GREEN YOUTH BRIGADE TO PINEDA, MAYORS
    Strictly implement environmental laws

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    ANGELES CITY – Various environmental groups and visual artists have joined the Green Youth Brigade in urging Gov. Lilia Pineda and Pampanga mayors to help protect the environ-ment from further degradation caused by polluters.

    In a manifesto, the newly-formed environmental group is urging the governor and local officials “to ban or regulate the use of plastic in groceries, supermarkets, convenience stores, stores, malls, palengke and/or institutions or establishments that use plastic.”

    It is also urging government officials, businessmen and different sectors of the society “to protect the trees along Mac-Arthur Hi-way in Angeles City going to the City of San Fernando and in other municipalities in Pampanga.”

    Environmentalists who attended a forum at the Spencer’s Fusion in barangay Balibago here on Wednesday said it is better to prune the trees instead of cutting them outright.

    In the same manifesto, the group also asked mayors and barangay captains to regulate poultries and piggeries (here, in Porac town and in the City of San Fernando) that emit bad odor reportedly causing various respiratory and skin diseases to local folk.

    “Let us work hand in hand to protect the environment. We cannot let the government do it alone. The Green Youth Brigade is working on broad themes and specific issues that promote a healthy environment and its sustainable development. We are not doing this for us. We are doing this for the next generations,” said former councilor Louie Reyes who heads the Green Youth Brigade.

    The group is also working to help push for the cleaning of river beds and creeks especially the Sapang Balen Creek and the Balibago Creek “from the indiscriminate throwing of solid wastes.”

    Officials of the Green Youth Brigade and other groups also vowed to file appropriate charges against individuals and institutions that violate environmental laws.

    It earlier lauded the efforts of Bishop Ambo David in pushing for the Save Sapang Balen Creek Movement. It also lauded SM malls in initiating “green initiatives” like encouraging people to use green bags instead of non-biodegradable plastic bags.


    PLANT,
    SAVE TREES

    Environmentalist Cecil Yumul of the Save the Trees Coalition is also urging colleagues and the public to “go back to the basics.”

    Yumul, one of the resource speakers during the forum, stressed the importance of backyard farming and gardening.

    She said it is better to plant calamansi or other fruit bearing trees than buy them.

    Yumul also noted that Singaporeans who are now in the country are interested to know how local folk saved the trees along MacArthur High-way with the help of visual artists.

    Hermie Pineda, one of the artists who painted human figures on the trunks of more than 1,200 trees, said he even spent his own money to buy paint used for “such a noble cause.”

    It could be recalled that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources allowed the Department of Public Works and Highways to cut thousands of trees along the MacArthur Highway as part of the expansion of major roads in the province.

    “Killing a tree is like killing the whole community,” Yumul said.

    Another artist, Jun Fabian, conceptualized Green Youth Brigade’s logo and vowed to continuously help in other advocacies focused on protecting and saving the environment.


    MEDICINE

    Meanwhile, some students of the Angeles City National Trade School also joined as members of the Green Youth Brigade. They said that aside from being chosen as “green soldiers,” they also consider themselves as “medicines” for Mother Earth.

    “On the global scale, there is a growing concern on the issue of global warming and climate change. People are becoming aware of the importance of the environment,” Reyes said.


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