PRESS RELEASE: 24 June 2010
Growing contentions against RA 10083 or the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (APECO) law highlight the need for a national land use law, according to land reform advocates.
“The enactment of the National Land Use Act (NLUA) is long overdue. We need to ensure that our country’s resources are utilized without compromising the environment and the rights and interest of local communities,” according to Saligan’s Aison Garcia.
The alternative legal group is among several organizations set to lobby for the passage of legislation on land use in the 15th Congress while expressing support for victims of displacement due to infrastructure initiatives like the APECO. Saligan joins Kaisahan, Asian NGO Coalition, NGOs for Fisheries Reform, AR Now, Centro Saka, Inc., Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Haribon, John J. Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues, among others as part of People’s Alarm, which held two meetings on the national land use campaign last week.
Garcia added that overlapping laws and multiple plans worsen land conflict, which is often ruled unfairly and unfavorably against marginalized sectors.
Comprised largely of farmers, fisher folk and indigenous peoples in Casiguran, Aurora, the Task Force Anti-APECO are protesting the project’s ongoing implementation which affects private lands.
RA 10083, authored by Senator Edgardo Angara and Rep. Sonny Angara, and endorsed by Aurora governor Bella Castillo-Angara, is said to violate laws on local government, agrarian reform, fisheries, and indigenous peoples rights.
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Fr. Edwin Gariguez
CBCP-NASSA ( Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace )
Tel no. 09228348248