Lapid wants 'Earth Hour' every month

Shielo Mendoza
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

As the world awaits Earth Hour 2012 on March 31, Senator Lito Lapid wants Filipinos to continue switching off their lights for an hour not only once a year, but every month.
 
Lapid has filed Senate Bill No. 3159 or the “Monthly Earth Hour Act of 2012” which seeks to declare the last Saturday of every month from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. as Earth Hour.
 
“This proposed measure seeks to raise awareness on climate change by requiring everyone to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour every last Saturday of the month from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., during which the demand for energy consumption shall be limited, therefore optimistically reducing the production of greenhouse gases,” the senator said in the bill’s explanatory note.
 
The annually celebrated Earth Hour is a brainchild of World Wide Fund for Nature and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, where 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated. It has been adopted by several other cities around the world, including Manila in 2008.
 
Lapid noted that the first time the Philippines participated in the global event, a drop in power consumption of 79 megawatts registered in Metro Manila and up to 102 megawatts in Luzon. In 2009, the country was able to save 611 megawatts of electricity, the equivalent of shutting down a dozen coal-fired power plants for an hour, he added.
 
In his bill, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Philippine Information Agency, in coordination with non-governmental organizations, are tasked to conduct a nationwide information, education and communication campaign to inform the public to participate in the proposed monthly Earth Hour.
 
Lapid stressed that the public should be aware “on the need to conserve energy and on the need to take action on climate change” in order “to reaffirm the fundamental right of every person to a balanced and healthful ecology.”