Quezon City leads in-person Earth Hour celebration

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government led Saturday night the country’s first in-person celebration of Earth Hour since the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the city government said more than a hundred environmental advocates and organizations participated in Earth Hour 2023 at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

The highlight of the celebration was the switching off of lights in the establishments within the city hall premises from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., simultaneous with lights switching off around the world.

Joining the program were World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines executive director Katherine Custodio, Earth Hour PH national director Angela Ibay, Climate Change Commission vice chairperson and executive director Robert Borje, and Quezon City officials led by Mayor Joy Belmonte and councilors Doray Delarmente and Vito Generoso.

During her speech, Belmonte vowed to provide more bike lanes and bike parks in the city. She said that government buildings in the city will also start using solar energy while more drinking fountains will be built especially in schools to minimize the use of plastic bottles.

The celebration also featured musical performances, a sustainability fair and a “solidarity run” of environmental advocates.

The Quezon City Hall and Araneta Center in Cubao, as well as the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City also switched off their lights in participation with Earth Hour.

The Department of Energy said the country saved 65.23 megawatts of power from the hour-long switch off last Saturday.

Earth Hour is an annual global environmental event organized by the WWF to encourage individuals and organizations to take tangible actions for the planet. The event is celebrated by turning off non-essential lights for an hour.

The movement started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and eventually spread to over 7,000 cities and 180 countries.

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