Ilocos Norte churches go green

The Sta. Monica Church in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte along with 27 other parishes in the Diocese of Laoag are set to be installed with solar panels. (Photo by JP Papa)

THE Diocese of Laoag in Ilocos Norte is set to embark on a solar energy project to help reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

In response to the urgent call of Pope Francis to stop climate change, Bishop Renato Mayugba of the Diocese of Laoag said they have invited WeGen Philippines, a next-generation energy business, to install solar panels that automatically convert solar energy into electricity for the 28 parishes of the Diocese of Laoag.

“As Pope Francis tells us to care for the environment, we need to look at other alternatives to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Mayugba.

In 2015, the Pope signed an encyclical on climate change, underscoring that environment and caring for the Earth are key global issues. That encyclical, titled “Laudato Si,” is considered both a searing indictment of the world’s failure to protect the environment and a call to action.

The Pope proposed that caring for the environment shall be added to the traditional Christian works of mercy such as feeding the hungry and visiting the sick.

On April 13, the Diocese of Laoag represented by Mayugba and Jun Cruz, managing director of WeGenPH, signed a memorandum of understanding to commence the phase 1 of the solar project.

“With this new technology which is becoming more feasible and viable in Ilocos Norte, the Diocese would also like to get involve in solar energy,” Mayugba said.

In an interview, Cruz said the idea is to begin the transitioning of renewable energy to the Diocese and become a model to the faithful and then to the community.

“Our energy technology company is helping the churches in transitioning to solar—we generate our own power so that we are able to help people save on energy and to possibly sell and share it to others,” Cruz said.

He explained that the solar technology will still be connected to the distribution utility, with an automatic system that can reduce energy utility bills by up to 70 percent during daytime.

p: wjg