BAGUIO CITY (Apr. 22) — Colorful and artistic illustrations covered Session Road as tourists and passersby expressed their thoughts on environment sustainability through art in the annual celebration of Earth Day.
The nationwide theme on this year’s Earth Day is concerned with the importance of water, thus, the slogan “Tubig ay Buhay, Ating Pagyamanin at Linisin.” Also, another advocacy was promoted in the city which is “Earth Day is Everyday”.
Photo by Niña Camille Pacial/NORDIS
Organized by the City Tourism Office, Baguio Community of Volunteers Movement Inc. (BCVM), Alay sa Kalinisan, Inc., Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), the celebration started with a parade in the morning and progressed with various activities throughout the day. These activities constituted forums on water management, massive clean-ups in parks, free smoke emission and air-conditioning tests, recycling events, concerts and the closing of Session Road.
According to Benedicto Alhambra, Supervising Tourism Operations Officer, the closing of Session Road aimed for a participative celebration of Earth Day. Aside from volunteers and artist groups, children and students from their summer classes, and tourists grabbed handfuls of colored chalk, sketched and wrote their insights on protecting the environment and global warming.
EXPRESSION OF ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY. Citizens of Baguio express their environmental advocacies through drawings in Session Road during Earth Day, April 22, 2008. Claudine Mariano/NORDIS
To Cordelia Lacsamana, OIC Department Head of CEPMO, the activity in Session Road last Tuesday was one of the simplest ways to diminish air pollution. Alhambra, on the other hand, said that the activity helped in opening a breathing space for the citizens of Baguio, considering this part of the city is one of the most polluted places.
The Local Government of the City of Baguio has been implementing myriads of projects pertaining to the continuing battle against Global Warming and the city’s environmental sustainability. Sectors on the Local Government, including Non-government organizations (NGO’s) and private sectors also have been collaborating with each other to advocate movements to help in the protection of the environment.
Vice-Mayor Daniel Fariñas said the matter of environmental awareness in Baguio City and Global Warming is a matter of council action. Projects and programs are already being planned in the council, as well as other environmental agencies in the city. At present, the matter of Solid Waste Management is being campaigned, starting on the rehabilitation of the Irisan Dumpsite, as a way of managing greenhouse gases. These gases, which, if not controlled and get to excessive in the atmosphere will eventually cause global warming.
Considering the number of participants on the Earth day celebration, a great number of agencies, regardless of their advocacies, have joined in this campaign for environmental protection. The caring for the environment should not stop on one-day celebrations and Alhambra wishes environmental awareness activities be institutionalized to continue this advocacy, not only by public and private sectors, but everybody.
“It is a war that we really should get into,” Alhambra stated. With the programs implemented and the developing cooperation from sectors and barangays, Baguio citizens’ awareness and action will definitely bring a year of celebration in the coming Centennial. # Niña Camille Pacial for NORDIS