US debt deal helps Philippines save forests

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INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The United States will help preserve the Philippines’ rapidly vanishing tropical rainforests under an $31.8-million debt-to-aid conversion signed in Manila on Thursday, the two governments said.

Payments on debt owed by the Philippines to the US Agency for International Development will be redirected to starting a tropical forest conservation fund, a joint statement said.

The fund would provide grants to conserve, maintain and restore still substantial forest lands in five regions of the archipelago.

“In addition to helping to preserve the Philippines’ extraordinary terrestrial biodiversity, the fund will contribute to international climate change mitigation efforts,” the statement said.

US-based environment group Conservation International lists the Philippines as one of 17 “mega-diversity” countries that together have more than two-thirds of earth’s plant and animal species.

However the Philippines is also considered a biodiversity hotspot due to rapid harvesting or conversion of its forests to farms or other uses.

The Philippine government says the country lost half its forest cover over the past 100 years, and is down to 7.6 million hectares (18.78 million acres).

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  • SaintJames2011

    So, when is Pres. Aquino going to allow the U.S. and Japan access to Philippine military bases? The U.S. can also help the Philippines with its territorial issue with China only if Pres. Aquino’s government approves the plan to allow them access to Philippine military bases. Pres. Aquino shouldn’t wait any longer — approve now!

    • kanoy

      NO WAY—THE US WAS TOLD UNEQUIVOCALLY ”YANKEE GO HOME WE DON’T NEED YOU WE CAN DEFEND OURSELVES”
      SO DEFEND YOURSELF AND NOT WASTE A DROP OF AMERICAN BLOOD

      • Marx Louis Wang

        FREAKING COMMUNIST KA TALAGA!!! NO MATTER WHAT YOU POST HERE,YOU ARE CONFIRMED 100% COMMUNIST!

  • Simpleng_ofw

    Nagmalasakit US sa ating kalikasan. Ang China naman walang habas sa pag-nakaw at pag-sira ng ating yamang dagat. Pero may mga senyales bumababa ekonomiya ng mga lecheng intsik na to. So let’s keep boycotting China-made products.

    • kanoy

      ANOTHER SAD BURDEN ON THANKLESS US TAXPAYERS

      • Crazy_horse101010

        better than letting sharon palin getting her hands on it

      • opinyonlangpo

        sharon palin – And who could that be?

      • Simpleng_ofw

        Ikaw pabigat sa bansang tinitirhan mo, walang kwenta puro reklamo.

      • Guest

        True. What most people don’t know is that these aid that have been coming into the Philippines all these decades is from tax paying citizens. Then the Communist kids blame these countries…. should they blame the countries for putting the Philippines in debt or our selves? They should stop complaining, protesting, burning flags and start being smart by getting into politics. The irony is, lets see how long before these righteous kids become power hungry too… LOL

  • Guest

    There should be a specific location where that money should go or it will be hard to track it without the FOI bill. Maybe in reforestation of New Bataan, Compostela Valley will be a good area or any part devastated by typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.

  • JanofVA

    Yes, it’s always good to spend money on saving the forest, other than the millions of starving children…tsk…tsk…stupid liberal mentality…

    • Marx Louis Wang

      Ibigay mo ang pag c c c mo sa simbahang katoliko, sila itong gusto maraming anak.

  • judefawley

    baka mapunta na naman itong perang ito sa mabuting kamay ha

    • band1do

      Always the case….

      • mon key

        kung mag protesta ako dahil na punta sa mabuting kamay ang pera . . . communist kid na ba kaagad ako? ikaw talaga!

  • band1do

    So now that the US is not putting interest on our loans, these communist kids have no reason to protest against the US again. If anything F***S up, it’s the local Gov. to blame in those areas affected by de-forestation.

  • BIGButo

    You have got to be kidding

  • joboni96

    itong usaid na ito
    nagpautang para sa gusto nilang imperialist policies

    na babayaran nating mga pilipino
    pati mga mamahaling u.s. consultants

    maraming collaborator ang usaid sa inquirer
    naka pa sexy press release na naman

  • BIGButo

    Leftist looser hope you get a life and an education someday

  • DGuardian

    Maraming salamat sa US at mukhang mayroon na tayong pagasa na unti-unting masagip ang natitira pa nating mga rainforests. Sana ay ma-i-restore nga ang 50% na nawalang rainforests ng Pilipinas due to illegal logging, legal at illegal mining, pagkakaingin, pagputol ng mga puno upang taniman ng mga crops ang lupa, at pagtatayo ng mga illegal na bahay at iba pang structures. Tunay na nakalulungkot at nakapanghihinayang ang mga nawala at tuluyan nang na-extinct na mga indigenous fauna at flora ng mga nawalang mga rainforests at jungles natin. Tunay na natatangi ang pambihirang biodiversity ng Pilipinas sa mga ito, subali’t dahil iba ang mentalidad ng mga Pilipino at ang kanilang fixed mindset sa anumang pagkakaperahan ay tuluyan nang nawala ang mga likas na yaman nating ito. Mas mabuti kung ang USAID ang mamamahala sa paggamit ng pondo at hindi ang DENR dahil tiyak na maaaring manakaw lamang ang 31.8 million dollars kung ito ay ipauubaya at ipagkakatiwala sa mga Pilipino. Parang sakit na ng majority ng mga Pilipino ang Kleptomania. Sayang kung wala ding kahihinatnan ang napakagandang proyektong ito.

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