'We broke it, we fix it': DENR urges Filipinos to join Earth Hour 2024

James Relativo - Philstar.com
'We broke it, we fix it': DENR urges Filipinos to join Earth Hour 2024
This picture shows the Quezon Memorial Shrine after the lights were turned off to mark the Earth Hour environmental campaign in Quezon city, suburban Manila on March 25, 2023.
AFP / Earvin Perias, File

ANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) enjoined Filipinos to do their part in reversing damages brought by humans upon Mother Nature in the last 300,000 years.

Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga had this to say Saturday as the World-Wide Fund for Nature — Philippines (WWF Philippines) encourages everyone to switch off non-essential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the face of global warming and climate change.

"While global discourse on climate resilience continues, we must face the urgency of our planetary crisis," said Loyzaga.

"The Earth Hour reminds us both the promise and the perils of our current trajectories," she added.

While humans have managed to generate artificial intelligence, send men to the moon and search for signs of life on other planets, the DENR official lamented how mankind still cannot control its fossil-fueled consumption, nor prevent plastics from reaching oceans.

The said movement aims this year's Earth Hour to the the biggest yet. Last 2023, over 410,000 hours were given to the planet by supporters in over 190 countries and territories.

In line with this, the DENR has renewed its commitment as it stands with the WWF Philippines in the global observance of Earth Hour 2023 with the local theme, "Switch Off Plastic Pollution, Switch On Nature."

"Our respinses to this complex challenge must not only be bottom-up but also top-down, curring cross all sectors, industry,  government and academia must lead the CHANGE lest our Earth choke in the hands of the most intelligent species that ever lived," continued Loyzaga.

"We broke this planet. We may still have a chance to fix it — but we must ACT TODAY."

Manila as main partner

The Department of Health last Friday voiced its support in making this year's observance the #BiggestHourForEarth, emphasizing how WWF — Philippines has chosen Manila City as the "main partner" and venue for this year's Earth hour event launch.

Iconic landmarks in the city, including the City Hall Clock Tower and Rizal Monument, will swtich off non-essential lights for an hour to show their commitment and solidarity with energy consumption.

Beside's the country's capital, other local government units like Makati, Baguio, Catbalogan, Ormoc, San Carlos, San Fernando, Santa Rosa, Tagum, Zamboanga City and Pilar Siargao have earlier expressed their commitment to take part in their own respective switch-off programs and activities.

"Promoting a healthy environment through sustainable practices can improve the health and well-being of every Filipino. Let's take care of our environment and nature," said health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa in a mix of Filipino and English.

"Participating in Earth Hour by turning off non-essential lights even in the comfort of our homes will bring significant benefits in achieving safe and quality health for everyone, Because in a New Philippines, Every Life is Important."

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