Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO
Baguio residents were urged to join the Earth Hour observance on March 25 by switching off unessential lights in their homes from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan made the appeal upon accepting the invitation of the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines for the city to participate anew in the worldwide energy conservation campaign as a means of combating global warming and climate change.
Now on its 10th year, the campaign, according to WWF Philippines Earth Hour Pilipinas national director Angela Consuelo Ibay was participated in by 178 countries and “inspired over 18 million Filipinos to switch off their lights for the planet” last year.
“This year, Earth Hour continues to encourage everyone to help shine a light on climate action helping spread a new era of climate awareness that started when the world came together and agreed on a global climate in Paris last 2015,” Ibay said.
“As the Philippines targets an emissions reduction of 70 percent by 2030, this global campaign will visually present the need for every Filipino to take action today as climate change affects people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures.”
City Environment and Parks Management Officer Cordelia Lacsamana who was tasked by the mayor to spearhead the activities said they will mount a simple but meaningful program to usher in the observance which will be marked by the switching off of streetlights and signages.
A “dance of the gongs” parade is being planned for the occasion starting from the top of Session Road to usher in the switch-off ceremonies at 8:30 p.m. and will wind up at the City Hall grounds for a short program until the switch-on time at 9:30 p.m.
Lacsamana said they will invite cultural troupes from the various schools and groups to participate in the dance parade.
Business establishments along the parade route and within the central business district will be encouraged to participate by switching off their lights as the parade progresses.
Lacsamana said the use of the gong in the campaign is symbolic being a vital ritual tool of the Cordillerans.
“The gong and its reverberating sound will drum up support for this worthwhile cause and will be a symbol of our commitment to resiliency and environmental sustainability,” she said.
Inmates at the Baguio City Jail who have been setting records for going beyond the prescribed one-hour of lights out (usually beyond three hours) for the last eight years are expected to support the program.