Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo yesterday said the proposal of the Consultative Committee reviewing the 1987 constitution to include environmental rights in the Bill of the Rights could not have come at a more opportune time given the dilemma in Boracay and other tourism destinations.
“It’s not only timely but a step in the right direction given the climate-change threats that the country’s archipelagic geography is facing,” Castelo said.
The veteran legislator vowed to support the proposal when the draft constitution is submitted to Congress which will convene as a constituent assembly to finalize the proposed revisions.
“This is one of the game-changing amendments to the constitution that deserve the full support of all Filipinos,” said the seasoned lawmaker, stressing that the new constitution must be able not only to address pressing national concerns but arm Filipinos with the means to deal with concerns of future generations.
This is one of the game-changing amendments to the constitution that deserve the full support of all Filipinos.
The 20-member panel headed by former Chief Justice Reynato has announced proposals to put the rights to clean and healthy environment, balanced ecology, sustainable development, protection from destructive practices and activities, and compensation for damage to environment in the Bill of Rights to empower citizens to have a stronger voice in protecting the environment and ecology.
“The environment cannot protect itself from man’s destructive practices. We have to protect the environment and one way to do it is to empower our people to exercise their right to a healthy life and give them recourse to the courts when these rights are violated,” the representative from Quezon City explained.
Castelo said the country has seen the ill effects that damage to the environment can bring—from floods and landslides caused by forest denudation to pollution of water systems and destruction of farmlands on account of irresponsible mining and illegal discharge of factory wastes to air pollution and destruction of natural tourist destinations.
Tens of thousands of lives have been lost and millions are exposed to the ill effects of all these on health and well-being, he said .
In Metro Manila alone, the entire river system is polluted and the water has become poisonous while the air people breathe is one of the leading causes of respiratory diseases and garbage piles up to look like mountains.
“In Metro Manila alone, the entire river system is polluted and the water has become poisonous while the air people breathe is one of the leading causes of respiratory diseases and garbage piles up to look like mountains,” Castelo said.
“We need to have stronger provisions in the constitution to arrest environmental degradation,” he added.