Tag Archives: unesco

UNESCO: Philippine measures preventing crimes against journalists and media workers

PTFoMS welcomes report citing gains in safety of journos

How UNESCO used social media to raise awareness of crimes against  journalists - Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard - Hootsuite

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) recognition of the Philippines’ significant progress in protecting journalists is a “validation” of the Duterte administration’s efforts to uphold press freedom in the country, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said on Sunday.

MEDIA WORKERS MATTER. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary and Presidential Task Force on Media Security co-chair Secretary Martin Andanar on Sunday (March 14, 2021) says the government values the life, liberty, and security of media workers. He cited the UNESCO’s 2020 Director-General Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity that indicated the Philippines showed significant progress in protecting the welfare of media workers. (PNA file photo)

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary and PTFoMS co-chair Martin Andanar issued the remark after the UNESCO’s 2020 Director-General Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity showed that “significant progress was made” by the country in the case of the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre, pointing out that on December 19, 2019, the court convicted 43 individuals, including the masterminds behind the attack. Read More

PH ‘biggest mover’, out of top 5 worst countries for journalists


UNESCO classifies Ampatuan massacre case ‘resolved’

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has officially classified the Ampatuan massacre as “resolved”, proof that the country’s justice system in safeguarding press freedom is truly working under the Duterte administration.


Moez Chackchouk, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, announced this in his letter to Ambassador Theresa Lazaro, acknowledging the concrete efforts of the government in bringing to justice the suspects in the 2009 massacre. Read More

THE MURDERERS by the Durian Post

Also Read: Data sharing deal to speed up probe on attacks vs. press

Hamiguitan closed to climbers

Only 30 scientists and researchers would be allowed every month

cynthia rodriguezMt. Hamiguitan will be closed to climbers as part of efforts to conserve the newly inscribed World Heritage Site.

       According to Cynthia Rodriguez, tourism consultant to the provincial government of Davao Oriental, only 30 scientists and researchers would be allowed every month to climb Mt. Hamiguitan to conduct research and studies.
       Rodriguez said the restriction is among steps being taken  to ensure the protection of the unique flora and fauna of the mountain.
 Hamiguitan has about 1,380 identified species of flora and fauna, 341 of which are endemic to the region.
       The mountain was inscribed last June 23 in Doha, Qatar to the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List, the 6th site in the Philippines and the first in Mindanao.
       Rodriguez said the conservation and protection effort would be backstopped by the deployment of more forest guards (Bantay Gubat) in Mt. Hamiguitan.
       Despite the restriction, Rodriguez said mountain climbers would be allowed in the designated foothills of the home of the famous Pygmy Forest, a major attraction of the latest addition to Unesco’s World Heritage Sites.

Apo, Hamiguitan pushed as Unesco Heritage sites

Mt. Apo, the Philippines’ highest mountain, in Davao City, and Mt. Hamiguitan, world famous for its Pigmy Forest, in Davao Oriental, are being pushed to be listed in the World Heritage Sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco).
Leading the move is the Davao City American Chamber of Commerce (ACC), led by its president, businessman Sonny Dizon.
Dizon said Mt. Apo and Mt. Hamiguitan are among 29 natural wonders in the Philippines seeking inclusion in the  World Heritage list that Unesco picks every three years on the basis of biodiversity, imminent threats and their social impact on the communities.
Being in the WorldHeritage list translates to valuable funding for preservation and conservation from Unesco, according to Dizon.
The Unesco office in Manila and local governments in the Davao Region are helping push the move, said Dizon.
The Unesco world heritage sites include ancient ruins and natural wonders of nature, which are picked every three years and added to thousands of sites now being preserved and conserved with Unesco funding and technical support. JOANNA C. BALANZA

PHL strongly supports UNESCO stand on press freedom

MANILA, Nov. 2 (PNA) — The Philippines has thrown its support for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) stand on press freedom, saying it jives with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s social contract with the Filipino people.

In his statement at the opening ceremonies of the CI (Communication and Information) Commission meetings held during the 36th UNESCO Conference in Paris, France on Monday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Philippine government is committed to protecting the citizenry, particularly journalists, in the practice of their profession.

“… the Philippines wishes to express its strong support for the CI sector’s vigorous promotion of freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and freedom of information as these freedoms are hallmarks of our government’s Social Contract with the Filipino people under the leadership of President Benigno S. Aquino III,” Coloma said.

“We wish to particularly underline our support for IPDC’s (International Programme for the Development of Communication – a multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries) function as an oversight body on the safety of journalists. Our government is fully committed to the creation of an environment that will ensure the safety and protection of journalists in the practice of their profession,” he added.

He said the government is working towards enacting the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act that aims to strengthen the protection of this fundamental right.

Coloma also said the government is adapting a UNESCO-inspired communication for development (C4D) framework that hopes to “create a community of citizens and strategic guide of the different communication and information agencies of government towards an authentic two-way dialogue between the people and the state.”

The Communications Secretary also reaffirmed the country’s commitment to promote the five major programs of the Organization’s Information for All Programme (IFAP), particularly the program on Media and Information Literacy.

The overall goal of IFAP is to help UNESCO Member States develop and implement national information policies and knowledge strategies in a world increasingly using information and communication technologies (ICT).

In order to achieve this goal, the Programme concentrates its efforts on the five priority areas: 1) Information for Development focuses on the value of information for addressing development issues; 2) Information Literacy empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goal; 3) Information Preservation will be predominantly executed by strengthening the underlying principles of the Memory of the World Programme, beyond its registers, which serve as catalysts to alert decision makers and the public at large; 4) Information Ethics cover the ethical, legal and societal aspects of the applications of ICT and derive from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and, 5) Information Accessibility encompasses the many issues surrounding availability, accessibility and affordability of information, as well as the special needs of people with disabilities.

Coloma said the government has partnered with the Philippine Social Science Council and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology to develop an electronic science hub which will serve as an open access repository of Philippine social science publications and materials.

“This project seeks to attain the full potentials of digital technologies in building the research capability of academic institutions, so that these may contribute more significantly to knowledge creation,” Coloma said. (PNA)

THE DURIAN BEAT: UN official fears seawater intrusion into Davao City aquifer


aboitiz-poered-plant-oo2ROGERBADBY ROGER M. BALANZA

A visiting United Nations expert on water resource management has warned of seawater intrusion into the city aquifer if the local government allows uncontrolled use of its groundwater reserve.


KHAN: Scary scenario

When that happens, it would be irreversible, said Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Chief of Section on Sustainable Water Resources Development and Management of the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Khan’s warning comes as the Davao City local government is locked at the crossroad of whether or not to approve the controversial AboitizPower P25-billion, 300-MW Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion (CFB) coal-fired power plant.

The plant, to be located atop the city aquifer in Binugao, Toril would need about 1,500 cubic meters of fresh water a day for its cooling system to be pumped out of the city’s groundwater reserve.

 The city depends upon the underground reservoir for drinking water and other domestic needs of its 1.4 million inhabitants.

Although already endorsed by the Davao City Council, the project of the Aboitiz-owned company has suffered a snag.

Last week, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who heads the local

DUTERTE with members of the Davao City Council

legislative body, said he would oppose the project following information the plant would siphon off water from the underground water source. He said the groundwater reserve should be protected for the future generations of Dabawenyos.

Duterte had suggested conduct of further study on the potential threat of the coal plant to the water resource or that AboitizPower draw out water for its cooling system from surface water like rivers.

The Davao City Water District (DCWD), the city’s water utility firm which sources out supply from the reservoir located in the Dumoy-Toril area south of the city, said the water reserve has a lifespan of only 50 years if no alternative sources are found. The DCWD is developing a gravity-type surface water development project utilizing an upland river to supply half of the population in the city’s northern district. The project is aimed at easing pressure on the water reservoir already being depleted by several-intensive industries.

trees7Khan is no stranger to Davao City, regularly coming here to assist local stakeholders in planning water resource management strategies through HELP Network Davao, which he help organized five years ago.

Khan bared the scary scenario of seawater intrusion into the underground water reservoir at the sideline of the 3-day Symposium on Water Resource Management and Hydro Hazard held in Davao City last week.


The symposium was organized by the HELP Davao Network headed by Davao City councilor Marissa Salvador-Abella, chair of the city council committee on environment. Kahn is an advisor to HELP Davao Network.


Once seawater seeps in, it would be irreversible, Khan told a group of water conservation stakeholders during a dinner composed of Davao City councilor Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling, former chair of the city council committee on environment and author of the landmark Davao City Watershed Management, Protection and Conservation Ordinance,  Abella, council committee on environment chair and members of HELP Network Davao.

CABLING: Author of the landmark Davao City Watershed Code

Cabling said Khan told his group that over-utilization of the reservoir could deplete volume and force seawater to seep in to contaminate the reserve.

Seawater intrusion is now happening in the water resources of Cebu City and Manila due to over-utilization of their underground water reserves.

Khan, offhand, told the group, the AboitizPower would pose greatest threat if it pumps out water from the groundwater reserve, the plant being located at the aquifer in the coastal area where seawater and fresh water meet.

Seawater is four times denser than fresh water, said Cabling quoting Khan. Which means that, according to Khan, seawater intrusion would be easier if there is depletion in the reservoir, which would need four times the pressure of fresh water for the intrusion to be prevented.

Khan, an Australian of Pakistani descent, also heads the  UNESCO  Water Education for Sustainable Development and  Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy (HELP), which  advises UN member states on environmental and water management policies IN the Asia-Pacific and African regions.                 

            While here Khan witnessed the launch of the Customized IWRM Guidelines for Davao City and Region XI, a comprehensive guide on water resource management developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)  and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) regional offices in the Davao Region with technical and fincial assistance from UNESCO. ROGER M. BALANZA