Press Release
June 18, 2011

Legarda: Rizal, a Hero of the Environment

Senator Loren Legarda today called on Filipinos to highlight and honor another facet in the life of the country's National Hero--that of being a hero of the environment.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and a staunch environmentalist, said that Dr. Jose Rizal also underscored the importance of caring for the environment through his actions, which Filipinos must recognize and aim to follow.

"Most of us know Dr. Jose Rizal as the highly-educated hero who disclosed the system of colonial rule in the Philippines and prompted Filipinos to fight for their freedom through his notable books Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Little did we know about his environmental advocacies that are worth emulating," she explained.

Legarda noted the observations of the environmental organization EcoWaste Coalition, which emphasized the life of Rizal during his exile in Dapitan where he carried out various projects such as the construction of an aqueduct that provided people with clean water, draining of swamps to avoid being breeding places of mosquitoes, use of coconut oil lamps to light up streets, beautification of the town plaza, and planting of trees in different parts of the town.

The Senator pointed out that these acts of Rizal, if emulated by every barangay in the country, will go a long way in improving the health of both the people and the environment in every community.

"We can never underestimate the importance of caring for our nature because Rizal himself made it one of his advocacies during the time when it was not even a national or global concern yet."

"Every Filipino must strive to follow the good example of our national hero, not just in the aspect of protecting our rights and sovereignty but also with regard to preserving our environment, which is essential as it is the source of our vital needs for continuous existence," Legarda stressed.

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