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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is looking forward to building stronger partnership with Lions Clubs International (LCI) with the election of DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny D. Antiporda as Governor of District 301-A2, the world’s largest civilian service organization.

Antiporda was elected unopposed as District Governor during an online election administered by the LCI Multiple District 301 Philippines last Saturday, 23 May. The election, canvassing and proclamation of winners were live-streamed on Facebook.

With him at the helm of LCI District 301-A2, Antiporda was expected to leverage the organization’s social mobilization work to help the DENR in promoting the conservation, management, development and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources.

“My dual role as DENR Undersecretary and official of a civilian service organization allows me to expand my reach, help even more people and champion the cause of environmental protection,” Antiporda said.

District 301-A2 is composed of 84 Lions Clubs with 3,000 members spanning across 8 regions in the Philippines. As the newly installed District Governor, Antiporda will oversee activities of the entire District 301-A2 and will serve as coordinator for LCI.

Antiporda vowed to work towards strengthening the partnership of the DENR and LCI in terms of environmental protection. He said LCI, particularly District 301-A2, will be active in conducting more coastal and river cleanups, tree planting activities and solid waste management projects.

“We will engage in pro-environment activities as we have done in the past. We do these activities not only here in Metro Manila, but also in provinces like Quezon, Palawan and Masbate,” Antiporda said.

The DENR official said he will prioritize the conduct of environmental lectures in schools to involve children in the protection of the environment, pursuant to Republic Act 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008.

“I want to target the school children, especially those who are in the rural areas and mountain barangays,” Antiporda said, noting that lecture topics would include solid waste management, clean air, clean water and biodiversity conservation.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Antiporda said they have to adopt to the “new normal” situation and strategize on how to proceed with the environmental lectures once classes resume.

“We want to instill behavior change among our children today because once they acquire the proper information and knowledge on how to take care of our environment, they will become our staunch partners in environmental protection,” Antiporda pointed out. ###