By Noveah May Simbajon and Aimee Gito, Davao Today Interns
DAVAO CITY – The environmental advocacy arm of Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) has joined the snowballing petition to reverse the city council’s decision to amend an ordinance that required land developers to allocate a green space for their projects.
Fr. Joel Tabora, ADDU president, said amending the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP 2013-2022) is a “social justice issue” which should be taken seriously by the public.
“We are not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass, and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature,” Tabora quoted Pope Francis’ Laudato Si.
Laudato Si is the second encyclical of Pope Francis wherein the Pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take a “swift and unified global action”.
ADDU’s call to revert the required 10 percent green space in the said ordinance is channeled through Ecoteneo, its environmental advocacy arm which also campaigned against the controversial open-pit Tampakan Copper-Gold mining project in South Cotabato.
Ecoteneo has joined 4,000 other residents in Davao in petitioning the local legislative body to veto the CLUP amendment.
With the amended CLUP, the 10% green space requirement shall be incorporated in the 30% required open space that does not necessarily need to be a green area.
Concerned groups said the importance of requiring developers to allocate green spaces in their project is rooted on the need for the city to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Mary Ann Fuertes, Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) executive director, said green space reduce flooding and are therefore needed especially in densely populated social housing subdivisions.
In 2011, a flash flood hit Matina Pangi that killed at least 30 people and affected 13,746 families in the area and in areas of Talomo Proper, Matina Crossing, Maa, and Matina Aplaya Villages.
Fr. Tabora encouraged the public and the council to “move forward together in the healthy implementation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan”. (davaotoday.com)