Manila Joins People’s Climate March: Beat the heat, Cool the Planet!

May 23, 2017

On April 29, churchgoers and parishioners of Our Lady of Remedies Parish/Malate Catholic Church joined the supporters and members of different environmental groups in a People’s Climate March, dubbed “Beat the Heat, Cool the Planet”.  Starting with a Holy Mass in Malate Church, the event culminated with a cultural presentation in Malate Church grounds.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement Pilipinas (GCCM-Pilipinas), led by its National Coordinator John Din, spearheaded the People’s Climate March, together with the multi-sectoral Ecological Justice and Interfaith Movement (Eco-JIM), to raise awareness and highlight issues on climate change, human rights and the current and possible impacts of the policies of the Trump Administration.  Given the United States’ global role, any negative shift in its climate policy could have deleterious effects around the world.

The People’s Climate March in Manila was in solidarity with the ‘Peoples Climate Movement’, where over 200,000 people gathered in the streets of Washington D.C. and thousands more from across the US to show a united front for jobs, justice and climate action. April 29th is the 100th Day of the Trump administration and the US President has already issued an executive order nullifying climate change policies issued by the previous administration, and has directed to start legal proceedings in withdrawing and rewriting the Clean Power Plan of the US.

Fr. John Leydon, convenor of the GCCM-Pilipinas, said Trump’s regressive climate policies could severely affect the people of the earth, and his view could be reversed if people could make him understand the global effects of his climate policies.  (see http://www.ucanews.com/news/filipinos-rally-against-shift-in-us-climate-policies/79088)

Present were members from faith based groups/institutions, climate justice organizations, human rights advocates and affected communities, such as Eco-Waste Coalition, Alyansa Tigil Mina, Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development, 350 Pilipinas, WWF Pilipinas, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Sanlakas, and Zone One Tondo, among others.   Several artists also rendered songs that spoke about the plight of our endangered earth.  One of the highlights of the program was a video message from Gina Lopez, the embattled secretary of the Department of Natural Resources who is a staunch supporter and activist for the environment.