Video from CCTV USA
Manila, Philippines — Two government agencies and a nongovernment organization yesterday joined the global Earth Day celebration, by installing 34 environment-friendly solar lamps on a footbridge in Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.
They are the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and My Shelter Foundation (MSF). “With the help of MMDA, this is TESDA’s contribution to the environment on Earth Day,” Secretary Joel J. Villanueva, TESDA Director General said on Tuesday.
He and MMDA General Manager Corazon Jimenez signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) at the TESDA Women’s Center (TWC) in Bicutan, Taguig City, to implement their joint undertaking called the TESDA-MMDA Light the City 2014 Project.
Jimenez signed the MOA on behalf of MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino. The project are the two agencies’ contribution to the celebration of Earth Day, with the two parties through the MOA vowing to provide solar-power pedestrian light on footbridges or other areas to 17 communities under Metro Manila’s 17 cities.
Earth Day celebration started on April 22, 1970 and “activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement,” the Earth Day Network (EDN) said. EDN has 22,000 partners in 192 countries, including in the Philippines. “More than one billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world,” EDN said.
TESDA and MSF implemented the Gift of Light project that trains skilled workers and volunteers on the assembly of solar-powered lamps for communities lacking electricity, such as in super-typhoon-hit areas in Eastern Visayas. Villanueva said that as they celebrate Earth Day, “we are also opening the actual training on the assembly of the solar street lamps in partnership with Illac Diaz of My Shelter Foundation.”
TESDA noted the Philippines’ active participation in the celebration of Earth Day project for 2014, the one-hour switching off of lights, recognizing the almost 20 million Filipinos who suffer from lack of access to electricity.
TESDA will shoulder the cost of producing the solar lamps and the volunteers’ training. The MMDA will provide the participants who will undergo training in the assembly of the four-watt 34 solar streets lamps, which have low-carbon emissions. “When the sun goes down, the solar-powered lamps will give off a full spectrum of light to the pedestrian bridges and the street below. It will likewise brighten other areas in the communities,” said Villanueva.
TESDA and MSF volunteers, who are mostly women and persons with disabilities (PWDs), started producing the solar lamps since late 2013, and the completed ones installed in Tacloban City villages.