Singapore Community Participates in Manila Bay clean up project on Earth Day
(Embargoed for release at 12 noon on 22 April 08).
SINGAPORE COMMUNITY PARTICIPATES IN MANILA BAY CLEAN UP PROJECT ON EARTH DAY
It was a normal working Tuesday in Metro Manila but a small group of Singaporeans sporting the distinctively red Singapore Tourism Board caps and white T-shirts bearing the Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) Earth Day programme logo "AGOS" (Filipino word for "flowing water" or "current") were up and about by early morning picking up litter and watering plants around the CCP complex near Manila Bay.
This is the first time the Singapore community, led by Singapore Ambassador to the Philippines Ms Lim Kheng Hua and other Singapore Embassy staff, was partnering with the CCP and environmental NGO groups Haribon Foundation and Conservation International to embark on the clean up project. In addition, the Singapore Embassy participated in a water management forum organised by the CCP to showcase Singapore's best practices on water management and relate its success stories in rehabilitating the Singapore River and Kallang Basin.
Interviewed by the media, Ambassador Lim shared that as a small country with limited natural freshwater supply, water management and conservation has always been an important priority for Singapore. She noted that the Singapore Government had embarked on a long term sustainable water management programme using new water technologies like desalination and recycled water as well as turning its reservoirs and waterways into vibrant lifestyle attractions where ordinary Singaporeans could enjoy recreational activities and learn to appreciate the importance of water and its links to the living environment. Commenting on the Singapore Embassy's participation in the clean up project, she emphasized that "We can only play a small part but we hope that today's activities will raise public awareness of the importance of keeping our living environment green and clean so that future generations can continue to have access to drinkable water and a safe living environment".
Ambassador Lim also announced that Singapore will be hosting an inaugural "Singapore International Water Week 2008" in June this year and invited decision makers from governments and corporations from the Philippines to the conference to discuss global water issues with water experts from around the world. To round off her remarks, she produced several bottles of Newater which the Embassy brought in from Singapore and gamely invited the guests to sample a bottle of the recycled drinkable water.
CCP's AGOS programme is part of a series of week-long activities in the Philippines to celebrate Earth Day. The CCP will use art as an advocacy tool to create greater awareness about climate change and the need to protect the environment. CCP will also launch its new waste water management programme. CCP President Mr Nestor Jardin has long term plans to transform the Bay Area into a vibrant recreational center. Apart from the Singapore Embassy, other government and non-government agencies such as the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Manila City Government, Pasay City government, Dragon Boat Federation of the Philippines and volunteers numbering close to a thousand have been mobilised to clean up Manila Bay and join the day-long event. There will be a one-man show of paintings with environmental themes on handwoven mats by artist Jomike Teijido organised by Haribon Foundation; a photo contest and exhibition; and a film screening on the environment from the Moonrise Festival, the only environmental film festival in the Philippines.
Spearheaded by the Singapore Embassy, many Singaporean companies operating in the Philippines as well as Philippine companies with close links to Singapore participated and contributed generously to the event, namely GLOBE, ASCENDAS, the Anvil Business Club, Camelray Industrial Corp, Bank of Philippine Islands Foundation, APL Limited, Jolibee Foundation, Singapore Philippine Association, F&N 100-Plus, Asia Brewery Inc, Singapore Tourism Board, Development Bank of Singapore, CPG Philippines, Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines (ICCP), Keppel Philippines Properties and Singapore Airlines.
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Embassy of the Republic of Singapore
22 April 2008