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Parish goes solar in fight against coal

MANILA (Agencies) : A parish in Quezon province is pushing its parishioners to be more environmentally aware by installing solar panels on the roof of the church.

The parish in Atimonan symbolically switched on its solar power system after a Mass on August 2 to cap off the celebration of the town’s fiesta in honour of Our Lady of Angels.

“This is our concrete response to the call of Pope Francis to care for our common home in his ecology encyclical, Praise be: Care for our common home,” the parish priest, Monsignor Emmanuel Villareal, said.

The five kilowatt grid-type system will supply almost 50 per cent of the daytime electricity needs of the church, which in pesos, translates roughly into a 12,000 peso ($2,181) saving on the average monthly bill.

CBCP News reported that parishioners from far-flung areas also attended a symposium about Church social teaching on care for creation.

The diocese of Lucena is currently leading a fight against the building of a 1,200 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Villa Ibaba village.

Caritas Philippines said it is fully behind the stand of the Lucena clergy for the irreparable damage it would do to the environment.

“By making a small step towards becoming a green Church, we are providing our people with a strong message that switching to renewables is possible and we, starting with our communities, can do it now,” Monsignor Villareal said.