Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Philippines: PETA's waterloo in drive vs cockfighting
(This article appears in AllVoices media website.)
Philippines: PETA's waterloo in drive vs cockfighting
Manila : Philippines | 23 days ago
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been successful in its campaign for animal welfare worlwide. It scored string of victories, including the final outlawing of cockfighting in the United States.
Now it has set its eye on doing the same to cockfighting in the Philippines.
This could be PETA's Waterloo.
Cockfighting or sabong is a multi-billion peso industry in the Philippines an archipelago country with a population of some 90 million. It is estimated that roughly 10 percent of country's adult male population is involved with sabong industry.
Ninety five percent (95%) of the about 1,500 provinces, cities and municipalities or Local Government Units (LGUs) have at least one cockpit. The bigger LGUs have two, three or more cockpits in their respective localities as the law provides that the number of cockpits a certain LGU may allow, depends on that particular LGU's population.
A 12 thousand-strong association of Pilipino sabungeros has formally filed with the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for recognition as a non-stock, non-profit corporation to be known as Masang Nagmamanok (MANA) Inc.
The primary objective of MANA is to provide welfare to and promote the interest of the common sabungeros. The fight for the preservation of cockfighting in the country is a collateral but inherent responsibility in pursuit of its primary objective.
Masang Nagmamanok (MANA) started as a nationwide movement of ordinary sabungeros, mostly small time cockers, backyard breeders and workers in the gamefowl industry-- the common sabungeros. Now it is counting as members the raisers of any kind of chicken, whether for sabong, eggs or meat production.
The first members of MANA were readers of the column LLamado Tayo by Rey Bajenting in the tabloid Tumbok. Bajenting a sabungero and gamefowl breeder from Cebu and founding director of Central Visayas Breeders Association (CVBA) also writes for Pitgames and Llamado magazines, and pahayagang Larga.
Sometime in mid 2007, a reader Boying Santiago of Camarines Sur, then the PIO of Bicol Gamefowl Breeders Association (BIGBA) suggested that common sabungeros form a nationwide movement through the column LLamado Tayo, with registration for membership done through text messaging. In 3 months, membership reached 2 thousand. This encouraged the primemovers to undertake direct recruitment through seminars and chapters. Numerous seminars have been conducted in different places and provinces in cooperation with companies engaged in the gamefowl industry.
One year later, membership of MANA was at more than 10 thousand. The bulk, about 70%, were garnered through text registration. The 30% of the members registered through seminars and chapters. It was, however ,certain that thousands more have heard of, MANA and supports its objectives but did not bother to register.
Bajenting, an accomplished cocker/breeder and popular author of gamefowl articles, books and columns, had been worried himself, and time and again wrote about what he called as false security Filipino cockfighters felt.
"Filipinos think that because of the numbers of sabungeros, including many holding government positions, cockfighting in the Philippines will never be in danger," He said.
" But we cannot underestimate PETA. It has the resources, the drive and most of all it knows pretty well how to wage a campaign," he added.
Steve del mar, the national president of MANA said that the main objective of MANA is to provide welfare, such as insurance, pension, education and medical plans and the likes, to the more than 1 million Filipinos who make a living or earn extra income from the sport of cockfighting. he said although sabong is legal in the Philippines, workers in the sabong industry are still considered an informal sector. This is also true with most of the workers in the other chicken industries.
"They do not even enjoy protection under the labor code nor any social security. They could not secure any kind of a loan from banks and similar institutions. It is about time somebody takes care of their welfare."
"The fight for the preservation of cockfighting as sport, industry and cultural heritage is necessary in the protection of the interest of these workers and sabungeros. We will face PETA all the way to the Philippine Legislature, even to the point of seeking representation through the country's party list system, if we can," del Mar said.
Other leaders of the group include, CVBA secretary Frank Rebosura, who is the treasurer of MANA, Manny Lumanao, who heads MANA- Mindanao; Arturo Mosqueda of MANA Visayas; Iriga City councilor Jessie Abonite and Boying Santiago of MANA Bicol; Isagani Dominguez of MANA Cavite; Anthony Espinosa of MANA NCR; and Col. Restituto Corpuz, head of MANA Luzon.
The group is banking on sheer numbers for they know that it is a numbers game. politicians will always favor the side that could give them more votes.
Sabong, indeed, has come a long way from being a lazy afternoon pastime in the pre-spanish and during the spanish time in the Philippines to the present day 50-billion peso industry.
In this modern day scenario, PETA, the goliath may find itself facing MANA, the Filipino David.
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Mana: Dami at Pagkakaisa
Walang duda napakalaki na ng pinagunlad ng sabong mula sa paging libangan tuwing araw ng Linggo, ito ngayon ay isa nang napakatanyag na isport, malaking industriya at kaakitakit na mapagkakitaan.
Napakarami nang nagpapalahi ng manok panabong. Nagsilabasan ang mga babasahin at programa sa telebisyon ukol sa sabong.
Sa bawat nagpapalahi, ilan ang tagapagalaga ng kanyang manok? Sa bawat may-ari ng sabungan, ilan ang naghahanapbuhay sa sabungan niya? Sa bawat kasali sa derby, ilan ang nagbabayad sa pinto upang manood? Sa bawat malaking sabungero, ilan ang mayroon lang iilang pirasong tinale sa kanilang bakuran? Dapat lang, at napapanahon na siguro, na ang masang sabungero ay mapagtuonan ng pansin, mabigyan ng kinatawan, at, marinig ang boses sa isport at industriya ng sabong.
Ito ang nais abutin ng MANA (Masang Nagmamanok), isang pambansang kilusan at samahan ng mga masang sabungero. Ang mga layunin ng MANA ay ang sumusunod:
1. Ang pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng mga maliit na sabungero, partikular na, ang mga naghahanapbuhay sa sabungan. Inaasam na sa darating na panahon, ang mga handlers, mananari, casador, kristos, sentensiyador, farm hands ay magkakaroon ng mga benepisyo tulad ng insurance, pension at iba pa.
2. Ang mapatingkad ang kaalaman ng ordinaryong sabungero sa pagmamanok. At, sila’y mabigyan ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng angkop na materyales sa pagpapalahi at paglalaban.
3. Ang ipaglaban ang sabong sa gitna ng banta na itoy gawing labag sa batas tulad ng nangyari kamakailan lang sa Estados Unidos, at ipreserba ito bilang isport, hanapbuhay, industriya at bahagi ng ating kultura at tunay na mana.
4. Ang magtulungan at makipagtulungan sa iba pang haligi ng industriya sa ikabubuti ng sabong at ikauunlad ng lahat na mga sabungero.
Inaasahan na matupad ng MANA ang nasabing mga layunin pamamagitan ng pagpakita ng dami at pagkakaisa.
Ang pagkatatag ng MANA ay bunsod ng mungkahi ni kamanang Boying
Ang Llamado Tayo ay tumatalakay sa ibatibang aspeto sa pagmamanok at binabasa ng napakarami arawaraw, kaya di nagtagal marami ang sumapi sa MANA.
Kasunod nito, ang MANA ay nakapagpaseminar sa ibatibang lugar at rehiyon ng Pilipinas, sa tulong ng mga kumpaniya tulad ng Excellence Poultry & Livestock Specialist, Bmeg-Derby Ace, Sagupaan, Secret Weapon, at Thunderbird.