2 timely reminders on important issue
Two items in the Opinion section of the May 16 issue of the Inquirer drew my attention. Both dealt with the environment: Julia Holz’s letter, “One of Makati’s few remaining green spaces vanishing,” and Antonio M. Claparols’ commentary, “The fish are gone.”
The titles already gave a hint of what the letters were about and the issues involved. Both letters were a timely reminder of an important concern—and called attention to concerns with more lasting effect on our country and with more impact than the present headliner issues, albeit less interesting than the reports about Vice President Jejomar Binay, the Anti-Money Laundering Council findings, the 2016 national elections and probable candidates, Rep. Manny Pacquiao, and the investigations on the Binays and the Napoles scams.
The degradation of the environment (land, sea and air) goes unabated—trees cut down for road-widening; reclamation projects in different parts of the country and involving hundreds of hectares; the construction of bigger and bigger shopping centers; the trafficking of endangered species; mining; our country’s rich biodiversity put at risk, etc. Unfortunately, these issues do not land on front pages or take off on prime air waves, though that doesn’t change the fact that these are important concerns for us now and the future generations.
Pope Francis has been speaking on the topic almost from the start of his pontificate, and he has issued an important document related to the environment. And it is not just the environment that is affected; the people, too—but are we not part of the environment as well?—especially the millions of the very poor who are displaced from their lands and deprived of livelihoods.
The poor cannot fight back, but Nature can, through El Niño and La Niña, earthquakes, (super)typhoons, and other natural calamities. In this Year of the Poor, let us not think only of justice and peace for persons; let us also go global, let us include the environment. May the Lord give us peace and justice.
—ANTONIO M. ROSALES, OFM, author and former parish priest of Forbes Park, now residing in Cebu