01 April 2009
Debt & Public Finance
– Capitalizing on its membership strength nationwide, the Freedom from Debt Coalition today brought its campaign to its seven chapters in Visayas and Mindanao against the revival of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, focusing on their respective representatives who have endorsed the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Re-commissioning Act of 2008.
FDC members in Cebu, Iloilo, Eastern Visayas, Western Mindanao, General Santos, and Davao launched its campaign, dubbed “People are Watching You,” referring to their respective representatives and urging them to withdraw endorsement of the controversial bill.
FDC, a member of Network Opposed to BNPP (NO to BNPP), said that the proposed rehabilitation of the nuclear power plant in Bataan is a national concern meriting nationwide vigilance.
“The entire population would suffer should the House Bill 4631 be passed into law. The problems of safety as well as the economic, financial and environmental concerns would affect us all thus a conduct of a united action in protest against the revival of this monstrous nuclear plant,” said FDC secretary general Milo Tanchuling.
“Apart from its author, there are 184 legislators in the lower house endorsing the passage of the BNPP bill. These legislators should be enlightened as to the repercussions of their position vis-à-vis the commissioning of the BNPP,” Tanchuling said.
In Cebu, FDC members here challenged their six legislators who are signatory to the BNPP bill to face their constituents in a public dialogue and answer questions pertaining to their endorsement of the bill. This will also enable the concerned legislators to listen to the people’s contention against the revival of the BNPP.
Cebuano lawmakers who have endorsed the bill are Raul V. Del Mar (Cebu City), Eduardo R. Gullas (1st District), Pablo P. Garcia (2nd District), Benhur Salimbangon (4th District), Ramon Durano VI (5th District), and Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz (6th District).
In Iloilo, FDC members kicked off its campaign with information barrage to the Iloilo legislators, signaling the start of the “Ilonggos are Watching You” Campaign which will be followed by a series of activities leading towards the April 13 resumption of Congress.
Iloilo legislators who have endorsed the bill are Raul Gonzalez Jr. (Lone District, Iloilo City), Janette Garin (1st District), Judy Syjuco (2nd District), Arthur Defensor (3rd District), Ferjenel Biron (4th District) and Niel Tupas Jr. (5th District).
For their part, FDC Eastern Visayas together with members of the academe, local parishes, consumer-groups and environmentalists held a media launch of “The Warays are Watching You” Campaign in Tacloban City, discussing the clear and present danger of operating the BNPP and the non-stop power rate increases. They vowed to conduct series of activities that will urge all the Waraynon legislators to withdraw their support to the bill.
Waraynon legislators who have signed the bill are Teodulo M. Coquilla (Lone District, Eastern Samar), Paul R. Daza (1st District, Northern Samar), Emil L. Ong (2nd District, Northern Samar), Reynaldo S. Uy (1st District, Western Samar), Sharee Ann T. Tan (2nd District, Western Samar), Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez (1st District, Leyte), Trinidad G. Apostol (2nd District, Leyte), Andres Jr. D. Salvacion (3rd District, Leyte), Eufrocino Codilla Sr. (4th District, Leyte), Carmen Cari (5th District, Leyte), and Roger G. Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte).
In Davao City, FDC members held a symbolic lighting of candles in front of the office of House Speaker Prospero Nograles in Quirino, Davao City to enlighten him of the negative consequences should he insist on leading the Congress in passing the BNPP revival bill.
They also launched their own version of the campaign, dubbed “Davaoeños are Watching You,” that specifically aims to vigilantly watch over Speaker Nograles’ moves that would endanger the lives of many Filipinos including his own constituents.
Aside from the House Speaker, other Davaoeño legislators who signed the bill are Vincent Garcia (2nd District, Davao City) and Isidro Ungab (3rd District, Davao City).
In General Santos City, FDC-SOCKSARGEN including members of Diocese of Marbel and local government officials held a public forum and a candle lighting activity in front of the City Hall, signalling the start of series of prayer activities for the legislators during the Holy Week and the holding of public dialogues after the Lenten Season.
Legislators who hail from this region and are signatories to the bill are Datu Pax Mangudadatu (1st District, Sultan Kudarat), Arnulfo Go (2nd District, Sultan Kudarat), Emmylou Talino-Mendoza (1st District, North Cotabato), Arthur Pingoy Jr. (Second District, South Cotabato), and Erwin Chiongbian (Lone District, Sarangani).
In a media forum, members of FDC Western Mindanao, together with members of the academe, church groups and civil society groups, also urged their own representatives to withdraw support to the bill.
Legislators from this region who supported the bill are Cecilia Jalosjos-Carreon (1st District, Zamboanga del Norte), Cesar Jalosjos (3rd District, Zamboanga del Norte), Victor Yu (1st District, Zamboanga del Sur), Antonio Cerilles (2nd District, Zamboanga del Sur), and Herminia Ramiro, (Second District, Misamis Occidental).
FDC’s Tanchuling said that the upcoming season of Lent is a good opportunity for the legislators to pause for a while and review the many documents given to them by FDC and by NO to BNPP.
“Let’s hope that the upcoming season of Lent could give our legislators clearer minds about this issue. Let’s hope they reject this bill as soon as Congress resumes its session on April 13,” Tanchuling said.