Perlas slams environmental award for PGMA
Independent presidential candidate Nicanor Perlas on Wednesday urged the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) to re-think its decision to grant a prestigious environmental award to President Gloria Arroyo.
In an open letter to the ICCF, Perlas said he was appalled by the decision to award Mrs. Arroyo with the prestigious Teddy Roosevelt International Conservation Award despite her checkered history in environmental conservation.
Perlas, a known environmentalist and president of the Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan, said Mrs. Arroyo had previously stated that the pursuit of sustainable development and ecological balance “was anti-poor and should not be given emphasis.”
“The policies and programs of Arroyo’s presidency patently reveal that her administration has not given priority to the environment. She is reluctant to go against big corporations that cause environmental destruction because these companies’ commercial activities contribute to our GDP,” he said in the open letter.
The presidential candidate said that under the Arroyo presidency, fish pens thrived in Laguna de Bay, smoke-belchers continue to ply major thoroughfares and major environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act of 1999, the Clean Water Act of 2004 and Solid Waste Management of 2000 have not been implemented.
He also noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified Metro Manila as the fourth most polluted city worldwide with a lead level that is more than three times the established safety limit.
Perlas said the ICCF could imperil its reputation if it confers the Conservation Award on Mrs. Arroyo.
“The award is given to those who have implemented conservation projects that safeguard biodiversity, protect habitats, and provide social benefits for communities. These accomplishments have clearly been neglected, even defied and defiled by Arroyo’s administration,” he said.
He added: “Honoring Mrs. Arroyo as an environmental steward is an affront to the Filipinos and the entire Philippine archipelago, which have borne the brunt of Ms. Arroyo’s venal, inequitable and destructive policies.”