April 20, 2021 Tuesday
MANILA, 20 April 2021 — The Department of Finance (DOF) and Climate Change Commission (CCC) are gearing up for the 51st-anniversary celebration of Earth Day on April 22, through a full-day webcast of activities highlighting the country’s campaign against single-use plastics.
According to DOF Secretary and CCC Chairperson-Designate Carlos G. Dominguez, the climate body’s emphasis on addressing the challenge of single-use plastics will be under the theme of “PINASiglang Mundo,” which ties into the global theme for this year to “Restore Our Earth” and drive planetary protection and action.
“On this year’s Earth Day, we are called to Restore Our Earth. To do that, one of the most important actions we have to take is to push for effective policies and realistic solutions to address the growing challenges from single-use plastics pollution, and to set us on the path of sustainable consumption and production,” Dominguez said.
This year’s Earth Day 2021 celebration highlights the role of every individual and member of the community to address the global climate crisis and its resulting effects on ecosystems, biodiversity, food and water, public health, industries, and communities.
The theme also ties in with the United Nations declaration of 2011 to 2030 as the “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration,” which emphasizes the year 2030 as the deadline for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the year that the scientific community defined as the closing of opportunity to limit global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius—the threshold for survival for highly climate-vulnerable countries like the Philippines.
“We call on every Filipino to join us in this year’s celebration and to support the goal for a much healthier and more resilient Philippines. We must now be more conscious of the power in our daily decisions to reduce our carbon footprint and embrace sustainable practices,” Dominguez added.
The CCC said that this year’s celebration will gather stakeholders from across many sectors, unite their efforts, and mobilize support for the growing advocacy to ban or phase out single-use plastics, promote responsible consumption and production, and pursue ecosystem restoration.
The webcast will open with a live “Jam For Earth” session led by GMA7 singer-songwriter Aicelle Santos and a series on "My Earth Day Pledge" featuring testimonials and commitments from leaders in government, the business sector, academe, and civil society.
Earth Day 2021 will also have a focus episode of “Stories for a Better Normal,” hosted weekly by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, that will bring together legislators to discuss and share updates on the proposed legislation to ban single-use plastics and implement an extended producers responsibility (EPR) scheme. Efforts of Filipinos from all walks of life to shift away from plastics through the #WalangPlastikan challenge will also be highlighted during the event. A panel discussion on community experiences and technological innovations to reduce single-use plastics will be hosted by Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ruth Castelo and feature social enterprises and businesses promoting zero-waste, and the conservation group Oceana, which is also a member of the Break Free From Plastic coalition. The Earth Day celebration will conclude with another session of Jam For Earth with special guests.
Partners for the event are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Education, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, and The Climate Reality Project Philippines, in collaboration with the Break Free from Plastic Philippines coalition, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Local Government Academy, League of Cities of the Philippines, British Embassy Manila, and the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc.
Presidential Proclamation No. 1481 in April 2008 declared April 22 as “Philippines’ Earth Day.” More than a billion people celebrate the event in over 190 countries around the world.