The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday encouraged Filipinos to join the rest of the world in observing Earth Hour on Saturday.
The DOH, together with the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines), said the annual event takes the initiative of generating awareness to help address the climate crisis and promote measures that help reduce energy consumption through the one-hour switch off.
This year’s theme, “The Biggest Hour for Earth,” aims to engage Filipinos through an in-person event to show solidarity and support in addressing climate change, according to the DOH.
The Health Department said an in-person “Sustainability Fair” will have a switch-off program and a Run N’ Ride activity to be held on Saturday at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
The event will showcase key messages from WWF-Philippines and government officials, musical performances, a video presentation, and a countdown to Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m.
“The DOH recognizes the crucial role of the environment in promoting the health and well-being of Filipinos. Hence, it is also our responsibility to care for the environment, as it would then take care of future generations of Filipinos,” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
“Makiisa po tayo dito dahil ang kalusugan ng kalikasan ay kalusugan din ng bawat tao (We encourage everyone to join because the health of the environment is also the health of the people),” she added.
The DOH said the Global Climate Risk Index of 2019 identified the Philippines as the fourth-most affected country in the world by long-term climate change.
It said that the World Risk Report of 2022 ranked the Philippines first out of 180 countries with the highest disaster risk because the country's geographic location makes it vulnerable to geographic hazards brought on by a changing climate.
“These climate-fueled changes can be felt in the intensity and number of ‘extreme weather events,' such as stronger typhoons, longer droughts, and higher temperatures. These weather events in turn cause economic, financial, environmental, and health problems for many Filipinos,” it added. — VBL, GMA Integrated News