Borongan City, Eastern Samar—While other areas of Homonhon island are grappling with the impact of open pit mining, three barangays are extracting revenues from another source: calamansi. Calamansi or Philippine lime enjoys high demand as it is used heavily for food and beverage preparations, thus some residents are able to earn as much as P30,000 a month from the sale of their produce, with the fruits sold at around P70 for every 100 pieces. Most of the producers are small shareholder farmers with each household owning 200-300 trees. The biggest farm spanning 10 hectares has 5,000 calamansi trees, which grow well in coastal areas.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran on Saturday urged all the three district representatives of Bohol province to support the passage of Rights of Nature bill which was filed last November 25 at the House of Representatives by Quezon City Sixth District Rep. Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte.
The Philippine island of Homonhon in best known as the first site in Asia where Ferdinand Magellan set foot on his historic circumnavigation of the globe. Today, the island is home to open-pit mines that have been operating for decades to get valuable deposits of chromite and nickel. Locals opposed to the mines now have a new weapon in their fight: a recent assessment of the island’s flora and fauna, showing that it houses threatened and endemic species, in particular the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo. The regional environment department has recommended that in light of this finding, the entire island be declared a critical habitat, which would protect the identified species from mining and other activities.
CALAPAN CITY, Philippines – A network of civil society organizations remains in solidarity with the 22 fishermen from San Jose town in Occidental Mindoro who figured in an incident with a Chinese trawler in Recto Bank at the West Philippine Sea. “The fisherfolk sector provides food in our table, with the farmers, they are the backbone of our society. Yet, they are among the poorest of the poor. Government should protect them because without them the whole nation will go hungry,” said the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) in an emailed statement. PMPI, a network of civil society organizations, rights groups, peace and faith-based institutions, expressed disbelief and disgust over the position and standpoints issued by the Philippine government regarding the “ramming and sinking” of F/B Gem-Vir by the Chinese vessel in the disputed sea.
THE Philippines and Cambodia recently held their first Joint Defense Cooperation Committee (JDCC) meeting in Phnom Penh, boosting the defense cooperation and bilateral ties between the two countries. During their three-day meeting two weeks ago, both countries exchanged views on regional defense and security issues and tackled cyber security, counterterrorism and violent extremism and peacekeeping operations.
A group of Filipino fishermen and two former top officials of the Philippine government filed a complaint before the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chinese President Xi Jinping for alleged “crimes against humanity.” Former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudswoman Conchita Carpio-Morales, along with Filipino fishermen, accused Xi and Chinese officials of causing environmental damage in the South China Sea. The fishermen and the two former officials filed the complaint — formally called a “communication” — against Xi and other Chinese officials before the ICC on March 15.