ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND PARTNERSHIP BUILDING
The Environmental Education and Information Section (EEIS) is the arm of the region in terms of environmental education and partnership building. They are responsible in reaching out to various stakeholders to spread the programs and projects of the Department.
1 Environmental Events
The EEIS has thought of shifting to online activities since the pronouncement of ECQ within the Region to ensure continuous information education campaign on environmental awareness while being able to celebrate environmental events.
The shift to online approach during this COVID19 pandemic is practical since it would be exceedingly difficult to conduct activities physically as the observance of social distancing and avoidance of public gatherings are projected to be in effect even long after the lifting of the Community Quarantine in order to prevent a relapse.
Celebrating environmental events online while complying with the rules on ECQ also encourages more participants to join since they will not be limited by distance and time.
1.1 Zero Waste Month
Pursuant to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and as mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 760, the month of January is declared as Zero Waste Month. To celebrate said event this year, EMB4A thru the EEIS and with the assistance of City Environmental Officer Rodelio V. Lee, conducted a site visit – educational tour at the Materials Recovery Facility Eco-Park of Biñan City, Laguna on January 24, 2020.
Since 2016, the City of Biñan has been producing eco-bricks made of plastic as one of its innovations in utilizing waste materials. With the eruption of the Taal Volcano, the officials saw an opportunity to convert harmful ash into a useful product which could help the victims on the natural disaster in rebuilding their lives. They now include ash fall collected from cleaning the streets, rooftops and those donated by different industries as another component in making their eco-bricks which they call “Ang Bricks na may Puso.”
1.2 Earth Day/Earth Month
EMB4A celebrated the 2020 Earth Day with the theme entitled “Earth Day Everyday for #Climate Action” thru an online infographic design making contest on facebook.
The online contest was open to all residents within the Region and participants were required to submit entries focusing on Earth Day and its theme this year. Five entries were qualified and were posted in the EMB CALABARZON facebook page wherein one of them was selected as the overall winner.
The winner, Alyssa Marie C. Federio, a college student from Los Banos, Laguna, received a price of Php5,000.00 and giveaways which includes EMB CALABARZON Eco bag, Tumbler and USB. Non-winners Aron Blade Clarence Canceran, Samantha Errin Soriano and Jem Wagas, on the other hand, received a consolation prize of Php1,000.00 and giveaways as well. Such activity gives the opportunity to hone one’s creativity and acknowledge one’s talent.
1.3 World Environment Day/Environment Month
The month of June was declared Philippine Environment Month pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 237 signed in 1998 by then President Corazon Aquino. This year’s theme is “Protect Nature Sustain Our Future” in conjunction with the global theme of World Environment Day, “Time For Nature.”EMB4A launched three online contests on its facebook page for World Environment Day/Philippine Environment Month namely: Let It Grow Online Photo Contest, Online Essay Writing and Glow Up Your Garden.
2 Production and Dissemination of Localized IEC Materials
To further promote and strengthen information dissemination on laws, protection and issues concerning the environment, EMB4A prepared and printed several infographics distributed to different stakeholders in the Region.
IEC Materials Prepared
3 School Caravan
The conduct of School Caravan within the Region was made part of the promotion and strengthening of the Regional Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools in order to provide a closer and direct approach in teaching and in encouraging teachers and students to participate in the said program and replicate the best practices of winning shcools in environmental protection.
The activity aims to familiarize schools, teachers and students with best practices of other schools in solid waste management and to encourage them to replicate these practices. Some of the practices involve the establishment of materials recovery facility, installation of solar panels, greening program, paper and water conservation programs, eco-bricks making and pollution prevention program.
The EEIS was able to conduct two School Caravans before the Enhanced Community Quarantine. Remaining targets were discontinued due to the COVID19 pandemic.
3.1 Tagaytay Central Elementary School
On February 27, 2020 a school caravan was conducted at Tagaytay Central Elementary School, Tagaytay City, Cavite. Mark Kevin Fungo, Environmental Management Specialist II, gave a lecture on Ecological Solid Waste Management including Environmental and Health Impacts of Improper Solid Waste Management in order to stir the consciousness of the young audience and instill in their minds the importance of our natural resources and environmental protection. Some videos showing best practices of winning schools were also presented during the caravan which was attended by a total of one hundred (100) Grade 5 and Grade 6 students of the said school.
3.2 San Isidro Elementary School
Part of the school caravan activity is the monitoring of Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools previous winners to see to it that they continue their good environmental practices and assess as to whether they are able to maintain or improve their programs. EMB4A visited San Isidro Elementary School, 2013 Regional Winner -Elementary Level, in Batangas City on March 9, 2020. Ms. Elsie E. Abag, Principal, and Ms. Maribel A. De Leon, Master Teacher I, led in presenting the school’s eco-friendly programs. Their sustainability reflects not only in the physical appearance of the school but also emulated in their students, parents and the rest of the community.
4 Radio Guesting and Podcasts
Media plays an integral role in spreading and creating awareness amongst people on environmental issues and taking actions towards protection of our environment. It intends to reach and address a large target of audience. Thus, EMB4A uses this avenue as a tool to spread awareness and knowledge amongst the people thru radio guesting and podcast.
Radio Guesting and Podcasts were conducted thru live guesting, recorded interview or via phone patch. EMB4A was able to conduct four (4) podcasts episodes and two (2) radio guesting at Radyo Totoo 95.9 DWAL FM in Batangas City.
5 Photo Releases
EMB4A submits weekly photo releases of newsworthy events to the Central Office. This Office was able to submit eighteen (18) photo releases for the first semester of 2020.
Table 2. List of photo releases for 1st semester 2020
|January||(1) DENR CALABARZON New Year’s Call;
(2) Simultaneous Air Quality Sampling;
(3) Donation distribution at Padre Pio Shrine;
(4) Donation distribution at Amadeo, Cavite;
(5) Battle for Manila Bay 2nd Principals Meeting and Conference.
|February||(1) Biñan, Laguna Eco bricks;
(2) Donation distribution at Sto. Tomas, Batangas;
(3) School Caravan at Tagaytay Elementary School.
|March||(1) Meeting with Energy World Corporation;
(2) Eco-friendly Shcool Monitoring at San Isidro Elementary School
|April||(1) PPE donation at the Philippine General Hospital;
(2) PPE donation at Binakayan Hospital and Medical Center and San Pedro Calungsod Medical Center;
(3) Air Quality Monitoring amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
|May||(1) PPE donation in three hospitals in Cavite.|
|June||(1) New Normal in EMB4A Office;
(2) Environment Month Activities;
(3) Air Quality Monitoring from Enhanced Community Quarantine to General Community Quarantine.
6 Updating and Maintenance of Regional Facebook Page
One more way to keep the public updated with current environmental issues aside from radio and television programs is social media. EMB4A updates and maintains its Facebook page “Environmental Management Bureau R4A” wherein photos of programs, activities and events are uploaded. It can also be searched as @EMBR4A to find the page easily. For the first semester of 2020, EMB4A has already uploaded 121 original posts.
7 Conduct of Communication Evaluation of IEC Intervention
The main purpose of evaluating a seminar, training or any activity is to gain knowledge about whether it has achieved or failed its objectives. It is considered an important process as it helps analyze and improve its effectiveness and efficiency.
As shown in this evaluation for School Caravan conducted on February 27, 2020, at Tagaytay Central Elementary School, the level of awareness after the seminar increased by 26% and their level of knowledge increased by 113%. The participants find the program flow, event venue, event time, speaker, topics, materials, freebies, organizers to be Very Good.