Lito Atienza's Blog

Atienza supports Church call to petition Manila officials to revoke pro-oil depot ordinance | June 19, 2009

is Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, (left) warmly welcomes Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza (in tropical shirt) and officers of the Earth Day Network Philippines (EDNP), during a courtesy call at the Residencia de Arzobispo in Intramuros, Manila. Atienza briefed Cardinal Rosales on the Department’s upland development program that would boost the country’s reforestation efforts while providing alternative livelihood to upland families through tree planting and other related activities. Also in photo (to Atienza’s left) are officers of EDNP, namely, Odette Alcantara, Howard Belton and former DENR Secretary Elisea Gozun.

His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, (left) warmly welcomes Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza (in tropical shirt) and officers of the Earth Day Network Philippines (EDNP), during a courtesy call at the Residencia de Arzobispo in Intramuros, Manila. Atienza briefed Cardinal Rosales on the Department’s upland development program that would boost the country’s reforestation efforts while providing alternative livelihood to upland families through tree planting and other related activities. Also in photo (to Atienza’s left) are officers of EDNP, namely, Odette Alcantara, Howard Belton and former DENR Secretary Elisea Gozun.

I am supporting the call of the Catholic Church for the people to rally against the continued stay of the Pandacan Oil Depots.

I welcome the move of the Church in urging the people to start a signature campaign to petition the local officials of Manila to revoke City Ordinance 8187 to protect the environment and the health of the residents.

Cardinal Rosales’s call is not only moral but also legitimate as its intent is to protect the environment and the life of the people in the city. The Church’s vast influence over its parishioners on matters of general well-being of the people cannot be underestimated.

As environmental chief, I am reiterating my opposition to this ordinance as it allows highly pollutive and extremely hazardous industries to proliferate and operate in the most populated area in the city.

I, along with some Manila councilors, recently filed a case at the Supreme Court (SC) against Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno and majority councilors for approving City Ordinance 8177 which allows the continued stay of the oil depot in Pandacan.

The 51-page petition submitted to the SC questioned the validity and legality of the ordinance as it defies the Constitution which guarantees each and every Filipino the right to a clean and healthy environment, in harmony with nature.

Cardinal Rosales, in his latest pastoral statement on the issue, stressed that “the oil depot is a threat to human life and its integral growth.” The Cardinal also said that the continuous operation of the oil depot in the densely populated area of Sta. Ana and Pandacan poses as a grave threat to the well being of Manila residents.


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