Bukidnon legislators back Davao aerial spray ban

"It is the sense of the honorable members of this august body that such noble actuations be given due appreciation," the provincial legislators said in the resolution.

The Davao City Council passed its ordinance banning aerial spraying in agricultural plantations in January 2007, six years after the province of Bukidnon passed a similar measure.

The resolution was passed in response to lobbying done by the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (MAAS) to gather support for the ordinance.

On March 12, MAAS will start a campaign caravan from Davao City to Cagayan de Oro City to raise public awareness on the effects of toxic chemicals being used in plantations.

The caravan will stop here for an hour of solidarity with local leaders.

Mavic Hilario of the Interface Development Initiatives (IDIS), an NGO backing MAAS, said the Diocese of Malaybalay and the City Government of Malaybalay have signed a manifesto in support of the ordinance.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte signed the ordinance in February 2007 amid last-minute lobbying by the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association.
The ordinance was supposed to be implemented starting March 23, 2007. But PBGEA has challenged its constitutionality before the Regional Trial Court in Davao City and the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro.

The RTC ruled on Sept. 22, 2007 that the ordinance is valid and constitutional forcing the plantations to ground the planes they used in spraying.

But the banana growers countered with a motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction at the CA.
The CA issued a 60-day TRO in November 2007, which allowed spraying to resume after PBGEA posted a P1-million bond.

On January 28 this year, the CA issued a six-month writ of preliminary injunction on the ordinance. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)