Mr. Darrell Dean Blatchley or Uncle D took a selfie with the students from the University of Southeastern Philippines, with NEDA XI RD Maria Lourdes D. Lim, during the 2019 Regional Economic and Financial Literacy Forum

Davao City – On its third year, the National Economic and Development Authority XI spearheaded the conduct of the 2019 Regional Forum on Economic and Financial Literacy on November 8, 2019 at the NEDA-RDC XI Center in Davao City with the theme “Our Planet’s Health, the Future’s Wealth”. About 130 participants from the local government units, national government agencies, civil society organizations and, mostly, from the youth sector were present during the activity. This is pursuant to Republic Act 10922 declaring the second week of November of each year as EFL week.

The forum was aimed to raise awareness on Sustainable Consumption and Production – a way of fulfilling basic needs that minimizes the use of natural resources and toxic materials and reduce waste throughout the life cycle of the products and services and to influence the attitude and behavior of stakeholders towards environmental protection.

Mr. Darrell Dean Blatchley of the D’ Bone Museum, fondly called as Uncle D, graced the event, together with Ms. Faye Carmina P. Rodriguez of the Development Bank of the Philippines, Engr. Nelson H. Enano Jr. from the Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technologies for the Environment (CREATE) of the Ateneo de Davao University, and Ms. Jezza A. Damada of NCCC Supermarket.

Mr. Darrell Dean Blatchley sharing his advocacy on marine life protection. Mr Blatchley, a 2015 Datu Bago Awardee, encouraged the participants to be responsible individuals in disposing their trash

Mr. Blatchley, a Davao-based American marine biologist and environmentalist, spoke on the significance of caring for the environment as a national pride. He emphasized the impact of each individual’s actions towards the environment and what a responsible citizen can do to help the community in terms of proper garbage disposal, especially the use of plastics. Mr. Blatchley gained global attention and recognized by the UNESCO, given his findings on the cause of death of several marine mammals, more recently, a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale that died of plastic ingestion.

Ms. Rodriguez, DBP Davao Lending Center Manager, shared DBP’s Green Financing Program in line with the bank’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development. She said that access to the Bank’s programs are available for LGUs, private corporations, and MSMEs, and that DBP is financing projects related to solid waste management, sanitation, water and air pollution prevention and control, resource conservation and energy efficiency, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, among others.

Engr. Enano discussed innovations on the use of renewable energy undertaken by the Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technologies for the Environment of the Ateneo de Davao University, which he current heads as Director. He informed that technologies can also be used at the household level. He also shared energy and water saving tips that can be done at the individual level to help contribute to the efforts on environmental preservation.

Ms. Damada, Assistant Vice President for Operations, showcased NCCC’s green practices and environmental initiatives, encouraging their customers to bring their own ecobags when grocery shopping.  She said that the store is aiming to reduce its plastic usage to its minimum.

EFL participants hang their commitment statements expressing their personal pledge for the protection of the environment.

The forum used online technology during the Q&A session where participants submitted their questions and reflections about the topics which resulted to greater interaction, especially among the youth sector, and made the activity more fun and engaging for all the participants. The activity culminated with the participants’ expression of their personal commitment on how they can help protect the environment, written on paper leaves and hung in the “commitment tree”.

– Joan Irene M. Prantilla