Silliman alumni here and abroad and their friends have raised more than half a million pesos in the last five weeks to primarily oppose the Dumaguete government’s proposed 174-hectare reclamation.
The SU Alumni Association Inc. turned over a cheque of P514,478.30 to Silliman University to be used for its Environmental Advocacy Fund.
Silliman alumni are raising the money to fund research and scientific data gathering; information dissemination to promote community awareness; efforts in transparency in the implementation of relevant processes; the need for the strict adherence to applicable national laws, local ordinances and guidelines set by the proper government agencies; the call for informed decision-making by government officials and stakeholders; and even legal action to seek redress before the courts of law, when needed.
Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino, SUAAI president, said the Board resolved to partner with the University in establishing the environmental advocacy fund.
“Following the release of the University’s institutional position against reclamation now and in the future, and the SAAI Board’s statement to oppose the proposed 174-hectare reclamation project, the SU administration proposed, in a letter sent to me, the establishment of an environmental advocacy fund through donations from alumni and friends of Silliman,” Judge Delorino said.
She said the amount of more than a half a million pesos recently turned over comprise only donations that were sent directly to SAAI.
One of the donors is the Pay-it-Forward for Development Inc. (PIFDI), a foundation established by the first batch of Cocofed scholars at Silliman from 1975-1980.
Judge Delorino said other donors include friends of Silliman alumni who also believe in the cause of no-reclamation.
She added that other alumni also donated various amounts deposited to SU bank accounts, and will be accounted for by the University.
According to Yasmin Mamicpic Alih, SAII vice president who turned over the cheque to Silliman VP Jane Annette Belarmino, the more than P500 thousand donation does not yet include proceeds from another fund raising project.
The SU Alumni Davao Chapter, headed by Kristine Pia-Datanagan, has been producing save-the-Dumaguete-coast tshirts, the proceeds of which will also go to the Silliman environmental advocacy fund. The shirt was designed by an 11-year old grandchild of Davao Sillimanian Eduardo Bangayan (OSA 2009). Orders for this shirt are still accepted.
Judge Delorino lauded the various efforts initiated by the alumni.
“This is significant because as Silliman alumni, we are acting on our belief that the advocacy of the University in protecting the environment, and calling for sustainable and inclusive development is imperative,” she said. “In engaging and supporting activities that are aimed to oppose the 174-hectare proposed reclamation, we believe, among other reasons, that we are preventing immeasurable, disastrous, irreparable environmental and ecological damage to Dumaguete City”, Delorino added.
As administrator of the fund, the office of the Vice President for Finance will oversee the allocation and disbursement of the Environmental Advocacy Fund, the campaign for which continues.