Total blackout in Zamboanga on Earth Hour

“Zamboanga City will join the worldwide observance of Earth Hour,” said Mayor Celso L. Lobregat in a statement released on Friday.

“There is still time to remedy the situation if we act now. Let us support the call of the Earth Day Network Philippines (EDNP) for the city to join Earth Hour and help save Mother Earth,” the statement added. EDNP is the lead organization spearheading the campaign in the country.

The statement also informed the city’s residents that the local power provider Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) will implement a maximum of one hour brownout.

According to ZAMCELCO officer-in-charge Edgardo F. Ancheta, the power cooperative will totally shut down all its 18 feeders for 15 minutes during the event.

"After 15 minutes total blackout, we will gradually open the 18 feeders with a gap of five minutes each in between," he said.

He said the electric cooperative will be able to save 50,000 kilowatt-hours on the duration of the event from its current 90,000 household consumers and 700 commercial and industrial establishments.

With this city-wide brownout, residents are expected to be home early.

 “We will just stay at home. We cannot also roam around longer because of this brownout,” student Joshua Pierra told MindaNews.

Local worker Aldrin Abdurahim said he will also do his part by being at home early and make sure all the lights are off until 9 p.m.

“We have to also be responsible even in this very simple initiative,” he said.

“I will keep my phone fully charged so at least I can play my music,” added Christine Faith Casipe.

According to its website, Earth Hour uses this simple action of turning off the lights to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming and climate change.

Lobregat said due to climate change, this city has also experienced for the very first time “two storm surges which had devastating effects on our environment and our people.”

It can be recalled that on November last year, more than 400 houses from 14 coastal villages here were totally damaged by strong storm surges that hit the city. More than 3,000 residents were affected. (Nung Aljani / MindaNews)