60-earth-hourOnce again, Philippines


Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales calls each and every faithful around the world to show their environment concern by turning off their lights for an hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 in the evening of March 28, 2009. This is in support to the third year celebration of the Earth Hour, which originated in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a ‘one city lights out environment initiative’. From there, it made a surge of interest from every concern citizen in every country around the world. By 2008, there were 371 cities in 35 countries that joined the initiative in support of the climate change as well as energy conservation. This year, it is expected that the figures will be tripled; 1,000 cities around the world will be conserving energy for an hour and showing their dire concern on climate change.


In the Philippines alone, the estimates rose to 10 Million environment loving people and 500 businesses to join the environmental act. Earth Hour Philippines 2009 will be supported by World Wide Fund for Nature- Philippines, The Green Army Network, and SWITCH Movement together with the Department of Energy. The world-wide environmental activity is viewed to increase public awareness of the need to care for the environment. Along with that is the will to conserve energy, which is depleting alongside the alarming rapid climate change.


Region-wide, there will also be initiatives that will ensure that the 2009 Earth Hour will be carry on successfully. This will be under the close watch and awareness initiatives of Environment officers in the local offices as well as local Energy governing bodies. For even better success rating, local officials will also lead in the Earth Hour, making their homes dim and conserve watts of current for exactly an hour. Multiply these watts conserve into the millions of homes that will join and you get a lot of energy conserved!

bnpp1A billion dollars or P 48,500,000 plus an island where nuclear waste can be stored in isolation are all the Philippine government need to make the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to work! That will give us independence in producing 621 megawatts of electricity, a good solution to the continually glooming global economy. That is just the good thing. Of course, there would be so many negative sides like its effect to the people living within the radius of effect and on the environment in general.
Just recently, on January 29, 2008, the 8-man team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) led by Akira Omoto inspected the nuke plant and among their recommendations were: First, the power plant’s status must be thoroughly evaluated by technical inspections and economic evaluations conducted by a committed group of nuclear power experts with experience in preservation management. Second, the IAEA mission advised the Philippines Government on the general requirements for starting its nuclear power programme, stressing that the proper infrastructure, safety standards, and knowledge be implemented.

Every rich country known in this world have first invested on nuclear power plants, and that is what our dear government is trying to do now with the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Following the 1973 crisis, which put heavy strain in the Philippine economy, the Bataan Power Plant was thought to be the solution for the countries energy demands and will eliminate the country’s dependence on imported oil. The nuke plant was actually started in 1976 and completed 8 years after in 1984 that cost us $2.3 billion. It was designed to produce 621 megawatts of electricity but was never used nor has operated since then.

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was inspected and revealed over 4,000 mistakes. Among the very basic were being built near major earthquake fault lines and close to the dormant Mount Pinatubo, which erupted and killed many recently. It is situated in a 3.57 square kilometer government reservation at Napot Point in Morong, Bataan just 100 kilometers or 60 miles west of Manila, making it all the more very risky. This inquiry was fuelled after the Three Mile Island accident and Chernobyl disaster. It was left unused due to very many considerations, one of which is the strong opposition of residents and the citizens of the Philippines.

world-conference-on-tobacco1India is known as the second largest tobacco producer and exporter, with China being the first, but it will hold this year’s The World Conference on Tobacco and Health. This will be a 5-day event, starting Sunday, March 15 and will focus on the awareness programs that will educate developing countries of the expanding health problems brought about by using tobaccos. The event will be backed by World Health organization (WHO) and is expected to be attended by around 2,000 delegates from different countries and organizations around the world. The crowd will surely include officials from Anti- Tobacco groups, cancer specialists, and PrakashGapta (president of the conference) among so many others.

It seems odd that one of the largest producers of tobacco worldwide is going to host the world’s awareness program against all forms of tobacco use. But it is not if you will dare to look at the current tabulation of the alarming growing users in India: 57 % of the total population of Indian men uses tobacco in various procedures while 1 out of 10 women aging 15 to 49 use it too. From this statistics, 33.3 % of these men smoke the tobacco, while 23.7 % chew it with Pan Manala (addictive flavoured tobacco and betel nut mixture). Of the women, 1.6 % smokes tobacco, while 10 % chew it just like the way men do.

On top of that, the Indian government has also ratified WHO’s framework on Tobacco Control by intensifying the countries smoking ban in all public places.

As the biggest supplier and producer of tobacco around the world, India’s economy depends largely on its harvest and export of this continuously becoming dangerous plant. Although the India government is amenable to its control and awareness against use, it is still their biggest source of income. It is doubtful that they will keep from planting and exporting it, not just for the sake of the country’s economy but for the sake of the mouths that are waiting to be fed in every farmer’s home. Until the country or its leaders find a way of developing other means of work for their many tobacco farmers, that is the only time the use will decline. You see, if there is demand there just got to be a supply. Think about the 5.4 Million lives tobacco claims every year world wide.