Unity Statement: Scientists defend science, support #BanTrump

Unity Statement: Scientists defend science, support #BanTrump

We, Filipino scientists, technologists, and engineers under the March for Science Alliance, support the call to #BanTrump in his upcoming visit to the Philippines in November 12-14. Along with attending the ASEAN-US Summit and the East Asia Summit, he will also hold a bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, with whom he shares many parallels.

After less than a year in office, US President Donald Trump has already made a lasting impression on the global scientific community following his intensifying attacks on science. Among the moves in his crackdown versus scientific knowledge especially regarding climate change and its causes include ordering restrictions on access to scientific publications and slashing the budget of key science institutions such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, and others.

Worse still, he actively propagates knowledge that negate the scientific consensus on climate change and its contributors. In promoting the nonexistent “clean” coal, he is actively serving as a mouthpiece for the billion-dollar fossil fuel industry, one of the biggest contributors to climate change. In fact, he has appointed players in the fossil fuel industry to his cabinet, including Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil as Secretary of State, climate change skeptic Scott Pruit as Environmental Protection Agency chief, and fossil fuel advocate Rick Perry as Energy Secretary.

Trump’s energy policies are echoed in the Philippines by President Duterte, who has also advocated for the use of coal as a cheap but dirty source of energy. His Energy Secretary, Alfonso Cusi, is also an advocate of clean coal as evidenced by the 17 coal-fired power plants which opened in one-and-a-half years under Duterte’s administration. He has also consistently pushed for nuclear power specifically the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, a mothballed project of the Marcos regime questioned for its safety and functionality.

More than this similarity, the two strongmen share commonalities in their approach to militarism and war. US aggressively uses its technology such as the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs) to fuel its wars in the Middle East. Despite shaking hands with Russia and China, two countries that threaten the US’ global influence the most, Duterte is still under his US counterpart. Amid increasing US militarism in the Asia-Pacific region, Duterte has allowed troops in the Marawi siege, and he kept the status quo on agreements such as the Visiting Forces Agreement and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

We strongly oppose Trump administration’s intensifying fascism and militarism, and the blatant attacks on science through information lock down, the active campaign to deny climate change, and the outright support for big business interests, affecting the welfare of the people globally especially climate change vulnerable countries as the Philippines.

As we celebrate the World Science Day for Peace and Development on November 10, we will strengthen our guards against attacks on science that prevent its role as a catalyst for genuine development. We vow to speak out and defend science that serves the interests of the people.#

For reference:

Cleng Julve
+63 921 312 2416

March for Science Alliance at the National Science and Technology Week | July 11-15, 2017

March for Science Alliance at the National Science and Technology Week | July 11-15, 2017

“March for Science joins the celebration of the Department of Science and Technology’s National Science and Technology Week, with the theme, “Science for the People” at the World Trade Center, Manila. We have an ongoing exhibit at the event until July 15, highlighting the need for science and technology that will serve the people and inviting everyone to join the cause”
II. Upcoming events:
  • Unchaining Prometheus: A Forum on The State of Science and Technology in the Philippines 
    • In time with the State of the Nation Address of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, the alliance holds a forum to unite the scientific community and other sectors in taking action and challenging the government to address the dismal state of S&T in the country and advance programs geared towards national industrialization.
  • People’s Science School
    • People’s Science School is an initiative to mobilize scientists, experts and advocates to provide basic science education communities and basic sectors.
  • World Science Day
    • Held every 10th of November, WSD is a an internationally celebrated day declared by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to highlight the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues.
  • March for Science
    • Held every 22nd of April on Earth Day, March for Science aims to unite the broadest range of scientists, environmentalists, workers, farmers, students, and other sectors under a banner of environmental protection, national industrialization and greater support to a science and technology that will genuinely serve the interests of the people.


US’ withdrawal from Paris pact exposes agreement’s flaws

US’ withdrawal from Paris pact exposes agreement’s flaws

09 June 2017

US’ withdrawal from Paris pact exposes agreement’s flaws

Statement of the March for Science Philippines on US’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord

The March for Science Philippines strongly condemns the United States under the leadership of President Donald Trump after it pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. The US’ withdrawal from the pact is an act of blatant disagreement with the scientific consensus on the reality of climate change and a vehement refusal to cooperate with the world to solve the climate crisis.

The US’ withdrawal from the agreement marks Trump’s failure to take into account the negative impacts climate change can bring to communities around the globe as well as to the next generations. It also disregards the efforts of the people who clamored for evidence-based policy making in the recent March for Science global movement.

Trump’s reasoning that withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is in the economic interest of the American people, and is in line with his administration’s America First policy, is a mere cloak for the real cause of the US’ withdrawal: the influence of US big businesses that stand to suffer once the agreement is in place.

The United States is in no position to use as reasoning the possibility that taking part in the Paris Accord will enable other countries to have an ‘unfair’ advantage over the US. The US, as the largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, has the biggest responsibility to ensure that the ill effects of climate change will be lessened, if not fully stopped.

Contrary to Trump’s claims, it is the US which has imposed “draconian” social and environmental burdens on the people of the world, especially those who inhabit climate-change vulnerable countries. Decades of unconstrained carbon emissions from big corporations in industrialized countries, with the US at the lead, has cost the environment a “fortune”.

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, agreed upon by 195 countries and effective since 2016, is a manifestation of the weakness of the agreement. Due to its non-binding nature, which hinges on voluntary national pledges to reach the necessary carbon emission cuts, it has failed in addressing its prime objective of curbing the adverse effects of climate change. The numerous loopholes in the watered-down agreement has failed to hold the largest historical carbon emitter accountable and has even allowed it to walk away from its responsibility to the environment and the people.

We in March for Science Philippines stand in solidarity with the whole world in efforts to lessen the ill effects of climate change. Beyond the Paris Climate Accord, the world must unite to condemn and to exact accountability from the US. We call for a stronger agreement that will hold the biggest polluters accountable — an agreement that does not depend only on voluntary national pledges but has binding provisions to ensure the accountability of big polluter countries.#


Cleng Julve

Coordinator, March for Science Philippines

(02) 282 4129
March for Science, Environment, and the People: PH to take part in the #GlobalScienceMarch

March for Science, Environment, and the People: PH to take part in the #GlobalScienceMarch

Scientists, environmentalists, science workers, and students headed by AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People gathered on Wednesday at the launching of the March for Science, Environment, and the People to call for environmental justice and greater support to science and technology that will genuinely serve the interests of the people.

The March for Science started as a call to stand for science against Trump’s repression of scientific knowledge and information blackout on climate change. It soon grew into a global movement of people to promote science as an indispensable tool for policy-making and sustainable development.

In the Philippines, AGHAM together with various organizations will lead the local satellite march titled March for Science, Environment, and the People which will express solidarity with the global movement as well as highlight how science and technology (S&T) can help craft concrete solutions for the real issues faced by Filipino people.

Marlo Asis, a Fellow of the Cornell Alliance for Science, outlined the international context of the March for Science: “It will mark its place in history as the biggest gathering of scientists from across the globe to defend science in light of Trump’s anti-science and anti-people stance. His actions such as the budget cuts on public sector research and development (R&D) is a big setback in using science to pursue evidence-based policies.”

March for Science Philippines coordinator Cleng Julve emphasized the importance of the country’s participation in the global action: “We are one with the scientists in the US who are directly affected by the various moves of President Trump’s administration. The censorship of pertinent data on climate change, food security, and medical information is a huge consequence for countries like the Phillippines where scientific information or misinformation can determine life or death especially to people living in vulnerable communities that bear the brunt of the adverse effects of climate change.”

The local leg of the #GlobalScienceMarch presents the backward state of Philippine science and technology as a major hindrance to using S&T for genuine national development. This was elaborated by a student scientist and a scientist working in a government agency.

Student scientist Ezron Cabrera of AGHAM Youth discussed the future of young scientists who are being trained under an education system that is geared towards answering foreign demands instead of domestic needs: “Science education is not separate from the general situation of education in the country. The current commercialized education system makes basic science education inaccessible to the wide masses. It also discourages young students to take up science courses which are seen as non-profitable investments.”

Krista Melgarejo of the Standards and Testing Automated Modular Platform in UP Diliman lamented the inability of scientists to fulfill their roles in helping address many problems faced by the Filipino people: “The historical neglect of S&T is reflected in the lack of support for Filipino scientists and technologists. There are very limited opportunities available for S&T workers in the country; the few that are available are laden with schemes such as contractualization where employees have no tenurial security and do not have adequate welfare and benefits.”

Environmentalists also highlighted the issue of the environment. Jordan Fronda of UP Saribuhay underscored the need to involve the youth in the discussions specifically on issues concerning the environment and the people: “President Trump’s denial of scientific facts about climate change aggravates the effects of the contributions of transnational corporations to climate change. These further exacerbate environmental destruction, making it more difficult for vulnerable communities to adapt to extreme weather events.”

Enteng Bautista of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment criticized the current policies in research and development: “The low priority and budget given to R&D, especially environment-related R&D, is manifested in the lack of technological advancements that could have replaced the use of environmentally destructive processes in extractive industries such as mining. This neglect of R&D also results in our failure to maximize indigenous energy resources in the country.”

Feny Cosico of AGHAM posed a challenge to fellow scientists: “We enjoin all scientists to March with us this Earth day to push for a pro-people, pro-environment S&T geared towards the national development. We are enthusiastic that the March for Science will continue to raise the social consciousness of scientists beyond this event and that they will continue to advocate a science and technology that truly serves the interests of the people.”

The March for Science, Environment, and the People wil be held on April 22, 7 am at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City, Philippines.