By Leslie Ann Aquino
Parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila will take part in the observance of Earth Hour this Saturday, March 24.
Father Reginald Malicdem, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Manila, said they were urged by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to take part in the activity.
“We are encouraged to observe the Earth Hour,” he said in an interview.
In the past, the cardinal also invited Filipinos to join the annual activity.
“Part of our being good disciples of the Lord is the proper usage and care of Mother Nature, which was given to us by God, along with our lives. Just like what Pope Francis said in his Laudato Si, we praise the Almighty for giving us a beautiful home, which is Earth, and Mother Nature. We urge you to join us in this annual observance of the Earth Hour,” Tagle said.
His Eminence even encouraged the faithful to take the opportunity to pray the rosary.
“We are being called to bring the rosary and pray in that one hour, where we allow Mother Earth to conserve energy and get some rest,” said Tagle.
The Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Occidental will also participate in the event.
“I’m calling for the successful holding of Earth Hour this March 24. I hope everybody will make himself or herself count, because when it comes to the care for our common home, the mother earth, everybody has something to contribute,” Bishop Gerardo Alminaza told Church-run Radyo Veritas, which also signified its support to the event.
Furthermore, Radyo Veritas will participate in the Earth Hour movement by means of switching off the lights from 8:30 until 9:30 pm.
Radyo Veritas President Rev. Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual encouraged the public to protect the environment and one way of which is supporting the Earth Hour 2018.
“As we get involved, we are also encouraging the public, not just to participate but to be aware on the effects of climate change on biodiversity. Let us take this as an opportunity to promote the habit of conserving and utilizing our natural resources,” Fr. Pascual said.
Earth Hour 2018 aims to bring together millions of individuals to shine a light on climate action such as the transitioning to renewables, promoting sustainable food and agriculture, adopting climate-friendly legislation and business practices, supporting conservation projects, and raising awareness on climate issues in schools and amongst the public.
Started from a symbolic switch-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007, the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Earth Hour has become the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment mobilizing hundreds of millions of people in over 7000 cities and 172 countries.
Since then, WWF and Earth Hour teams worldwide are using the movement to raise support and funds for access to renewable energy, protection of wildlife and their habitats, building sustainable livelihoods and driving climate-friendly legislation and policy.