DAVAO CITY – Hope is not bleak for environmentalists aghast after the City Council removed the mandatory 10 percent green space requirement for new and future developments in the city.
The group concerned over the said decision, which themselves as the Green Davao Coalition, is gathering signatures to petition Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to veto the council’s amendments in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (2013-2022) on January 26, 2016.
“They deferred the 2nd reading FIVE (5) times before passing the amendment on 2nd reading on January 19. We learned about this ONLY through media and ONLY after the January 19 session,” their petition reads.
Click here to learn more about their petition on Change.org.
As of Tuesday, February 9, the petition has gathered 275 supporters.
On the other hand, their hard copy signatures have reached more than 1,000 signatures, according Julia Jasmine Sta. Romana, the initiator of both online and offline petitions.
Earlier on February 5, Sta. Romana also wrote an open letter on Facebook, calling out Councilor Diosdado Mahipus, who in one of the council’s sessions “gave a privilege speech in behalf of the developers.”
In a press conference here on Monday, February 8, Sta. Romana said she observed that “people are talking about green spaces as though it only has monetary value and monetary cost.”
“Na ang green spaces, magastos sya i-maintain pero people aren’t looking at the other values of green spaces (That green spaces are costly to maintain, but people are not looking at the other values of green spaces),” she said.
Sta. Romana cited studies which proved that green spaces provide health benefits, even “psychological, social and economic benefits for the city.”
“So to reduce the number of green spaces in the city is not contributing to the progress of Davao City,” said Sta. Romana.
To recall, the city council vote with finality the removal of the 10% green space requirements for developers. Instead, the 10% green space would be included in the 30% open space required by the national law.
“But ‘open’ space refers to roads, drainage, worship areas, and health centers in addition to recreational areas,” said the petition. (davaotoday.com)