LEGAZPI CITY: It will be the second time that Albay will take a shot for a Guinness Book world record on June 28 as they form a 13,000-man human chain to create a “smoke-free” logo to stress their crusade for health and environment awareness.
The local government made their first record when a local artist ate a record volume of hot peppers in one sitting in 1999.
This new project aims to affirm Albay’s role as Global Model for climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) bestowed by the United Nations during the 2011 ministerial meeting in Incheon, South Korea.
Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay was named spokesman and Senior Global Champion for CCA and DRR at the same conference.
Salceda, who leads the project, said that “a Guinness anti-smoking human logo will send a strong “Game Over” signal to global cigarette firms. “Smoking harms the environment, holistically, because the air people breath is being polluted even for nonsmokers by secondary smoking,” he said as he stressed on the importance of this activity.
“Albay is saving P180 million a year on health costs resulting from smoke usage reduction, thanks to the ordinance the provincial board passed over a year ago, and the June 28 drive will “give relevance and meaning to the implementation of that ordinance,” Salceda added.
As an economist and former smoker himself, the governor said that people around the world spend bout P675,000 per second, or P21 trillion a year on smoking.
The human logo project is planned to cover a 5,033-square-meter area at the Bicol University grounds. There will be 13,000 participants from various sectors, including the Albay provincial government personnel, students senior citizens, and will wear the logo colors of red, white and black T-shirts to make the human logo formation more graphic from above.
Bicol University is the center of the Climate Change Academy, making it the first institution of its kind in Asia, and the Kabalikat Science and Technology Institute, also a first for Albay, has stated its dedication to the advancement of DRR and CCA.
The Smoke-Free Albay Network, a local organization that pursues campaigns for the environment and monitors the strict implementation of the anti-smoking law, is also coordinating the whole project.
Salceda said the activity will contribute to the global campaign against pollution and will show the possibility for a disaster-combatting community like Albay is able to help protect the environment, and help its citizens survive and live a healthy life. This project is in line with the June national no-smoking month.
Shiela T. Mañalac