Red Tagging SIBAT is Disinformation, Harassment.

Firstly, we strongly condemn the April 30 pronouncements in a Kapihan in Dumaguete City by Brig. Gen. Escanillas of Phil Army 302nd Infantry Brigade linking SIBAT to the CPP-NPA. We also abhor the intensified campaign of the military tagging CSOs as supporting terrorism and depriving them of their right to provide essential services badly needed by highly marginalized sectors. It came as utterly disgusting news for SIBAT to be publicly tagged and linked up. As a 40 year old multi-awarded NGO recognized locally and internationally for its high-impact Appropriate Technology (AT) services across rural Philippines in the domains of decentralized renewable energy systems, water resource development and agroecological food production systems, it doesn’t deserve such treatment. That pronouncements put SIBAT not only in bad light but endangers the life and security of its personnel mostly engineers, technicians and agriculturists whose skills and knowledge in Renewable Energy Engineering, Water Development for potable, domestic and irrigation supply have helped under-served communities improve their socio-economic conditions.

Red tagging SIBAT is harassment and a gross disrespect for its years of contribution in rural development. It is no crime to fill in the gaps to provide meaningful basic services to poor communities that live years of neglect, hunger and poverty. It is not just SIBAT’s call, but in fact, supposed government calls on everyone to work hand in hand with it to address socio-economic ills that beset the country for so long. SIBAT responded to that call with utmost dedication and principled work ethics. It works closely with the communities and government as partners. We have undertaken numerous joint projects with government over the years in addressing hunger, poverty, historical injustice and social inequality. For this reason, it has received numerous recognitions and awards for its meaningful contribution to rural development work. Of recent in February 2023, the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (UN-IFAD) bestowed SIBAT an Award as the Best Performing Project for its work in providing electricity to off-grid indigenous communities and for watershed protection.

SIBAT will not be deterred by these attacks and will continue its mission of developing, promoting and popularizing the application of appropriate technologies towards developing sustainable development among poor communities.

As such we demand that the military stop its unfounded allegations against SIBAT and refrain from doing acts inimical to the safety and security of its personnel and partner communities. We join the larger call for the abolition of the NTF-ELCAC that puts at risk the life, liberty and security of people as penned by the Supreme Court especially the CSO’s whose work benefited countless lives.


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