Arc in the Philippines
At present, thousands of Filipino residents are potentially exposed
to un-remediated toxic hazards...
of particular concern is the contamination of groundwater upon which communities
surrounding the former base are dependent for drinking, cooking, bathing
and washing... A health survey released by a Canadian institute in 1998 revealed
that communities closest to these toxic sites reported high rates of reproductive,
kidney, and nervous disorders.
Today, residents living near Clark and Subic report many stillbirths, congenital
defects, and cancer cases (including childhood leukemia).
1994, Arc Ecology was part of a delegation to the Philippines whose
objective was to develop strategies on the technical aspects of
both environmental assessment and base clean-up and the health
impacts of these base contaminants
strategy was to build networks within and between both the U.S.
and the Philippines, and assist in improving bilateral dialogue
and cooperation between the two governments. This
delegation wrote an environmental report based on U.S. Department
of Defense (DoD) documentation and the team's visits to the former
U.S. base sites at Clark and Subic. This report that came from
this delegation addresses the problem of off-base migration and
potential health impacts of base contaminants, with a concentration
on demonstrating that the Subic and Clark do contain sites known
to be contaminated by toxic wastes that pose a human health risk.
The report also presented recommendations for actions to be taken
to initiate a complete assessment of the toxic contamination and
the clean-up process.
the October 1999 International Summit on Military Base Cleanup,
Arc Ecology's partner organization in the Philippines, the People's
Task Force for Bases Cleanup (PTFBC), asked that we re-evaluate
the resources available to promote a grassroots legal response
to the issue of military base contamination at the Clark and Subic
2000, the United States Working Group on Philippine Bases Cleanup
became the Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Safeguards
(FACES), chaired by Arc Ecology Board of Director's member Jorge
Emmanuel. The objective of FACES is to unite the US-based Filipino
American community in a campaign to obtain justice for the base
pollution problem. Arc Ecology provides the US legislative/grassroots
campaign strategy and environmental technical support services
December 2, 2002, Arc Ecology, with FACES and a group of Philippine
people, sued the United States Navy and Air Force for failing to
characterize environmental contamination and unexploded ordnance
pollution leading to the deaths of more than 170 people over the
2001, Arc Ecology's International Program Coordinator and Civil
Engineer, Nerminda Sagum, traveled back to her native Philippines
to assess the potential for developing an alternative source of
clean water for the poor communities surrounding Clark Air Base.
Most recently in April 2002, negotiations between Arc Ecology's
Executive Director, International Campaign Coordinator, the Program
Coordinator of the Philippine-based People's Task Force For Base
Cleanup, and Philippine Senator Serge Osmeña led to a commitment
of $1.5 million Philippine pesos to tap a new water supply with
an engineering design to be created by Arc Ecology's staff (pro-bono)
for the community of Sapang Bato.