GENUINE Opposition (GO) candidates are the “greenest” of all senatorial bets, the results of the 2007 Green Electoral Initiative (GEI) survey show.

Topping the survey is GO candidate and political neophyte Sonia Roco, followed by Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III, Manuel Villar Jr. Independent candidate Gregorio Honasan also made it to the top five green circle. Team Unity’s Miguel Zubiri, who describes himself as an avid environmentalist, did not rank high on the list. (View GEI overall rating.)

The month-long survey, conducted by environmental groups Greenpeace, EcoWaste Coalition, and Kaisampalad, ranked all senatorial candidates from a green to grey spectrum. (Click on image below for a larger view.)


A candidate’s “greenness” was based on one’s stand and track record on key environmental issues such as climate change, waste trade and the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), sustainable agriculture, deforestation, and air and water pollution. (See questionnaire)

Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaigns Director Von Hernandez said that the assessment of the candidates’ responses placed premium “not only on the quality and clarity of their positions on specific issues, but also their deeds or misdeeds in the environmental field.”

“We hope that voters will use the survey results in making green choices for the well-being of Mother Nature. The choices we make will have serious implications on how the next Senate will see and act upon the many environmental problems besetting our nation,” Rei Panaligan of the EcoWaste Coalition said.

Only 19 of the senatorial candidates responded to the survey. Those who did not respond, among them GO candidates Benigno Simeon Aquino III and Allan Peter Cayetano and Team Unity’s Prospero Pichay Jr. and Ralph Recto, were lumped in the greyish spectrum.

Greenpeace said that those who responded will support eco-friendly measures such as the mandatory labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms.

Majority of the candidates also said that they would support the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment, which would ban the dumping of hazardous waste in the country.

The green candidates would likewise push for the passage of a renewable energy bill and committed to support a five-year moratorium on commercial logging operations.

Greenpeace said it will remind the candidates of their commitment to the environment should they be elected into office.

The Green Electoral Initiative 2007 is the second attempt of environmental groups to rate candidates. The first initiative was done in 2004.

Read the responses of each candidate’s by clicking on the links below:

Ma. Roma Marqueses of St. Scholastica’s College is currently doing her internship with the PCIJ.

4 Responses to Green or grey?



April 22nd, 2007 at 7:08 am

siyempre, asawa kasi ng isa ring GREEN…

si Raul Roco.



April 22nd, 2007 at 9:42 am

But first we have to ask all these candidates what they are going to do with the current environmental issues, the garbage, uncollected and rotting in every street corners, empty lots, streets, and backyards right in the capital city?

Of course you won’t see these garbage in the neigborhoods of most of these candidates, but just walk the streets, especially in the depressed areas and you will see.


Who votes for the environment? « kilometre zero

May 9th, 2007 at 9:32 pm

[…] 9th, 2007 · No Comments Find out who among the Philippine senatorial candidates are “greenest” – based ontheir track record and support for the environment. PCIJ has published the results of the Green Electoral Initiative survey. See it here. […]


Randy Yu

August 22nd, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Another Biased View on JPEPA?

Upon reading updates and press releases on JPEPA from various websites including the Philippine Senate’s own and some read-worthy blog sites, I can only utter one word, “DISAPPOINTMENT.” From this blog, I may describe the Filipino people as “cowards”, so please don’t read it if you are not open-minded. I will tell you frankly that it may be biased because of my position; I am currently the operations manager of a joint Philippine-Japan caregiver related NPO, but on the other-hand, it might be informative because we have experienced a successful facilitation of caregivers from the Philippines for Japan’s hospitals, care homes and facilities and everything happened outside the jurisdiction of JPEPA.

Today, even with the momentary slip of the Philippine economy from a series of super typhoons and flooding, emergency holidays and Abu Sayyaf wars, we cannot deny that our country’s economy is at a current positive. Yet, amidst the growth and gains, we cower down to our tradition of fearing change. From fresh senators to rating inspired media personalities, from oblivious taxi drivers who listen to too much AM radio to regular students aiming just to look cool, to ordinary citizens who just go with the flow and the trend, to mothers who would care less to listen to current news because of the excitement of the next television series. The Filipino people today will shame the Philippine flag that symbolizes freedom, courage and determination. Fearing change, cowering and clinging to the ordinary and easy life.

JPEPA was molded by our President (please take note that I despise all politicians especially our President) and the preceding Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi as the highlight of their careers. After her term, President Arroyo will be remembered as the economist while Koizumi will always linger as the savior of Japan’s economy, and maybe branded as one of the best, if not the best of all Japan’s Prime Ministers. These two personas have adept knowledge of economy and patriotism, and they both knew that JPEPA will be beneficial for both, if not for their own countries. If I can remember, everything started years ago, and then it was supposed to be ratified at the Senate before the 13th congress will end but then there was the issue “Toxic Wastes”. Fearing that it might affect election polls, they waived it for the 14th congress. Today, here we are again, waiting for the next big clue that the Philippines will surely win before they will ratify JPEPA. Basically, JPEPA is in the hands of the 23 Senators (I’m still hoping that the number is 24, because ratification needs 16 votes and now there are less voters) but they cannot see clearly the “Win-Win” situation for JPEPA because most of them are clouded by personal agendas and political differences.

Senator Mar Roxas; the grandson of one of Philippine’s better Presidents, Manuel Roxas, also an economist; (take note) stated in one of his interviews on a press release this weekend at the Senate’s website that JPEPA’s ratification will probably hang in the balance of satisfying these four issues;

01. trade in goods
02. toxic wastes
03. nurses and caregivers
04. other trade, legal and treaty issues

I think he might be wrong, number 01 and number 04 are irrelevant because issues underlying these revolve around the whole idea of having an EPA or an FTA, or in a specific sense, our JPEPA. I will try to explain my point by sampling words this treaty has in it and perhaps it will illuminate issues that some geniuses missed. This treaty goes around the whole “economic agreement” or “trade agreement” that so happens to have additional words such as “partnership” and adding “free” to “trade” making it “free-trade”. “Competition” is another word that needs to be pointed out. In a free trade world, competition is supposedly accepted and adhered to, instead of being treated as a foe. Running a country’s economy is like running a business, competition is inevitable, how can we even compete with other countries in our region if we don’t want to do business in the first place (metaphor). Ratifying JPEPA is the only way to start that said business. Indonesia has done it, (ratification of their EPA with Japan) Thailand too. The Philippines have better resources than these two countries but we are behind them now because we are cowards.

On the issue of “Toxic Wastes”, I am a tree hugger myself but I think Japan will not go overboard actually dumping toxic wastes to the Philippines. They are mainly thinking of waste disposal facility projects similar to the solution of taking care of Tokyo’s wastes. Tokyo is the biggest city of Japan and home to almost 15 million people. Imagine the garbage and waste of this city everyday and ask me how it is taken care of. (Perhaps it is better if you ask yourself and research it yourself) Tokyo has a lot of big garbage disposal facilities that burns biodegradable and integrates recycling. From the idea of recycling, that is where trade comes in again. Some of these recyclable wastes can still be sold and that is where misinterpretation of the “Toxic Waste” idea. (sigh) We complain about toxic wastes yet we do nothing to Manila’s own garbage problem. What about the lands in Payatas?

Finally, on the issue of Caregivers, the highlight of this blog, the Japan government may be too strict to be raising the bar of requirements too high that it may seem that they are not interested in Filipino caregivers at all, but it is just another misinterpretation. Japan has always been strict and disciplined when it comes to work issues. They will accept Filipinos or other foreign health care workers if they can trust to put the lives of their grandparents to the hands of these individuals. Caregiving may look easy but it is still a job that involves human lives, and a more fragile human life that is. I think strictness is an understatement. To add, we have to take away the impression of Japanese citizens on Filipinos merely as entertainers who lack education. Plus we have to insist that this new gateway will not be abused as another channel for facilitating these entertainers anew. Now, aren’t we the ones who need to adhere to the strict requirements or am I just disillusioned?

It is true that compared to other destinations, Japan will not likely to be chosen by top notched nurses who would rather choose places with better deals like family related visa issues, longer careers and better pays, but I think it would be better for the Philippines to welcome “balikbayans” instead of losing better professionals by becoming US and Canadien citizens. (huh?) Also, the pool of caregiver graduates of the Philippines is growing at a fast rate that later on, the POEA will again tackle the problem of quality and quantity. It is better to raise the bar of requirements now so that we can maintain the top quality of Filipino health care professionals whose golden heritage is known all over the world. (I hope somebody from TESDA is reading this now)

The Senate should ratify JPEPA now; we have no time to waste and definitely no time to impose personal and political differences in front of more important issues. I am calling on all Senators to please look at it on a better perspective.

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