By Ivy C. Cuebillas with reports from Alyssa Marie Bonaobra
and Maria Vanessa Bernardo, The Bicol Universitarian
ALBAY, Philippines – The second day of the climate action summit, Power Shift Philippines, revolved on the discussion of environmental issues and online campaigns spearheaded by The Climate Reality Project Philippines and Rappler held Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Patio de Cagsawa.
Speaking at the said event were Rodne Galicha, the branch manager of The Climate Reality Project Philippines, Mayan Quebral of Oscar Lopez Center, Jasmin See of Alliance for Earth, and Dann Diez of Seed4Com who tackled environmental advocaciesand threats people may encounter.
A community immersion at Taysan Resettlement Site, Legazpi City was conducted in the afternoon.
Galicha stated that industrialization is the most significant change he has seen in the past ten years. He reminded that there is a need for people to act together before profit. “Small things done are better than big things planned,” he added.
Quebral of Oscar Lopez Center stated that with regards to climate change, people don’t talk about prevention anymore. She stated that people need adaptation.
Meanwhile, Diez discussed about Project Enkindle while See invited the participants to join in their organization’s Break Free Campaign.
Also included in the discussion was the household carbon footprint calculator whichenables the computation of carbon emission through energy consumption, transportation, and waste.
Liz Nicole, a mining engineering student from Bicol University, said that she was enlightened by the meaning of carbon footprint and at the same time, interested in computing her monthly contribution on carbon emission.
The panel discussion did not only tackle environmental advocacies but also discussed the importance of online campaigns.
Rupert Ambil, the executive director of MovePH, Rappler’s citizen engagement arm, discussed the good practices of using social media for social action.
“Rappler's first major advocacy is to teach the value of information and use of social media for disaster risk reduction,” Ambil stated.
Rappler’s Voltaire Tupaz further discussed the significance of online presence in advocacy campaigns. Tupaz specifically talked about platforms for online environmental campaign amplification and community building.
He also reiterated the power of social media and its impact to people’s relationships in the community and that the power to change the lives of the people is in the youth’s hands. “We don't just write stories. We harness the power of the crowd,” Tupaz added.
Ben Muni, an advocate from Greepeace, joined the discussion as he pressed on the issue of mining, coal and renewable energy.
Muni said that for people to get interested in this undertaking, explanations must be simplified to gather an audience who will join and listen.
When asked about responsible mining, Galicia stated: “This is a multi-faceted issue. We need to study this from all aspects. But we need to go back to the policies that we have.”
Pam Dela Cruz, a geology student from University of the Philippines-Diliman raised her sentiment on the issue. “It’s unfair to us, science and engineering students, who plan for the procedures and the steps to be done yet because of the advocacy, all the technicalities will be disregarded,” she stated.
However, the delegate added that they’ve become more aware and realized that they can be responsible enough in adapting to the inconsistencies in the environment.