Senator Heherson T. Alvarez during a tribute to Ninoy Aquino, August 2014.

The Pride of the North, former Senator Heherson T. Alvarez, will add another feather to his cap when he will be honored with the Punong Bayani ng Kalikasan, a national leadership award, this Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

The People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), an association composed of corporate members established in 1956, announced over the weekend the selection of Alvarez as the recipient of the prestigious award.

 In a statement, the PMAP cited Alvarez for his “continuous dedication in promoting clean air” and his initiatives to mitigate the disastrous impacts of climate change in the country.

In the Senate, Alvarez authored the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.   He started his crusade in cleaning the air when he negotiated with the 3 major oil players in the country – Shell, Caltex and Petron – to voluntarily remove lead in gasoline, reduce sulfur in diesel that culminated with the Healthy Air Pact signed by Pres. Fidel V. Ramos in 1993.  The agreement introduced a cleaner unleaded gasoline, into the country’s fuel system in February in 1994.

PMAP also recognized Alvarez as the one responsible for creating early awareness of the global warming and climate change issues in the country.

As early as 1988, in his first term as a Senator, he was already warning the country of the dangers of global warming and climate change which were then considered non-issues in both national and global context.

He organized the first international climate change conference, held in Manila in 1995, the Asia-Pacific Conference on Climate Change that came out with the Manila Declaration of Archipelagic and Small Island States.  It was signed by 32 ministers and 3 Heads of government in Asia, expressing the body’s official position on global warming.

The Declaration was formally presented to the First Conference of Parties (COP1) in Berlin, Germany in March 1995.

Alvarez currently Chairs the Advisory Board (first Asian to assume the position) of the Climate Institute of Washington, D.C., one of the oldest environmental organizations in the US.  As the first Vice-Chair of the Climate Change Commission, he managed the crafting of the Philippines National Framework Strategy on Climate Change.

PMAP said Alvarez, along with the other awardees – Sen. Loren Legarda, Sec. Ramon Paje and Ms. Gina Lopez (for her ‘social entrepreneurship initiatives’) – will be feted during the awarding ceremonies at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.

The PMAP, with 1,500 corporate members and 25 chapters nationwide, is the only association that promotes professional people management practices at the workplace and corporate social responsibility in the communities where member companies are located

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