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Makati leads 'Earth Hour 2012' on Saturday

MANILA, March 30 — As the whole world gears up for Earth Hour 2012, the City of Makati is set to take a crucial role in this global event after being chosen by the World Wide Fund (WWF) to lead the ceremonial switch off on Saturday (March 31) at 6 p.m. in Ayala Tower One in Ayala Avenue.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay, who will lead the ceremony, thanked the WWF for once again choosing the city as the focal venue of the largest global call for action on climate change.

“We are very much honored with the continuing trust shown by WWF in our city as its partner in this noble endeavor. It is gratifying to note that Earth Hour has been gaining momentum throughout the city, with more and more barangays and private companies joining each year,” Binay said.

With the theme “I Will If You Will”, Earth Hour 2012 aims to underscore the power of every individual to reverse the damage wrought on planet Earth by greenhouse gas emissions that have largely caused global warming and the resulting climate change phenomenon. It aims to connect and unite people from family circles and communities, companies and organizations towards the common goal of creating a positive environmental outcome.

Binay will be joined by Earth Hour Founder Andy Ridley, WWF Vice Chairman and chief executive Lorenzo Tan, Department of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Makati Commercial Estate Association (MACEA) president David Balangue, city officials, private sectors and representatives from WWF, and local and international environmental groups for a program at 7 p.m., to be hosted by WWF- Philippines Ambassador Rovilson Fernandez.

The event will start with an Earth-themed parade of participants from Makati Central Fire Station on Ayala Avenue Extension that will end at Ayala Tower One where the Earth Hour celebration will be staged.

Parade participants will include Bailles de Luces, Lancer Band, Caracol performers, Makati representatives, Pascual Laboratories and Informatix contingents, Bus/Ejeep Groups, and Makati school and barangay contingents.

Meanwhile, performances from Angklung Ensemble Musical, Caracol Dancers of Benigno High School and El Gamma Penumbra, a shadow play, will spice up the event. At 8:29 p.m., the mayor will lead the countdown to the one hour switch off.

At exactly 8:30 p.m., fire trucks and patrol cars will sound their sirens while all churches peal their bells to signal the start of Earth Hour. The switch-off ceremonies in the Philippines will be held in Makati, Cebu and Davao.

Upon lights off, guests will be treated to a performance from Bailes de Luces, and AVP presentation of “Make it Happen, Make it Makati,” Caracol dancers from Makati and Fort Bonifacio High Schools, and an interview by host Fernandez with Ayala Land Sustainability Manager Anna Gonzales on the Makati Sustainability Report.

Moreover, Binay will sign the Pledge of Commitment together with the respected guests and the host.

Caracol performers from the groups Dance No Doubt, Banda Kawayan and DES Band will welcome the turning on of lights at 9:30 p.m.

Also, winners of the “I Will If You Will” contest will be announce during the Earth Hour celebration. Earlier, the city government of Makati, through the Department of Environmental Services headed by Danilo Villas, distributed a commitment form to barangays, households, schools, and private sector to be filled out and submitted on or before March 30 at their office at City Hall.

The commitment form features the number of lights to be turned off, the average wattage of lights, and a commitment on what the respondent is willing to do to save the planet.

Last year, Makati was able to switch off 92,317 lights and has reduced 2.037 million watts of energy, thus being able to prevent the emission of 1,210 kgs. of equivalent CO2. It has exceeded by 20 percent the lights turned off in 2010.

Participants will enjoy activity booths from partners.

Makati’s Earth Hour Countdown is in partnership with WWF, Ayala Land Inc. and its “Make it Happen Make it Makati” campaign team, and MACEA.

Current public sector partners include the Climate Change Commission, Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of National Defense, Department of Transportation and Communications, National Economic Development Authority, Department of Budget Management, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Education, the Metro Manila Development Authority, League of Municipalities, League of Cities and League of Provinces of the Philippines. Philippine Media Champions include TV5, ABS-CBN, GMA-7, CLTV-36, Net-25, Discovery Channel, Knowledge Channel, ZOE TV, Global News Network, Philippine Star, BusinessWorld, BusinessMirror, Philippine Daily Inquirer Online, Aftercall Magazine, Philippines Graphic, Radyo Veritas, DZIQ, DZAR, Globaltronics, QCreativs, Photoworld Manila, ASK and Illuminati Philippines.

Corporate partners include the Yuchengco Group of Companies, Arthaland, McDonald's, Big Chill, Tully's Coffee, Globe Telecommunications, Smart Communications, DSL GAM, Primer Group of Companies, Core, York, Victory Liner, Aboitiz Group of Companies, Lopez Group of Companies, Philippine Business for Social Progress, SM Supermalls, Victory Liner Incorporated, 2GoTravel, Canon Marketing Philippines, Campaigns and Grey, Leo Burnett Manila, the Makati Shangri-La Hotel plus Hyatt Hotel, Casino Manila, USAID, and Manila Waters.

In 2008, Makati enacted City Resolution No. 2008-056, a resolution declaring 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. as “Earth Hour” of Makati City and encouraging its observance among all residents/households and owners/managers of business establishments and/or buildings in Makati City.

In 2009, Makati was declared as Earth Hour Flagship City of the Philippines and former Mayor and now Vice President Jejomar C. Binay as “Earth Hour Ambassador”. (PNA)

RMA/CLTC

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