Best Christmas gift for our children? Coal’s end.

Diocese of San Carlos
The Roman Catholic Bishop of San Carlos


Best Christmas gift for our children? Coal’s end.

This is the Christmas story. “She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

Jesus chose to be born and to be laid in a manger – a food box for farm animals. A farm is a source of sustenance for the community and the manger also serves as sustenance for farm animals. Likewise, in John 21:15, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. Jesus replied, “Feed My lambs.”

Jesus was born among us for his saving mission — of building a world that feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, shelters the homeless.

We, in the Philippines, are threatened by food insecurity due to climate change and unequal wealth distribution. A recent study shows that the impact of the changing climate on Filipinos is worse than previously thought. Maps on sea-level rise project sinking of cities, towns, and homes. This is on top of the climate-related disasters like extreme heat and supertyphoons that have been destroying lives and livelihood.

Science has always been clear that the burning of fossil fuels is a major driver of climate change. Sadly, our energy sector remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels, particularly coal. The Philippines presently is ninth in the world among countries with the biggest coal capacity in the pipeline.

Coal-fired power plants degrade the air with heavy metals, particulate matter, and poisonous gases. Coal fuels the ecological crisis through the destruction of land and water resources in order to mine, transport, and store coal. Thus, communities who rely on agriculture and fishery lose their livelihood and become even more destitute.

What then is the best gift we can give this Christmas? One of the most significant ways Filipinos can do in addressing this global problem is to change the way we power our country.

This Christmas, we invite all of you, to join us in our campaign to #REpowerNegros, for citizens to benefit of the island’s 97% renewable energy installed capacity. We aim for 100% clean, affordable, and renewable energy (CARE) for the island.

After all, the best gift we can give our children and the rest of humankind this Christmas and every day, is a home that sustains our needs.


Bishop of San Carlos