The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on the first reading a proposed ordinance appropriating funds from the coffers of the city government for the annual observance of Earth Hour and other related programs and activities in the city and creation of a working committee, defining its functions and purpose of the same.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Vladimir Cayabas, it shall be a declared policy of the city government to sustain its program in protecting and conserving its environment, aligned with the initiatives and programs of the national government and in support to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly on climate action.
Further, the city government shall strive to sustain the implementation of its clarion programs purposely to conserve and protect its environment and natural resources as a way of promoting the general health and welfare of its citizens.
The ordinance mandated the creation of the Earth Hour working committee which shall be composed of the City Administrator as the working committee head, representative from the City Planning and Development Office, Committee Chairperson on Health, Environment and Sanitation, representative from the City Youth Development Office, representative from the City Schools Division Office, 3 representatives from the academe and 3 representatives from accredited civil society organizations whose advocacies are related to environmental protection as members.
Among the functions of the working committee include the formulation of programs related to the observance the Earth Hour for a wider scope and more impactful programs that the working committee will likely be tasked to organize like complimentary environmental conservation-related activities that encourage active participation among various stakeholders;
Moreover, the programs and activities will include youth climate heroes; knowing the impact of climate to health; understanding the causes of urban decay; walk and bike for the environment; presentation of Baguio’s environmental conservation agenda; and other activities and programs which the committee will agree upon.
For the purpose of the sustainable implementation of the said ordinance, the amount of P250,000 shall be allotted annually and shall be included in the annual budget of the City Administrator’s office subject to accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
The funding is primarily for the Earth Hour celebration and other related programs and activities that the working committee may formulate to ensure the attainment of its purpose.
The ordinance recognized that the symbolic component of Earth Hour is the joint switching of non-essential lights and other energy consuming services for a span of 60 minutes as a collective way of expressing the people’s shared concern for the protection of the environment.
The State has committed to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and heartful ecology in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature. Further, the State shall advance the general health and welfare of its citizens, protect and conserve its natural resources for the benefit of all generations.