People before profit

Jun 15, 2007

A member of the group Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (Maas), which advocates the banning of aerial spraying of pesticides on the city’s banana plantations, stage a demonstration in front of the Davao City office of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), the industry group. The association is asking a court injunction against the ban. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

$1-billion mining investment eyed in Mati

Jun 08, 2007

According to officials from the mining inudstry, the Philippines’s potential for growth in the sector remains good. In fact, BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner, is interested in investing up to a billion US dollars in a nickel mine project in Mati, Davao Oriental, according to Benjamin Philip Romualdez, president of the Philippine Chamber of Mines. Romualdez said at the Asia-Pacific Mining Conference in Makati City this week that foreign companies have invested nearly $700 million in the Philippines in the past three years as a result, he said, of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Mining Act of 1997 that opened the industry to foreigners. But environmentalists, who protested the conference, have warned of environmental destruction. (Photo: arkibongbayan.org)

Big banana behind Davao bet’s defeat?

Jun 07, 2007

Nenita Orcullo, who ran for councilor in the third district, angered Davao’s banana companies. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

By Germelina A. Lacorte |

Nenita Orcullo says because of her stand against the aerial spraying of pesticides, multinational banana companies launched a “massive campaign,” which included intimidating workers in banana plantations, to make sure that she would be defeated in the May 14 elections. Orcullo, who authored the law that will implement the ban this month, said what happened to her sends a strong message to the city’s officials that they, too, can be destroyed by the banana industry.

Related stories: Pilot says drift of aerial-sprayed pesticides cant be controlled | Witness tearfully testifies at aerial spraying hearings