Bishop leads call for end to mining in Samar

August 9, 2023 - 6:17 PM
Bishop Crispin Varquez (center) led a “Jericho Walk” from the Borongan capitol grounds to the cathedral on August 7, 2023, to call for the government to end mining operations in Samar island. (Caritas Borongan via CBCP News)

Bishop Crispin Varquez of Borongan has called on the government to end mining operations in Eastern Samar, one of the country’s poorest provinces.

He urged officials “not to be blind to the horrific effects of mining” on their communities, especially the poor.

“Please cancel all mining permits used by mining companies operating in our areas,” Varquez said.

Thousands had come to the province’s capital for the August 7 rally organized to challenge the ongoing and upcoming mining projects in the whole Samar region.

The crowd was littered with placards calling for an end of mining operations particularly in the islands of Homonhon and Manicani.

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With the bishop and several priests, the throng did march from the capitol grounds to the Borongan Cathedral.

A number of people from the nearby dioceses of Calbayog and Catarman also joined the rally.

Varquez addressed the crowd in the cathedral, calling on them “to embrace God’s creation and act responsibly towards it by way of caring, preserving and protecting it”.

He also called on local officials not to endorse mining applications and put their focus on programs in agriculture and tourism.