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Some 1,044 cities and municipalities all over the country participated Earth Hour 2010. Former energy secretary Angelo Reyes, who spearheaded the activities for the event, said the number of localities that joined this year’s lights-off was a big jump from 2009. Last year, 647 towns and cities representing more than 10 million Filipinos joined Earth Hour and saved 611 megawatt-hours of electricity.

This year, Reyes said the goal is for 15 million Filipinos to participate to save about 800 megawatt-hours of energy. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines, led by national coordinator Yeb Saño, received a report from the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) shortly after the event. Saño said turning off the lights for Earth Hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. was a first step toward committing to a lifetime change.

WWF-Philippines said the event seeks to inspire people into promising the planet that they, from now on, will change the way they consume power, water, and other resources in the name of caring for Mother Earth.

Last year, the WWF said out of 88 countries with different time zones, the Philippines was the top participant in the event, with more than 15 million Filipinos voluntarily saving energy. The country saved around 611 megawatt-hours of electricity in 2009, “equivalent to shutting down a dozen coal-fired power plants for 60 minutes.” Calling the feat “not enough,” Ramos asked Filipinos to carry it “on a daily basis ... in our homes, our communities and our organizations.”