The next speaker is the Mayor of the city of Santiago in the Philippines, the Honorable Amelita Navarro.
B(m): I'm very proud to have Mayor Navarro here today because she and I are both from the great province of Isabela in the Philippines, and I know her to be one of the most hardworking, most honest and most pro-environment mayors in the Philippines. So, let's give her a warm round of applause.
Ms. Navarro (f): Supreme Master Ching Hai, Chairman Lin Cheng Hu, the Honorable Renato Lee, Manila Economic and Cultural Office Representative in Formosa (Taiwan), other VIP guests who have spoken earlier, friends of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is a rare privilege for me and my delegation to be invited by our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai to attend this very important climate conference here in your beautiful country, and for that, our deepest gratitude.
Also, our special thanks to the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association led by Chairman Lin Cheng Hu for hosting me and the rest of the Philippine delegation from Santiago City. Thank you for your generosity and warm hospitality. Our topic, “Protect Our Home with L.O.V.E.,” is very timely because climate change is upon us and it is the biggest threat facing mankind today, even more threatening than international terrorism because climate change goes beyond boundaries of race and economies. It is all encompassing.
Ms. Navarro (f): When I received the invitation from your Association for me to attend this conference and to speak before you on the issue of saving our planet, I paused for a while and was struck with this overwhelming question: Indeed, what have I done as a mother? First, to my city of Santiago, where I am a mother to more than 135,000 residents, and second, as a mother to my four children to help secure their future. More than just a mother with concerns for the future of her children, I am also a public official who is concerned with the future of the Philippines and what the future holds for my beloved city.
Allow me first to share with you what the Philippines has been doing in this global fight against climate change. As you know, world leaders are now racing against time to come up with a new climate change protocol by December in Copenhagen at the conference of parties, COP 15, because the Kyoto Protocol - the single most important global treaty to fight climate change - is set to expire by 2012, and a new protocol must be voted upon by world leaders in Copenhagen. The Philippines has been negotiating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for a position that will protect not only Filipinos, but all the residents of low lying archipelagic nations like the Philippines.
Our country, like the rest of the world, is pushing for what we call “deep and early” cuts of greenhouse gas emissions by industrialized or developed nations, otherwise known as the Annex I countries. Why is this so? Because scientists point to the year 2050 as the tipping point of irreversible climate change unless the world cuts its GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by 50%. By 2050, polar caps in the North and South Poles will melt, raising sea levels by six to seven meters.
And when that happens, small archipelagic nations like the Philippines will go underwater. But even before the tipping point is reached in 2050, we in the Philippines, are being hit by onslaught of early climate change or what Secretary Alvarez calls as “creeping climate change,” which is characterized by the 20 storms that visit us yearly, which are becoming more ferocious and are escalating in intensity each year. We need deep and early cuts to moderate these raging storms. We in the Philippines cannot wait until 2015 because climate change is hitting us now.
As a nation of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines feels the pain of natural disasters and rising seas more than most nations. Because of this, we take every opportunity we can to call on all the countries to collectively secure a positive outcome to the UNFCCC negotiations. And we are banking on the support of similarly situated island nations and the ASEAN to support the Philippine initiative. Due to the serious threat of the survival of mankind, there is a need for every citizen to be on one footing against climate change.
Every citizen should work toward reducing his or her carbon footprint or the indicator of how much each person pollutes the Earth. At the city level, some of the most important programs we have undertaken in Santiago City are proper waste management. As you know, when garbage is left to rot by itself, it produces methane which is 21 times more lethal than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas. So, it is very important to properly manage our waste. Before I started the waste management program of Santiago City, we were generating 52 tons of garbage daily.
Now, we are down to only 34 tons per day. I have committed my administration to the protection, preservation and promotion of the environment for our generation and the future generations. I have clearly spelled this out in the “State of the City” address in January 2009, where I declared that my administration's stress has been and will always be to improve the quality of life of the people, by providing them access to education, healthcare, employment opportunities, availability of clean and safe drinking water, peace and order, a healthy environment and freedom.
My goal for Santiago City is not only human development - but sustainable development - that is balanced amongst social, economic and environmental objectives. For I see these environmental objectives will ensure environmental sustainability by implementing development plans as one of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDG targets.
One of our trusts is solid waste management. On solid waste management, a major setback is the people's behavior to extremes. To address this concern, the city environment and government, together with different officials - NGOs, POs, civic and religious groups - join hands in the implementation of our city scheme, service education, IEC dissemination, forums, symposia, group discussions, house-to-house campaigns, were conducted on waste segregation and recycling.
In our city, we strictly enforce the following policies: no waste segregation, no collection of garbage. And by littering law as provided under city ordinance number 94-7, ordinance requiring residential and commercial establishments to clean the sidewalk fronting their establishments. We supported the observance of “Earth Hour” resolution number 6-99 and joined the big switch, which is resolution number 6162.
We have completed the seminar on basic training for pollution control officers, the first one in the whole Philippines. And as a result of it, we enter into a memorandum of agreement with hospitals and healthcare waste generators in the city. We will soon start using our sanitary landfill facility mandated by the Republic Act 9003 under strict timetable pursuant to my executive order number 2009-81, creating the task force on sanitary landfill. To be sure of the continuity of our programs, we allocated $5 million under the economic development plan.
This is on top of the budgetary allocations for other environmental programs like infrastructure, clean and green and beautification. We put our material recovery facilities throughout the villages managed by the village officials. We also have our own City Environment and Natural Resource Office (CENRO). The biodegradable waste of the city was treated using the indigenous microorganism for composting bioorganic fertilizer known as ESN.
Ms Navarro (f): In the promotion of the vegetarian diet, the city was inspired by the teaching of Supreme Master Ching Hai. We have community gardens in each village for the production of vegetables and other ornamental plants using bio organic fertilizer. Last July 24th, 158 committed youths who responded to the call of Master Ching Hai, called for the defining and transforming youth involvement as an influential and critical agent for societal and global change, attended the 4-day seminar which promoted vegetarianism.
A part of this summit was dedicated to serving Mother Earth by planting mahogany trees, Tai Chi exercises, feng shui, the Save the Planet movement of Master Ching Hai. Right now, almost all our people, especially the youth of Santiago, are with the pamphlet that describes how to do the vegetarian program for the city. Of course, at this point in time, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our Supreme Master for initiating the program on vegetarianism. It was during the visit of Master Ching Hai's associates in Santiago that we started to formulate an ordinance leading to the establishment of a vegetarian society and we were the first one in the Philippines to do this.
And now, in our own little way, we, in Santiago, are doing our share in helping to save our planet and future generations of the Filipinos. My fervent wish that some inspiration coming from the Supreme Master that has sparked change in the people of Santiago will also be burned in the hearts of all the delegates here present this afternoon. And when we return to our localities, may we bring the desire, this burning zeal for life, planting and cultivating the seeds of love that we have received from Supreme Master Ching Hai to inspire our people, to spark a revolution to begin the change. Be veg! Go green! Save the planet! Long live! To all of us!
B(m): Thank you, Mayor Navarro. Thank you very much for traveling a long way to attend our conference and for giving us that very meaningful message.
S(f): We have so many honorable VIPs today but, unfortunately, it is impossible to introduce everyone because of the limited time. But we would like to acknowledge some officials. Let's give them a round of applause when they are introduced.
B(m): First, we have Mr. Renato Lee of the Manila Economic and Cultural office who is here with his son and 11 delegates from the Philippines.
S(f): And next, we have Mr. Chen Tien-Wen, Taichung City Council Deputy Speaker. And next, we have Ms. Chang Hwang-Jen, the Director of Environmental Protection Bureau, Tainan city. And next, we have Ms. Wong Chin-Lien, the representative of Legislator Wong Chin-Chu. And lastly, we have Mr. Chiang Da-Long, the founder of Yu Da Educational Corporation.
B(m): Thank you to all our guests and worldwide viewers for joining us today in this very meaningful conference. We appreciate it very much.
S(f): Ladies and gentlemen, shortly, we will welcome a very special Guest of Honor, Supreme Master Ching Hai. As you know Supreme Master Ching Hai used to live in Formosa (Taiwan). She is deeply concerned about all the people who live on this island.
B(m): Supreme Master Ching Hai has dedicated herself to helping people face and solve the problem of global warming. She has been invited to many climate change conferences all over the world and has given advice to many people from many, many countries. Let's watch the video “Walk the Way of Love to Halt Climate Change.”
There's only one religion, that is the religion of God, of love, of understanding. There's only one church, one temple - that is the temple of enlightenment. Come to that temple, and then we will know all the religions of the world. The essence of life is love. The essence of God, of Buddha, of Allah, is love. There is nothing else but love. When we make the choice of love, that's the highest choice, the noblest choice.
Supreme Master Ching Hai is a world renowned humanitarian, artist and spiritual visionary. Her life-long unconditional devotion has extended beyond all cultural boundaries. Her noble love has been manifested through her generous philanthropy; her brilliant artistry has profoundly reminded us of our yearnings for the Kingdom of God.
Supreme Master Ching Hai was born in central Âu Lạc (Vietnam). As a young adult, she went to Europe to study and did charity works for the Red Cross. She soon discovered that pain and suffering exist in all corners of the globe. Searching for the remedy to this ill, therefore, became her foremost goal. She then embarked on a journey in search for spiritual understanding. Finally, in the deepest reaches of the Himalayas in India, she found an enlightened Master who imparted to her a meditation technique which contemplates on the inner Light and Sound, that is, the Quan Yin Method. After a period of practice, she became fully enlightened.
As we approach the next decade of this millennium, foremost on the minds of many concerned citizens are the global effects of climate change, we are greatly blessed with individuals and organizations who have dedicated themselves to help save the planet. They bring to the world the light of hope and voice of awakening. Supreme Master Ching Hai is extremely concerned about the sustenance and survival of the grand ecology on Earth. Given the urgency of the situation, she proposed the fastest, most effective solution, that is, for humans to return to compassion, and be vegetarian.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: In order to save ourselves, we must be vegetarian. A vegetarian diet is nonviolence in the highest sense. And the vegetarian diet is love in action. Stop all the cruelty, beginning on our plate, generating loving, kind energy around the world. Stop water shortage and water pollution, stop food shortages, stop world hunger and war, prevent deadly diseases, save enormous tax and medical bills to build a better world, and support new useful inventions and good people's organizations.
And now, there is a spiritual aspect also. When a person partakes in direct or indirect killing of any sentient beings, be it human or animals, he or she enters the cycle of revenge and violence. And it will only end when one stops doing it. Hence, we have to love our enemy, because only love and forgiveness will have the power to break the negative effect of hatred and vengeance. On both spiritual and physical levels, the greater the number of people who change their diet and hearts, the more time we gain to curb the crisis. In particular, Supreme Master Ching Hai has emphasized the importance of the media in helping to stop global warming quickly.
Q(f): So you are saying that being a vegetarian is at least one thing everybody can do (Yes.) to save this planet?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: It is just so easy to do, to save the planet like that. And then the governments have to help. Maybe distribute more information encouraging more vegetarian diet lifestyle. And the media help to spread out more news about the goodness of vegetarian. Have to be like a fashion, like a surge of new wave information, new positive constructive ideas and information about how good is a vegetarian diet and it has been proven such and such.
Just bombarding the whole planet with a new energy of compassion and love and health, then everybody will join in. Supportive energy is very important. Let us embark on a compassionate, delightful, and noble lifestyle. Be veg! Go green! Save the planet! May the kindness and compassion of all sentient beings lead us to a beautiful and peaceful world.
B(m): Yes, Supreme Master Ching Hai has really done a lot of great works. Now, for the moment we've all been waiting for, let's invite Supreme Master Ching Hai! Hallo, Supreme Master!
S(f): Hallo, Master!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo.
S(f): Hallo, Master!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you all. Thank you all so much for a beautiful, beautiful gathering. Hallo, everyone.
B(m): Thank you very much, Master, for your great efforts to save the planet. You look so beautiful today. We love and adore you very much.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you.
S(f): Thank you, Master, for joining our conference today.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thanks for inviting me. Thanks. Everybody was great. Good speech, good dance. B(m): Thank you, Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good MCs, good people.
B(m): Thank you, Master. Supreme Master Ching Hai, before beginning our question-and-answer session with you, would you like to share your message about climate change with us?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. Sure! Sure! I join in with you in expressing some thoughts and support for your group and the great people of Formosa (Taiwan) who really care for their island and for their planet. First of all, I would like to say “hallo” to all the beautiful people of Formosa or Taiwan on this richly historic island. I'm extremely honored to be with you again, among your great presence, feeling your shining, genuine spirit, very loving spirit.
Even over long distance, I never forget the people of Formosa (Taiwan), how hospitable they are, how hospitable they have been to me, and how hospitable they always will be because that is their nature. The nature of the Formosan (Taiwanese) people is very hospitable, very pure, very genuine. I can go on forever but I will get too emotional. I miss Formosa (Taiwan).
I would like to thank you all also, the esteemed government officials, distinguished speakers, the media, the gracious ones who share video messages with us, and all concerned citizens. Thank you for making the time to come to this important meeting during your busy schedules. We especially thank the Honorable Mayor Amelita Navarro of Santiago who came all the way from the Philippines and setting aside her precious schedule to participate in this conference. Heaven bless you all, precious guests.
And such an example of commitment to this noble cause shows us that governmental leaders and influential personages are sincere and ready to act to save this Earth. Perhaps today you will find the new insights and strength to help inform them and support the leaders on this important and urgent mission. The conference location of Formosa (Taiwan) is both fond and familiar to me, as it is a place I have previously stayed many years in the company of her pure-hearted, loving, hospitable people.
The Formosan (Taiwanese) people have a special place in my heart, and today, we would like to place our faith in them, perhaps to help humankind awaken. I pray that we all join hands together, with new courage, new determination. Because in acting quickly, we still have time to save the world. We still have time to save the world if we act now, if we be veg now. Thank you so much. Heaven bless Formosa (Taiwan). S(f): Thank you, Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you.
I am Mayor Amy Sison Navarro from the beautiful city of Santiago City, Philippines. I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to you, Master Ching Hai for inviting me to be part of this. Because I owe a lot from you. Santiago City is the first city in the Philippines that is promoting vegetarianism in that part of the country. I also would like to thank Master Ching Hai for the warm reception that we are having right now. Also I would like to thank her for the benevolence which she gave us when she donated a sum of US$10,000 for our typhoon victims last May. So on behalf of my people, I thank Master Ching Hai for the opportunity to be one with her principles and her practice. Again I say to her: “Long live!”
Hi everyone, this is Mayor Amy Sison Navarro of Santiago City from the Philippines.
To all of you: Be veg! Go green! And save the planet!
Water waste: not only land and food, but water is also required in huge amounts. Just one hamburger costs 625 gallons of clean water, or, it would cost you about 45 showers. A month and a half or two months without taking a shower, for one hamburger alone. Imagine that! On a side note, one cow in his lifetime before slaughter, uses enough fresh water to float a large naval ship. Imagine that again! Just one cow.