Coalition pushes for environmental agenda ahead of 2nd Presidential debate

Press release - March 16, 2016
Cebu City – Environmental and community groups band together with members of the church, academe, cause-oriented and civil society organizations, to amplify their call for a more robust discussion of environmental agendas in the 2ndPiliPinas Presidential Debates, which will be held at the University of the Philippines-Cebu.

The newly formed coalition, called Concerned Cebuanos for the Environment (Suboanong Nagpakabana sa Kalikupan or CCE) came together to raise environmental issues as an urgent and important cornerstone platform and agenda in the upcoming May elections.

“Cebu has continually pushed for and led the national discourse on environment issues, such as the Supreme Court decision to ban oil and gas explorations in Tañon Strait, the movement for sustainable communities, and the campaign against coal plants and their adverse impacts on health and the environment. It’s high time that politicians, especially our Presidential candidates, hear out and respect the rights of their constituents. They should prioritize a green agenda and ensure implementation,” said Sister Virgie Ligaray, RVM, of the Association of Women Religious of Cebu.

The coalition also announced a series of activities leading up to the Presidential debate on Sunday. CCE announced that it will circulate a set of questionnaires among the Presidential candidates to know their stance on specific environmental issues in the country.

On Sunday, the coalition will mobilize 3,000 individuals to push for genuine discussions on environmental issues in the debates, where participants will don costumes to highlight both the resources vulnerable to environment degradation and possible solutions for sustainability.

Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines, added that “the 2016 national elections is an opportunity to reflect on our regard and act for the protection of our common home, including standing up for the integrity of creation and of human rights, which are both endangered in the context of profit-oriented environmental policies.”

Atty. Aron Pedrosa of Sanlakas, one of the convenors of the Green Thumb Coalition, said that “protecting the environment directly translates to social and economic benefits for the nation as a whole, for communities, and for each Filipino, now and for many generations.”

The coalition is part of the bigger Green Thumb Coalition “Pwersa ng 10 Million Boto”, which aims to influence the Presidential debates and public discussions around key environmental issues.

For more information, contact:

Vince Cinches
Oceans Campaigner Greenpeace Southeast Asia
0917-5363-754 /

Atty. Aaron  Pedrosa
Secretary General, Sanlakas/ Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
0927-592-4830 /
Notes to the editor:

The coalition is composed of:

Sugboanong Nagpakabana sa Kalikupan, Philippine Misereor Parnership – Central Visayas: Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Kaabag sa Sugbo, Pagtambayayong Foundation, Lihok Pilipina Foundation, Soil and Water Conservation Foundation, Social Action Center of Tagbilaran, Bohol Integrated Development Foundation, Women’s Development Center, Urban Poor Alliance (UP-ALL) – Cebu,ALL POWER, Alliance of SIR Beneficiaries Association (ASIRBA), FORGE, Recoletos Institute for Disaster and Environmental Management (RIDEM), OSA – Justice and Peace, Association of Women Religious of Cebu (AWROC), Mandaue City College of Social work Department, St. Theresa’s College Social Work Department, USPF Social Work Department, Piglas Kabataan Cebu, Alaska Fed, CENVISNET, RCE Cebu, Habagat, Movement for Livable Cebu, Inter Mountaineering Society (IMS), Cebu Mountaineering Alliance (CMA), Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team (COAT), ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. (ALKFI), Aksyon Klima, Alternative Law Groups (ALG), AlyansaTigil Mina (ATM), AMEN, Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP-JPIC), Bantay Kalikasan Foundation (BK), Bantay Kita, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Bulig Visayas, CBCP-NASSA, Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED), Climate Reality, Dakila, Ecological Justice Interfaith Movement (ECOJIM),  Ecowaste Coalition, FOCUS, Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE), Foundation for a Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Global Anti Incinerator Alliance (GAIA), Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), Green Convergence, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Haribon, Oceana Philippines, PADER, Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Philippine Rural Recontruction Movement (PRRM), Prelate of Infanta Community, Pugad Lawin Pilipinas Inc. (PLPI), Purple Action for Women’s Rights (Lilak), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), SANLAKAS, Save Sierra Madre, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Youth for Rights (Y4R) and