Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr., Bishop of Caloocan and concurrent head of the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, expressed optimism that the government-led anti-littering and anti-dumping drive will yield positive results for a healthy urban environment.
Bishop Iñiguez was referring to the “Metro Ko, Love Ko” program for urban renewal launched last February 12 by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino.
“I welcome this newest endeavor by the MMDA, our Metro mayors and other participants from the public and private sectors to promote environmental concern and responsibility among our people, particularly in keeping our streets and waterways garbage-free,” he said.
“I urge Chairman Tolentio and other prime movers of ‘Metro Ko, Love Ko’ to go beyond shallow beautification drive and aspire to shape a new consciousness and action in defense of the environment from which all of us depend on,” he emphasized.
“Any sincere effort that espouses citizens’ respect and love for their neighbors and surroundings should be cheered on and backed,” he added.
Bishop Iñiguez reiterated that “the Church has a responsibility towards creation” and to “save mankind from the danger of self-destruction” as pointed out by Pope Benedict XVI.
The Pope, in his “World Day of Peace” message in 2010, said that the Church “considers it her duty to exercise that responsibility in public life in order to protect earth, water and air as gifts of God the Creator meant for everyone.”
Bishop Iñiguez also echoed the plea made by the EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, for President Benigno S. Aquino III to lead the suggested movement for a “litter-free Pilipinas”.
“I likewise appeal to P-Noy to take on the campaign against littering and for Zero Waste as a personal advocacy in the same way that he fought and won his fight against flashing sirens (wang-wang),” he said.
“Mr. President, your action against wang-wang has won you rounds of hearty applause. Your action against garbage will surely cause waves of joy among our people and Mother Earth, too,” he added.
Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition, had earlier appealed to the President to act as champion for a “litter-free Pilipinas,” citing “his moral ascendancy and popularity” and ability to gain public support.