KASAMA December 2010

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KASAMA December 2010
Volume 24 Number 4

Photograph copyright: Craig MackintoshThe Emerging Politics of Food Scarcity
by Lester R. Brown

Earth Policy Institute, 16 July 2010

A dangerous geopolitics of food scarcity is emerging in which individual countries, acting in their narrowly defined self-interest, reinforce the trends causing global food security to deteriorate. This began in late 2007 when wheat-exporting countries, like Russia and Argentina, attempted to counter domestic food price rises by limiting or banning exports. Viet Nam banned rice exports for several months, and several other minor exporters also restricted exports. While these moves reassured those living in the exporting countries, they created panic in the scores of countries that import grain.


Deborah Ruiz WallA Shifting Orthodoxy on Rice

By Robin Broad and John Cavanagh

RICE is central to Philippine culture, politics, the economy and most rural communities.

We ask a Filipino woman whether it might be good for Filipinos to shift some of their rice consumption to root crops and other sources of nutrition, she politely laughs at our clearly outrageous thought and says, “Rice makes us happy.”


What's in Frank's Bag The 12 Round Fruits

by Frank Cimatu

I wrote about the tradition of having 12 round fruits for New Year in 2000 and was stuck into following it since then. There are five fruits in the tray already (passion fruit, watermelon, orange, pears and mango) so I have to find seven more. I almost complained that mangoes and pears are not really round but I left it that.

I brought my huge “Chairman Mao teach us that we should wait in persisting and persist in waiting” canvas bag to market. There I caught up with a balikbayan friend who was not actually into it but has time to spare and so we went.


Michael A. Bengwayan West’s Ideas Aggravated Poverty and Deforestation

By Michael A. Bengwayan,
Director, Cordillera Ecological Center

There is a failing attempt to curve down the fast growing index of poverty and deforestation in many developing countries because attempts to do so were based on the neo-Malthusian perception that these phenomena are the results of high population growth and low agricultural productivity.


Marissa BegoniaSpotlight on Marissa Begonia

2 August 2010 – Domestic work: “The worst torture is not seeing your own children”

The adoption of an international Convention on Domestic Work and accompanying recommendation was approved in principle at the last International Labour Conference. This is a welcome step forward for the many trade unions fighting to defend this particularly vulnerable group of workers. One of these unions is “Unite the union” in the United Kingdom, which supports the group J4DW - “Justice for Domestic Workers”. SAMUEL GRUMIAU Interviewed MARISSA BEGONIA. She describes its activities and the reality of life as a migrant domestic worker.


by Marissa Begonia

I may able to give my children whatever they may need and ask for, but the sacrifices in exchange of all these is far cruel. I was not there to take care of them when they were sick, I never see them grow… migrant or second class citizen I may be, I am one of the migrants who cry for any injustices and abuse in job, labour law and fellow mankind.”



by Natalie Alexander

The holiday season is a time when traditions and joyful celebration spread across the Philippines, from the cities to the highlands. Yet, for some families, the New Year does not herald a great difference to their daily lives. While the nation beams with warm, smiling people, poverty and a lack of socio-economic opportunity brings uncertainty to many Filipinos.


<i>They Own The People </i>CoverUPDATE: Local Ruling Family’s Abuses Implicate Government

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, November 16, 2010

One Year After Massacre, Aquino Should Ban Militias, Investigate Private Armies

Manila -
A ruling family in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao committed killings and other abuses over two decades with the support of government security forces and officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. One year after the massacre of 58 people in Maguindanao province attributed to the Ampatuan family and their “private army” on November 23, 2009, the Philippine government has failed to seriously investigate atrocities by powerful ruling families, ban abusive militia forces, or curtail access of officials to military weaponry.


Luis Jalandoni and Coni LedesmaHope for resumption of peace talks in Oslo after success of ceasefire agreement during the Christmas season in the Philippines

KASAMA writer, DEBORAH RUIZ WALL was at the Dialogue & Public Forum organized by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University on 17 November, 2010.

An 18-day ceasefire from December 16 to January 3 in preparation for a resumption of peace talks to be hosted by the Norwegian government in Oslo in February 2011 was agreed upon by the Philippine government and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). In November and early December, NDFP International Representative, Luis Jalandoni and his wife, Coni Ledesma, NDFP negotiating panel member toured Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong to promote the resumption of peace talks. Church fears hike in ‘climate refugees’

Published Date: October 12, 2010
By Philip Mathew, Bangalore

An Asian ecumenical consultation has voiced concern over environmental degradation that is creating many new “climate refugees.”


APL LogoLabour Rights in the Philippines

The TRANSNATIONAL INSTITUTE interviewed activists at the Asia Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) in Brussels at the start of October 2010.

In the third of a series of interviews with civil society activists from Asia TNI spoke with JOSHUA MATA the Secretary General of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) about the damaging impacts of free trade agreements on labour rights in the Philippines.

Temporary work status and threats from militia make it hard for Filipino workers to organise

WeDpro Logo International Human Rights Day Statement 2010 by WeDpro, Inc.

World War II catalyzed events that propelled human rights onto the global stage and into the global conscience. The extermination by Nazi Germany of over six million Jews, Sinti and Romani (gypsies), homosexuals, and persons with disabilities horrified the world. Many decades after, peoples around the world are still struggling to keep such hard-won victories.


One Million Filipinos for Reproductive Health One Million Filipinos for Reproductive Health

We are pro-life. We believe that the RH Bill would save the lives of hundreds of women who face death because unplanned pregnancy pushes them to undergo unsafe abortion, or because they have no access to information and programs on maternal health.