MANILA, APRIL 29, 2013 (MANILA STANDARD) APRIL 22 COLUMN BY Rita Linda V. Jimeno - As if orchestrated by an invisible hand, today, Earth Day, a rare meteor shower will fall on earth.

A meteor shower looks like thousands of falling stars. Predictions are that about 20 meteors an hour, with possible surges of 100 per hour, will fall to earth this day.

Whether this signals anything at all, it is, no less, a dramatic reminder that the universe and every thing that’s in it, is alive, dynamic and ever-changing.

Nature may treat us to awe-inspiring stars falling from the sky every so many years but it can also deliver disasters that can claim hundreds, if not thousands, of lives and destroy millions in property, unless we do our part in caring for the environment.


In a move to protect the earth and the environment, the Office of the Ombudsman will launch today its environmental audit program which will be headed by the newly-appointed Environmental Ombudsman, Gerard Mosquera, the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.

The focus of the efforts of the Environmental Ombudsman will be to monitor the compliance by local governments with the requirements of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law and to make them accountable for non-compliance.

As earlier declared by Deputy Ombudsman Mosquera, local governments with dirty streets are most likely run by corrupt local executives. After all, dirty and littered surroundings could indicate that money which ought to be put into garbage collection, segregated collection of wastes, information campaigns to teach people how and why they should segregate waste, and the construction of sanitary landfills, is probably being diverted to benefit the local officials’ pockets.

The National Economic and Development Authority earlier reported that only nine out of 16 cities and municipalities of Metro Manila have submitted a solid waste management plan. Worse, only 414 out of the country’s 1,610 LGUs have been complying with the national solid waste management framework.

But what does compliance entail? And why is it important? Is it enough that a locality’s streets are kept clean? It is so much more than that, really.

The objective of the law is to ensure that the volume of waste is minimized to the lowest level possible. It is entirely possible for zero waste to be achieved. For instance, waste at source should be segregated. If every home buries in its backyard, or even in pots with soil, all biodegradable wastes such as fruit peels, vegetable, fish and meat materials, more than 50 percent of waste will be eliminated. To top it off, compost or natural fertilizer can be produced out of the waste that was mixed with soil.

[4 missing in Rizal trash avalanche ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 04/19/2013 11:20 PM]

Then, homes will only have to throw away recyclable and residual wastes. But, since all local government units are mandated to establish materials recovery facilities in barangays or cluster of barangays, the recyclable waste can be sold for recycling into other uses. This will then leave only a minimal percentage of waste consisting of the residual wastes or those that can no longer be recycled such as sanitary napkins and disposable diapers, used batteries, etc., to be disposed of.

Local governments must strictly implement segregation at source if they are serious in reducing the volume of waste. If homeowners do not wish, or cannot compost, the biodegradable waste on their own, then at least the local governments should collect them separately and do the composting for the municipality or city.

What is unfortunate is that some mayors find it profitable not to comply with the law because the more trips the garbage collectors make, the more commissions they can expect to get from the contractors. This has to be looked into by the Environmental Ombudsman.

Local government units must also provide for sanitary landfills in sites away from residential, institutional and commercial zones. These landfills must be so engineered as to process the leacheate (the leaking fluids) that comes from the landfill in order that the soil and water tables will not be contaminated.

The law was passed in the year 2000. Despite the deadlines set in the law and warnings against non-compliance most local government units have remained non-compliant. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, is therefore correct in throwing the weight of her office to enforce the law.

After all, what most people do not realize is that garbage plays a direct and substantial part in the worsening of global warming. Methane gas which is emitted by garbage and wastes is 21 times more potent in heating the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

As studies have shown, the warmer the planet, the greater the likelihood of fiercer typhoons and more devastating calamities resulting from the disruption in the ecological balance. Congratulations to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for her initiative.


The May election is drawing near. I find it sad that the names landing at the top in surveys and will most likely get elected to senatorial posts do not have much to show except the recall value of their names. What advocacies do they represent? What can we expect them to espouse as legislators? On the other hand, those who have made a track record of espousing significant causes are trailing the popular names.

One is Ed Hagedorn who has transformed Puerto Princesa city in Palawan into the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. Because of him, Puerto Princesa boasts of having the first engineered, world-class sanitary landfill. His city also boasts of two UNESCO world heritage sites which have been well-preserved, the St. Paul’s underground river, the second longest navigable underground river in the world, and the Tubbataha coral reef.

I wonder when the Filipino voters would start looking beyond popular names.


How are you celebrating Earth Day 2013? guardian.co.uk, Monday 22 April 2013 10.51 BST

Environmental activists who are also the members of Indonesian Environmental Rides and fishermen group perform long march and theatrical action to commemorate the International Earh Day on April 22, 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia. Photograph: Robertus Pudyanto/Barcroft Med

Earth Day is 43 years' old today (April 22, 2013) and designed to "[activate] individuals and organizations to strengthen the collective fight against man's exploitive relationship with the planet." Denis Hayes, the national coordinator of its first day, said a few years back that he thought the day had achieved many of its aims.

With a recent global poll showing that public concern over environmental problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss is its lowest in 20 years, it's clear that there's still a need for the event.

How Earth Day 2013 is being celebrated around the world 22 Apr 2013 15:25

Earth Day is marked on 22 April every year. We look at the activities around it in 2013

Let's look after our world: A schoolgirl collects rubbish from Karachi's Clifton beach during a cleaning campaign on Earth Day 2013

Hollywood actor and director Mark Ruffalo has tweeted his support for Earth Day. The American, best known for starring in hit films including Collateral and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, has previously voiced his opposition to hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), dismissing it as "the dirtiest [industry]...that you can imagine." Fracking is a technique used for extracting petroleum and natural gas from the ground.

Mark Ruffalo ✔ @Mruff221

Happy #earthday Fellow Earthlings! That we exist at all is rarity. I am reminded every living thing here is part of this fine cosmic gem. 9:07 AM - 22 Apr 2013

Here's a little fact for anyone wanting to make their own contribution today: Every aluminium drink can you recycle saves enough energy to keep your television running for three hours. So instead of dumping that can of pop in the bin, why not do the eco-friendly thing and recycle it? The planet will definitely thank you.

Campaigners in India are getting into the spirit of things by dressing up as trees for a huge sapling distribution exercise. This boy in Allahabad, north India, looks very fetching in his eco-friendly getup. The area where he lives is facing huge problems with its wildlife, as many species have either become endangered or extinct.

An Indian boy dressed as a tree looks on during an eco-awareness event in Allahabad

This brilliant picture shows activists from The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wearing green body paint and holding placards during a demonstration in Hyderabad, India today. PETA is campaigning for as many people as possible to switch to a vegan diet for Earth Day. They hope this will help to reduce carbon emissions and protect levels of certain livestock.

Children showing their support for the environment in Kuwait

A young girl holds a plant in Kenya

In Seoul, South Korea, campaigners are gearing up for an 'eco-style' Earth Day flash mob including a variation of the hit song Gangnam Style by singer Psy.

The city will also play host to a walkathon and a special exhibition featuring photos from the Earth Day network's Face of Climate Change project.

Meanwhile residents in Santa Barbara, California, have already attended an Earth Day festival with live music and a green car show promoting sustainable motoring.


Children make artwork using recyclable materials

Pasay City – One of the biggest problems that we face right now is garbage. Yet, efforts are done in order to minimize garbage especially in Metro Manila. Some have organic fertlizers made from biodegradable wastes. Others sew used doy packs and tarpaulins into bags.

In order to show that materials need not go to waste, eighty-five children created artworks using materials that are already considered waste by many. Under the tutelage of the up and coming artist, Lawton Laddao, the children learned that with a little creativity there need not be wastes.

The participants were twenty-three (23) children from CRIBS Foundation, twenty-two (22) special children from the Persons with Disability – Valenzuela Chapter and forty (40) children from Smokey Mountain community under the Sandiwaan Learning Center.

Their artworks exhibit ran from May 28 to June 1, 2012 at The Plaza of Resorts World Manila with the Opening and Ribbon Cutting was held on in the afternoon of the first day. To officially cut the ribbon and open the exhibit were Hon. Demetrio Ignacio, Undersecretary of the DENR, Mr. Roberto Guevara, Chair/President of EDNPI and Ms. Evelyn Del Rosario, Head of

Four artworks comprising of three (3) runners-up and a Champion were chosen by judges and awarded with prizes in recognition of their vision and their creativity. The following emerged as winners: Aila Odavar of CRIBS Foundation, Inc. – Grand Prize, Lilian Rońo of CRIBS Foundation, Inc. – 1st Prize, Crystal Flores of Sandiwaan Learning Center – 2nd Prize and Reggie Bayos of Persons With Disabilities – Quezon City – 3rd Prize. Winners were awarded with Certificates of Recognition and cash prizes given by PLDT and EDNPI.

The project was made possible through the efforts of Earth Day Network Philippines, Inc., Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., and Resorts World Manila.


PRESENTED BY: The Cultural Center of the Philippines with Haribon Foundation, Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation Inc., Philippine Coast Guard, GreenPeace, Kalikasan People’s Network, Foxbat Cycling Club Inc., RockEd, LJC Restaurant Group, Winner Foundation, and Philippine Biochar Association

DESCRIPTION: THE Cultural Center of the Philippines celebrates Earth Day in various venues of the CCP complex and Manila Bay area with the theme “Save Manila Bay” on Sunday, April 21, 2013.

To further create awareness among the people (especially within the City of Manila), the artists, cultural workers and participants will form a GREEN LINK along the seawall at Roxas Boulevard from the Manila Yacht Club up to the U.S. Embassy.

This human link will transform the seawall promenade into a venue for stand-up comedy, dance, play music, and other performances while facing the Manila Bay for one hour (8:00–9:00am). The event is open and free to the public.

The event starts with a Save Manila Bay Walk around the CCP Complex at 6:00am followed by a program at the CCP Ramp hosted by Mae Paner a.k.a. Juana Change at 7:00am featuring a Dance Ritual for Mother Earth performed by the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, an excerpt of the stage production of Ibalong by Tanghalang Pilipino, special message from the 2012 International Children’s Peace Prize Awardee Cris “Kesz” Valdez, opening of Sunset Block – Installation Art by 98B at the Front Lawn, and the opening of Exhibits-Fair at the Liwasang Kalikasan area.

At 8:00am, a Save Manila Bay Advocacy Chains will be formed by artists, cultural workers, youth and the general public at the Baywalk Area as well as the Paddlers-Boat Chain by the Philippine Canoe-Kayak Federation and Kalikasan People’s Network, Bay Clean-Up activity by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and Bikers Chain by the Foxbat Cycling Club Inc., among other activities. From 7:00am-5:00pm, exhibits and fair by Haribon Foundation, GreenPeace, Siklo Pilipinas (household items), Gifts & Graces (Toys & novelty items), Kilus Foundation (Women’s organization of Pasig), Vinci’s Deli (Organic food products), Philippine Biochar Association will be on display at the CCP Liwasang Kalikasan area.

At the same time, kids and family activities (Art making, story-telling, film screenings) by Haribon will be held as well as cooking demonstrations by the LJC Restaurant Group.

From 10:00am-12:00noon, band concerts will be staged by RockEd featuring Gab Cabangon, Vin Dancel, Ebe Dancel and Noel Cabangon; and musical performances by the PCG Band, Bagitos Drummers, at the Liwasang Kalikasan from 12:30nn – 4:30pm.

Artists of Tanghalang Pilipino’s production of “Ibalong” protest the proposed reclamation of Manila Bay Sunday in Manila as part of the Earth Day celebration of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) with the theme “Save Manila Bay. The event began with a fun run and includes performances, concerts and a clean-up.


Toronto marks Earth Day with community cleanup 04/22/2013 07:39 AMErin Criger


Toronto residents celebrated Earth Day by cleaning up their community, hitting the zoo and planting trees.

Google also got in on the action, modifying their Google Doodle with raining clouds and snow-capped mountains.

Because Earth Day – April 22 – fell on a Monday this year, many events took place over the weekend.

Mayor Rob Ford helped clean up Colonel Samuel Smith Park on Saturday as part of the annual Clean Toronto Together Program.

At Todmordren Mills on Sunday, families created environmentally-friendly artwork and explored the site’s wild flowers. The Toronto Zoo held events on both Saturday and Sunday, where children could speak to recycling experts and learn about polar bears and their environment.

Scarborough Town Centre will hold its community cleanup and tree planting on Monday. The event will run from 10 a.m. to noon and 40 trees will be planted to mark the mall’s 40th anniversary.

There will also be a tree planting at Downsview Park. Approximately 2,000 trees will be planted and volunteers can sign up on a first-come, first serve basis. Shovels and other tools will be provided.

Do you have any old electronics lying around? For the week of Earth Day, Computation Ltd. will accept old computer equipment free of charge, and will have a tree planted for every major item that’s turned in.

What about old shoes? Town Shoes at Bloor and Bay streets will accept your old kicks to reduce your “fashion” footprint. The shoes will be donated to charity Dress for Success, which provides interview-appropriate clothing for low-income women. Cash is also accepted.

Earth Day, first celebrated on April 22, 1970, is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement.

[Last year's photo- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford used a power washer to erase graffiti from an electrical shed in Amesbury Park during a community cleanup on 2012 EARTH Saturday. RICK EGLINTON / TORONTO STAR]

TORONTO, April 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Thousands of residents are joining Mayor Rob Ford today to clean Toronto together as they participate in the third annual Mayor's Community Cleanup event taking place at various locations across the city.

"It's great to have people from all across the city joining forces to clean Toronto together," said Mayor Rob Ford, who is being joined by local residents at his event at Colonel Samuel Smith Park.

Residents are also taking part in hundreds of other cleanup events in their communities at the same time. More than 5,000 people are expected to take part in these cleanup events today while more than 25,000 were registered to participate in the Corporate and School Cleanup Day that took place yesterday.

Community groups, residents and schools will participate in this Toronto tradition to make a difference by cleaning up public areas in their communities such as a neglected laneway, park or one of the city's many ravines.

The Mayor's Community Cleanup Day is part of the City's Clean Toronto Together program, which features a city-wide staff clean up, the Corporate and School Cleanup Day, cleaning up graffiti vandalism and other cleanup-related activities.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved