The 2022 National and Local Elections will be one of the most historic elections in the Philippines. It is a time wherein we have the most critical circumstance for the environment and immediate recognition of this emergency is needed. We also need to elect officials who will genuinely serve our country and our people and help create a greener and better future.
On March 30, 2021, GPP Kalikasan Muna (Green Party of the Philippines) submitted its petition to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for it to be recognized as a political party and consequently participate in the 2022 National Elections as a party-list candidate. Whether the petition gets approved or not the advocacy for green governance and policy will continue by supporting green candidates and policies as well. Why would an environmental movement want to take part in politics? Is it that important?
The Need for Green Governance
The Philippines perhaps has the most vibrant environmental organizations and NGOs in Asia and even the world, however, my main question is why are we still struggling to make progress on various environmental programs? The Zero Waste Act, for example, is a well-crafted law and if properly implemented might be enough to combat waste in the country. Now, the problem is this piece of law was not being implemented properly by the majority of the cities and municipalities in the country and it seems no one is being asked to comply or is penalized for not implementing it.
Another brilliant piece of law is the Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy Bill. The bill provides for a transition of energy use to renewable energy with incentives for businesses who will be promoting it, however, since its passage in 2009, there is a little known effect of the law and even until now new coal-fired power plants are being pushed and if not for the pandemic these plants could already be on full operation.
In just these two examples it is clear that what we are lacking in green governance. We lack people who will make sure that these laws are being implemented and that there is clear communication between the public sector and the government sector regarding this.
Though we have so-called “environmentally” inclined politicians we have no environmentally-focused party or green party to commit to the problems of the environment and create a better and green future.
We Need to Complete the Communication Channel
If a green party will be elected in Congress or in a position of legislation, there will be a completion of the communication process. We at GPP Kalikasan Muna (Green Party of the Philippines) want to be someone who will complete that communication process. We want to sit down with various environmental organizations, groups, and advocates no matter what their size is in order to talk about issues that matter to them.
I believe that we should never be a green party that would say that we know everything because no one will be able to do that. We are a green party that would build a relationship with everyone in order to find a better solution in which all of us are involved. We need to solve our environmental issues in the most holistic way possible.
Participating in the 2022 Elections is a Start
If ever the COMELEC approves our petition, we will need your full support and elect us to be your party-list representative. If the petition is denied, we will also need your support in joining us in campaigning for green candidates and green issues that we need to support in the 2022 Philippine elections.
We will always be a party supporting the government by providing the necessary data and feedback about its environmental programs. We will not only oppose programs that are bad for the environment but more importantly sit with them and provide solutions, solutions that will come from the people.
We are a genuine green party, organized by the common people. We will be funded by ordinary people and form a movement in which every Filipino who loves mother nature can share their views and they will be listened to. A genuine political party should not only ask for supporters but have members that are also participative and are given importance.
Legislative Goals of GPP Kalikasan Muna (Green Party of the Philippines)
(Disclaimer: These are just some of the key objectives that the writer will personally work on based on GPP’s 10-Point Green Agenda) As the Party President and one of the nominees of GPP Kalikasan Muna, the goal is clear. First, we need to Declare a Climate Emergency so that we can start planning on how we can mitigate the effects of the Climate Crisis. We are one of the most vulnerable countries and we must start doing something. We can try convincing other countries especially the global north to listen to us but it is more realistic than we do something to prepare so that we can be ready.
Declaring a moratorium and review of all mineral mining permits is also paramount. Let us check the status and operations of all the mining operations, sit with them and find ways to mitigate their effects. Let us stop mining in critical and protected areas particularly in watersheds.
Converting the National Greening Program into law is also very important. We need not only to replant and reforest but we must also rebuild, preserve and strengthen habitats and biodiversity. We need not only trees, how about air and bodies of water? The National Greening Program should be holistic in its view.
Transportation is one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Converting everything into electric engines might not be the best solution. To this, we need to have a National Green and Sustainable Transportation Act that would prioritize green mass transportation not only public and private vehicles but also the infrastructure that will promote better mass transportation.
These are just some of those that we want to achieve but in order to make it happen, we need your support. One way of doing that is joining us by registering at www.greenparty.ph/join. The next way is to support us in the 2022 elections in whatever capacity we can contribute.