Pandan Antique Philippines

Appeal to Board Member Josephine Dagohoy

December 9, 2000

Mrs. Josephine Tan Dagohoy
Board Member, Antique Province
San Jose, Antique

Dear Jo:

I just received an unsettling news from Pandan Antique Foundation, Inc., Pagtatap USA, and Pagtatap Foundation in Manila, Philippines, through our worldwide e-mail correspondence that Semirara is going to be the new site for Metro Manila’s garbage.

The news mentioned that the mayor of Semirara island was the one who offered the use of the island for the dumpsite. We were told by a reliable source that in the initial stage of finding an alternate site for Metro Manila’s garbage, out of the six sites being considered, Semirara was the only one that didn’t object to the use of its island.

Jo, Semirara is only a few kilometers away from Pandan. On a clear day, the outline of the island can be seen from the Pandan Bay shoreline. The mayor of Semirara may not realize that he is signing a death sentence for the people of Semirara. The kickback he will be getting from the contract must be substantial since he is willing to sell his soul and people to the devil. The problem is, he is dragging down to damnation the neighboring areas along with them.

The organizations I mentioned above are Pandananons who are scattered all over the world but have formed a united front to oppose the dumpsite. This means that the mayor and his allies have this problem: We are not going to be dragged down without a fight.

Why are we opposing the dumpsite? Firstly, Metro Manila has its own backyard, so why ours? The paper described Semirara as “Antique’s remote island.” Antique is so remote to them that they think the Antiquenos’ understanding ot the consequences are remote, so remote that they cannot even tell that they are being pushed, shoved, and relegated as second class citizens. Secondly, are we less human than they are? They don’t care if the pollution and toxic waste will kill us along with the fishes and the coral reefs because we are part of the sea creatures that are expendable to them. Thirdly, think of the far-reaching consequences. Look beyond the present and imagine how a once beautiful and peaceful group of islands have become a vast wasteland. It,s not just the environment that has been destroyed, but in the midst of it all, it’s the people’s quality of life that has also been shattered.

As one of Antique’s board members, we look up to you for help. Join us in our mission to obstruct the proposal by using your positon and influence to convince the other provincial officials there to oppose the Semirara dumpsite proposal. Thank you.

Your cousin,

Washington, USA