September 20, 2019

Filipinos join youth-led climate strikes across the globe

QUEZON CITY, 20 September 2019 — Students are leading thousands across the Philippines in week-long climate youth strikes which kicked off today, joining millions across the world. Rallying behind the youth are indigenous peoples, coal-affected communities, coastal villagers, and other activists from Baguio to Bukidnon. 

The Department of Education has lent its support for the strikes, with Undersecretary Alain Del Pascua issuing a memorandum last Tuesday urging schools to excuse strikers from senior high school levels below, and encouraging them to conduct climate-related activities.

Kabataan Partylist representative Sarah Jane Elago also filed House Resolution no. 350 urging Congress to support the youth climate strike’s national demands. These include phasing out coal and supporting community-led renewable energy initiatives.

“The world is on fire and we refuse to inherit the ashes. The youth needs to be at the forefront of the battle for the future of our planet in the face of massive environmental degradation due to the current wasteful profit-oriented global system,” said Mitzi Jonelle Tan, convenor of Youth Advocates for Climate Action in the Philippines (YACAP). The Metro Manila youth network led the formation of the human earth banner at the University of the Philippines Diliman’s College of Science amphitheater this afternoon.

Coal-affected communities in Bacolod and Bataan also organized separate events.

“My people have won many battles to protect our province from coal, but we have yet to win the war. That’s why on this day I’m on the streets of Negros Occidental, Philippines, with millions worldwide striking for a safe climate and a better future,” according to Krishna Ariola, convenor of the Bacolod-based coalition Youth for Climate Hope. 

The youth strikes movement began in August 2018 when Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg

went on strike in front of their parliament. The movement has since spread across the globe, with millions of school strikers leaving their classrooms every Friday.

“I cannot fit all of my concerns on my sign. It is time to take action for our future while we still can,” said Marshall Cedric Tuazon, a 12-year-old 350 Pilipinas volunteer.

See all registered youth strikes in the Philippines here: