Legarda Hopes Filipinos Would Heed Pope’s Call To Care For Environment

January 19, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda today said she hopes that more Filipinos would take action against environmental degradation in response to Pope Francis’ call to care for the environment.


“Pope Francis has blessed us with many inspirational and encouraging messages during his visit to our country and I hope we can carefully digest each message, including his statement on caring for the environment, and not only take it to heart but also translate it into action,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Environment and Natural Resources, and Climate Change.


In his concluding mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Sunday (January 18), Pope Francis stressed that God “created the world as a beautiful garden and asked us to care for it. But through sin, man has disfigured that natural beauty.”


Legarda said she hopes that more Filipinos would heed the call to care for our environment especially that the Pope himself has highlighted the link between the environment and human dignity.


“It is disheartening that after the Pope’s mass in Luneta, people left the area scattered with trash. I don’t think it is too hard to find a waste basket or take trash back home to dispose of it properly. These simple acts should already be part of our attitude and lifestyle if we seriously take our responsibility as stewards of the environment. I hope that the discipline that Filipinos have shown in lining up, waiting for hours and attending the Pope’s events would persist and reverberate in our daily actions and decisions,” Legarda stressed.


The Senator added that she is looking forward to the Pope’s encyclical on climate change, which she expects to expound more about humankind’s role in protecting the environment.


“Since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis has been reminding us of our role as ‘protectors of the environment’. Through the Pope’s constant reminder and the highly-anticipated encyclical on climate change, I am optimistic that we will be more successful in encouraging people of all faiths to nurture nature for the wellbeing of all. The abuse of our natural resources leads to deeper poverty and makes us more vulnerable to natural hazards and climate change. We should be mindful of our environment by respecting our environmental laws, veering away from a consumptive lifestyle, and working towards sustainability and resilience,” Legarda said.

In the Pope’s undelivered but published prepared speech for the “Encounter with the Youth” event at the University of Santo Tomas, he stressed that, “We need to see, with the eyes of faith, the beauty of God’s saving plan, the link between the natural environment and the dignity of the human person. Men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, and given dominion over creation. As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.”