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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu is urging all Filipinos to turn their lights off and participate in the Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28 amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
He said the public, while in the comfort of their homes and observing the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) can still show their commitment to the annual global event of switching off lights and shutting down most electrical appliances from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
“This year we will be observing Earth Hour in the comfort of our homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I encourage everyone to join Earth Hour with your families to show your support for efforts to solve global warming,” Secretary Cimatu said in a statement.
The national government has imposed Luzon-wide ECQ from March 16 to April 12, restricting most of the population from going to work and postponing major activities especially social gatherings.
He said that an hour of turning off lights and other energy-consuming devices will help reduce the carbon footprint of every household and mitigate the continuously increasing effects of climate change.
“Turning off our lights, television sets, computers, and other non-essential appliances at home for just an hour will show our support to conserve our environment,” said Secretary Cimatu
He also encouraged parents to explain to their children the importance of participating in significant environmental events like the Earth Hour “to raise their awareness and inspire them to take concrete actions to protect the environment and save our finite natural resources.”
“A show of support to the Earth Hour is a pledge of support for the success of the government’s programs and projects on climate action and sustainable development,” said Cimatu.
In Puerto Princesa City, the Earth Hour has been observed annually at the SM City Puerto Princesa with the city government, their partners, stakeholders, and the public.
Last year, during the 11th year Earth Hour #Connect2Earth on March 30, 2019, the observation of Earth Hour in Puerto Princesa City highlighted the regulation of the utilization of single-use plastics and polystyrene foam, with the City Government of Puerto Princesa and SM. It was also last year, when the City Ordinance No. 993 regulating the use of single-use plastic and polystyrene foam.
The ordinance gave a one-year grace period to the city residents, or until mid-April 2020, for them to prepare for the full-blast implementation of the City Ordinance No. 993. Various sectors of the city, including the schools and the barangays have been informed about its implementation.
This year, in a bid to launched an intensified campaign to rid single use plastic in the city, the city government through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, together with other national government agencies, private sector partners and stakeholders set hold Earth Hour 2020, simultaneous with the launch of the Puerto Princesa City’s Task Force Single Use Plastic (TSUP), a campaign for a more environment friendly city, by getting rid of single use plastic. However, the supposed launch has to be postponed indefinitely due to the Luzon-wide ECQ, that also cover the city.