Biking with the rallying cry “Padyak Para Sa Kalikasan, Padyak Para Sa Pangasinan!”, green groups in Pangasinan, Philippines, had cruised the highway in solidarity bike ride for the environment.
On Sunday, December 5, 2021, Pangasinan green groups, in partnership with toxic watchdog, EcoWaste Coalition, had launched the bike ride.
Dubbed as “Padyak Para sa Kalikasan,” 30 Pangasinense bikers joined a 13 KM bike ride to strengthen the call to ban single-use plastic and incineration in the province.
The group also expresses its stand against offshore mining.
“BAN Single-use Plastics, Stop Incineration”
Bike Ride lead organizer EcoWaste Coalition Policy Advocacy Officer Coleen Salamat explained:
“The COP26 has identified that plastic pollution is a major driver in the climate crisis. We urge our lawmakers from the local to the national level to include the people and the planet in their electoral agenda. We continue to call for a nationwide ban on single-use plastics, to ban incineration.”
It can be recalled that in July 2021, the House of Representatives had passed a proposed law, House Bill 9147, Single-use Plastic Products Regulation Act.
Meanwhile, the Senate has Senate Bill No. 333 or the Single-Use Plastic Product Regulation Act of 2019.
At present, there are No movements on these bills.
The group also scored the number of WTEs lined up in the province with five proposed Dagupan, Umingan, Urdaneta, and San Fabian.
Citing a 2018 report from GAIA, the groups explained that incineration provides more problems than solutions.
The process merely transforms the waste into other forms of trash, such as toxic ash and air and water pollution, which are harder to contain and usually more harmful than the original form of the waste.
“No to Offshore Mining”
Bike Ride Co-lead Pangasinan People’s Strike for the Environment (PPSE) expresses the groups’ indignation over offshore mining.
The Proposed Iron Ore Pangasinan Offshore Magnetite Mining Project in Lingayen Gulf covering the municipal waters of Sual, Labrador, Lingayen, Binmaley, and city waters of Dagupan, Province of Pangasinan, covers a total area of 9,252.4506 hectares.
PPSE convenor Eco Dangla explained: “The offshore mining project will directly impact coastal and marine resources, exacerbate climate and disaster risks, permanently alter natural ecosystems, and economically displace fisherfolk and communities.”
“Grassroots at the center”
“It’s always the local communities who are the receiving end of environmental destruction. We say time’s up. We are here to show our solidarity to the call to end the toxic plastic pollution and to stop the offshore mining.” Joaquin Alano of Alano Biker’s Club.
The bike ride event was also participated by members of KUMASA NA, Partido ng Mangagawa – Pangasinan, Bayan Pangasinan, Bayan Muna Pangasinan, Anakbayan Pangasinan, Alano Bike Rider’s Club, and Metro Dagupan Cycling Club, Inc.
The coming together of green groups in Pangasinan is remarkable proof that the frontline communities are vital to defending the people and the planet against pollution, plastics, and profit.
“We are readying our ranks to push forward this agenda as the election season warms up.” Salamat said.