Braganza is 2012 Fr. Neri Satur Environmental Hero
Another prestigious award, another source of great pride for Alaminians and Pangasinenses.
Multi-awarded City Mayor Hernani A. Braganza added the 2012 Father Neri Satur Award for Environmental to his long list of great achievements as a dedicated and committed public servant, a visionary leader and a staunch advocate of good governance and environmental protection.
Braganza personally received the award from Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and former Sen. Heherson Alvarez, also the Founding Chairperson of Earthsavers and Climate Change Commissioner, during yesterday’s Earth Day Celebration and awarding ceremony held at National Broadcasting Network 4 Studio in Quezon City.
Joining him during said event, organized by Climate Change Commission of the Office of the President were City Councilor Earl James Aquino and City Administrator Wilmer Panabang.
This is the first green initiative award, under the local government category, from said award giving body for Braganza who was also been named last month as one of the Ten Tourism Awardees by the Rotary Club of Manila.
Other awardees were Rizal Governor Casimiro Ynares for public-private partnership with GATSI and CEMEX, Rina Jimenez David, columnist and Philippine Daily inquirer,; broadcaster Arnold Clavio of GMA 7 and DZBB, and Frank Rivera, poet-playwright and executive director of National Council for Children’s television; chapel at the Greenheart Hermitage, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in Bacolod City; Baliuag University in Bulacan; and the new Zuellig Building in Makati for green building energy conversation; the Coco Technologies Corp. in Bicol, Manila Cathedral Basilica Foundation and Angat Dam Management for introducing technology to mitigate disaster risk; Bayer Philippines for its industrial environmental protection program.
While, the international awardees are Barbara Pyle, former CNN vice president for environment, creator of Captain Planet, and Supreme Master Ching Hai, a Vietnamese poetess for advocating an alternative life style and humanitarian fund-raiser for disaster relief in the Philippines and Asia.
Also recipient of Earth-saving Heroism Award include the Evangelical Council of Churches, the Cardona Youth Music Ensemble and the Cercado Sisters for eco-cultural education; Kamayan para sa Kalikasan Forum, NET25 “Footprints” television program, Global News Network (GNN) for eco features in their program formats.
The posthumous awardees are Father Fausto Tentorio, an Italian Catholic missionary, who served the Manobo tribe for 32 years, and Melanie Dirain, a forestry specialist of the Dept.of Environment and Natural Resources, known for strict law enforcement in protecting Cagayan forest. Both were killed by unidentified assailants last year for their advocacies.
In his acceptance speech, Braganza thanked the members of the organizing committee for the wonderful opportunity to showcase the best practices of Alaminos in the field of environmental protection and for the recognition accorded to him and the city.
“In behalf of our true and unsung heroes in our city, we are deeply honored and grateful for this award even as we salute our fellow awardees who sacrificed their dear lives for the utmost protection of our environment,” said the concurrent League of Cities of the Philippines’ Secretary General.
Braganza stressed that Alaminians firmly believed that what they do in the city has certain effect to its neighbouring towns and cities and provinces not only in the country but to the whole world.
“Same is true with other places, added the mayor. What they do (with their immediate environment) will also definitely affect us.”
“With this in mind, we as a community decided to work together to properly manage and protect our environment and natural resources."
The mayor cited the many initiatives of his administration that include the adopt a mountain program, solid waste management program and construction of artificial wetland, the adopt a mangrove program, zoning program, regular water quality monitoring on the city’s bodies of water, continued all-out war against all forms of illegal fishing activities like cyanide, blast fishing and even the entry of big commercial fishing vessels in the city’s marine protected area and territorial waters.
In 2005, the city government has also succeeded in getting back the management, control and supervision of the Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) from the Philippine Tourism Authority.
Today, with its Adventure Hundred Islands Eco-tourism program, the City of Alaminos was re-positioned back into the country and the world’s tourism map and is now serving as a vibrant eco-tourism hub with its famous white sand beaches and rich culture and tradition.
Braganza noted that “the result of this sustainable environmental protection program not only benefits our environment but also our fisherfolk families and even paved the way for the tremendous influx of tourists in the Hundred Islands thereby providing more livelihood and business opportunities for the city residents.”
“The equation is simple, he pointed out. Conservation, protection and rehabilitation of our environment and managing our natural resources is equal to more food on the tables of our constituents, improve quality of life of our people and better pl