A Catholic bishop urged President Benigno Aquino to order a moratorium on mining operations as the country marked World Environment Day over the weekend. Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila
said other options can be examined to address illegal mining in the country. Church groups and environmental activists also launched a bike tour yesterday to urge the government to pass a bill pending in Congress that will curb illegal mining. "We are one in calling on President Aquino to order a mining moratorium and address the problem of illegal mining," Bishop Pabillo said. It seems that the government has failed to address the issue and "the only way to stop it is to stop it," he added. The prelate said mining operations are being encouraged by the government with the issuance of permits. In Malolos
diocese, Monsignor Manny Villaroman, head of the Commission on Family and Life, called on Catholics to be "good stewards of the environment" saying it is a "gift from God." The priest hailed the passage yesterday of a local government ordinance -- the 2011 Environmental Code of Bulacan, calling it a "good blueprint for conserving the environment." "Conserving the environment is for our own good as humans, especially for future generations," Monsignor Villaroman said. Father Dario Cabral, chairman of the diocese’s Commission on Mass Communications, said the passing of the environmental code by Bulacan authorities is "long overdue." "It should have been done a long time ago. But it's good. We can now demand a structured program for the environment," the priest said.