Lawmaker Files Bill Seeking to Protect Environment Workers

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri Sunday sought the passage of a measure seeking to provide protection to environment workers.

Zubiri, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, filed Senate Bill 2550 seeking to establish a Magna Carta for Environment and Natural Resources Personnel.

The bill aims to promote and improve the health, physical safety, social and economic well-being of environment and natural resources personnel, their living and working conditions, security and terms of employment.

Zubiri cited there had been numerous cases of unresolved crimes against environmental activists, anti-mining leaders or the so-called "green army" and even journalists involved in environmental protection campaign.

"The important role of environment and natural resources personnel is widely accepted. However, situations prevailing in the areas contested by business, environment workers and advocates' lives are often in danger," Zubiri said.

The senator said he was alarmed by news reports on the gruesome death of Jessie Camangyan, a radio broadcaster and anti-illegal logging advocate in Manay town, Davao Oritental who was allegedly shot dead while hosting a program on June 15, 2010.

Another incidents were that involving Mike Rivera, an anti-mining movement leader in Calapan, Mindoro Oriental, who suffered the same fate on May 16, 2010 and Gensun Agustin, a leader of the illegal magnetite mining in Buguey, Cagayan Valley, on March 1, 2010. …