THE Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) sought the help of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in the campaign against destructive mining activities.
Environment Secretary Lito Atienza sought the CBCP’s help during Tuesday’s regular media forum organized by the Catholic Media Network in Intramuros, Manila .
“We welcome the CBCP no less to be involved on the issues concerning mining. With the Church’s help, we can fight more the abuses on our environment,” Atienza said in the forum.
The secretary, a former Manila mayor who “ordered” the cutting of trees at the historic Arroceros Park years ago, said partnership with the CBCP would bolster the campaign against illegal mining, especially small-scale ones.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said on the part of the CBCP that they are open to the idea that was being proposed by the DENR secretary of forging a partnership for responsible mining.
“The Church is not against mining because it’s impossible not to have mining… what we want is to be very careful in mining and that only us [Filipinos] should benefit from it,” Pabillo said in the forum.
Pabillo is the nationwide chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Social Action and Peace (ECSAP) and of the National Action for Social Justice and Peace (Nassa).
The Manila bishop said the role the Church would play in the partnership being offered by the government is to become the voice of the people that would be affected by mining activities.
“Sometimes they will make it appear that a consultation has been made among the people, but it would turn that there’s no approval from the people and mining would be allowed, it should not be like that,” Pabillo said.
The CBCP in the past has made public its stand against the present mining law in the country as it had asked the Arroyo administration to scrap all mining applications nationwide due to its negative effects.