Two Phl Schools Given ASEAN Eco-Friendly Schools Award

24 July 2012 - The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that two Philippine schools were bestowed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Eco-Friendly Schools Award during the ministerial dinner for the launching of the ASEAN Environmental Year (AEY) 2012 held on July 17 at The Royale Chulan in Kuala Lumpur.

The Iliranan Elementary School in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and the Camarines Sur National High School joined other primary and secondary high schools in ASEAN countries as ASEAN Eco-Friendly Schools for their initiatives in integrating environmental protection and preservation in their curriculum, greening activities and over-all school management.

The Philippine delegation was led by Assistant Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Corazon Davis. Other members of the delegation include Environment and Natural Resources Special Concerns Office Director William Ragos, Department of Education-Bureau of Elementary Education OIC Director Marilyn Dimaano, San Jose City Mayor Gerardo Valmayor, Jr., Camarines Sur National High School Principal Nely Abad, Iliranan Elementary School OIC-Principal Gary Magnanao and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Johann Veronica Andal.

"It is the Philippines' pride that these schools have mainstreamed environmental education not just in their curriculum, but also in their extra-curricular and community activities. They are examples in the country for environmental protection and advocacy," Assistant Secretary Davis said.

Other winners in the primary level include Kuala Belait Primary School in Brunei, Hun Sen Sandan Primary School in Cambodia, Tunjung Sekar 1 Elementary School in Indonesia, Sokpaluang Primary School in Laos, Chinese National Type Primary School Tung Hua in Malaysia, No. 3 Basic Education Post Primary School in Myanmar, Fuhua Primary School in Singapore, Ban Tha Kam School in Thailand and Thuc Nghiem Primary School in Vietnam.

For the secondary level, winners include the Sayyida Hasan Secondary School in Brunei, Treng Trayoeung Secondary School in Cambodia, Muhammadiyah 1 Junior High School in Indonesia, Sisattanak Lower Secondary School in Laos, Saint Michael Secondary School in Malaysia, No. 2 Basic Education High School in Myanmar, Commonwealth Secondary School in Singapore, Muang Krabi School in Thailand and Chu Van Au National High School in Vietnam.

Bestowing the award were Malaysian Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup, Secretary General for Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Zoal Azha B. Yusof and Department of Environment Director Halimah bt Hassan.

The ASEAN Eco-School Award is part of the ASEAN Eco-Schools Programme, which is aimed at creating a school culture geared towards environmental protection and preservation through management, commitment and infusion into curriculum, co-curriculum and greening activities. Such activities is dedicated to education, facilitating and inspiring school communities to protect and sustain the environment, be it schools, at home, in the community within the society and the nation at large.

The awarding ceremonies were held in conjunction with the AEY celebrations in Malaysia, which featured presentations from the 10 ASEAN countries on their initiatives

During her presentation, Assistant Secretary Davis highlighted that the Philippines has a law, Republic Act 9512 or An Act to Promote Environmental Awareness Through Environmental Education and for Other Purposes, which was signed into law in December 2008. Environmental education is being integrated in curriculum of Philippine schools as early as the primary level, which allows students to be developed as "environment persons" in the secondary level with the hope of them entering environment-related courses come the tertiary level so they will become environment professionals.

She also highlighted the efforts done by the two Philippine school-awardees for the AEY 2012, such as their activities in waste management, recycling, greening projects, and community-related activities.

The AEY is a celebration held once every three years to showcase ASEAN's achievements and commitments to environmental protection and to promote public awareness on environmental issues in general. It was first initiated in 1995, and following the celebration's success, the ASEAN Member States agreed to celebrate the second AEY in 2000, and three years thereafter.

Previous AEY celebrations were held in Brunei in 2000, Cambodia in 2003, Indonesia in 2006 and Laos in 2009.