Silay: Beyond the Earth Hour

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


SILAY is joining the largest environmental event in the world on March 23, “The Earth Hour” (8:30 - 9:30 p.m.). Mayor Jose Montelibano has sent an office memorandum to all city hall employees that they are enjoined to participate by turning off all essential household lights for at least one hour.

To commemorate the struggle for survival of Mother Earth, the Silay City Government has prepared a program “Beyond the Earth Hour” at Sen. Jose C. Locsin Cultural and Civic Center, wherein the Hugyaw Silay Dancers will dramatize the roles of the four elements: fire, earth, water and wind. The focus will be the Mother Earth and her survival.

Mayor Oti said, "We encourage all Silaynons to join the Earth Hour and take their stand against climate change." Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007.

The Silay City Tourism Office with the assistance of IKAW-AKO Japan-Negros Partnership for Environmental Protection, the Youth for Environment in School (YES), and Friends of Tourism - Silay is scheduling a whole-year round activity after the Earth Hour. There will be a comprehensive documentation on the upland tree planting in line with Executive Order #26. Mangrove seedling planting will go on as a major activity in the shoreline barangays to be assisted by the Japanese and local environmentalists.

In the months of March and April, the Silay City Government has already prepared a program of work to clear canals and widen the creeks leading to the shoreline through DPWH. The watershed area should be properly protected by the Bantay Bukid Brigade and the rehabilitation of some sites should be supported by the expanded seed banks and community-based nursery. The Liga ng mga Barangay should not cease its advocacy campaign on water and energy conservation.

A prolonged dry season will surely affect the landscaping and beautification program of Silay. A task force has been created to attend to all these. Composting could be a good activity for summer. Organic fertilizer could be made available at the opening of schools in June.

The Friends of Tourism - Silay could enhance awareness by sponsoring environmental run, poster making contest, garbage recycling competition, waste segregation training, and by organizing field trips on firms pioneering on waste management technology. Youth for Environment in School camps could be held in Patag Nature Resort or in Lantawan Valley. Students and pupils could be invited to see films at Sen. Jose C. Locsin Cultural and Civic Center.

Silay City is also organizing a task force for the massive clean-up drive of the public market with the vendors. The Friends of Tourism - Silay will have a summer campaign. Stay at home, minimize carbon emissions from your car and just have an hour of steady time. Silay is on the move and has a team of resource persons for the outreach program.

Silaynons make a pledge for Mother Earth. "We will start the advocacy in ourselves. We promise to recycle our garbage. We will use bamboo baskets when we go to the market. We will take a public transportation and just do walking to reach the workplace. We will remember to unplug our appliances after use. Yes, Silaynons participate in Beyond the Earth Hour 2013."

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 20, 2013.

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