09/11/2019, 13.20
PHILIPPINES
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Filipino dioceses go ‘green’ by reducing energy use and defending the environment

Solar panels will appear on the roofs of parish churches, pastoral centres and schools. The country's bishops call for an immediate transition to safe, clean and affordable energy to fight climate change. Maasin is the first ecclesiastical territory where all churches use solar energy.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCPNews) – Tagbilaran and Talibon, two dioceses in Bohol province (central Visayas region), are set to go ‘green’ through two important projects to use renewables and save energy.

Soon, solar panels will appear on the roofs of parish churches, pastoral centres and schools. By helping to reduce energy use, the new technology shows Catholic commitment to environmental protection.

Inspired by Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato si’, Filipino bishops are used to raising awareness. In a letter last July, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a letter condemning "the continuous destruction of our common home".

In it the prelates call for an “ecological conversion” given the emergency situation. Demanding an immediate transition to safe, clean and affordable energy to help fight climate change, they urged Catholics to use renewable energy sources and reject "dirty" coal and fossil fuels.

In a joint statement released on Saturday, Mgr Patrick Daniel Parcon of Talibon and Mgr Alberto Uy of Tagbilaran say that, currently, the dioceses are collaborating with private companies and other organisations for the large-scale use of solar energy.

“Part of the cross that we carry as disciples of Jesus is the responsibility to care for the world that is entrusted to us,” the letter read.

The steps taken by the two dioceses in Bohol will minimise dependence on electrical power, whose costs continue to rise "while the services provided leave much to be desired,” as exemplified by “our experience of brownouts”.

The bishops of Tagbilaran and Talibon call on the faithful to take care of "our common home because we are only servants, not owners. We are just stewards acting on behalf of a God whose love and compassion do not end.”

The two dioceses are not only. Several more have been slowly moving towards solar energy, as part of the Church's revitalised ecology programmes.

Caritas Philippines, which is leading the campaign, said that some 40 out the 85 dioceses are already installing solar panels as alternative energy sources.

In August 2018, the 42 parishes of the Diocese of Maasin (Southern Leyte) switched to renewables, becoming the first ecclesiastical territory where all churches use solar energy.

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