Thursday, 26 March 2009

All set for Earth Hour

All set for Earth Hour


Church bells in Manila will be ringing during Earth Hour that begins at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow when millions of households and establishments all over the world are expected to turn off their lights for one hour as a gesture of support in the fight against global warming.

In Cebu, all is set for Earth Hour with the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) joining local government officials and private sector groups in urging households and commercial establishments to turn off lights for at least one hour.

Cebu police will also be taking part in Earth Hour by taking measures to secure critical areas like malls, parks, churches, banks when the lights go out.

The Archdiocese of Manila asked all its parishes to support Earth Hour by ringing church bells to signal communities to turn off their lights.

"We can also make Earth Hour more dramatic by ringing all parish church bells at the start and end of Earth Hour,?the Archdiocese of Manila Ministry on Ecology said in a statement posted on the archdiocese's website

Aside from the ringing of church bells, the Archdiocese also enumerated other ways in which parishes and communities can show its support for the event such as praying the rosary or organizing a Holy Hour.

"Pray the rosary and gather as a family or community for sharing or reflection,?read the statement.

"Parish or communities may also organize a Holy Hour reflecting on God's creation or on the theme: What is happening to our Beautiful Land??/P>

Earlier, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales called on Filipinos to show their concern for the environment by joining Earth Hour.

"We are asking everyone not to use electricity for an hour on March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.,?Rosales said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas 846.

The Cardinal also urged the public to use the said time to reflect on the sad state of the environment and the world.

"Please use the time to reflect on the alarming state of the world and how we can help protect it,?he said.

"Let us participate not only to conserve energy but to also preserve our nature. Let us try not to use electricity for an hour,?added Rosales.

In Cebu, the Aboitiz-led Veco urged Cebuanos to switch off the main lights in their households to help reduce carbon emissions.

Veco, along with the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines, Department of Energy, the Green Army, Switch Movement and the Cebu City government, will lead a grand switch off campaign to urge Cebuanos to turn off essential lights from 8:30-9:30 in the evening.

"Power saved today is power you can use tomorrow,?Veco said in a press statement.

Ethel Natera, Veco Corporate Communications Manager yesterday told Manila Bulletin that the company will not be able to estimate total savings on electricity usage within Veco's franchise area on the date and time of the campaign since the switching off of lights is voluntary on the part of customers.

"We have been monitoring the (electricity) load last Saturday and will be monitoring the load again this Saturday so we can determine the difference between how much less power will be consumed this March 28,?she said in a phone interview.

Earth Hour Philippines 2009 hopes to involve 10-million Filipinos and 500 businesses in key cities across nationwide. Globally, it aims to reach one billion people in 1,000 cities worldwide.

Other organizations representing civil society, business communities, religious sector, youth, national agencies and local governments have likewise extended their support for the event.

"This campaign greatly involves everyone no matter where you are in this world. We ask our customers to take part in saving energy and thus, saving Mother Earth,?said Veco Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Aboitiz, who is himself a strong advocate of energy conservation and movements against global warming.

Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has also ordered its sub-stations to secure its perimeter.

Senior Supt. Louie Oppus, PRO 7 Regional Operations and Plans Division chief, said that all police stations and offices in the region have already received the directive to secure critical areas during the Earth Hour celebration.

"Beat patrol cars are going to roam around during the one hour celebration, while there will be also police standby in vital areas,?he said.

Oppus also said that the each police stations and offices are going to participate during the event to show their support for the advocacy of saving the world against global warming.

"Critical areas like banks, malls and other establishments are advised to double their security efforts during the activity as criminal elements might take advantage of the situation,?he said.

Earth Hour celebration originally started in Sydney, Australia last 2007. It aims to encourage more cities around the world to take responsibility and play a part in ensuring a sustainable future by saving mother earth from global warming.

In a related development, the City of Malabon signified that it will take part in the "'Earth Hour."

The Malabon City Waste Management Council (MWCMC) headed by Gloria Tamayo said Mayor Canuto "Tito" Oreta has ordered all department heads to tell subordinates to turn-off the lights and other appliances in respective homes from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Tamayo said that they have also been instructed to tell as many of their constituents to do the same on Saturday.

"We hope that they will do their part in the efforts of all stakeholders to conserve as much electricity as possible, so as to help the environment," Tamayo said.

Fuel consumption has always been regarded as one of the reasons for the rapid deterioration of the environment.

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