By CHRISTINE ANNE T. CABANATAN
On the Fringes
When I learned that we were to attend an environment forum, I thought, this is just self-explanatory. However, as I listened to the speakers from the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment and Ban Toxics, I have picked up a great deal of realities, of which I was not aware.
This theme is clear as crystal to me. I thought of a devastated environment because of the extreme storms, denuded forests caused by the illegal loggers, clogged drainages from irresponsible people’s wanton trash-throwing, and so on. But, as I listened and absorbed what they were explaining, I was just so shocked at the facts presented.
I clearly understood the issues about our environment. The Aquino administration was presenting such a pleasant report on its environmental program, such as the National Greening Program, protection of endangered species, but, these have been such a big lie, with the mining projects that pollute water and encroach on ancestral lands. Where is that so-called “development?” Where did those funds go? Who do we believe in? Why do they have to favor big business and foreign interests?
There are so many things running in my mind that really made me so upset. We all know that we are God’s stewards, which implies He has appointed us to use and protect His creation. But, the degradation of our environment is getting worse. Many individuals are being affected, especially the marginalized people.
There is also this issue of disposal of the hazardous Canadian trash that was dumped in the Manila port, which also destroys our environment. I am really concerned with how we are being made into another country’s dumpsite. I admit that I tend to throw my trash anywhere, which, I know is not good, but nevertheless, I can still do something good for our environment in my own little ways.
I just came to realize that we keep on blaming and complaining about the deficiencies of the government in ensuring that our environment is in good condition. Yet, have we asked ourselves that maybe, there must also be a problem with us? Yes, they are the government and they play a big role in our country, but we must not forget that we are also part of this country. So, we must also do our share and heed the call of the times to be able to help at least resolve our environmental issues.
The environment forum simply showed us the reality. The government can conceal the truth, but we can still discover the truth from what is false. You have the right if you will choose to be a fool instead of being a tool for change.