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Climate change activists initiated a protest march on Friday from Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, and Mendiola in Manila to Liwasang Bonifacio, as they assailed the United States government for its alleged failure to provide enough “Climate Finance.”

The protest came in the wake of United States President Joe Biden’s recent meeting with leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum. Biden has accordingly acknowledged the concerns raised by these leaders regarding the devastating impact of climate change on their regions. He reassured them of the United States’ commitment to assisting them in addressing this pressing challenge.

Images show members of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and various other groups proudly displaying their banners as they marched from Mendiola to Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

(Benjamin Cuaresma/ai/mnm)

THE Media Information Literacy Initiative (MIL) of the government has gained strong support from the House of Representatives, providing a significant boost to the ongoing battle against the proliferation of fake news within the country.

Aio Bautista, the lead convenor of the non-government organization Philippine Transportation and Communication Advocates (PTCA), shared this encouraging development on Wednesday.

“This support is expected to bolster the MIL, which is an initiative of the Presidential Communications Office and it would play a very crucial role in our country’s fight against false information,” Bautista said.

Initially, the MIL aims to empower educators in state universities and colleges (SUCs) to combat the spread of fake news, misinformation, and disinformation.

Bautista further explained that, “At the outset, the MIL intends to empower educators in state universities and colleges (SUCs) to combat the proliferation of fake news, misinformation, and disinformation.”

But Bautista added that “if the House provides additional funding in the coming years, the initiative’s scope can expand to include private schools.”

This sentiment aligns with the statement made earlier by Rep. Stella Quimbo, the lawmaker from Marikina’s Second District, who serves as the author and budget endorser of the MIL initiative.

Quimbo emphasized the importance of inclusivity but acknowledged the current budget constraints, which will initially focus on SUCs.

“We aim to make this initiative as inclusive as possible, but the current budget allocation is somewhat limited. Consequently, our initial phase will focus on state universities and colleges (SUCs). Nevertheless, with the generosity of Congress in the future, we hope to broaden our reach,” Quimbo was qoted by the working media as saying.

Notably, the initiative also received support from Congresswoman France Castro of the ACT TEACHERS Party-list, who expressed solidarity with the PCO’s MIL campaign and endorsed the proposed budget increase.

Castro stated, “I stand in solidarity with this proposed digital media and information literacy campaign, and I concur with our esteemed sponsor that the budget should be expanded. I will lend my support to such endeavors.”

According to Bautista, the Marcos administration has allocated a budget of P16.899 million for the implementation of its MIL campaign this year, drawn from its total proposed budget of P1.7 billion for 2024.

This program primarily focuses on educating teachers and equipping them to become trainers, enabling them to educate students on how to differentiate between fake news and authentic information.

Launched on August 14, 2023, this initiative boasts key public sector partners, including the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Cooperation from tech giants such as Google (YouTube), Meta (Facebook, Instagram, and Threads), TikTok, and X (formerly Twitter) is also anticipated to play a significant role in executing this project,” stressed Bautista. (AI/MNM)

Image Courtesy of: Benjie Cuaresma

On Tuesday, September 19, 2023, the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and the activist Sanlakas group organized a demonstration in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) building, situated along the Roxas Boulevard service road in Pasay City. Their aim was to urge the government to endorse the forthcoming UN Tax Convention.

During the demonstration, the protesters presented a substantial open letter containing signatures from various people’s movements and civil society organizations across Asia. Additionally, they displayed protest placards highlighting the concerns of civil society organizations and tax justice advocates in the Philippines.

The letter, titled “UN Tax Convention Now: A Call for Urgent Tax Justice,” was directed towards the Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator.


ACCORDING to a recent survey conducted by the independent think tank Capstone-Intel Corp, the majority of Filipinos support the legalization of medical marijuana.

The study, carried out from August 1 to 10, revealed that 63 percent of the 1,205 respondents are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, provided that proponents conduct more research and establish strict policy guidelines for access and dosage control.

Respondents also emphasized the importance of increased awareness and education about medical marijuana.

In contrast, 37 percent of respondents were against legalization. The survey also found that 38 percent of participants believed that legalizing medical marijuana could offer a potential solution for patients who haven’t found success with conventional treatments.

Meanwhile, 29 percent neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement, and 24 percent agreed that medical marijuana legalization could bring relief to such patients.

Furthermore, 49 percent of respondents called for further research and reviews to explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of using cannabis for medical purposes. The study also indicated that 35 percent of respondents strongly supported the regulation of medical marijuana to ensure its quality, safety, and proper dosage control, with an additional 30 percent expressing agreement with this statement.

The push for the legal use of medical marijuana has gained momentum in Congress, with Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (Pampanga, 2nd District) and Sen. Robin Padilla leading the charge. Arroyo has collaborated with former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in advocating for the use and legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, as evidenced by their filing of House Bill 7817. (Jr. Amigo/ai/mnm)