Negros Occ. bishops back local gov’t in renewable energy campaign | Inquirer News

Negros Occ. bishops back local gov’t in renewable energy campaign

/ 05:02 AM February 10, 2024

Three Catholic bishops in Negros Occidental have backed the provincial government’s latest program to make the province the renewable energy (RE) capital of the country.

Bishops Patricio Buzon of Bacolod, Louie Galbines of Kabankalan and Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said the “SecuRE Negros” campaign, which aims to ensure the just energy transition and increase the energy security in the province.

“By supporting the SecuRE Program, we are advocating for policies that prioritize the common good, respect for human dignity and the promotion of a more equitable society,” the bishops said in a joint statement issued on Feb. 5.


They also called on “the faithful and all people of goodwill in Negros” to join them in supporting the program.


Significant step

According to the bishops, the initiative of the local government was a “significant step forward in establishing a renewable energy roadmap in the province.

“As shepherds of our respective dioceses, we recognize the urgency of addressing environmental degradation and the adverse effects of climate change, which disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable among us,” they said.

“The transition to renewable energy is not only an environmental imperative but also a moral one. It speaks directly to our commitment to social justice, reducing inequalities and ensuring that the benefits of development reach all members of society, especially the least among us,” their statement added.

The bishops said they would commit to raise awareness about the importance of renewable energy, and to mobilize their respective dioceses in support of sustainable initiatives, and to advocate for the integration of “moral and ethical considerations” in the development of energy policies.

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, who led the launching of SecuRE Negros Campaign at the provincial capitol in Bacolod this week, said the program would not only push for accessibility, affordability and sustainability but would also ensure power security in the face of global challenges.

According to Lacson, Negros Occidental, already a top producer of solar electricity in the country, can become a model for other local governments in sustainable energy practices.


The province hosts five solar power firms operating six plants, with the 132.5-megawatt Helios Solar Power Plant in Cadiz City, touted as the largest solar power farm in Southeast Asia. —DEXTER CABALZA

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TAGS: bishop, Energy, Negros

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