Tuguegarao City ─ The Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC), in partnership with Danggayan Cagayan Valley and the University of Saint Louis (USL), conducted the Gawad Bayani Lecture Series and Special Awarding Ceremony for Archbishop Sergio L. Utleg on Apr. 23, 2018 at USL’s Ter Meer Gymnasium.
Mr. Ryan Damaso, project head of the 5th Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan (GBK), presented the current environmental situations of the Philippines, specifically explaining the topic: “State of the Philippine Environment.”
Damaso tackled the different issues on Philippine natural resources, agriculture and biodiversity which include agricultural instability, food insecurity, environmental crisis, and other prevailing ecological problems in the country. He stressed that through man’s relentless activities, the environment has drastically created serious impacts to human lives.
After the lecture, a special awarding ceremony ensued recognizing Archbishop Utleg’s contributions in promoting and effectuating pro-environmental movements against illegal logging, black sand mining operations, and other ecological threats in the Cagayan Valley region.
With his environmental advocacies, the archbishop was hailed nationwide as one of this year’s three recipients of GBK’s Gawad sa Indibidwal (Individual Category). He had earlier received his trophy during the awarding ceremony of the 5thGawad Bayani ng Kalikasan last Mar. 15, 2018 at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
On Monday, Apr. 23, the archbishop was re-awarded the trophy and was given a certificate of recognition through Mr. Damaso and the chairperson of the Danggayan Cagayan Valley, Mr. Isabelo Adviento.
“Thank you for the judges who have chosen me to receive this kind of award. This is a challenge for me, for us, to do more and continue to oppose destructive environmental activities and programs,” Archbishop Utleg told the audience during his acceptance speech here in USL.
Also in attendance to the event were Rev. Fr. Thiago Silva, CICM, USL’s VP for Mission and Identity, Dr. Rina M. Reyes, VP for Administration, other University officials and employees, Gabriela, Masakbayan, Anak Partylist, Kabataan Partylist, USL and University of Cagayan Valley (UCV) students, and people from Tuguegarao City and Cagayan towns of Amulung, Peñablanca, and Solana.