DAVAOENOS FOR SOCIAL CONCORD: THE PUBLIC DEBATE ON THE AERIAL SPRAYING OF PESTICIDES.
The public debate on whether or not to ban the aerial spraying of fungicide on banana plantations in the city is a healthy exercise of democracy. The viewpoints expressed are crucial to shaping public policies reflective of the best interest of the people.
We therefore find it imperative that the process of dialogue and amicable confrontation be strengthened so that the concerns of the various sectors for our economic well-being and environmental safety will be fully heard and considered.
It is a debate that necessitates the mustering of our best minds in the scientific, medical and legal fields as the stakes are too high: the welfare of the residents of communities near banana plantations on one hand and, on the other hand, the viability of the banana industry in which more than half a million residents in eleven provinces directly or indirectly depend for their livelihood. It is not just about health or our continuing economic well-being during these trying times. It is about our future as a city and as a people.
We therefore call on all parties to avoid innuendos and unfounded allegations in buttressing their arguments, minimize the noise and lend ears to each other so as to avoid confusion and enable the listening public to sift through the issues intelligently and in the end provide our policy-makers with the right information for decision-making and problem-solving.
May this appeal touch a responsive chord in our hearts and minds.
DAVAOENOS FOR SOCIAL CONCORD: "A Community That Knows Is A Community That Grows."