Malacañang urges Filipinos to go lights out for Earth Hour 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Saturday, March 24, encouraged Filipinos to participate in this year's Earth Hour "to symbolize our commitment to saving Mother Earth."

"Climate change is an issue relevant to the Philippines. Our country has been identified as among the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change. The President has recognized this and has made the protection of the environment a priority during his State of the Nation Address," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement hours ahead of Earth Hour.

Roque said that "by going dark," the annual global event will shine the light "upon the importance of climate action."

"For one hour this evening, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time, let us all switch off our lights in our homes or in our workplaces to symbolize our commitment to saving Mother Earth," he added.

Earth Hour is a global environment movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) that started as a symbolic lights out even in Sydney, Australia in 2007.

This year's Earth Hour aims to build support for biodiversity by focusing on forests, oceans, and wildlife conservation.

WWF in the Philippines will celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, starting 7 pm, at the CCP Open Grounds.

According to WWF Philippines, a large focus of this year's Earth Hour will be the #Connect2Earth, the organization's global campaign that aims to connect with the hundreds of millions and to different organizations to spark conversations on biodiversity.

On Thursday, March 22, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu urged Filipinos to go beyond switching lights off for an hour and to make it a habit to use less energy and adopt other eco-friendly measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.

"Among these [measures] are car pooling; cutting back on the consumption of goods that take large amounts of carbon emissions to produce, package, transport and market; switching to energy-efficient appliances and devices; shifting to renewable energy; and raising more forests to serve as carbon sinks," he added. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.