Ecology Conference educates lay leaders on climate change

Ecology Conference educates lay leaders on climate change

by JB Casimiro


St. Paul’s College, Pasig City – The Diocese of Pasig has organized here an Ecology Conference that aims to inform and educate lay leaders about global warming and climate change and how to mitigate their harmful effects on environment.


Speaking before some 250 participants that attended the Eucharistic Celebration after the conference held March 14, 2015, His Excellency Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D., in his homily, said climate change is an alarming global phenomenon that exempts no one and that the country is experiencing extreme weather conditions that we have not encountered in the past.


He urged them to take care of the environment and cited some examples on how coral reefs are being destroyed through dynamite fishing and other illegal fishing activities.


The Conference also featured expert speakers on disaster risk reduction and management as well as science agencies tasked by the government to conduct information and communication campaigns to make communities climate-change ready.


Among the speakers were Dr. Carina Lao, Director at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) who discussed the Hydrometeorological Hazards in the Philippines; Ms. Edna Juanillo, Chief Climatology and Agrometeorology Division of PAGASA who talked about the country’s Climate Variability and Climate Change while Ms. Shiela Schneider, Senior Hydrologist from the Hydrometeorological Division of PAGASA discussed Flood Forecasting and Warning System.

Meanwhile, Bro. Ronald Roldan, the Operations Committee Head of Caritas Pasig, presented the Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Management, its benefits and status in the Diocese of Pasig. He also encouraged the attendees to join their roster of volunteers.


Apart from the modules offered by the invited lecturers, selected representatives shared their own personal experiences in disaster prevention and risk reduction.


The Council of the Laity President, Sis. Gertrudes Bautista, said the conference highlighted two imperative activities that will transform the participants’ learnings into actions. First, is the establishment of a DRR Group for each parish and second, is the Ecology Contest for vicariates.


She said the establishment of a Disaster Risk Reduction Group (DRRG) for each parish is scheduled as follows:


Sto. Tomas April 25 & May 02, 2015
Sto. Niño May 16 & May 23, 2015
Immaculate Conception May 30 & June 06, 2015
St. Anne June 13 & June 20, 2015


According to Bautista, the DRR seminar would be conducted on two consecutive Saturdays from 8:00am-5:00pm in each vicariate with five (5) members from each parish. A registration fee of Php500.00 per parish would be collected and participants must bring their own food.


She said that procedures for establishing DRRG include the submission of a written request duly signed by the parish priest addressed to Rev. Fr. Errol Fidel Mananquil, SSDM Priest Minister, through SSDM Caritas Pasig  with contact tel. no. 642-4496.


The second activity which is the Ecology contest for Vicariates wouldl encourage them to undertake specific tasks such as Tree Planting for Sto. Nino, Waste Management for Immaculate Conception, Clean-up Drive for St. Anne and Vegetable/Container Gardening for Sto. Tomas.


Bautista said the contest would be closely monitored by the Council of the Laity and winners would be announced on August 8, this year.


The Ecology Conference was organized in coordination with the Diocesan Social Services and Development Ministry  (SSDM) headed by Atty. Elsa Verdadero-Perlas, Diocesan Lay Coordinator of SSDM-Caritas Pasig with priest-in-charge Rev. Fr. Errol Fidel Mananquil.###