Stop 5G and Smart Meter Rollout in the Philippines!

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CALL FOR A MORATORIUM ON 5G AND SMART METERS

We, the undersigned citizens of the Philippines, urgently call for a halt to the rollout of 5G (5th generation) wireless networks and smart meters in the Philippines. Over the years, there has been mounting evidence of harm to humans, animals, plants, and the environment from electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by smart meters and telecommunication systems from 1st generation to 4th generation, as shown in thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies by doctors, researchers and scientists. With the deployment of 5G on top of 2G to 4G networks and the installation of smart meters as part of the 5G plan, this harm increases exponentially.

Utopian society promised by the telecom industry

Telecommunication companies are in a race to quickly roll out 5G technology in the Philippines. They have been promising a utopian society – with people, smart devices, smart meters, smart homes, self-driving cars, and smart cities all interconnected by the 5G network in an Internet of Things (IoT) with very fast internet speed, reliable connectivity, and low latency. This interconnected matrix will purportedly "power a burgeoning digital economy, integrate humanity and artificial intelligence, and ultimately, transform our lives for the greater good.”

What happens when 5G and smart meters are rolled out?

But what happens when 5G and smart meters are rolled out in our country? Millions of 5G mini cell towers with arrays containing hundreds to thousands of antennas will be deployed every 100 meters on the streets and on lamp posts, near houses and buildings. The 5G antennas will beam multiple, laser-like radiation to all cellphones and smart devices in the area that will be tens to hundreds of times more powerful than the current ones. Thousands of satellites will also be launched into the Earth’s orbit, blanketing the whole planet, to irradiate areas not covered by the ground-based cell towers, at a scale that would greatly affect the electromagnetic balance of the planet's atmosphere beyond ways we can cope. Such massive coverage is deemed necessary to connect billions of IoT objects.

When the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) rolls out its 3.3M smart meters to consumers, each house will be installed with a digital smart meter to replace the analog meter. Since smart meters are never turned off, the family living inside will be exposed to constant radiation at close proximity. The strength and frequency of smart meter pulses make them exceptionally threatening, with smart meters emitting 1,000 times the radioactive load of a typical cellphone.

No independent safety studies presented before rollout

All that we have been hearing from the telecom companies and power distribution companies are hosannas and hype on the wonders of 5G technology and smart meters. Prior to rollout, they have not presented any independent tests or studies to prove that these are safe for humans and the environment.

To roll out 5G across large swathes of the population is to expose people and all living things to harm by irradiating them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with powerful radio frequency (RF) radiation at close range, without their knowing it and without their consent. The high density of radiation exposure that we will be subjected to is unprecedented in human history. It will irradiate the whole biosphere – people, animals (insects, birds, wildlife, marine life), and plants. Even those who do not own any 5G phone or device will still be irradiated. No one can escape such massive exposure.

Evidence of harm to humans and the environment

A growing number of doctors, scientists, researchers, and various organizations the world over have expressed concern over the safety of wireless technology and the impending 5G threat, and they have spoken out to protect the general public. They have published peer-reviewed scientific studies showing compelling evidence of biological harm and irreversible damage to humans and the whole ecosystem brought about by wireless radiation. They have issued petitions calling for a halt to 5G implementation and a reexamination of safety standards. An international appeal has been signed by 283,797 scientists, doctors, environmental organizations, and citizens from 206 nations and territories (as of May 16, 2020) and submitted to the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), and governments of all nations to urgently call for a halt to the deployment of 5G on Earth and in space.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer research agency of the WHO, in 2011 categorized EMR as a “possible human carcinogen". However, a later scientific review concluded that with the IARC criteria and based on a series of investigations, there is sufficient basis for classifying EMR as ”carcinogenic to humans”. These investigations found that the biological effects of EMR include: heart disease, cancer, DNA damage, learning and memory deficits, neurological damage, miscarriage, and impaired sperm function and quality. Effects on children include autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and asthma.

Knowing such dangers, insurance companies are not willing to underwrite a liability policy for EMR, opening the possibility of a class action suit. And yet the telecom companies and power distribution companies are in a hurry to roll out 5G and smart meters without consideration of their harmful effects.

Corporate interest must not trump public interest!

Public safety comes first before corporate profits!

Regulators use obsolete safety standards

Government regulatory bodies usually only have government career professionals, business people, information technology professionals, and engineers, and have no medical professionals and researchers, scientists, and other health experts among them in evaluating and setting the safety standards for wireless devices that will ensure their safety for people and the environment.

The safety standards for EMR are also outdated. The international safety standards currently being used were established in 1998 by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) more than 20 years ago and only the following factors were considered: heating or thermal effect of wireless devices and short-term EMR exposure of six minutes.

But overwhelming evidence shows that most of the biological injuries from EMR were not caused by thermal heating but by non-heating factors. Cases of biological harm have been documented even at radiation levels well below the international safety standards, including at near-zero level. Furthermore, the safety standards were based on short-term exposure of six minutes whereas most people use their cellphones for more than 30 minutes and those whose homes have been installed with smart meters or who have Wi-Fi beaming 24/7 in their homes, schools or workplaces are exposed not just for six minutes but far beyond that.

Moreover, wireless networks 20 years ago were much less dense than they are today. It was also assumed that cellphones would be used at some distance from the body, but people often put their cellphones in pockets near their skin and hold these close to their head when making calls. So, there is an urgent call to reevaluate and update the safety standards to make them truly capable of ensuring safety.

Deployment of 5G and smart meters: a crime and a violation of laws and international agreements

Establishing and activating a 5G network, including installation of smart meters in homes, will contravene current human rights laws, animal welfare laws, environmental laws, and international agreements as enshrined in the Philippine Constitution, Philippine environmental laws, Philippine animal welfare laws, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Declaration of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). This is because the significant body of scientific documentation available shows that RF electromagnetic radiation is dangerous to the health of humans (particularly children), animals, plants, and the environment.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution mandates the right to a healthy environment via Sec. 16, Art. II which provides that: “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.” Section 15 of the same Article provides that: “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.”

Highlights of the Rules include provisions on: (1) citizen suits, (2) consent decree, (3) environmental protection order, (4) writ of kalikasan, (5) writ of continuing mandamus, (6) strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) and (7) the precautionary principle.

The UNCED Declaration states: “The discharge of toxic substances… in such quantities or concentrations as to exceed the capacity of the environment to render them harmless, must be halted in order to ensure that serious or irreversible damage is not inflicted upon ecosystems.”

The deployment of 5G and smart meters, without their safety being tested and ascertained first, constitutes an experiment on humanity that is considered a crime under international law. We are being exposed to 5G and smart meter radiation without our knowledge and consent. We did not volunteer to become the guinea pigs of telecom companies and electric power companies in this giant experiment wherein there is grave potential for death or disabling injury.

The Nuremberg Code of 1947 applies to all experiments on humans, thus it applies to the deployment of 5G and smart meters with higher RF radiation exposure that have not been tested for safety prior to deployment. This code states that “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential... No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur.”

Government officials should heed the call of the people

We enjoin our government officials to heed the call of the people. People in other countries have voiced out their concern to their respective governments on the issue of 5G and smart meters, and they have succeeded in persuading their administrators, legislators, justices, and policy-makers to uphold the interest of the people. We expect our government officials to do the same.

The following is only a partial listing of people’s victories on this issue:

  • USA – City officials in Portland, Oregon stated clear opposition to the installation of 5G networks around the city.
  • USA – California Supreme Court justices unanimously upheld a 2011 San Francisco ordinance requiring telecom companies to get permits before placing antennas on city infrastructure.
  • USA – The cities of Scotts Valley and Capitolainin in California responded to growing public pressure demanding that PG&E halt any further smart meter installation until public hearings are held and investigations are completed.
  • USA – The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) decided in favor of residents to opt out of smart meters without paying opt-out charges for reasons of protecting their health from RF emissions.
  • Italy – Florence applied the precautionary principle, refusing permissions for 5G.
  • Italy - One district in Rome voted against 5G trials, with others expected to follow. Other motions to stop 5G are expected in regional, provincial, and municipal councils of Italy.
  • Russia – The Russian Ministry of Defence refused to transfer frequencies for 5G, which effectively delays 5G rollout in Russia for several years.
  • Belgium – The Environment Minister of Belgium announced that Brussels is halting its 5G rollout plans, saying, “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit."
  • Germany – Germans signed a petition to force the German Bundestag to debate on 5G.
  • Netherlands – Members of Parliament insisted that radiation research must be carried out before any approval of the 5G network.
  • Switzerland – The Canton of Vaud adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium on the installation of 5G antennas until the publication of a report on 5G by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment.
  • Switzerland – Geneva adopted a motion for a moratorium on 5G, calling on the Council of State to ask the WHO to monitor independent scientific studies to determine the effects of 5G.
  • France – A court in Tours, France ordered, for medical reasons, the removal of the controversial Linky electricity smart meters from 13 homes and delivery of electricity to the households without the device.

NOTICE OF LIABILITY

The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) stated in 2012 that “there is a need to inform the public of the potential effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs)” and invited Member States “to adopt suitable measures in order to ensure compliance with relevant international recommendations to protect health against the adverse effect of EMF”.

Let this petition then serve as NOTICE OF LIABILITY to all telecom companies and electric power distribution companies that in the event that people, animals, plants, and the environment are harmed and damaged as a result of their involuntary exposure to RF radiation from smart meters and wireless networks including 5G, these companies will be liable for damages and the filing of a class action suit against them. We also hold our government officials accountable to the people if they do not take appropriate action to abate or prevent such harm to us and to the environment.

CALL TO ACTION

In the interest and safety of the Filipino people, we call upon our government officials to:

1.     Take immediate steps to halt the rollout of 5G and smart meters in the Philippines, dismantle all smart meters, 5G cell towers and antennas, and related infrastructure that have already been deployed in the country, and prohibit the cutting of trees in relation to the deployment of 5G infrastructure as has already been done in some countries. We urge our lawmakers to file a resolution to this effect and to hold Senate and Congressional inquiries in aid of legislation on the effects of 5G and smart meters on human health and the environment.

2.   Pass laws that will:

a.     Require telecom companies and power distribution companies to present to the public proof of safety of 5G and smart meters from independent studies and testing, before rolling out new technologies;

b.    Require government regulatory bodies and utility companies to fully inform the public and hold public consultations before deploying technologies that have potential health risks; and

c.     Remove and prohibit the installation of cell towers, Wi-Fi equipment, smart meters, 5G antennas, and related infrastructure, and any RF radiation emitting devices in or near day-care centers, schools, hospitals, residential neighborhoods, workplaces, and public areas.

3.   Review the congressional franchises of telecom companies in using airwaves / frequencies / bandwidths / transponders for satellites to ensure that they comply with public safety requirements. Require telecom companies and power distribution companies to submit an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) to make sure that the technology and related infrastructure they roll out do not harm the environment.

4.   Favor and implement wired instead of wireless communication. Use wired electric meters rather than wireless smart meters. Wired communication using fiber optic technology has been proven to be safer, faster, and more reliable than wireless communication

5.   Investigate immediately any possible collusion between government regulatory officials and officials of telecom companies or power distribution companies that will jeopardize the interest and safety of the people in exchange for monetary gains or favor.

6.   Appoint immediately and without industry influence a group of independent and impartial scientists and health specialists with expertise on the impact of EMF radiation to human health and the environment, and with high personal integrity and no conflicts of interest. Their role is to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework and set adequate safety standards for telecommunications and power distribution, and to work with government regulatory officials to ensure that technologies that will be implemented will ensure the protection of human lives and the environment.

Respectfully submitted.

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