Manila hosts Earth Hour 2024, calls for residents’ participation

The Manila City government encourages its residents and the public in general to participate in this year’s Earth Hour the city will host.

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna led the event’s launch on Tuesday at the Bulwagang Villegas inside the Manila City Hall. The event was attended by representatives from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, Climate Change Commission and several other agencies.

Lacuna calls on everyone to switch off electicity power and give an hour for Mother Earth on March 23 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  She thanked the WWF Philippines for having chosen Manila as the venue for this year’s Earth Hour, with the theme “Switch off Plastic Pollution, Give an Hour for Earth”.

Lacuna said she is honored to host the event’s 15th edition since its inception in 2009.

“Let us always remember that Earth Hour is more than just how much energy is saved when we switch off our lights for one hour. This is more than that. This is about inspiring people to unite for our Mother Earth and stand against the destruction of the environment and climate change,” she said in her speech.

Lacuna shared that the city has partnered with WWF Philippines in 2020 for the Plastic Smart Cities (PSC) Project which aims to achieve 30 percent reduction of plastic waste leakage into the open environment by 2024, thus contributing to the 100 percent reduction of plastic waste leakage in the City of Manila by 2030.

The project aims to focus on generating entrepreneurial solutions designed to accomplish the main objective of reducing plastic pollution in the city.

“In our own little way, we have been helping in cleaning up the waterways in our juridical area through our own small teams without any other goal but to pick up trash and clean the bay. We have dedicated teams meant to address three different waterfronts in the nation’s capital; Baseco Beach, Roxas Boulevard, and our esteros and creeks which lessen the chances of plastic wastes to eventually end up and float to the open sea,” she said.

Lacuna also shared that Manila is the first city in the National Capital Region to adopt a City Plan of Action on Marine Litter (CPOA-ML) and localize the National Plan of Action on Marine Litter (NPOA-ML).

“We have also partnered with different private and non-government organizations for waste diversion projects and incentivized plastic waste collection that aim to reduce the amount of plastics going into our waterways and landfills,” she said.

She added these include Kolek, Kilo Kita Para sa Walastik na Maynila; Alaskalikasan Wrapper Redemption Program; Aling Tindera: A Waste to Cash Program; and Tapon to Ipon Project.

The Earth Hour is aimed at creating awareness of and taking responsibility toward a sustainable future by turning the lights off for one hour.