UZ gets ‘Most Eco-Friendly School’ award PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 11:46

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office IX and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region IX awarded Universidad de Zamboanga of Zamboanga City as the “Most Eco-Friendly School” in the region during the 2011 search for sustainable and eco-friendly schools for tertiary level for their efforts towards environmental protection and climate change advocacy.

The awarding ceremony was held last December 3, 2014 at the UZ Auditorium, Canelar, Zamboanga City. Mr Franklin Gumapon, Assistant Regional Director  of PIA-9, Tito Gadon, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer – DENR 9 & Engr. Joseph Lou Sta. Teresa, Regional Info Officer of CHED-9 awarded the plaque of recognition to Mr. Abram Eustaquio, UZ Chief Operating Officer.

In his acceptance speech, Mr.Eustaquio expressed his gratitude and mentioned that through the years they have been implementing environmental related program such as waste management, tree planting and in celebration of Universidad de Zamboanga’s 70th Anniversary, they already planted a total of 20,000 trees and are still targeting to plant 70,000 more trees by the year 2018.

Engr. Sta Teresa delivered his congratulatory message to UZ for receiving such recognition and mentioned CHED’s efforts to encourage HEI to initiate and integrate environmental –related programs in their instructions, research and extension to actively respond to environmental concerns and in the process be catalysts of beneficial change in their community. Mr. Gadon on the other hand, called on to the public to participate and do their share of responsibility in protecting the environment and not be a contributor to environmental degradation. Finally Mr. Gumapon, mentioned how important environmental advocacy is and acknowledged the efforts of UZ in environmental restoration. He commended them for their accomplishment and ended his speech with encouragement by “Let us all help green our environment.”

Pursuant to the Republic Act No. 9512, also known as the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008, and in accordance with the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 7722 otherwise known as the Higher Education Act of 1994, DENR-EMB in cooperation with CHED and PIA held the activity to encourage the participation of all public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) for the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly school. The Search aims to encourage all academic institutions to become more actively involved in understanding environmental issues at a practical and local level and increase advocacy activities among the students, faculty member and school official in initiating active responses that stimulates community awareness and participation on environmental problems, cause, effect, solution.

The promotion of the search seeks to establish and strengthen sustainable and eco-friendly schools in the country which has been a priority in the Road Map for the implementation of Republic Act No. 9512 under the National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development (2009-2014). — Joseph Lou Sta. Teresa, CHED RO-9 Information Officer