Baguio inmates to observe “Earth Hour” anew-A A +A
Monday, March 18, 2013
“EARTH Hour”, the 60-minute world-wide observance of cutting down on fossil fuel use, has become a tradition of sorts for inmates of the Baguio City jail.
As cities around the world prepare to plunge in darkness for at least an hour beginning 8:30 p.m. of March 23, the prisoners and their guards plan to switch off an hour earlier to keep their four-year record of going at least two hours.
“It’s something our wards have been looking forward to marking with the outside world since 2009,” said jail warden, Chief Inspector Wilson Banasen. “It’s a humble contribution to the world’s effort to save millions of kilowatt hours of electricity.”
The inmates went for two hours and five minutes in 2009, a year after the observance was pioneered by Sydney, Australia. They were perhaps the first prisoners in the country to respond to such call for cutting down on energy generated by fossil fuel that contribute to global warming.
That was when the inmates spent 125 minutes of unplugged folk and country music concert with the visiting quartet of lawyers Bubut Olarte and Angie Cabrera, prosecutor Rolly Vergara and Sarah Adapang, soloists Bryan Aliping, March Fianza, Dick Oakes, Miggs Meru and Joy Muller.
That was when the Benguet Electric Cooperative came in as a sponsor with a P5,000 fund support for the prisoners’ livelihood projects.
The detainees targeted three hours the following year, before clocking three hours and three minutes in 2011. Last year, they recorded two hours to maintain the substance of the call for “60 minutes plus”.
The inmates are looking forward to having their folksinger friends back at their courtyard this coming Saturday evening. Also expected to join them are members of the Rotary Club of Baguio Summer Capital, the Buddies alumni group of the Baguio City National High School, representatives of Goshen Land and others involved in reformatory programs for the inmates. (Ramon Dacawi)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 19, 2013.