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PHILIPPINES: Maasin Diocese–First To Adopt Solar Energy

“The Diocese of Maasin has become the first diocese in the world to equip all parishes with solar panels,” notes a document on integral ecology that Vatican officials released to mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’.

The Maasin Diocese in Leyte province has installed solar panels in 42 churches to generate electricity. In this regard, the Vatican document cited WeGen Laudato Si’ (WGLS), a Philippine-based next-generation technology company inspired by the Pope’s encyclical which is partnering with Maasin Diocese in going for solar energy in a big way.

“I am surprised to know that our humble effort to implement something to preserve our Mother Earth, heeding the call of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical letter, got recognition and affirmation at a high level,” Bishop Precioso Cantillas of Maasin said regarding the Vatican citation. The project started as a dream in 2017 to mark the golden jubilee celebration of his diocese. “The dream project intends to cover 50 diocesan buildings and schools and around 40 parish churches, including 50 laity members whose properties, such as businesses and homes, will be invited to join,” the bishop said.

Bishop Cantillas pointed out that the installation of solar panels has saved the diocese more than US$2,000 in electricity bills per month. According to WeGen, the lifespan of the solar panels would last up to 25 years and that the diocese could recover its investment in seven years. “With those solar panels in place for 25 years, some 1,875 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions are avoided,” a WeGen representative told reporters.  

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