SouthCot town studying to adopt aerial spray ban

THE SURALLAH town in South Cotabato may soon outlaw aerial spraying as the Sangguniang Bayan is studying how to adopt Davao City’s own law which bans the practice.

“They were able to see the documents on the ordinance here, so that the Sangguniang Bayan ng Surallah has [basis] on how the law can be applicable in Surallah,” said Susan Bolanio OND, executive director of Hesed Foundation, in yesterday’s Ispeak forum in city hall.

Bolanio said representatives from the Surallah Sangguniang Bayan along with environmental partners came to the city last Nov. 19.

Bolanio, along with Ecowaste Coalition, Mamayang Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying, and Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) presented their Ban Aerial Spraying campaign.

In her study conducted in September, she said residents in areas where aerial spraying was prevalent complained that their livestock became, and they could not eat the produce being grown in their homes.

“A lot of their basic rights are being violated,” she said, as chemicals allegedly also affected air quality and residents were being hospitalized.

The groups also held a forum yesterday afternoon where they presented their studies and findings on the continued use of aerial spraying in South Cotabato.

Among the speakers in the event include Gabriela Partylist Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, who provided an update on the two bills being filed in congress banning aerial spraying.

Mary Anne Fuertes, IDIS executive director, said continued talks and campaigns are set in the long run in support of the proposed law.

She added banning aerial spraying would not mean the end of large plantations.

“The industry will not die out if we take away aerial spraying,” she said, adding they have conducted studies supporting the claim.

Among the other areas in Mindanao that have prohibitions on aerial spraying include the provinces of North Cotabato and Bukidnon.

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