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Catholic Philippines postpones Earth Day

MANILA, April 20, 2011 (AFP) – Earth Day activities in the largely Catholic Philippines will be postponed until next week so they do not clash with Good Friday, the government said.

President Benigno Aquino ordered all Earth Day events be held on Monday because most Filipinos would prefer to commemorate Good Friday, a national holiday, his chief aide said on Wednesday.

“The government wants to take the opportunity to draw the attention of the Filipino people to environmental issues affecting our country and the world,” Aquino’s executive secretary, Pacquito Ochoa, told reporters.

Earth Day, held on April 22 every year, gets people around the world to perform acts in aid of the environment.

But it coincides this year with Good Friday, which is one of the most important holidays in the Philippines, where nearly 80 percent of the population is Catholic.

The Philippine government has officially backed Earth Day since 2008.

For this year’s Earth Day, the government has scheduled tree and mangrove-planting events.

It will also encourage communities in Manila to “adopt a waterway”, and clean up the capital city’s creeks, canals and storm drains.

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