[Philippine associations] Our Solidarity with the People of Japan

Anonyme, Samedi, Mars 19, 2011 - 06:35

PLM, Akbayan, FDC, No to BNPP, Greenpeace, Phil Greens

PHILIPPINES: The Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Laboring Masses, PLM) expresses its deepest concern and sends its condolences to all the families and victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the North-Eastern coast of Japan last Friday. Our thoughts are also with all our Japanese friends and comrades and we pledge our solidarity and support to them in these dark hours.

[ below : statements from three parties and from two NGO, of which Greenpeace ]

We also join Filipinos here and abroad who, up to now, wait for official news from the Philippine Government as to the real situation of our Kababayans who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami. We call on the Government to put their contingency plans in motion without losing precious time, which is crucial, when disasters such as these strike. The Government should get its act together to ensure that vital information and other services needed by the victims and their families are given in a prompt and efficient manner.

No to Nuclear Power

The horrors of the devastation wrecked by the earthquake and tsunami have been intensified by the dangerous state of meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear reactor. The accident, in which unspecified quantities of radioactivity were released, highlights the grave inherent hazards of nuclear power generation, and confirms the scientific assessment that all nuclear reactor-types can undergo a catastrophic accident like Three Mile Island (US, 1979) and Chernobyl (Ukraine, 1986), irrespective of the precautions taken and safety systems installed. An estimated 65,000 to 110,000 people perished in Chernobyl. The toll from Fukushima is as yet unknown, but is likely to be high.

The nuclear accident in Fukushima, once again sends out a strong message to the world, that nuclear energy projects should be abandoned and that all existing nuclear power plants around the world should be shut down. Nuclear energy is neither ‘clean’ nor ‘safe’ and is not a substitute for non-renewable energy sources, such as fossil fuels.

No to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

The Philippines, like Japan, lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire where 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur and where 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes originate. The Fukushima nuclear accident only shows us that no amount of safety precautions will prevent a possible nuclear meltdown and accident in earthquake prone areas like Japan and the Philippines. If in Japan we are now witnessing a possible nuclear catastrophe, that well-trained scientists and nuclear physicists with world-class technological know-how are unable to prevent, what assurance do we then have that the same accident will not happen to the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant if it is operationalized? The BNPP was also found to have 4,000 defects that prompted the mothballing of the project in 1986 by the late President Corazon Aquino. No amount of safety precautions will prevent a Chernobyl or Fukushima-like nuclear disaster, or even worse, happening in the Philippines.

Partido Lakas ng Masa calls on President Aquino’s government to stop all efforts to re-open the talks on the possibility of rehabilitating and operationalizing the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. The Government should find other alternative source of renewable energy, that are sustainable and environment friendly, plentiful and easily available in the Philippines, i.e. plenty of sun or solar, wind, thermal and hydropower energy sources. The Government should commit itself to giving top priority to renewable energy – solar, wind, thermal and hydro – and place renewable energy power generation at the centre of a national energy program and strategy.

Partido Lakas ng Masa


Akbayan voices solidarity with the Japanese people

Akbayan (Citizens Action Party) Representative Walden Bello today led a “solidarity delegation” to the Japanese Embassy here in the Philippines to express the Filipino people’s deepest sympathies to the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit their country.

The delegation also sought a dialogue with Embassy officials to get updates regarding the conditions of Filipinos in Japan.

In a statement, Bello said the Philippines joins the global community in expressing its utmost solidarity with the people of Japan.

“As a country and as a people, we offer our sincerest condolences to the people of Japan as they try to rise from this unparalleled disaster. Our thoughts and best wishes go with them,” Bello said.

Bello said Japan is a home to many Filipinos who are working to earn a living or have migrated to the country. He described it as a “second home” to a vast number of Filipinos.

“Home is where the heart is. As such, our compassion goes to Japan and its people,” Bello said.

Bello who is also the Chair of the Committee on Overseas Welfare Assistance of the House of Representatives said he will attempt to coordinate with the Japanese government to provide possible assistance.

“While the support and assistance we can provide as a country is limited being a poor nation, the people of Japan can rest assured that we stand ready to help in any way possible,” Bello said.

Bello said one way to provide assistance is to help Japanese authorities secure the safety of Filipinos in Japan.

“We express our readiness to harmonize efforts to secure the lives of Filipinos in Japan. Their safety and well-being are also important to us. Hindi natin hahayaan na mag-isa harapin ng ating mga kababayan sa Japan ang malubhang trahedya na ito,” Bello added.

The “solidarity delegation” comprised of migrant rights advocates and members of Akbayan’s international committee offered flowers to embassy officials and staff. They hope that their simple and humble way will also encourage the public to express support and solidarity to the people of Japan.


Candlelight Vigil for Japan

Quezon City: Dusk signals the beginning of darkness in the evening. An opportune time to gather in the spirit of shared identity in the struggle against nukes. In the dusk we congregated to pray and light candles for those who’ve been struck by the tragic events in Japan.

The flickering candles illuminate the sullen riot of emotions brought about by grief, fear and solidarity with the plight of the Japanese people, who in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami are now faced with a dreadful situation, where instead of being able to plough all resources into rescue and relief efforts, the government is dealing with a crisis caused by the inherent and inescapable risks of nuclear power.

Just a few days ago Greenpeace challenged legislators, particularly those who have just this week reversed their pro-nuclear stance, to author a bill that would declare the Philippines a nuclear energy-free zone. Now in a collective expression of unity, with organizations, and individual activists involved in the broader anti-nukes movement we manifest not only our feelings of loss but also our aspirations to be beacons hope for the people of Japan as well as for the many who aspire for a renewable energy future that values our lives, our livelihood and our security.

Nuclear power has been proven to be an economic and environmental disaster around the world, aside from threatening peace and stability, and shrouding communities residing near nuclear power plants and waste sites under constant fear of accidents.

In the candle-lit night we recognize our shared humanity with the people of Japan: the candles glimmer to console, to celebrate and to renew our commitments to the struggle –to our dreams. In the gleaming light of the candles, our hopes shine in spite of all distractions, while in prayer we break silence, and allow words to flow out of our deepest parts.

Greenpeace has always fought - and will continue to fight - vigorously against nuclear power because it is an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity. We have the opportunity to say farewell to old, polluting energy sources and to welcome in a new, more efficient and conflict-free energy future.

The flickering candles at dusk is thus a call for an Energy [R]evolution: a revolution in the way we use, produce and distribute energy. A revolution that lays down the foundation for a sustainable energy future for the Philippines that not only addresses environmental issues but also provides a stable, predictable and secure energy sector

Revolution and evolution are unforgiving forces. Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of either one. But it's time to choose: all of us are either part of the [r]evolution, or we're part of the problem. And unless all of us are part of the solution, all of us have a problem.


FDC asks Aquino to drop nuclear plans, calls for Nuclear power-free MTPDP

MANILA, Philippines – The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) today asked President Benigno S. Aquino III to drop all options of tapping nuclear power as a solution to the country’s power generation problems.

The group issued the statement following two massive explosions that rocked Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant which was damaged in Friday’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and its consequent devastating tsunami. Japanese officials, according to reports, are struggling to contain radioactive contamination.

FDC also issued the statement after Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Conjuangco voluntarily shelved her proposed bill to revive the controversial $2.3-billion Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

Ric Reyes, FDC President, said that with Japan’s terrifying experience with their nuclear energy systems, “all attempts at reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant must be quashed and the nuclear option indicated in the government’s economic blueprint junked.”

“We should learn from Japan,” Reyes said, adding that the Philippines and Japan are situated on the edges of the Pacific Ring of Fire. “In fact, a tectonic plate between the Philippines and Japan is named after our country – The Philippine Sea Plate or simply, the Filipino Plate.”

According to FDC, the Aquino administration is still considering nuclear energy as reflected in the draft Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), the government’s economic blueprint which identifies growth sectors for the next six years.

Under Chapter 4 (2.2) of the draft MTPDP 2011-2017, the government will pursue the strategy of alternative technologies in power generation such as nuclear power.

“The Aquino administration must remove this section of the blueprint,” Reyes stressed.

Aside from this, one other evidence that the government is seriously pursuing nuclear energy prospects is the presentation last year of Mauro Marcelo of the National Power Corporation who even identified eleven possible sites for a new nuclear power plant.

“What made this government think that a nuclear plant is safe from tremors in Cavite, Negros or Zamboanga?" asked Reyes. “We should consider the fact that even Japanese technology, one of the most advanced in the world, failed to prevent the breaking down of its cooling plants and to avoid possible nuclear meltdown. Indeed, no amount of modern technology can withstand extreme natural disasters,” he added.


Greenpeace calls on Philippine government to scrap all plans for nuclear power

Greenpeace today called on the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to abandon all nuclear power plans, including those currently included the Philippine Energy Plan and the Energy Reform Agenda, and instead focus on achieving long term sustainable progress through safe and reliable renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

The environmental organization also challenged legislators, particularly those who have just this week reversed their pro-nuclear stance, to author a bill that would declare the Philippines a nuclear energy-free zone.

“Our thoughts remain with the Japanese people, who in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami are now faced with a dreadful situation, where instead of being able to plough all resources into rescue and relief efforts, the government is dealing with a crisis caused by the inherent and inescapable risks of nuclear power,” said Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“It is unfortunate that Philippine nuclear proponents need a tragedy such as the one unfolding in Japan, for them to reflect on their dangerous propositions. But they should go beyond merely statements that they are reconsidering their position on nuclear energy, or are putting a moratorium on their nuclear proposals. Nuclear power should be removed from the country’s current and future energy plans: it should be deleted from the energy agenda, and there should be legislation to block all future nuclear proposals,” she added.

Nuclear proponents in the Philippines have been trying to promote the technology with claims that nuclear power is ‘safe,’ and that it is a ‘cheap’ source of electricity. But the statements from the nuclear lobby are more rhetoric than reality. Nuclear power has been proven to be an economic and environmental disaster around the world, aside from threatening peace and stability, and shrouding communities residing near nuclear power plants and waste sites under constant fear of accidents.

Japan, which has 54 nuclear reactors (11 of which have been shut down since the quake), still has one of the highest costs of electricity in Asia [1]. France, which operates 58 reactors that provide 83% of the country’s electricity needs, is the largest nuclear energy user, but looking at its economic development for the last 40 years with comparable countries that have made very different energy choices reveal that no competitive advantage can be attributed to nuclear power.[2]

In the Philippines, the lack of a nuclear safety framework, which include legal and governmental infrastructure, radioactive emergency response and management systems, protocols on radioactive materials transport and nuclear waste management, and accident liabilities, are questions that nuclear advocates have never addressed.

“After more than half a century of study, development and use, nuclear technology still cannot guarantee energy security, much less the safety and health of people and the environment. Nuclear energy is inherently dangerous and an expensive distraction. Progress can only be achieved through clean renewable energy, unhindered by dirty, dangerous and finite fuels. The government must phase out both nuclear plans and fossil fuels as soon as possible, and invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies that are not only environmentally sound, but also affordable and reliable,” said Obusan.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace.


Nuclear Energy is Not the Way!

PARTIDO KALIKASAN (Philippine Green Party) would like to convey our deepest condolences and sympathy to all the victims of the recent natural disaster in Japan. The meltdown of Fukushima nuclear power plant north of Tokyo on the other hand is far from completely being a natural disaster. This is bad human judgment to opt for nuclear energy despite all its inherent dangers. The current disaster has raised serious threat not only to Japanese citizens but also to humanity.

We stand firm on our rejection of nuclear energy development option in the Philippines and the rest of the world. We continue to oppose the proposal to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in the Philippines by misguided politicians and nuclear proponents who distort scientific facts and advance their selfish agenda.

We affirm our position that our best way to energy development is through renewable sources and that nuclear energy program is too dangerous to be justifiable!

We can no longer ignore the reality! Japan being one of the richest and technologically advance countries is now rattling to address this tragedy.

The question why the Philippines should not follow countries with nuclear energy has now been answered by this recent nuclear meltdown. The environment is sending us a strong message that Nuclear Energy is not safe and our scientific background and expertise can never surpasses the ability of nature to balance itself.

Finally, we appreciate the current initiative of the Philippine Government through the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and in lined with their Radiological Emergency and Response Plan to distribute potassium iodine tablets.

However, we call them to be honest and transparent by providing the public real science and facts on the threat of nuclear energy and not be swayed by individuals and groups who have selfish and not national interest in mind!

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