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Legarda urges public to ‘be environmental heroes like Rizal’

December 29, 2015

Sen.Loren Legarda urged all Filipinos on Tuesday to be “environmental heroes” just like national hero Dr. Jose Rizal who had a special commitment to environmental care and management.

She made the call as the 119th death anniversary of Rizal will be commemorated on Wednesday, December 30.

“Dr. Jose Rizal is known to us as a man of incredible intellectual power who fought for our freedom through his pen, books and knowledge. But unknown to many, Rizal had keen devotion to environmental planning,” Legarda said.

Citing historical accounts, she said Rizal, during his exile in Dapitan, helped plan the now sprawling city in Zamboanga by building fish pens, constructing an aqueduct that provided people with clean water, using coconut oil lamps to light up streets, and planting numerous trees, turning the town into a green space, among others.

“The most fitting tribute to this distinguished man is to continue his work of caring for the environment by introducing innovative solutions to environmental problems. We have many of the best environmental laws but most of them are not being fully implemented,” Legarda, who heads the Senate Committee on Climate Change and also a staunch environmentalist, said.

“Every Filipino must strive to follow the good example of our national hero, not just in the aspect of protecting our rights and sovereignty but also with regard to preserving our environment, which is essential as it is the source of our vital needs for continuous existence,” she stressed.

As chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Legarda has introduced general and special provisions in the 2016 national budget that would ensure the integration of disaster and climate resilience, environmental and heritage conservation, and sustainability in the programs of various government agencies.

Source: Manila Bulletin