Human negligence, not God or nature, to blame for disaster—CBCP
MANILA, Philippines—The leader of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Wednesday said the earthquake in Negros and Cebu provinces that killed scores of people must serve as an “eye opener” for the government to be serious in implementing laws for infrastructure development and environment protection.
CBCP president, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the quake that triggered landslides and caused buildings to collapse in some parts of Negros and Cebu must not be blamed on nature or God but rather on “human negligence.”
“I am not happy that … nature is always being blamed for [what is happening around us] … No, God is not the designer of sin but we should rather be more serious about human negligence,” said Palma over Church-run Radio Veritas on Wednesday.
“It is about time to reform and think about what we can do good to our environment,” stressed the leader of the Church hierarchy.
He added that the damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure in Cebu and Negros were the responsibility of the government in the absence of strict implementation of the building code and laws on infrastructure development.
“I hope this serves as an eye opener to our government … I pray and hope that our law enforcement will be more serious,” said the Cebu archbishop.
Meanwhile, the CBCP leader also said that the Church hierarchy was extending financial aid to the victims of the earthquake through its dioceses.
“The secretary-general of the CBCP has already [communicated] with the bishops in expression of solidarity and we will send support especially to Dumaguete (City),” Palma said, referring to the capital of Negros Oriental.
On the other hand, Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra appealed to the public not to send alarming text messages that might cause panic among residents, particularly in Guihulngan and La Libertad, two cities in Negros Oriental worst hit by earthquake.
He said also over Radio Veritas that several text messages warning of a tsunami or another strong quake was circulating in Cebu and Negros, fueling fear among the residents.
Instead of spreading baseless information, it was better to send prayer through text messages to the victims to ease their misery and fear, added the prelate.
“I [also] appeal to all our people, please send your help for Negros, especially for those who are in devastated areas so that people can start living on their own again and please pray for us,” said Navarra.
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