Filipino Catholics urged: Protect environment, God’s creation
MANILA, Philippines–In its annual “Season for Creation” campaign to be launched next month, the Archdiocese of Manila will focus on “key ecological issues faced by the country,” including the planned reclamation by various business groups of more than 26,200 hectares on Manila Bay.
The campaign, which hopes to make Filipino Catholics “more proactive in protecting and preserving the environment,” will have for its theme “Maging Bayani, Mahalin, Ipagtanggol at Pagyamanin ang Sangnilikha,” and will run from Sept. 1 to Oct. 5.
A concelebrated Mass officiated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the National Shrine of our Mother of Perpetual Help, or the Redemptorist Church, in Baclaran will open the event that will showcase information materials on various environmental issues.
“If we love God, let us cooperate with each other in making this endeavor a success since we are the ones who caused the degeneration of our environment,” said Lou Valencia Arsenio, coordinator of the archdiocese’s Ministry of Ecology.
Last year, Tagle, his predecessor Gaudencio Rosales and 20 other bishops expressed “deep reservations” over plans to reclaim portions of Manila Bay for 38 real estate projects, saying that similar reclamation projects “had resulted in disastrous flooding, especially in Las Piñas, Parañaque, Malabon, Navotas and some cities and towns in Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Pampanga.”
In a letter to President Aquino, the bishops said that “the scientific, legal and moral basis for (their) opposition…echoes God’s message.”
They also urged the President to “be with (us) in responding to the call of Pope Francis,” who has asked Roman Catholics worldwide to be “protectors of God’s creation, protectors of one another and of the environment.”
Sought for comment, officials of local consortium Manila Goldcoast Development Corp. said their planned Solar City project “can be beneficial to the country if done properly and given safety nets.”
The project, the consortium officials said, “will not adversely affect the marine environment because it’s envisioned to abide by international best practices and standards of development projects.”
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