ILOILO City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas will lead in the switching off of lights as a contribution to the global Earth Hour event slated on Saturday at 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

A program will be held at the front car park of SM City Iloilo to be participated by different stakeholders of Iloilo as a show of cooperation and concern to make a difference in the fight against climate change.

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Ray Malleza of the Department of Energy (DOE) said the event is a call to action of every individual, business and community to get involved in working towards a sustainable future by turning off the lights in that specific hour.

The DOE official reported that in 2009, Iloilo was able to save 4 megawatts (MW) of electric power worth some P130,000 for one hour by switching off their lights during the Earth Hour. This 2010, some 20 MW of power are expected to be saved.

The whole Visayas area was able to save some 40 MW in 2009 and the Philippines was able to save some 600 MW power in one hour.

This year, the goal is to get 15 million Filipinos in all cities and towns all over the country to participate in the Earth Hour’s 60-minute switch off.

City environment and natural resources officer Noel Hechanova said the city will switch-off about 424 streetlamps for one hour along the diversion road, Efrain Treñas Avenue and Gen. Luna Street as a show of cooperation. About 44 kilos of carbon dioxide will be avoided with the switch-off.

The Photographic Society of Iloilo (PSI) will spearhead the documentation of Earth Hour event. The contest’s top 60 entries that include 30 digital photographs and 30 videos will be included in the official Philippine audiovisual report to the global Earth Hour Secretariat and will be posted on www.earthhour.org.

In addition, the entries that capture most the spirit of Earth Hour will be given cell phones, DVD players and official Earth Hour t-shirts. (LCP)