Society, Ecology and Transformation: the program of action of the Philippine Greens

This booklet, which we fondly call the SET, was published in 1999. The complete title is Society, Ecology and Transformation: a program for transforming Philippine society based on the Green worldview. I am posting the full text here, for the benefit of those who want to know more about the Philippine Greens. Membership in our group is by individuals, and our members are spread out in various other organizations. We conduct regular fellowship meetings to share experiences, discuss current issues, and arrive at common positions.

To answer a common question: no, we are not (yet) a political party. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing this matter, and our decision stands — that the current electoral system in the Philippines is so corrupt that we’d rather spend our time and effort in cleaning it up first.

I was one of the convenors and also the first secretary-general of the Philippine Greens. Currently, my Green work is focused on sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, the information economy, and clean elections.

Here’s the foreword I wrote (as the booklet’s editor):

Worldwide, a body of literature is growing which articulates a worldview that emphasizes ecology, social justice and self-determination.

The main ideas of this Green worldview include the following:

– The community is the most important locus of human activity. This communitarian approach calls for community-levl politics, economics, technologies and other activities.

– We are also part of a bigger community of living beings, who have as much right as we do to our common ecological home. We therefore cannot appropriate all of nature just to meet high and often wasteful levels of consumption.

– Quality of life is more important than quantity of production or consumption.

– The spiritual aspects of reality are just as important. Beyond a certain level of material sufficiency, human happiness is often a matter of spiritual rather than material fulfillment.

– Non-violence should guide family and community relationships, our interaction with nature, and our program for social change.

– Too much political power and economic wealth corrupts. We should diffuse power and wealth and prevent their concentration.

– Diversity is better than monoculture. This is true not only in ecosystems but also in human societies.

The Philippine Greens believe that these ideas and the growing body of thought behind them are exactly what our society needs. This book reflects our initial effort to draft a comprehensive program for transforming Philippine society and ecology based on the Green worldview.

We call on you all to join us in turning this program into reality.

Obet Verzola



  1. Jojo F. Guldager
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Just skimmed over the introduction to the document SET. Quite interesting and more or less I agree with your general social, economic and political analyses…I`ll be reading more of your blogs/documents to learn more of your activities. Meanwhile, my best regards to all of you who are sincerely taking efforts for a “better Phulippines.”

  2. Roberto Verzola
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. You’re welcome.

One Trackback

  1. […]  For those who wish to know about how we can apply the latest green synthesis of socio-political and philosophical thought to the problems facing Philippine society, I invite you to read the following document  Society, Ecology and Transformation: a program for transforming Philippine society based on the Green worldview, also known as SET first published in 1997 by the Philippine Greens.  Our secretary general Roberto Verzola gives a short introduction  in his blog. […]

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