October 20, 2022 – Bonuan Boquig National High School (BBNHS) in Dagupan City, Pangasinan won $50,000 for being hailed as the World’s Best School in the Environmental Action category of T4 Education.

From 10 shortlisted schools across the world, BBNHS bagged the first prize through their their Ilog Ko, Aroen Ko (Ilog ko, Pangangalagaan Ko): mangrove tree planting project that helped rehabilitate the Longos River after it was devastated by Typhoon Pepeng in 2009.

Launched in 2010, the IKAK project was sustained by the succeeding principals of BBNHS. At present, the mangrove tree planting activity was done twice a year, fruit-bearing and shady trees were planted, and environmental research was launched. According to DENR, the school has planted 50,000 mangrove trees in the Longos River that provided livelihood in the community.

“To our dear BBNHS Team Bakawan Philippines, we have done this far only driven and powered mostly by passion and the community. We promise to continue this endeavor of environmental action until our last breath,” BBNHS School Head Dr. Renato Santillan said during the awarding ceremony.

To sustain and expand the program, the school plans to allocate the cash prize to constructing its own nursery for seedlings of mangroves and other trees to provide for the whole of Dagupan City.

“Aside from the benefits that mangrove tree planting provides to our locals, our advocacy maintains the balance of our ecosystem which is the extensive and connective ecosystem that will safeguard us from the impacts of climate change. We hope that this humble endeavor reaches more people to act now to be one of us in saving mother nature through sustainable solutions,” Dr. Santillan added.

BBNHS topped the International School of Zug and Luzern of Switzerland and the Green School of Bali in Indonesia as the top finalists in the Environmental Action category.

During the screening process, each school showcased its respective project and proved its impact in sustaining the quality of education and the community.

G. L. David Memorial Integrated School in Balanga, Bataan and Malitbog National High School in Calinog, Iloilo are also shortlisted for Top 10 in the World’s Best Schools under the Community Collaboration and Supporting Healthy Lives categories, respectively.

T4 Education is a global organization committed to providing engaging tools, initiatives and events for educators and schools which help to improve the quality of education.