Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 18 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Rainier of Pisa
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Filipino Catholics call for “climate emergency” declaration

A worker collects garbage from the Marilao River in Bulacan north of Manila



J-P Mauro - published on 04/24/23

An April 20 demonstration saw a large group of lay Catholics march to call on the government to take actions on climate change.

Catholics in the Philippines are calling on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to declare a “climate emergency” within their nation. A demonstration was held on April 20, just before Earth Day, which saw a large group march to Manila’s Mendiola Peace Arch, where they submitted a petition asking the government to acknowledge the environmental dangers presented by the crisis. 

According to Licas News, the rally was attended by Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, president of Caritas Philippines, as well as a number of religious missionaries and representatives of various civil society organizations. Among these was Yolanda Esguerra, the national coordinator of the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. This network includes more than 250 social development and advocacy groups, as well as Church groups.

Esquerra commented that the declaration of a “climate emergency” is just the start. The Philippines would also require a “commitment to sustained and bold actions” to help reverse the harm done to the environment by pollution, especially plastics. She emphasized the need for “regenerative action” to restore the balance:

She said they will challenge the government to declare a climate emergency “and take the lead in fulfilling its mandate to protect the well-being of both nature and people, ensuring that a clear and comprehensive plan containing strategic and urgent actions are put in place to address climate change impacts.”

There are reportedly over 160 institutions that have already declared a “climate emergency” in the Philippines. These groups have rallied together as part of The Citizens’ Declaration of Climate Emergency, a year-long campaign to mobilize Filipinos in a nationwide effort to address climate change. The institutions include Catholic dioceses, schools, parishes, non-government organizations, and people’s organizations. 

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) joined them in beseeching the government to take action. According to Philippine News Agency, Fr. Antonio Labiao, Caritas Philippines executive secretary, commented: 

“We are calling for a swift transition to a low-carbon economy, the protection of natural habitats and ecosystems, and the adoption of just, pro-people, and sustainable economic development practices across all sectors.” Labiao added, “We invite everyone to join us calling out our leaders and to raise our voices for the dignity of our common home and for our future generations.”

This appeal was supported by the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (ECHE), the CBCP-Office on Women, Council of the Laity of the Philippines, social action centers of dioceses and vicariates, Caritas offices, and Catholic schools.

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.