The Department of Energy (DOE), through its Consumer Welfare and Promotion Office (CWPO), together with the European Union-Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (EU-ASEP) and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) on 22 April, celebrated Earth Day 2021 through the conduct of an online Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign dubbed as, “Restoring Our Earth through Energy Sustainability: Sana All.”

The IEC, which reached more than 3,700 people online, was anchored on the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day, with the theme: “Restore Our Earth™”. It was held via Microsoft Teams and livestreamed through Facebook, and was attended by representatives from the academe, local government units, government agencies, and energy companies, among others.

In his opening remarks, Energy Undersecretary Alexander S. Lopez stressed how the DOE in the past years advocated for Filipinos to live in a clean and healthier environment while meeting the nation’s energy needs. He also shared that the Department has made remarkable progress through its policies and programs to show that caring for the environment is not only a one-day event like Earth Day but can be a lifestyle for Filipinos.

Christoph Wagner, the Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines, meanwhile, shared his reflection about Earth Day while mentioning a new type of development strategy towards sustainability coined as the European Green Deal, where it aims for absence of net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, an economic growth that is decoupled from resource use, and ensure that “no person and no place is left behind.”

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, in his keynote address, shared the following relevant laws to show that achieving sustainable future through sustainable energy is possible: Republic Act No. 9513 (Renewable Energy Act of 2008), Republic Act No. 10771 (Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016), Republic Act No. 11234 (Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop Act), and Republic Act 11285 (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act). He also informed the participants that the following bills are currently in the process of completion and could contribute to attaining our goal of sustainable and affordable energy: Senate Bill No. 1382 (Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act), Senate Bill No. 175 (Microgrid Systems Act) and the Senate Bill No. 1789 (Waste-to-Energy Act).

During the IEC activity, invited speakers from the DOE-CWPO, EU ASEP- Clean Energy Living Laboratories (ASEP-CELLs) and EU ASEP- Technical Assistance (TA) presented the following:

  • Household Energy Consumer Rights and Responsibilities (presented by DOE-CWPO Supervising Science Research Specialist Milo G. Lilang)
  • Expanding Renewable Energy in the Philippines (presented by EU ASEP-CELLs Senior Technical Advisor, Dr. Josef T. Yap)
  • How can Energy Efficiency Save the Environment? (presented by EU ASEP-TA Energy Efficiency Strategy Expert Josephine M. Tioseco)
  • Dialogue and consultation in connection to the topics presented (facilitated by EU ASEP- Renewable Energy for Livelihood and Youth (RELY) Communications Team Shem Garcia and Liberty Pinili)

The “Restoring Our Earth through Energy Sustainability: Sana All” IEC activity was concluded with Undersecretary Lopez’s announcement of the contest winners for the poster-making and photography contest with the theme, “SHARE TO SAVE: Share your energy-saving practices at home” followed by the closing remarks of Douglas Liner, the Team Leader of – EU ASEP-TA, wherein he reiterated the importance of communication and information campaign such as the IEC activity conducted in raising awareness on energy-related issues that concerns the environment.