Environment was not an election issue, observer says

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ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines

Environment lost big-time during the recently-concluded elections in Zamboanga Sibugay as candidates failed to present programs how to address the climate change.

“No one talks about environment,” said Austero Sumalinog, Social Action Ministry coordinator of the Diocese of Ipil.

All candidates talked of development, but not the issue about environment, he added.

Flooding has become a major concern in the province and nearby areas in Zamboanga Peninsula.

Sixteen barangays of Zamboanga Sibugay along with seven in Zamboanga del Norte, three in Zamboanga City, and 11 in Zamboanga del Sur were flooded as heavy rains due to a low-pressure area struck on April 27.

Engr. Lloyd Pranza, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM), said landslides also struck in Barangay Monsulao in Siay; and Barangays San Fernandino and New Sagay in R.T. Lim.

“I have not seen as rampant as these flooding happened since creation of the province,” Sumalinog observed. Zamboanga Sibugay was carved out from Zamboanga del Sur in 2001.

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He blamed the widespread quarrying of sand and gravel along river banks and unregulated small-scale mining for the flooding.

Unfortunately, no candidate has raised the issue related to the environment during the elections, he said. (Antonio Manaytay)

This story is supported by Internews under the Internews Philippines Story Grants 2022.

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