More than two thousand individuals consist of religious sectors, environmental groups, students, local running candidates, and various environmental activists gathered at Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas.
Spearheaded by the Catholic Church and green advocates, almost forty running local candidates participated during the Green Thumb Coalition launch in Batangas City. As politicians heed various sentiments from youth, environmentalists, and religious sectors, they pledged to support and include green agenda on their electoral platforms for May 9, 2016 election.
“Hangga’t ang bayan ay kasama ang simbahan na nasa likod ng mga tao, hinding hindi po makakapasok ang pagmimina dito sa Batangas. Kailangang maintindihan ng mga kandidato natin na ang usapin ng kalikasan ay dapat maging sentro at harap ng ating plataporma ngayon,” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina. (“For as long as the State and Church support the people, no miners can penetrate Batangas, running candidates should be aware of environmental issues and put it into the heart of their electoral platforms.”)
“Yung kandidato na hindi handa na pag-usapan at hindi handang harapin ang issue ng kalikasan, wala siyang karapatang manilbihan sa atin, dahil sa panahon na nagbabago ang ating klima, responsibilidad ng mga leader natin na ayusin ang kinabukasan ng mga anak at ng mga apo natin, kaya hindi po kayo boboto para sa inyo, boboto po kayo para sa susunod na henerasyon.” he added. ( A candidate who is not ready to embrace the environmental issues has no right to serve us, because everytime we experience climate change , it is their responsibility to secure the future of our children and our children’s children; and so we are not voting for ourselves, we are voting for the next generations.”)
The Green Thumb Coalition will continue to seek the commitment of both local and national candidates on environmental issues, and further raise an awareness to all voters as the national election comes.