Asia West Pacific – May 2019

Support and Solidarity for the Marginalized in Bohol, Philippines

By Kins Aparece, human rights and environmental attorney and FPT contact in the Philippines

The reporting of the sectoral representatives as they shared their group problems and aspirations. (left to right: Elmer Tubice (Labor); Avito Closas (Persons with Disability); Gaudiosa Fudalan (Farmers); Fely Onque (Senior Citizens); Raymart Celestra (Youth); and, Rita Ballener (Urban Poor). Photo: Kins Aparece

The people longing for a peaceful way towards change. Photo by Kins Aparece.

The Bohol Ahon Laylayan (Move From the Fringes Movement) was launched in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines last April 5, 2019. It is a national movement that hopes to mobilize and empower the people at the fringes of society find their voice collectively.

Sectoral representatives from the basic sectors like the farmers, fishers, youth, senior citizens (retired), labor, persons with disabilities, and civil society, came together to present their concerns and aspirations for peace and stability. The launch was a culmination of initial meetings and consultations among the basic sectors that analyzed the actual situations of the sectors. The group also recognized that solutions to the problems identified need serious commitment and sustainable actions together.

Concerns on access to basic needs, alarming human rights violations, environmental degradation, housing, food shortage, unemployment, and poverty were among those pointed out by the groups to be immediately addressed. Nowadays, very few groups in the country openly call for change and accountability in the violence taking place in the country. The FPT-AWP assisted the group in the organization of the launch through its participation and technical help.