Diocese of Balanga
Diocesan Pastoral Letter About Bataan Nuclear Power Plant
A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. (Lk. 6:43)
My dear People of God of the Diocese of Balanga,
Greetings of Peace!
Once again we are being presented a very grim scenario of the power situation in our country for the immediate future. Our government has added to our sense of foreboding because it has not been very assuring in its explanations about whether such a situation can be avoided, or if not, how it can be remedied.
Amidst the dire warnings the issue of the rehabilitation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Morong town has surfaced with its proponents insisting that such will be a solution to power shortage and the rise in cost of electricity.
The Diocese of Balanga had spoken before on this issue and said that it is not right; it is not proper; it is not good that the mothballed nuclear power plant be brought to life. My predecessor and now Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop, Most Reverend Socrates Villegas issued a pastoral letter in 2009 which expressed the stand and sentiments of the Diocese of Bataan: The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is a burden and is a danger to the province. The BNPP will bring harm to lives, livelihood, and the environment. It is not the answer to the country’s present problems and needs of people for power and energy. No one is safe with the nuclear power plant and the BNPP will not bring progress and development to our province and our nation.
As your bishop now of the Diocese of Balanga likewise believe in and accept the pronouncements made by Archbishop Villegas and reiterate his stand. This was the stand made by the clergy and faithful of the Church in Bataan, after deep reflection and prayer. I as your bishop stand with you in this issue and now express our opposition to the rehabilitation of the BNPP towards its full operation.
In view of the present day proposition to open the plant, the Diocese of Balanga has once more made a decision and sticks to its original conviction.
It is not our desire that the BNPP be given life because we know that such will endanger the lives of our citizens because there is no assurance of its safety or of the good and benefit it can give them. On the contrary the operation of a nuclear power plant only assures that our waters will be polluted and the creatures of our seas will be poisoned. There is danger, too, of the soil of our lands be destroyed and poisoned, rendering it useless for planting. Thus if the BNPP operates we stand to lose our source of livelihood to its destructive effects.
Our Diocese of Balanga opposes the rehabilitation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. That has been our constant stand and it has not changed. We are committed to this stand because we value life and the common good rather than material gain, or profits from cheap electricity, or personal comfort and interests. We value the future. We are stewards of God’s creation and we follow His command to all of us to protect, preserve, respect and nurture the seas and the creatures in it, the earth and all the plants that grow in it. We believe that there are other safe sources of power and energy that can be studied, tried and applied, such as wind (windmills), water (hydro) and the sun (solar).
Our Diocese of Balanga had spoken in the past and we continued to speak out now. Our Diocese of Balanga mobilized to express our sentiments; we will be ready to actively mobilize again. We are against the rehabilitation and operation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. We urge that moves to do so should be stopped. Enough is enough.
I thank you all for your understanding and constant support. May God bless us all and keep us safe.
+Ruperto Cruz Santos, D.D.
Bishop of Balanga
Chairman Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
16 August 2014
Feast of San Roque