March 24, 2014
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is asking the public to be more environmentally conscious during the Holy Week and the rest of the summer season amidst continuing onslaught of the drought-driving El Niño phenomenon.
In these times, DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said everyone should conserve energy and water to reduce the impacts of climate change.
He said the prevailing heat nowadays should remind people that the country is experiencing a longer and hotter dry season.
“This is aggravated by El Niño and will continue as long as we do not take concrete personal steps to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” he said.
“Let us also not forget that while we are enjoying the scenery and the time with our loved ones, there are those who are losing a lot of their livelihood because of the heat and dry spell,” he added.
Paje noted that the country’s water supplies are now under close watch as reservoirs begin to dry up and rivers carrying less water.
For a climate-friendly Lenten season and summer, the DENR chief urged the public to use only as much water as needed; use reusable food-grade containers; keep surroundings clean to reduce the use of energy and water that may be needed to clean them up; unplug electrical appliances, devices or fixtures when not in use; and keep vehicles well-maintained to lessen pollution.
Paje said the public should also patronize fuel-efficient vehicles that can transport more passengers at a time.
He said this not only saves on gas, but also reduces emissions that worsen the heat and contribute to air pollution.
“Enjoy the beauty of our natural wonders, which our country has been blessed with so many of,” he noted.
“But remember to keep the environment in as clean and pristine state as possible or contribute to its improvement, not deterioration,” he added.
Paje also encouraged communities to start cleaning up waterways in their areas to prevent possible flooding after the state weather bureau warned of possible onslaught of La Niña when El Niño ends.
La Niña is a phenomenon that usually follows El Niño.
It brings above normal rainfall, stronger monsoons, and more storms.