A Catholic bishop has joined the growing clamor for President Benigno "P-Noy" Aquino III to lead a national campaign towards a "litter-free Pilipinas."
Caloocan Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr., who also heads the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said that such a campaign is in line with the ancient proverb “cleanliness is next to godliness.”
“A litter-free Pilipinas bodes well for our people’s quest to enjoy a better quality of life in clean, healthy and safe communities and mirrors our adherence to the popular adage ‘cleanliness is next to godliness,’ which is well known among Filipinos,” he said.
Bishop Iñiguez expressed sadness that the prevalent practice of dropping litter anywhere is turning to be a major national shame similar to dishonesty in public service that P-Noy has vowed to get rid of.
“It’s important for P-Noy to be at the forefront of this campaign against littering, which is becoming a national embarrassment that has to be eliminated just like graft and corruption,” he also said.
“We need to do away with this destructive practice of littering that, sad to say, shows our lack of respect for the environment, our neighbors and all God’s works,” he added.
Echoing the 2010 New Year’s message of Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Iñiguez drew attention to the ecological crisis and the need to “exercise responsible stewardship over the environment.”
“As Pope Benedict XVI told us, we need to examine our lifestyle amid the environmental degradation that we are seeing around us, rein in consumerism and promote a greater respect for nature,” he said.
Bishop Iñiguez also invited the clergy and the laity to support the call for “litter-free Pilipinas” by integrating ecological value formation in all pastoral programs and services.
The CBCP in a pastoral letter issued in November 2008 had recommended that dioceses, parishes and other institutions foster education on the protection of nature and encouraged every citizen to eliminate wasteful consumption.
On Monday, the EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and toxic watchdog, appealed to P-Noy to lead a nationwide campaign for a “litter-free Pilipinas” following his call for environmental care, particularly in the ecological management of discards.
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