Aerial spraying ban lawsuit (re banana companies in Philippines)

The Davao Region of the Philippines has a well-developed banana industry.  A 2006 study commissioned by the Department of Health found that aerial spraying of pesticides was having negative effects on the health of residents of Kamukhaan (Camocaan), Davao del Sur province, and it recommended the aerial spraying be banned.  In 2007, Davao City passed an ordinance banning aerial spraying of pesticides, and encouraged ground spraying instead.  Banana companies (Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), Davao Fruits and Lapanday Agricultural Development) questioned the legality of the ban in court, and filed a lawsuit against the City of Davao seeking to strike down the ordinance as unconstitutional.  The Regional Trial Court allowed villagers affected by the pesticide spraying to intervene in support of the City and its ordinance, and the villagers have since become a party to the case.

The Regional Trial Court found that the ordinance was constitutional, but this decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals in 2009, despite a filing by the Office of the Solicitor General stating that the ordinance is valid and constitutional.  Davao City and the villagers brought this decision to the Supreme Court for review.  The Court of Appeals has granted an injunction on the implementation of the subject ordinance, which means that banana companies are able to continue using the aerial spraying method while the Supreme Court reviews the case.

In August 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that the Davao City ordinance banning aerial spraying of pesticides was unconstitutional.

- "SC voids ordinance vs aerial spraying", Vince F. Nonato, Inquirer (Philippines), 22 Aug 2016
- "Renewed calls to ban aerial spraying foil rehab efforts", Sun Star Davao [Philippines], 22 Feb 2013
- "Even with banana plantations devastated by Pablo, campaign against aerial spraying continues", Interface Development Interventions [Philippines], 12 Feb 2013
- "Philippines: Banana growers renew call for aerial spray legislation", Fresh Plaza [Netherlands], 17 Mar 2011
- "CHR urges GMA to shelve aerial chemical spraying", Jeffrey M. Tupas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 31 Jan 2010
- "Bishop calls aerial spraying ‘inhuman’", CBCP News [Philippines] 31 Jul 2009
- "DA exec backs aerial pesticide spraying, Dennis Jay Santos", Philippines Daily Inquirer 01 Mar 2009
- "Appellate court declares aerial spraying ban illegal", GMA News, 14 Jan 2009
- "Environment – Philippines: Aerial Spraying Case – Profits Vs Public Health", IPS, 22 Dec 2008

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Article
23 August 2016

Philippines: Supreme Court strikes down Davao City ban on aerial spraying of pesticides in banana plantations

Author: Vince F. Nonato, Inquirer (Philippines)

"SC voids ordinance vs aerial spraying", 22 Aug 2016

 

The Supreme Court has ruled as unconstitutional a Davao City ordinance banning aerial spraying as an agricultural practice.

 

In a unanimous en banc decision…the high court denied the city’s petition challenging the Court of Appeals’ ruling against the ordinance, which was approved by President Duterte when he was Davao mayor in 2007.

 

The high court, through Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, found Ordinance No. 309-7 (An ordinance banning aerial spraying as an agricultural practice in all agricultural activities by all agricultural entities in Davao City) to have violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause… 

The high court said the ordinance also violated due process rights of banana growers…

Lastly, the SC said the Davao City government had no authority to regulate and control the use of pesticides and agricultural chemicals, because this is lodged with the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA)…

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Article
3 January 2014

Case profile: Aerial spraying ban lawsuit (re banana companies in Philippines)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre case profile for lawsuit by banana companies (Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), Davao Fruits and Lapanday Agricultural Development) against Davao City, Philippines over ban of aerial spraying due to negative effects on health. Companies question legality of the ban.]

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Article
20 December 2013

[PDF] Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin – Issue 11, December 2013

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Welcome to the 11th issue of the Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin. To assist all those following corporate legal accountability issues, we send this bulletin to highlight key developments, new cases profiled on our site, updates to existing profiles, and other news. Our Corporate Legal Accountability Portal is an online information hub providing resources for non- lawyers as well as lawyers – including victims, advocates, NGOs, businesspeople, lawyers bringing lawsuits against companies and lawyers defending companies. The portal provides impartial, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged – its aim is to demystify these lawsuits. Each case profile includes materials from both the plaintiffs and defendants, to the extent they are available...[Refers to African Rainbow Minerals, Alstom, Amesys (part of Bull), AngloGold Ashanti, Argor-Heraeus, BP, Bull, CACI, Chevron, Davao Fruits, Ford, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, HudBay Minerals, IBM, Kaweri (part of Neumann Gruppe), Koh Kong Sugar, Lapanday Agricultural Development, Nestlé, Neumann Gruppe, Texaco (part of Chevron), Titan Corporation (now L-3 Services, part of L-3 Communications), Veolia Environnement, Veolia Transport (part of Veolia Environnement)]

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Lawsuit
17 December 2013

Aerial spraying ban lawsuit (re banana companies in Philippines)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

The Davao Region of the Philippines has a well-developed banana industry.  A 2006 study commissioned by the Department of Health found that aerial spraying of pesticides was having negative effects on the health of residents of Kamukhaan (Camocaan), Davao del Sur province, and it recommended the aerial spraying be banned.  In 2007, Davao City passed an ordinance banning aerial spraying of pesticides, and encouraged ground spraying instead.  Banana companies (Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), Davao Fruits and Lapanday Agricultural Development) questioned the legality of the ban in court, and filed a lawsuit against the City of Davao seeking to strike down the ordinance as unconstitutional.  The Regional Trial Court allowed villagers affected by the pesticide spraying to intervene in support of the City and its ordinance, and the villagers have since become a party to the case.

The Regional Trial Court found that the ordinance was constitutional, but this decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals in 2009, despite a filing by the Office of the Solicitor General stating that the ordinance is valid and constitutional.  Davao City and the villagers brought this decision to the Supreme Court for review, and the case is on-going.  The Court of Appeals has granted an injunction on the implementation of the subject ordinance, which means that banana companies are able to continue using the aerial spraying method while the Supreme Court reviews the case.

- "Renewed calls to ban aerial spraying foil rehab efforts", Sun Star Davao [Philippines], 22 Feb 2013
- "Even with banana plantations devastated by Pablo, campaign against aerial spraying continues", Interface Development Interventions [Philippines], 12 Feb 2013
- "Philippines: Banana growers renew call for aerial spray legislation", Fresh Plaza [Netherlands], 17 Mar 2011
- "CHR urges GMA to shelve aerial chemical spraying", Jeffrey M. Tupas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 31 Jan 2010
- "Bishop calls aerial spraying ‘inhuman’", CBCP News [Philippines] 31 Jul 2009
- "DA exec backs aerial pesticide spraying, Dennis Jay Santos", Philippines Daily Inquirer 01 Mar 2009
- "Appellate court declares aerial spraying ban illegal", GMA News, 14 Jan 2009
- "Environment – Philippines: Aerial Spraying Case – Profits Vs Public Health", IPS, 22 Dec 2008