Philippines: Environmental opposition to banana and pineapple expansion

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An alliance of local government units has voiced opposition to further expansion of pineapple and banana plantations in South Cotabato, claiming that it is concerned over the environmental impacts this would have.

South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy, Jr., chairman of the Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance, said the group recently passed a resolution asking the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) to deny pending requests for additional banana and pineapple plantations in T’boli after an ocular inspection of the highland municipality.

The town hosts thousands of hectares of banana and pineapple plantations of Sumifru Philippines Corp. and Dole Philippines, Inc. (Dolefil), respectively. At this stage no one from either company has commented.

The alliance says that plantations have already had a negative impact on the area, claiming they have caused soil erosions and contributed to the silting up of local waterways.

"The very essence of our resolution is to request the PAMB to desist from issuing clearances that will allow continuous banana and pineapple expansions in T’boli," said Mayor Henry L. Ladot of Banga town in South Cotabato.

A report from the South Cotabato Information Office said the alliance’s board has requested the PAMB to enforce "the no clearance, no environmental compliance certificate issuance" policy not just in T’boli but also in other towns in the upper valley of the province.