Education and the Environment

Message of Rep. Bongbong Marcos
Foundation Day Commemoration
St. Gabriel Archangel Academy
31 January 2010

It is an honor and a pleasure to extend my greetings and congratulations to the administration, faculty and student body of the St. Gabriel Archangel Academy as you mark the founding anniversary of the academy.

Whenever an institution of learning adds a year to its history, it adds one more stone into the edifice of our nation. Such is the great importance of education to our people and our country. For the individual citizen, education is empowering and liberating – the key to a better future. For the nation, it is the vital wheel in its ageless quest for development.

St. Gabriel Archangel Academy contributes to this noble goal year after year by instructing and training our young people not only in the arts and sciences, but also in civic and religious education. For that I heartily congratulate you all.

It is commendable to note that for this year’s anniversary you have chosen the theme “Kalikasan”. The cause of the environment and Mother Nature is particularly relevant and significant today.

As we all have experienced, the problem of climate change is a major challenge today – in our country and throughout the world.

Just a few months ago, we experienced here in our archipelago a series of typhoons and floods that devastated our capital and countryside. Many lives were taken; thousands were rendered homeless; billions worth of crops and infrastructure were destroyed; and we are still feeling up to now the heavy cost of those calamities.

These natural catastrophes are just further manifestations of climate change, which elsewhere in the world has devastated other nations in the form of tsunamis, hurricanes, cyclones, gigantic floods and mudslides. When waters are not raining down, droughts in turn are starving our farms of water.

Some of these are just the workings of Mother Nature. But much of climate change today is man-made – the result of what mankind has done to the environment.

Today, the scientific consensus on climate change is that human activity is very likely the cause for the rapid increase in global average temperatures over the past several decades. Consequently, much of the attention today is on ways to reduce further human harm on the environment and ways to adapt to change that has already occurred. Of most concern in the increase in carbon levels due to emissions from fossil fuel combustion.

This is why environment consciousness – the protection, conservation and restoration of the environment – is so important to us Filipinos today. Important to us today and important for the generations to come.

Whatever each of us can do to advance this cause matters a lot. And whenever and wherever we act together for this cause, we multiply the chances of the environment being preserved and saved.

In this spirit then, I join you then in this great cause that you highlight in your commemoration today. May success reward our labors.

Happy anniversary and Godspeed.

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