MANILA, Philippines – Students who want to join nationwide climate strikes happening on Friday, September 20, to next Friday, September 27, may be excused from classes, provided that they have the written consent of their parents or guardians.
"The Department enjoins school heads and teachers to excuse students who will be joining the localized climate strike provided that parental/legal guardian consent is given," the Department of Education (DepEd) said in a memo released Tuesday, September 17.
The memo applies to students from kindergarten to senior high school.
"Moved by climate realities faced by the Philippines and inspired by global youth action, young Filipinos nationwide will take part in the Global Climate Strike, a movement of young people to call for governments and private sector in prioritizing climate justice," the memo also read.
Activities inspired by the Global Climate Strike are expected to begin Friday, September 20, with Youth Strike for Climate Philippines at the helm.
These will be done "in solidarity with [the] youth-led movement inspired by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg," who on Friday will also lead a climate strike in New York. (READ: When Greta met Gina)
Filipino youth and environment advocates are expected to mobilize Friday in the following areas, according to the youth group:
Laoag, Ilocos Norte
San Fernando, Pampanga
Los Baños, Laguna
Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan
Tacloban City, Leyte
Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
Cebu City, Cebu
Iloilo City, Iloilo
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Santiago, Agusan Del Norte
"A key demand that unites all of these strikes is a call for the Philippine government to declare a climate emergency"” Youth Strike for Climate Philippines said.
DepEd, for its part, also "encourages schools and offices to conduct climate education and action activities within school grounds" through their respective school student governments and Youth for Environment in Schools Organizations (YES-O).
DepEd also encouraged participating schools to post about climate strike activities on social media using the hashtag #DepEdClimateAction, and to craft one-minute videos documenting their activities. The department said it will feature selected works at the 3rd National Climate Change Conference on November 18. – Rappler.com