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Let Us All Be Environmental Heroes Like Rizal – Legarda

December 29, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda called on the Filipinos to follow the example of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, whose 119th death anniversary will be commemorated tomorrow, December 30, and emulate his philosophy and commitment to environmental care and management.

“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 accounts that during his exile in Dapitan, Rizal 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.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and a staunch environmentalist, said these are just some of the many but often unproclaimed contributions of Rizal to the environment that are worth emulating.

“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,” she lamented.

Legarda, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, 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.

“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,” Legarda concluded.