April 21, 2024

The Diocese of Baguio has called on the faithful to reflect upon and mend their actions that contribute to the destruction of nature and initiate ways to protect the environment.
In a pastoral statement, Bishop Victor B. Bendico said as the Christian world observes this year’s Season of Creation, there is a need to look at the realities that continue to destroy the environment.
Particularly, he said unregulated small-scale miners who have taken over some areas left by large-scale mining firms should exercise responsibility, especially in the use of toxic chemicals that destroy the environment.
“We must remind out small-scale miners on unregulated mining operations, especially the use of cyanide and mercury that destroy the environment. If we destroy the source of our bread and butter, where can we turn to?” he said.
The prelate also took exception to vegetable smuggling, which has been greatly hurting the local farming industry.
“Smuggling devastates our socio-economic atmosphere, which is greatly dependent on the vegetable industry. We must protect our farmers and promote our local vegetables.”
At the same time, Bendico said farmers should also be responsible on the use of agrochemicals, as these are among the major contributors to environmental pollution and health problems.
He added today’s consumerist mentality or the buying attitude based on wants and not needs, has an adverse effect on the environment as those who spend based on their wants end up having excess that only become wastes.
Commercialization and ecological degradation are also among the factors threatening the environment.
“Commercialization induces cutting of trees and re-landscaping of mountains for high-rise buildings and man-made parks causing destructive transformation of the natural environment,” Bendico said.
He added the massive expansion of commercial farms and cash crop mentality that destroys forest reservations must also be addressed.
As stewards of God’s creation, Bendico asked the people, government, and non-government organizations to join the Diocese and local churches in the efforts to preserve the environment and in dialogues to come up with ways to address environmental issues.
“We journey together in the quest for balance between our livelihood and environmental care. Mother Earth provides for our livelihood, we must also protect and care for it. We do not only care for our life today but also look beyond for the future generations,” Bendico said.
The Season of Creation is an annual celebration of prayer and action to protect the Earth, humanity’s common home. It is observed from Sept. 1, the World Day of Prayer for Creation, to Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. – Jane B. Cadalig