 families to flee their homes. about 1 hour ago |
  • Expelled INC Min. Isaias Samson Jr. asks gov’t what deal it struck with INC that supposedly ended its 5-day rally. about 1 hour ago |
  • Justice Sec. Leila de Lima back at work at DOJ and says she has no plans of resigning. about 1 hour ago |
  • CBCP calls on Catholics not to support same-sex marriage. 17 hours ago |
  • 5 mountaineers drown in Nagsasa Creek in San Jose, Tarlac on Monday afternoon. 17 hours ago |
  • Phivolcs records 5 tremors in areas in Southern Mindanao. 17 hours ago |
  • Petron to implement a P 2.25/kilo rollback on the price of LPG on Tuesday. 17 hours ago |
  • Sandiganbayan issues hold departure orders vs. Fmr. Agusan Del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza & 7 others linked to pork barrel scam. 17 hours ago |
  • Binay’s camp claims De Lima is prioritizing political ambition over the resolution of PDAF and SAF 44 cases. 17 hours ago |
  • Binay’s camp calls on Justice Sec. Leila de Lima to resign. 18 hours ago |
  • DILG Sec. Mar Roxas says gov’t & INC leaders have been in contact with one another since the beginning of the rally at DOJ. 18 hours ago |
  • Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda says INC’s protest peacefully ended through goodwill and convergence of efforts. 18 hours ago |
  • Deputy Pres’l Spokesperson Abigail Valte says talks between gov’t & INC centered on clarification of issues & concerns. 18 hours ago |
  • Palace says there has been no deal made between gov’t and Iglesia ni Cristo. 18 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino led the National Heroes’ Day commemoration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. 22 hours ago |
  • Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda thanks the INC for ending its 5-day protest rally. 22 hours ago |
  • 9 killed in a collision between a multicab & a truck before dawn Monday in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. 22 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino calls on people to unite & set aside personal interests during his message on National Heroes’ Day. 22 hours ago |
  • Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares says the right of expelled INC Minister Isaias Samson Jr. to file a complaint must be respected. 23 hours ago |
  • CIBAC Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna says DOJ must continue hearing the complaint of expelled INC Minister Isaias Samson Jr. 23 hours ago |
  • Fire kills 6 stay-in workers in a bakery in Taal, Batangas. 23 hours ago |
  • Clean-up of area around EDSA-Shaw Boulevard ongoing following 5 days of INC’s protest. 23 hours ago |
  • Traffic flow now moving along EDSA-Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City. 23 hours ago |
  • Some INC members still trooped to DOJ early Monday morning & left only after INC’s announcement that the protest was over. 23 hours ago |
  • Commuters who were at EDSA-Mandaluyong area about 6 am Monday experienced monstrous traffic jam due to INC rally. 23 hours ago |
  • INC members rejoiced upon hearing their leaders’ announcement at about 8 am Monday that they are ending the protest. 23 hours ago |
  • LRTA says the remaining value stored in the magnetic cards can be transferred to beep cards. 23 hours ago |
  • LRT-2 removes from all its stations the gates for magnetic cards as it paves the way for beep cards. 23 hours ago |
  • Registration for 2016 polls continues in selected malls in the provinces. 23 hours ago |
  • Comelec reminds public to register for 2016 elections before deadline comes on October 31. 23 hours ago |
  • Rains forecast over Central Luzon, Bicol, Isabela, Quirino, Rizal and Quezon. 23 hours ago |

Greenpeace is anti-farmer; Govt ignored SM contract

By Ray S. Eñano | Jun. 19, 2014 at 12:01am

Greenpeace International, the Amsterdam-based environmental advocate, is robbing Filipino farmers of their chance to increase agricultural productivity and mocking the world food security program.

Ranged against Filipino scientists, Greenpeace is doing all it can to stop the Philippines from expanding the adoption of pesticide-free crop varieties. It wants to ban the field testing of Bt Talong, an eggplant variety developed by scientists that does not require pesticide because of a built-in resistance against pests.

For Greenpeace, the improved crop is unfit for human consumption. It initially obtained a Writ of Kalikasan from the Court of Appeals to stop the field testing. But Filipino scientists, along with farmers, asked the Supreme Court to lift the ban and allow them to complete field tests for Bt Talong. The tests are a required step before the plant variety goes into commercialization.

The ban on field tests has deprived Filipino farmers of their basic freedom of choice. The completion of field trials on Bt Talong and the eventual approval for commercialization would give local farmers the right to select the crop fit for their livelihood earnings. They can either opt to plant the biotech variety, which does not need the traditional use of chemical pesticides, or stick with the conventional eggplant that has to be sprayed with the substance.

The issue of food safety is a scientific one which local scientists and Greenpeace’s activists are currently debating. In the ensuing arguments, Greenpeace claimed the plants developed using biotechnology were not good for the Filipinos. The local science community, meanwhile, said the modern agriculture biotechnology was vital to food security and that crops developed through that process were as safe, “if not safer,” than traditional types.

Leading the effort to adopt Bt Talong is Dr. Emil Javier, the 17th president of the University of the Philippines and an American-educated expert on plant genetics. Dr. Javier is also a former chancellor of UP Los Baños, the country’s premiere hub for agriculture research, and has made it a personal cause to promote the role of plant science in improving the lives of farmers and consumers alike.

Aiding Javier in the defense of the safety of biotechnology is Dr. Kenneth Y. Hartigan-Go, a former Asian Institute of Management and UP College of Medicine professor, who was named head of the Food and Drugs Administration in 2012.

The stakes in the Bt Talong case are larger. The future of scientific research in the development of crop varieties that can withstand one of the food production sector’s biggest challenges—massive infestation, such as what the coconut industry is facing today—now hangs in the balance.

DoTC’s silence

The Department of Transportation and Communications may have seen greener pastures nearby to evade officials of SM Prime Holdings Inc., after signing a contract on a central light rail transit station in 2009.

But SM Prime officials do not see it that way. They view DoTC’s maneuvering as a clear violation of the sanctity of contract approved by the National Economic and Development Authority in 2009.

“It is really the fault of DoTC and the Light Rail Transit Authority, which refused to reply to five letters we sent to clarify their press announcements that the central station will be beside Trinoma. Even in various SMPHI meetings with them, they refuse to say if they have changed the site. They just said at North Edsa, which they know is as vague as you can get,” an SM Prime source said.

The DoTC and LRTA virtually ripped the documents on the common rail station when the two agencies included it in the auction for the LRT Line I Cavite Extension project.

SM Prime, as a result, has asked a Pasay regional trial court to stop the DoTC from relocating the site of the common station to Trinoma shopping mall, owned by Ayala Land Inc.

SM Prime said the Neda-Investment Coordination Committee approved the location during the previous administration on July 7, 2009. In exchange, SM Prime paid LRTA P200 million as “naming rights.”

SM Prime also said it was not informed of any expiration date of the contract, which involved building a common station connecting Light Rail Transit Line 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and the future MRT-7, which will run from the common station to Bulacan via Commonwealth Avenue.

SM Prime blamed the department and the LRTA for actually delaying the construction of the common station. “They cannot use their failure to timely implement the project to justify a sudden change in the location of the station. They cannot use what was caused by their own fault to throw our contract away,” the property developer said.


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