A total of 45 public and private schools have entered the finals of the 2011 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools, organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).
Fourteen elementary schools, 16 high schools and 15 colleges made it through the regional eliminations and will now compete in their respective categories at the national level. Winners will be announced during the exhibition-cum-awarding ceremony that will be held on November 16, 2011 as part of the National Environmental Awareness Month pursuant further to the Environmental Awareness and Education Law also known as Republic Act No. 9512.
EMB Director Juan Miguel Cuna said the schools’ response to the call for entries was “overwhelming”. “We were amazed by their creativity and their commitment in implementing eco-friendly practices,” he said.
Now on its second run, the nationwide competition aims to recognize educational institutions from the elementary, high school and tertiary levels with the best sustainable and environment-friendly programs and activities.
“We need to start teaching our kids as early as we can to take responsibility in safeguarding our environment. Schools are dynamic focal points of learning and powerful vehicles of change. Parents and teachers can work together to spread the wonders of living an environmentally-smart lifestyle,” Cuna stressed.
Smart Communication has joined the activity for the second year as part of its corporate social responsibility and community service program, Kabalikat. “Smart has been taking measures to practice environmental sustainability in our day-to-day operations and promote ecological awareness and preservation to our publics. We encourage the youth to do the same and we know we can do this by working through their schools,” said Ramon Isberto, Smart Public Affairs Head.
Isberto also expressed hope that the search will inspire more schools to go green and will influence participants to adopt an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
For the elementary school level, the regional champions are: Commonwealth Elementary School, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City; Lawig Elementary School, Lamut, Ifugao Province; Cal-laguip Elementary School, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur; Peñablanca East Central School, Peñablanca, Cagayan; Matain Elementary School, Subic, Zambales; San Isidro Elementary School, San Isidro, Batangas City; and San Mariano Elementary School in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro.
From Visayas and Mindanao, the regional winners include Iliranan Elementary School, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental; Simeon Ayuda Elementary School, Liloan, Cebu; Lomonon Elementary School, Palompon, Leyte; Kibawe Central School, Kibawe, Bukidnon; Luna Elementary School, Kapalong, Davao Del Norte; Panay Elementary School, Sto. Niño, South Cotabato; and Duangan Elementary School, Esperanza, Agusan Del Sur.
For the high school level, the regional champions are: Jose P. Laurel Sr. High School, Project 4, Quezon City; Baguio City National High School, Governor Pack Road, Baguio City; Sinait National High School, Sinait, Ilocos Sur; San Mateo General Comprehensive High School, San Mateo, Isabela; Digdig High School, Carrangalan, Nueva Ecija; Pedro Guevara Memorial National High School, Sta. Cruz, Laguna; President Diosdado Macapagal Memorial National High School, Gloria, Oriental Mindoro; and Camarines Sur National High School, Naga City, Camarines Sur.
Also eligible for the national competition (HS level) are Julio Ledesma National High School, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental; University of San Jose-Recoletos High School, Pardo, Cebu City; Don Geronimo B. Zaldivar Memorial School of Fisheries, Albuera, Leyte; Siayan National High School, Siayan, Zamboanga Del Norte; Balo-i National High School, Balo-i, Lanao Del Norte; Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina, Davao City; Tulunan National High School, Tulunan, North Cotabato and Esperanza National High School, Esperanza, Agusan Del Sur.
For the college level, the schools that made it to the national level are: Ateneo De Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City; University of the Cordilleras, Governor Pack Road, Baguio City; Mariano Marcos State University, Batac, Ilocos Norte; St. Paul University Philippines, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; De La Salle University, Dasmariñas, Cavite; Palawan State University, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; Catanduanes State Colleges, Virac, Catanduanes; Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City; St. Paul University Dumaguete, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental; University of Eastern Philippines, Catarman, Northern Samar; Universidad De Zamboanga, Tetuan, Zamboanga City; Capitol University, Cagayan De Oro City; Davao Doctors College, Davao City; Notre Dame of Marbel University, Koronadal City, South Cotabato and Caraga State University, Butuan City.
Prizes for the national level include: P50,000 - First Prize; P40,000 - Second Prize; P30,000 - Third Prize and plaques of recognition for elementary, secondary and tertiary education level winners.
The said nationwide search is the Philippine initiative in support to the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan (2008-2012) and the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).