Church leaders in the province of called on the government to stop coal mining and the shipment of coal from Semirara Island as the province grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
CBCP News quoted Father Edione Febrero, Diocesan Social Action Director, as saying that mining operations on the island during pandemic “are unarguably contrary to human life and safety.”
The appeal was made on April 25 in a letter endorsed by Bishop Marvyn Maceda to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
The diocese expressed concern over the presence of foreign vessels on the island off Caluya town, where four people have reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.
“Said operations are a breach in the COVID 19 enhanced community quarantine protocol being implemented in the country and in Antique,” said Fr. Febrero.
The priest said authorities must order the vessels to return to their ports of origin until the pandemic is over “and all confirmed cases are closed.”