Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Church, firm open pilgrimage park in San Fernando

IF you are looking for a place where you can pray and reflect during the Holy Week, try going to Sitio Dubdub in Barangay Magsico, San Fernando.

Officials of the Archdiocese of Cebu and mining firm Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC) inaugurated the seven-hectare SEDC- St. Augustine Ecopilgrimage Park there yesterday.

The park, located eight kilometers away from the main highway, will be the first of its kind in Cebu, said SEDC President Dennis Tenafrancia.

The park will feature different amenities such as Stations of the Cross, hiking trails, amphitheater and a small church.

But the park will also serve as growing area for 13,000 indigenous and fruit-bearing trees planting by SEDC and Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for Environmental Concerns (CACEC).

Hiroyuki Sakakibara, SEDC chief technical director, told reporters that before it became a park, the seven-hectare area used to be one of their mined-out areas.

The area, which was rich in siliceous clay, was mined starting in 1995 and was mined out four years later.

When CACEC and SEDC signed an agreement for the implementation of a parish-based pocket forest program a year ago, the area served as their planting site.

Following the signing of the agreement last year, around 13,000 trees have been planted in the park.

Sakakibara said that aside from being a park, the area also served as their nursery for seedlings of indigenous and fruit-bearing trees.

He said that they will develop the park within three phases with the first phase involving the development of basic amenities.

Sakakibara said that for now, the public is free to enter the park but eventually, they will be asking for a reasonable fee from visitors to help maintain the park.

Fr. Murphy Sarsonas, CACEC chairman, said that the park serves to promote three aspects: environmental conservation, social justice and economic viability.

Sarsonas said that aside from their tree-growing activities, CACEC and SEDC are also helping residents living the park by providing them with livelihood through employment and skills training. (JKV)
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