Kalibo, Aklan - For 30 seconds on March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m., firetrucks of various fire stations in Aklan will be sounding their sirens to mark the start of the Earth Hour observation this year.
The Earth Hour is an initiative driven by the collective effort of the Department of Energy and partners from the various sectors of the country.
The observation will last up to one hour, which will have households in towns and cities worldwide switching off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. as a call to action for pressing concerns such as global warming which affects the overall health of the planet.
In Kalibo, Aklan's capital town, Municipal Fire Marshall Insp. Patricio Collado said their station will be sounding the sirens of their two firetrucks at 8:30 p.m.
Insp. Collado said they received this directive from their regional office, and all other fire stations in the towns of Numancia, Balete, Altavas, Ibajay, Boracay Island (Malay) and New Washington will be doing the same for 30 seconds at the start of Earth Hour observation.
"We will be informing the media that we will be sounding the sirens for Earth Hour, to keep residents from panicking," Collado said.
Shipping companies, as instructed by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), will also be sounding their sirens during the appointed hour.
During the observation, the Philippine National Police units will be on heightened alert for any untoward incident.
Last year, the Philippines ranked number 1 worldwide on its Earth Hour observation in terms of the scale of public participation, according to Civil Service Commission Chairperson Francisco Duque III.
Duque also enjoined heads of CSC Central, Regional and Field offices to ensure the keeping of the position, and that people in government must lead the people in participating in Earth Hour events.
Some of the activities Duque suggested to CSC officials and employees to undertake include switching off of signages and majority of the lights in offices and facilities within the commission's control during Earth Hour, and mobilizing employees, networks, and communities to participate in the Earth Hour 2010 countdown at the SM Mall of Asia or to participate by switching off their lights in their respective areas.
Duque also emphasized that joining the global community in launching Earth Hour 2010 will be an exercise of solidarity in the fight against climate change. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)