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Bacolod City, PhilippinesMonday, September 3, 2012
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3rd PHL environmental
awards launched

Nominations for the third Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan award of civil society organizations led by the Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines will be accepted until midnight of November 30, a press release from the group said.

GBK honors individuals and groups dedicated to the defense of the environment and the rights of the people, and recognizes grassroots efforts to protect the environment, that can be in varied forms, like advocacy, campaigns, research, community services and mass media or cultural work, the press release also said.

Three Filipinos, three organizations, and a most distinguished awardee will be chosen by the board of judges, and will be awarded on April 22, 2013, to coincide with the Earth Day commemoration.

Categories include the “ Katangi-tanging Gawad” to be awarded to an individual or organization in recognition of his/her/their being an inspiration and example to the Filipino people for offering time and talents for the defense of the environment and advancement of the people's welfare; “G awad Indibidwal” to one who has demonstrated extraordinary ability and effort to uphold the environment and people's welfare; and “ Gawad Organisasyon” for people's and community organizations and institutions that have demonstrated unity in upholding the welfare of the people and of the environment, through advocacy, campaigns, education, research, technology development, community services, mass media, or cultural work, the press release also said.

CEC-Philippines executive director Frances Quimpo said the third GBK comes at a crucial point, when defenders of the environment have become open targets of human rights violations.

Nomination forms and other information on GBK can be accessed at www.cecphils.org . For more information, contact the secretariat at (02)920-9099 or at gawad.bayani.ng.kalikasan@gmail.com, the press release added.*

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Coastal LGUs must know
their marine environment

Coastal LGUs must know their marine environment

Local government units in coastal areas must know the nature and the characteristics of their immediate marine environment.

This need was made clear with the recent airplane crash at Masbate Pass, fronting the airport of Masbate City, involving Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and three others last August 18.

On August 18, I heard somebody being interviewed at the Masbate City airport say that the search for the secretary was being called off and postponed until the next morning because of the “darkness of the night and the depth of the sea.”

The statement indicates that our police and other rescue authorities, except probably the Navy and the Coast Guard, are not prepared for marine rescue operations at all times of the day.

We can draw a lesson from the tragic incident. We must know and be familiar with the marine environment of coastal communities as part of the information needed for search and rescue operations.

We must know the directions and speed of currents during times of low and high tides, and during the northeast and southwest monsoons. In fact, detailed oceanographic studies, with special reference to ocean currents, are needed to plot the probable location of missing persons.

We must also know the depths of the sea at various distances from land as guide to scuba divers. Much of the knowledge about bodies of marine waters is known by fishers, but this knowledge should be confirmed by information from nautical charts and from scientists actively conducting research.

I suspect that not very many coastal towns have good knowledge of the marine environment in the vicinity and ill-prepared for rescue operations of people who are victims of maritime accidents. And they may not be aware of the importance of oceanography to the rescue operations. It is now the time to prepare for such emergencies.

There is one organization that can be of assistance in the formulation of a program of sea rescue. This is the Coast Guard Auxiliary found in most cities of the country. Local government units can ask for assistance from this organization.

LGUs can also access research information on oceanography gathered by academic institutions. But LGUs seem reluctant to avail themselves of such information. It is time they realize the need to develop good working relations with academic institutions.

So, let us add one more requisite for a rescue plan: knowledge of the sea around us.*

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Sagay named finalist
for ‘Best City' in WV

Sagay City in Negros Occidental is one of the three local government units vying for the Gawad Pamana ng Lahi, a national award for exemplary performance in local governance conferred by the Department of Interior and Local Government in Western Visayas, a press release from the city said.

Mayor Leo Rafael Cueva said he is happy that what was being done for the good of public service is being recognized.

The GPL is conferred on a province, city or town that has exemplary performance in administrative, social, economic or environmental governance, based on the online Local Governance Performance Management System, Seal of Good Housekeeping, and international organization or national government agency–bestowed awards and acknowledged innovations, the press release also said.

DILG Region 6 director Evelyn Trompeta said that aside from Sagay, the other finalists are the cities of Iloilo and San Carlos, also of Negros Occidental, the press release added.*

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15 th Adobo Festival
slated Nov. 5 in Silay

The 15th Adobo Festival will be conducted by the Negros Cultural Foundation on November 5 in Silay City, Negros Occidental, a press release from organizers said.

Various activities are being lined up to highlight the versatility of adobo, like the contest on the kind of dishes the chefs, representatives from local government units and food enthusiasts can whip up, the press release also said.

For more information and updates, those interested may contact Jonah Javier at 0927-8252410, the press release added.*

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People & Events
Coastal LGUs must know their marine environment
Sagay named finalist for ‘Best City' in WV
15 th Adobo Festival slated Nov. 5 in Silay

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