Environment-Friendly Schools
Schools interested to participate in the national search for sustainable and eco-friendly schools have until 16 April 2013 to submit their entries to their respective Department of Education (DepEd) Division Offices for the elementary and high school categories, or to the regional offices of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) for college category.

The EMB, a line bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) extended the deadline to provide more time for schools to document their best practices in solid waste management and other greening initiatives.

The national search for sustainable and eco-friendly schools is a joint activity of the DENR-EMB, DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Smart Communications, Nestle Philippines, Unilever Philippines, Petron Foundation and One Meralco Foundation. This competition aims to highlight achievement of schools that are committed in implementing various environmental programs.

Dubbed as the "2013 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools," it was organized to recognize efforts of various schools to undertake eco-friendly programs and activities, as well as to encourage schools and academic institutions to become more actively involved in environmental issues at a practical and local level.

The contest is also seen to develop skills and understanding among students, faculty and school administrators to initiate active responses and increase community awareness and involvement on environmental concerns.

Schools that are interested to participate shall register on-line at www.sustainableschools.ph and submit their entry in three (3) hard copies to their respective DepEd Division Offices for elementary and high school categories, and to EMB Regional Offices for the higher education/college category. The minimum requirement for judging will be the hard copies.

Entries can likewise be submitted online in JPEG format with a resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi), a minimum size of 1536 x 2048 pixels, and a maximum file size of 1 MB. Entries may be emailed to ecofriendlyschools@gmail.com. The top entry per category for every region will be forwarded to the EMB Central Office for national judging.

School entries should revolve around the theme "Sustainable and Eco-friendly Initiatives." Participating schools should include a brief description of their project.

Entries will be rated according to the following criteria: Environment-related Aspects of the School's Policy (20 pts); Environment-friendly School Operations and Presence of Environmental Programs (30 pts); Environment-related Features of the School Curriculum (30 pts); Presence of Vibrant Eco Organizations in Campus (10 pts); and Presence of Partners and Linkages in Environment Programs/Projects (10 pts). Only one entry per school will be accepted.

For the national level, comprising of college, high School and elementary categories: prizes include: PhP 50,000 - 1st Prize; PhP 40,000 - 2nd Prize and PhP 30,000 - 3rd Prize as well as plaques of recognition. For the regional level, a certificate of recognition and a prize of in cheque of PhP 15,000 will be given to regional winners for each category.

Prizes shall also be awarded for the special category entitled "Nestle Leadership for Water". This award is aimed at recognizing and promoting water management solutions and practices of schools.

Another special category is a "Meralco Energy Leadership Award" which will recognize schools that promotes practices and initiatives in electrical safety, energy efficiency and conservation.

A prize of PhP 20,000 will be given to each of the winners at the national level for college, high school and elementary school categories. A cash prize of PhP 10,000 and certificates of recognition will be awarded to each of the regional winners of all categories.

All winning entries for each of the three categories, together with selected entries will be displayed during the national awarding ceremonies in November 2013, coinciding with the National Environmental Awareness Month celebration.