MALACAÑANG reiterated the Philippines’ commitment to participate in global efforts to fight climate change on the international observance of Earth Day on Saturday.
In a statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the government was working for a “climate-change resilient living” for all.
“This occasion is a good reminder of the Philippines’ commitment to the global call to fight climate change and uphold climate justice as well as our country’s solidarity to the rest of the world,” Abella said.
In March, the Senate unanimously concurred with President Rodrigo Duterte’s ratification of the landmark Paris climate change agreement that would compel highly industrialized countries to cap greenhouse gas emissions and pursue the development of renewable energy.
Duterte had expressed disdain for the pact, saying cutting carbon emissions at a point of expansion in the Philippine economy would be unfair since industrialized countries had given off emissions unchecked for decades.
The Paris Agreement seeks to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global average temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The pact also limits the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The Philippines earlier pledged a 70-percent cut in emissions by 2030.
Lopez: Connect with ‘higher beings’
Environment Secretary Regina Lopez meanwhile urged Filipinos to meditate and connect with “higher beings,” which she said were source of “love” for the environment and natural resources.
“That is what is all about. What has been saving the country, saving the root foundation of any kind of economic growth and even the salvation of this country, the planet as well, is love,” Lopez said during the celebration of Earth Day at La Mesa Eco Park in Quezon City.
She clarified that the “love” she was referring to did not concern religion nor the bible but the “inner self.”
Lopez also shared her “morning meditation experience” in which she described feeling a certain “connection” or
an “un-present element.”
“For this country, I also know without the slightest doubt, that there are beings and angels which are…connected to this country. When you meditate, you cannot think because you will get distracted but as you focus while meditating, you will be able to get deeper into a space that let you be with these higher beings,” the Cabinet official explained.
For her, these “higher beings” are the source of love that can lead every person to be passionate in taking care of nature.
“Love needs to be courageous. It is in the vessel of love that is aligned with the highest forces of integrity,” she said.
During the celebration, Lopez sang and danced to the song “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly, which she described as her “inspirational song.”
Prof. Grace Odal-Devor of the University of the Philippines-Manila College of Arts and Sciences backed Lopez’s statements.
“You get that kind of love when you get connected with nature because what is happening right now is that we are out of ourselves, therefore we became egoistic since we are disconnected with nature,” Devor said.
The Filipino folklore professor also explained that “once a person gets connected with nature, I assure you that we get connected with each person.”
Devor also called on the Filipinos to unite in fighting “threatening elements” that could lead to the destruction of the environment.
Earth Day Network Philippines Executive Director Ryan Vita urged the public to help nature “every single day.”
“We call on every Filipinos out there to use our yearly celebration as a start of their new chapter in promoting environmental protection,” Vita said.