Filipinos to shine anew in darkness of Earth Hour


On the eve of the celebration of Earth Hour on Saturday night, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said it was time again for Filipinos to “shine” and showcase their environmental awareness by switching off their lights for 60 minutes.

“Earth Hour is certainly the most vivid and dramatic measure of our unity for a common cause,” Paje said. “This mass switch-off means less consumption of electricity, slowing the buildup of climate change-

inducing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.”

Earth Hour is a worldwide event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to encourage households and businesses to turn off their nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.

Since 2009, or two years after Earth Hour was launched, the Philippines has consistently topped the event in terms of the number of participating cities and towns, earning the title, “Earth Hour Hero Country.”

Last year, a record-breaking 1,671 cities and towns in the Philippines joined the 60-minute switch-off, according to WWF-Philippines. On Saturday night, organizers are gunning for the country’s fifth consecutive first-place finish.

One of many ways

Paje said in a statement there was no doubt Filipinos “are among the most environmentally conscious people in the world.” But he said he hoped the environmental consciousness of Filipinos would not end with just the country’s participation in the annual event.

“We hope that we can maintain and harness this unity for our other environmental advocacies,” Paje said, noting that Earth Hour was just “one of the many ways by which we manifest our environmental citizenship.”

Paje cited efforts by his department to mitigate the impact of climate change, including the national greening program—a massive reforestation effort—and continuing crackdown on illegal logging.

He said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was intensifying its campaign to minimize air pollution by promoting the use of clean fuel and energy efficient products.

Beware smoke belchers

Paje said his office continued to coordinate with local officials and the Land Transportation Office in curbing pollution from mobile sources by cracking down on smoke-belching vehicles.

The Philippines has also successfully implemented clean development mechanism (CDM) projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of environmentally sustainable fuel technologies, he said.

The country is ranked 10th in the world on the number of CDM projects, with 59 registered with the United Nations, he said.

Lanterns on the river

As part of the Earth Hour observance, hundreds of candle-lit lanterns will be released at Dawel River in Dagupan City Saturday night.

Pee-Jay Magpantay, marketing coordinator of RLL Group of Jollibee Stores, which is leading the event in Dagupan, said the activity would be held at the Dawel River cruise dock.

About 300 Jollibee customers, representatives from civic and environment groups, the local chapter of the Autism Society of the Philippines and the city government will join the activity, Magpantay said.

“This is our company’s renewed commitment to support the cause of saving our environment,” he said.

Last year, the RLL Group of Jollibee Stores spearheaded the observance of Earth Hour by releasing lanterns in the air.

Magpantay said his company had won various awards producing ecotarp bags made from used tarpaulins, launching fun bikes for a cause, sponsoring environment forums and spearheading tree-planting activities.—With a report from Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon



Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Keith_P

    Ah, Earth Hour. One of those pointless activities that trick people into believing they are doing something good for the planet. Just like those forwarded emails and Facebook reposts that say Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates will donate a dollar to some limb-less child in Somalia everytime that message is shared. What utter bullshìt.

    Oh well, carry on. If it makes you feel good then turn off your lights. But quit deluding yourselves.

    • buttones

      Well there is one here that isn’t duped, the whole thing is meaningless, pointless without any merit at all, it’s gimmickry- a feel good factor? Don’t people realise that
      when a light is turned off the generator spewing out the emissions is still
      running? OMG! People are so naive.. and that’s putting it politely….


        NAIVE and ignoramus. we filipinos have the tendency to indulge to being the BEST, number ONE, LARGEST, LONGEST, and more superlatives, that as if creating the longest IHAWAN NG BANGUS, or having the largest number of participants in a mass wedding would solve our nation’s problems. we are so much into a ONE-DAY-ACT ala-Ningas Cogon. needless to say, unsustainable bravado just to feel good that somehow plunging to darkness for an hour would improve the state of mother EARTH.


      agree. what a pointless activity. close to delusional. i wonder if these compatriots ever planted a tree. why not turn on your lights and plant a tree instead?

  • buttones

    “Paje said in a statement there was no doubt
    Filipinos “are among the most environmentally conscious people in the world”

    This is simply NOT true. Look at our forests,look at our seas and rivers, hand feeding whale sharks so tourists can swim with them and use them as surf boards? The endless dynamite fishing which stillgoes on– remember the filth and debris that came out of Manila Bay during the last floods?. Look at Baguio, look at Boracay, look at the denuded hills above Cebu City and the controversial Balili beach lot turned into a coal ash dump. This is
    simply misinformation, it’s terminological inexactitude. Turn the lights off?
    What? In Mindanao?

    Is this guy talking about climate change or global warming? Not only that, when it comes to making a contribution to whatever he is talking about PH are not even on the list, 85% of the filth that is poured into our atmosphere is credit to North America, Russia, India, EU and our dear friends across the straights in China- we don’t even figure so why
    should I turn off my light? Does Paje realise that when I turn off my light the
    generator I get the power from is STILL running? Doh!

    Earth Hour, what a load of childish nonsense…

    Beware smoke belchers? What? The Marlboro men?


      Does this Paje took COMMON SENSE 101 while in school?

      • buttones

        I have no idea- but ifthis person thinks, for one minute that me turning off a light bulb is going tochange anything then he is simply wrong, it ‘aint. Now if he advocates turningoff all the power stations in PH for one hour, which he actually can’t do,apart from the ones in Mindanao which don’t work anyway? It’s all hype, it’s all politically driven tripe basically, No, I for one will NOT turn off my lights for one hour, in fact I will make a point of turning all my lights on all night long- it’s a silly idea, it make NO difference. And people believe these fairy stories? OMG!

    • farmerpo

      Agree. Smoke belchers contribute less than the wood stoves used to cook the food of the masses. The Philippines contribution to global warming is the kaingin and the kalan.

      • buttones

        Interesting survey to be done here, what fuels are used in PH for cooking for the majority?

      • farmerpo

        wood,ipa,charcoal,lpg. all carbon based. And only way to go by the way.

        If you are into surveys or stats, quantify how much carbon dioxide and methane 6+billion individuals produce in an hour. Add to that about 2 billion cattle to the equation then compare it with mechanically produced carbon dioxide. You will be amazed. Have fun.

        Turning of lights is an environmental homeopathic idea.

      • buttones

        This turning off lights has a placebo effect as well…Doctors do that, prescribe for patients who are a bit ‘worried’, the patient takes them and feels a lot better not knowing there was nothing in the tablet at all!
        On energy generally, up to 2030 85% of our global needs are going to be met by carbon based fuels, with coal increasing I might
        add. The renewables of hydro, nuclear, other solid fuel and all the rest make up the remaining 15%.

        On firewood, I’m fortunate enough to have a small
        ipel ipel wooded area, properly managed, annual pollarding, and so on it’s completely sustainable for generations and supplies fuel, animal fodder, shelter for birds and animals, and a rough sort of timber. The people buy my firewood because the supply is running out due to wanton destruction of our forests and trees without thoughtof sustainability. Timber is the perfect example of a sustainable product for many uses, and it’s self cleaning as well.

        On CO2 and methane emissions from the entire sources you mention, plus now the melting tundra as well – I wish I could do that calculation! On the other hand the result might lead me to the bottle…

  • patrickinca

    shine bright like a diamond pinoys!

  • Lucio V Liwanag

    Are you aware of that some areas in mindanao are still without electricity ?

    • buttones

      I think maybe these people are exempt from turning off their lights ‘cos they don’t have any lights to turn off!

    • Kirat

      Mindanao doesn’t deserve 12-14 hours of “Earth Day” brownouts forced upon them everyday.

  • farmerpo

    Turning off the lights for an hour won’t do an iota of good in reducing carbon dioxide emission. All it does is make you swelter and breath deeper, contributing more carbon dioxide than your 20 watt light bulb or 45 watt electric fan ‘will not contribute’. All it does is make some people feel good for initiating what they truly believe is a pat on the back.
    It is the ratio of carbon dioxide emitters vs carbon dioxide consumers that is off balance.
    People, and cattle > than trees and vegetation = excess carbon dioxide. Plant trees and vegetables, plus flowering plants and herbs then enjoy your electric fan. Don’t eat beef, eat kangaroo meat. Kangaroos don’t pass methane, a more toxic green house chemical than carbon dioxide.

    To truly prove that use of fossil fuel is the greater contributor, turn of not the lights but the generators. Which of course, is not acceptable so just put on a spectacle so that each can say I did not contribute to global warming for 1 hour. Truly!

    • buttones

      What these poor disillusioned people don’t quite understand is that if I turn off my light, the generator is still running, – my little light is not really the problem.

  • Balloons Blow

    Please do not to release anything into the fragile environment, whether it is biodegradable or not. Similar to balloons, these sky lanterns fall as dangerous litter miles from where they were released, and have been known to kill animals.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos