Environmental tour set-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Thursday, July 31, 2014
A CONSORTIUM of environmentalists, peace advocates and church-based organizations are holding a six-day environment tour in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.
The activity, dubbed as Philippine Learning Tour, will be spearheaded by the People's Defense of Patrimony Against Destructive Large-Scale Mining, Environmental Plunder and Development Aggression (Protect)+ADs- Advocates for Peace (AdPeace)+ADs- and, church-based organizations.
Dipolog City Bishop Jose Manguiran, Protect chairperson, said the tour's objective is in pursuit of the gift of life and as expression of solidarity to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs).
Manguiran said the environment tour is in response to the appeal of the IPs and non-IPs whose ancestral domain was encroached and destroyed by mining firms.
The tour is also aimed to verify the reported violation of human rights and the extent of damages within the IPs ancestral domain, said Manguiran.
He said among the places they will visit are the mine site in Sitio Balabag in the village of Depore, Bayog town+ADs- Midsalip municipality, among others.
Philippine Independent Church Bishop Antonio Ablon said God ordained the human beings to be the stewards of His creation.
Ablon added that today God's creation +ACI-is groaning because many times humans have failed to become responsible keepers of what God has entrusted to them.+ACI-
He noted that the country is rich in mineral resources and that foreign mining firms are taking advantage +ACI-of our government's subservient to foreign control and domination.+ACI-
He said investment in mining by foreign firms greatly contributes to the destruction of the environment and displaced the IPs who are the common dwellers of the gradually disappearing green habitat.
He said the continuous destruction of the natural habitat has caused countless death due to calamities and hunger.