Pacquiao asks DOE to protect nature: 'God wants man to be part of universe'

MANILA, Philippines – Amid plans to put up more power plants in the country, neophyte senator Manny Pacquiao asked the government to consider the protection of the environment as well.

Pacquiao brought this up on Tuesday, August 16, during the Senate inquiry into the simultaneous Luzon blackouts.

This is not the first time the boxing champ and pastor-turned-senator cited the Bible or the Divine Word to argue his position in the Senate. (READ: Pacquiao favors Marcos hero's burial: Bible says to forgive)

This time, the senator asked Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to strike a balance between building more power plants and taking care of nature. (READ: Gov't to cut red tape to bring in more power plants)

"We know we need more power supply for our country but are you considering methods to add to the supply that are not detrimental to our environment?" Pacquiao said in Filipino.

The senator added that he has a "good explanation" for his question, saying God created men to be part of the universe He made.

"I have a good explanation for that… kasi (because) we understand that, you know, when God created the universe He didn't make us just magic, He formed us to give life and therefore we came from the soil, and because God wants us to be part of the universe He created that's why we need to take care of our environment, our world," Pacquiao said.

The senator also said there are Filipino families who suffer because of the establishment of power plants.

He then asked Cusi if the energy chief would "consider" the proposal.

"Kasi maraming nakikita dito sa atin na may nadagdag na power pero may problema ilang libong pamilya dun sa naapektuhan dun sa nilagay na power plant. Would you consider that na titignan natin, Mr Secretary?"

(Because we are seeing here in the country that there's additional power supply but thousands of families are affected because of the power plant established. Would you consider looking into it, Mr Secretary?)

Cusi replied, "Makakaasa po kayo." (You can count on it.)

Pacquiao added he would not oppose the measure to build more power plants as long as it is lawful.

"So, consider this, Mr Secretary, na 'yung mga ipro-propose natin – I'm not saying against sa mga anong planta ilalagay diyan. 'Di ko sinasabi na mag-o-oppose ako but kailangan susunod sa batas natin, sa rules and regulations natin, para 'di masira ang kalikasan natin," he said.

(So consider this, Mr Secretary, that what you will propose – I'm not saying I am against the construction of power plants. I am not saying I will oppose but it has to follow the law, our rules and regulations, so our environment won't be destroyed.) – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a multimedia reporter focusing on media, technology, and disinformation.

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