A multi-sectoral group of environmentalists from civil society, academe, laymen from the Catholic Church, and concerned citizens on Wednesday launched a movement urging Catholic institutions to divest themselves of investments involved in environmentally destructive operations in the country.
“All Catholic families, schools, parishes, foundations, dioceses, and religious communities they put their money on banks and many of them also have investments in stocks and that is part of what supports the Church so we are asking to be consistent with the call of Pope Francis to live ‘Laudato Si’,” former Education Secretary and De La Salle University president Bro. Armin Luistro told GMA News Online on the sidelines of the movement’s launch in Manila.
In June 2015, Pope Francis issued his encyclical titled “Laudito Si: One care for our common home,” where the pontiff took a strong stance against consumerism, environmental degradation, and global warming.
“We should not only participate in activities that will promote the environment but also be discerning where we put our money. Do we put our money in bank or in stocks in companies whose activities destroy the environment?” Luistro said.
The former Education chief said that a Catholic group maybe engaged in plastic cleanup activities but actually invests donation money in stocks of companies that degrade the environment.
“Kahit ilang tonelada pang plastic ang pulutin ko eh kung yung pera ko naman naka-invest sa kumpanya na gumagawa ng plastic. Eh kung alisin ko na lang ‘yung pera ko sa kumpanya na nagpo-produce ng plastic e ‘di ba mas malaki ang impact nun?” Luistro said.
For his part, Climate Reality Project-Philippines country manager Rodne Galicia said the “Laudato Si” movement is also encouraging Filipino consumers and investors to make prudent choices in patronizing businesses involved in sustainability initiatives.
“We need to take action against climate change. Otherwise, we stand to continue suffering from the effects of global warming,” Galicha said.
By: Ted Cordero