MANILA -- Over PHP300,000 in prizes and special awards await winners of the 2019 nationwide search for sustainable and eco-friendly schools.
Regional and national winners in the search's elementary, high school, and higher education categories will receive cash prizes, said information officer Hershey Calma of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), which is spearheading the activity.
She said schools will also have the opportunity to win the search's special awards for water, energy and green leadership.
"The search is open already, so we're inviting public and private schools with environment- and climate-friendly initiatives to join," Calma said over the weekend.
In 2009, EMB launched the biennial search to help raise public awareness and action on environmental protection and sustainable development, as well as highlight schools' role in achieving such goals.
The EMB defines sustainable and eco-friendly schools as those that initiate and integrate environment-related programs into their instruction, research, extension, and/or administration activities.
Calma said at the regional level, the winner in each of the search's categories will get PHP15,000 as prize.
She said winners from the regions will join the search's national finals, competing in their respective categories.
Prizes for the national winners in each category are PHP50,000 for the first placers, PHP40,000 for the second placers, and PHP30,000 for the third placers, she added.
EMB is already distributing posters about the search's 2019 edition.
Schools can contact EMB regional offices nearest them regarding further details about the search.
According to the EMB, schools have until April 26, 2019 to submit the search's required documents. Those documents include records of the schools' own environment- and climate-friendly initiatives, so EMB can validate these, Calma said.
Public elementary and high schools must submit the documents to their respective Department of Education Division Offices.
Private elementary and high schools, as well as public and private higher education institutions, must submit their own documents to the EMB regional offices nearest them, Calma added.
The EMB believes in documenting, encouraging, and recognizing schools' advocacies and activities for protecting the environment.
Promoting sustainability and eco-friendliness of schools nationwide is "enshrined as a priority to the Post-ASEAN Environment Year 2015 celebration, with the theme 'Empowering the Youth for a Green ASEAN Community,'" the EMB statement read.
It is also aligned to the road map for implementing Republic Act 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008 under the National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development (2009-2018). (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency