Press Release
July 20, 2009

Press statement of Sen. Loren Legarda


The Department of Public Works and Highways should spare the venerable old trees along MacArthur Highway which the artists are trying to save. Engineering ingenuity can devise means by which the traffic problem could be solved without devastating the environment.

A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds a year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. Trees also reduce the greenhouse effect by shading our homes and office buildings. This reduces air conditioning needs up to 30%, thereby reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned to produce electricity. This combination of CO2 removal from the atmosphere, carbon storage in wood, and the cooling effect makes trees a very efficient tool in fighting the greenhouse effect.

Thus trees absorb the carbon dioxide emitted by cars speeding along the highway. They protect the lungs of thousands of humans and residents along the highway from ailments coming from the atmosphere. They also protect the world against climate change devastation. We must spare the trees.


The kidnap and rape of a daughter of a government agent against illegal drugs shows that the drug syndicates are becoming bolder and bolder. Because of the billions of pesos they are raking from their illegal drug trade, the syndicates have also poisoned the political system by backing up candidates for public office who would later serve as their protectors in high office. Sometimes illegal drug traders themselves run for public office.

The government must smash the drug syndicates. But the fact that they are getting bolder, and penetrating politics and the government bureaucracy, proves the ineptness and perhaps connivance of some top officials in the government in this pernicious trade. If the present administration cannot stop the illegal drug trade, we must elect a new administration that is determined and capable of stopping it. We must save our children and future generations from illegal drugs.


The World Bank report predicting that remittance flows would decline this year because of the global economic crisis should require our government to review its economic strategy. Our dependence on the export of labor and the export of commodities, to earn us foreign currency to purchase our import needs has never been adequate for our growing population. The deficit in our trade relations is also worsening because of the global recession.

The obvious alternative is to develop our economy relying on domestic agriculture and industry to provide enough jobs for our people. At the same time, we must develop the ability to manufacture commodities for domestic consumption. This is the strategy that China is now following in the face of falling export markets and indications are that it is succeeding. The United States government is also following the same strategy, although not openly, by supporting its banks, stimulating the domestic economy and adopting the "Buy America" protectionist policy.

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