In celebration of the 51st Earth Day, the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines, along with the Department of Education (DepEd), other government agencies, and partners, led the eight-hour Earth Day webcast with the theme “PINASiglang Mundo,” anchored on the international theme “Restore Our Earth.”
Hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador and CORA, and The Sustainable Environment Founder Antoinette Taus, the Earth Day Webcast focused on raising awareness on the reduction of single-use plastics. The current growth rate in plastic demand, which is projected to hit 25 billion metric tons by 2050, is unsustainable. As the effects of plastic waste on the oceans, ecosystems, and human health worsens, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) passed a resolution urging member states to reduce plastic waste discharge into the environment.
In support of this, the DepEd hosted a three-day National Earth Day Online Celebration culminating on the 22nd of April.
In solidarity with the call to reduce single-use plastics and restore the Earth, key government officials, including President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Chairperson-designate of the Climate Change Commission and Secretary of Finance Carlos G. Dominguez, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, Hon. Lord Allan Velasco, and Governor Dakila Carlo E. Cua gave their messages.
In a series of clips, local government leaders, representatives of civil society organizations and national agencies, and DepEd teachers and learners asserted their commitment to the betterment of our environment. A clip from the 2019 Climate Action Advocacy show was also played.
Stories for a Better Normal
The weekly webcast of Stories For a Better Normal, hosted by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda in partnership with the Climate Change Commission and the Department of Education, showcased the perspectives of legislators and policymakers reducing single-use plastics. They tackled different pending bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate on the said topic and other policies implemented in the different parts of the country that help in the prevention of climate change. Video clips were shown about the programs and policies implemented around the Philippines such as proper wastes segregation and clean-up drives, different barangays with MRF facilities, and citizens using eco-friendly appliances such as solar lights.
Ranked as the world’s third plastic polluter in 2020, the Philippines committed to reducing the production of greenhouse gases by 75% before 2030. As a result, different businesses and individuals showed full support for the single-use plastic ban. Joining the #WalangPlastikan Challenge, many people proved that living sustainably can be obtained as they showcased different eco-friendly objects they use in their daily life. Businesses such as Unilever and Nestle also pledged to join the movement towards a “PINASiglang Mundo.”
The National Earth Day Online Celebration was organized by the Bureau of Learner Support Services – Youth Formation Division (BLSS-YFD), Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS), DepEd Region IV-A, and Schools Division Office (SDO) of Dasmariñas City with the support of the Public Affairs Service (PAS) and in partnership with World Wildlife Fund for Nature Philippines, Greenpeace Philippines, City of Dasmariñas and Dasca Fiber Blaze. For more information, you may visit http://bit.ly/DepEdEarthDay2021
This article was written and prepared by Mikaela Angela Lorraine J. Calixto (Student-Journalist) and Jason Albaro (School Paper Adviser) from Muntinlupa National High School Main, Division of Muntinlupa, who are graduates of DepEd-DRRMS and AYEJ.org’s Green Beat Initiative: An Online Environmental Journalism Training.