Caritas Philippines Requests BPI to Ethically Invest Church’s Development Funds
“We are now being challenged to fully commit to our advocacy campaigns, especially on appealing to our government to declare Philippines coal-free. And what better way to do that then to ensure that our money deposited to financial institutions are not used to fund dirty energy and other extractives?” This is the statement released today by Fr. Edwin A. Gariguez, Executive Secretary of NASSA/Caritas Philippines as partners launched the Malinis at Murang Kuryente (MMK) Campaign.
Fr. Gariguez said that “in particular, we call on Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) to disclose to us where they have invested our funds and should there be investments to coal and other dirty energy and other extractive industries, to right away divest them to support the renewable energy sector.”
According to financial disclosures in the Global Coal Exit List, BPI is among the top 3 Philippine banks providing support through loans and underwritings to many if not all of the biggest known coal developers in the country like AboitizPower, Ayala Corporation, San Miguel Corporation and JG Summit Holdings, Inc.
Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si has urged these global industries to refrain from further destructing the earth by saying “we know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal… needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”
The MMK Campaign will cascade through all dioceses and parishes in the Philippines, schools, religious groups and congregations, non-government organizations and individuals to put pressure to financial institutions to divest from coal and invest to renewable, clean energy.
“Our development funds are raised to uplift the lives and dignity of the poor and the vulnerable. Having them invested in coal and other extractive industries is one way of killing the people we are mandated to protect. We cannot allow that from continuously happening,” concluded Fr. Gariguez.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines is the humanitarian, development and advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines representing 85 diocesan social action centers in the global confederation of Catholic charities, Caritas Internationalis.
By: NASSA / Caritas Philippines