The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Wednesday renewed its partnership with the social development arm of power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for a nationwide award honoring energy-efficient schools.


This was the second time One Meralco Foundation partnered with the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) for the National Search for Sustainable Eco-Friendly Schools. The first time it sponsored the “Meralco Energy Leadership Award” was in 2013.


Under the new agreement, the foundation agreed to provide P900,000 worth of prizes for schools to be recognized for their exceptional programs on energy efficiency and conservation.


The memorandum of agreement was signed by DENR Undersecretary and concurrent EMB Director Jonas Leones and One Meralco President Jeffrey Tarayao in simple rites held at the EMB office in Quezon City.


Nominations for the 2015 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools were opened as early as January. The competition recognizes academic institutions with best eco-friendly programs and activities.


It is open to all public and private elementary and high schools, colleges and universities. The deadline for submission of nominations is April 10, 2015 and the winners will be announced in November.


The Meralco Energy Leadership Award is given to schools with exemplary initiatives to promote practices in electrical safety, and energy efficiency and conservation.


During the 2013 national search, the award was given to Commonwealth Elementary School in Quezon City for elementary school category; Matin-ao National High School in Surigao Del Norte for the high school category; and Visayas State University in Baybay City, Leyte for the college category.


The nationwide search for “greenest” schools started in 2009 as a direct response to Republic Act No. 9512, or the Environmental Awareness Education Act of 2008 and the country’s initiative in support for the declaration of 2015 as the ASEAN Environment Year, which has theme: “Empowering the Youth for a Cleaner and Greener ASEAN.”


The competition encourages schools and academic institutions to become more actively involved in environmental issues at the local level. It also aims to develop skills and understanding among students, faculty and school administrators to initiate active and practical responses and increase community awareness and involvement on environmental concerns.


A total of nine schools will be declared overall eco-friendly champions in November in time for the national observance of the National Environmental Awareness Month.


The national search is a joint undertaking by the DENR-EMB, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, in cooperation with One Meralco Foundation, Nestle Philippines, One Meralco Foundation, Smart Communications Inc. and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Posted By: Lynne Pingoy


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