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The digital world plays a pivotal role amid restrictions on mass movement of people as part of the nationwide effort to flatten the curve on the rising statistics of local transmission of the 2019 coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
In one ingenious way, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) in Region 6 uses one social media platform to celebrate World Water Day (WWD) 2020 in a fun, educational way. In this digital era, information can be attained through the tip of our fingers by scrolling our phone devices to get updates and be cognizant with the happenings around the globe.
Thus, the EMB in Region 6 created a World Water Day 2020 Tiktok Challenge and is inviting residents of Western Visayas to shoot a 30-60 second video in line with the theme, “Water and Climate Change.” The activity is a creative approach to encourage people to engage in environmental gravity. Submission of entries is extended to March 30, 2020.
DENR–EMB’s World Water Day 2020 Tiktok Challenge may be done solo, duo or in group, provided social distancing is observed. It aims to put across the message of water conservation in all age groups in a way that is popular among many people.
“I call on every individual to take action. We all need clean and safe water. As we celebrate the World Water Day 2020, let us start change within ourselves. Be an advocate of the movement to preserve our water resources and avoid human activities that pollute them,” said Atty. Ramar Niel V. Pascua, Regional Director of EMB-6.
In connection to this year’s theme, “Water and Climate Change”, the scheduled lecture and clean-up activities of DENR 6 in rivers, creeks of Alibunan and upland areas of Sitio Paradahan in Calinog, Iloilo on the 20th of March was cancelled due to the pandemic.
On the other hand, the growth of global population demands greater use of water which depletes the natural resources and damages the environment. The extreme weather conditions also lead to water scarcity.
Social media platforms became the medium that collects and disseminates information, ideas and interests simultaneously, and which connects people through virtual networks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected hundreds of thousands of people globally and put many countries on lockdown, including the Philippines. The lockdown ordered people to stay home to avoid and break the chain of local transmission of the virus. Thus, more people are now glued to their phones, and social media platforms became the source of information and entertainment for many.
The DENR has cancelled scheduled environmental activities amidst the COVID-19 crisis. To be proactive, it uses social media platform such as Facebook to relay information to the virtual community through infographics in its official Facebook account.
This way, it is still able to raise public awareness on the importance of clean water for human consumption and a healthy ecosystem.
The World Water Day is celebrated every 22nd day of March in coordination with United Nations (UN) – Water, an inter-agency collaboration mechanism for freshwater related issues with the help of the government and private partners.
“The effects of climate change in the country gradually destroy the environment and vital functions of biodiversity are at stake. It is important to protect our forests and watersheds for sustainable water management. We must further the campaign on ecological solid waste management to halt garbage from polluting the water,” said by Forester Danilo L. Lorilla, Chief of Conservation and Development Division (CDD).
Recently, a clean-up drive in Jar-ao River was conducted with participants from DENR 6, Multi-Sectoral Forest Protection Committee (MFPC), LGUs, Forest Protection Officers, residents and students of Tubungan, Iloilo.
The MFPC ensures its contribution to conserving and protecting the river with the clean-up operation that successfully collected 989 kilograms of garbage, most of which were plastic.
“Clean water is crucial for people, animals and wildlife species especially in this period amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, be hygienic by frequent hand washing and sanitation, and practice social distancing and quarantine to help combat the disease,” said DENR 6 regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.
Efforts to strengthen the Philippine Clean Water Act or the R.A. 9275 is one among the ten priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6