QUARRYING has never been a business option. In all angles, it is a real destruction of our environment.

      

For the past weeks, the local government of Alangilan and the Ecclesial community headed by Rev. Fr. Farley Santillan are at odds due to an expose made by Fr. Santillan and the parishioner regarding the quarry operations in the place. In return, the officials sought for the transfer of the priest. Who protects who? Now, the conflict is full blown. Media feasts on the issues at hand, relevant or otherwise. The bishop and the clergy issued a collegial statement regarding the said quarrying.

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In all angles, any act of destroying the natural resources of the earth is similar to committing suicide. I agree that the work of protecting the earth is not a work of the priest alone but it is a toll order to all Christian communities.  The faith does not only focus on God alone but also on the protection of the universe, which God created. I remembered my Professor Msgr. Ben Villanueva in our Cosmology, he said that it is not God who will put an end to this world but it is man who is putting an end to this world. So, if we go by God’s plan, we need to cooperate by protecting and conserving our natural resources.

No amount of justification, legal or moral, could suffice the environmental impact of the quarrying operation or any operations that exploits the natural resources of the world. The operators and the officials have given their side and seem to ask for a continuation of the operations despite protests. Isn’t this a blatant violation of the basic rights of the people protesting?  It seems also that the barangay officials, instead of protecting the people is now protecting the interest of the capitalist and the operators. Is this the role of the Barangay officials?

    

In this country, the government favors the influential elite and punishes the honest majority.  The Alangilan and the Estefania incidents are examples of this loophole of the government to work for common welfare and for government allowing the destruction of the natural resources for the sake of the elite. The local government adopted the “wait and see” policy, which is detrimental to the survival of the future generation. The mayor and his advisers should have a definite and strong stand against quarrying, especially in Alangilan.

  

This is not a matter of political interest but at stake is the future of my daughter, my students, my family and myself. We are simply digging our graves once we allow these quarrying operations to continue. It is time to show that the people have spoken.

 

After a short talk with my daughter about the issue, her immediate response was to ask me, what could we do? She also asked why her teachers are not discussing these issues in class. She commented that this is very important for these talks about their generation. So, I gave her these suggestions;

1. Lobby for the cancellation of the business permit. Remind DENR and other lead agencies of their obligations to the coming generation. Work for a total quarrying ban in the country and regulate the use of our natural resources in buildings.

2. Let the capitalists and operators be reminded of their obligations to the coming generation and that they are simply stewards of this earth.

3. Tell government that here is a blatant exploitation of the natural resources. There is no need to prosecute those whom they cannot see in the mountains. Let them do something about this.

4. Join and support all actions against the issue of environmental destruction, especially this one in Alangilan.

5. Teachers should tackle environmental protection schemes with concrete examples.

6. When all these options fail, it is very Christian and Catholic for us to raise our voices and even arms against those who are destroying our beautiful planet. It is better for one to suffer than let the innocents suffer because of our passivity.

   

These are some of the things we could collectively do for our environment. Shall we continue with the “wait and see” attitude like that of government? Shall we be silent on issues that will directly affect the future generations?

Let us go out of our comfort zones and be counted among the millions who have fought “big men” in the name of the protection of our beloved plant.

Belated Birthday greetings to Dean Christopher Taclobos of UNO-R  College of Engineering and Rev. Fr. Edcel Celiz,OAR , UNO-R Vice President for Finance.

Congratulations also to the College of engineering Electrical Engineering Department of UNO-R for having been identified by CHED as Center of Development (COD). 

My congratulations to Mrs. Mely Flores for her appointment as Supervisor of the UNO-R’s Community Development Office.

St. Ezekiel Moreno, Pope John Paul II and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us and for the protection of our natural resources.