Green groups conduct tree growing, envi-concert for oro fiesta

Green groups conduct tree growing, envi-concert for oro fiesta

Cagayan de Oro- While fiesta of St. Agustine is getting close, churches, environmental groups, people’s organization and musicians are holding series of alternative activities in line with the city’s festivity. Earlier today, at 7:00 o’ clock in the morning, around five hundred parishioners coming from city churches of Iglesia Filipina Independiente(IFI) will gather near the rivers of Hinaplanon, a low lying sittio located between the boundaries of Barangays Iponan and Baikingon part of the city for a program dubbed as “liturgical celebration and tree growing for ecological justice”.

The group will be targeting an initial of one thousand seedlings of assorted fruit and shade trees to be planted alongside the riverbanks of Iponan. Noontime of the same day, they will be joined by representatives of ecumenical and interfaith group like the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, United Methodist Church, Roman Catholic nuns, indigenous people, farmers, urban poor etc. through a gathering of advocates in time of the blessing of an advocacy center in Bulua IFI church .

“We timed this activity a day before the historical date of “cry of pugadlawin” to highlight the present cry of the Filipino people especially the sendong victims against the onslaught of creation” said Bishop Felixberto Calang of the IFI Diocese of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Camiguin. “We would like to emphasize the difference of tree growing from merely tree planting. The community and stakeholders must work hand in hand in this effort and link it to policy advocacy opposing large scale mining and corporate plantations as we push for alternative laws like the ‘people’s mining bill’ etc. as proposed by progressive representatives in the congress” pointed out by the spiritual leader.

According to Gamalleil Ranan of Survivors of Sendong (SOS), a citizen led grass-root organization reported that “San Simon and Canitoan dredging barges have been gone but has transfered only to another place particularly in Batinay”. The said structure have been forced to disappear after being lambasted with protests from broad sectors of Cagay-anon.
For her part, Task Force Save Iponan River spokesperson Rev. Emma Catubig, women minister of Iponan church, said that “permits of this foreign owned mining equipment must be terminated by authorities once and for all to finally put a stop to their destructive operations causing discoloration, siltation and chemical contamination of the river”.

Later in the afternoon, a group of musicians will launch their ‘sendong’ inspired environmental music album via a free concert at the Bulua IFI Church. The local artist named “dumbol doy!” will sing all original songs including their carrier “buti pa ang climate may change” and “raptyur” depicting the irony of repeated environmental hazards and tragedy but still government laws and program have not changed, worse, perpetuate even more especially on mining and plantation expansions. Dance, play and choral performances will also be seen during the cultural festival. Few hundred more youth from schools and community will also join the educational jam for mother earth.

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