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Caring for our Environment-Manitoba inducts new board

by Ramon Faustino M. Sales, Jr.

Group photo 1

The Caring for our Environment-Manitoba (CEM) Inc., a non-profit environmental organization, held a virtual induction ceremony for its 2021-2022 board of directors on January 27, 2021.

CEM aims to promote knowledge and action on environment, climate change and sustainability issues within the Filipino community in Manitoba and the broader society. A total of 30 people attended.

The event started with a video-slide presentation highlighting CEM’s past and current activities. The CEM president then introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Rafael Senga, Senior Advisor, Global Energy Policy, of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – International, who administered the oath-taking of the new Board members.

The new CEM Board of Directors consists of the following:

President, Ramon Faustino Sales, Jr.; Secretary, Nikki Mailom; Treasurer, Arlene Licardo-Lontoc; Auditor, Teody Leano; Head, Education Committee, Jomay Amora-Dueck; Head, External Relations Committee, Allan Pamplona; Head, Information and Communication Committee, Shiela Leano; Head, Membership Committee, Jane Remolacio; Head, Sponsorship Committee, Rizalina Cortez; Co-Heads, Youth Engagement Committee, Emily Evangelista and Maine Marquina.

Following the oath-taking, Mr. Senga made a presentation on “Accelerating the Energy Transition: Busting the Myth, Shifting the Narrative,” which explored the excessive burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) that emit heat-trapping (or greenhouse) gases in the atmosphere resulting in global climate change. Senga further noted that continued build-up of such gases will result in more intense and frequent, devastating weather events such as droughts, flooding, insect infestation, and high-intensity storms that will put millions of people largely from developing countries at risk.

To address this global problem, he emphasized the need to find new ways of thinking and doing things to be able to change the way we produce and use energy, water and our finite natural resources and to reduce our carbon footprint. All these are important to achieve a sustainable, low-carbon society for the benefit of both the present generation and those to come, and our Mother Earth.

Three members of the board then provided their responses to the presentation. Joanne Marie Dueck, Head of Education Committee, emphasized the need to change existing lifestyle and consumption patterns towards one that is sustainable and protects and preserves our finite natural resources. Emily Evangelista and Maine Marquina, Co-Heads of the CEM Youth Engagement Committee, highlighted the importance of fostering awareness among the youth and engaging them to take action on current environment, climate change and sustainability issues.

CEM partner organizations shared messages of solidarity with the new officers. Melissa Dorota, Senior Outreach Coordinator of Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) and Rowena Oquendo, Vice-President of Manitoba Filipino Street Festival (MFSF) stressed the importance of partnership building to advance shared organizational objectives. In 2019, CEM and CBCRA partnered to promote waste recycling at the MFSF event by setting up an information booth and distributed over 1,800 recyclable bags to event participants. In the same year, CEM received the 2019 Recycle Everywhere Champions Award.

As part of an intermission number, nine-year old Atasha Abquilen recited a poem on the environment “Protecting our Planet” written by a fifth grader, Caroline Keefe.

In her closing remarks, Shiela Leano, Head, Information and Communication Committee, encouraged the guests to share their learnings with other people and make a difference in our community by helping make Manitoba and Canada greener and cleaner.

Dominique Anne Mailom served as the event’s emcee and moderator.

CEM would like to thank the guests and participants who attended the virtual event. Individuals who are interested in joining or volunteering with CEM can contact the organization by e-mail at

Ramon Faustino M. Sales, Jr., PhD. is the president of Caring for our Environment-Manitoba Inc.

Ramon Sales Nikki Mailom Arlene Licardo Lontoc Teody Leano Jomay Amora Dueck
President, Ramon Faustino Sales, Jr.
Secretary, Nikki Mailom
Treasurer, Arlene Licardo-Lontoc
Auditor, Teody Leano
Head, Education Committee, Jomay Amora-Dueck
Shiela Leano Jane Remolacio Rizalina Cortez Emily Evangelista Maine Marquina
Head, Information and Communication Committee, Shiela Leano
Head, Membership Committee, Jane Remolacio
Head, Sponsorship Committee, Rizalina Cortez
Co-Head, Youth Engagement Committee, Emily Evangelista
Co-Head, Youth Engagement Committee, Maine Marquina.