In Philex, Bishop Bendico tells youth to care for environment

TUBA, BENGUET – Msgr. Victor Bendico, bishop of the Diocese of Baguio, has enjoined the youth of this province as well as those from the two towns hosting Philex Mining Corp., which vowed to grant more scholarships to deserving students, to care for God’s creation, including mining environment, and reflect on their faith and promote the Christian spirit in their respective communities.
“We must all take care of our faith for this will lead us to eternity,” Bendico said in a homily during a welcome mass held May 29 at the gymnasium of the Saint Louis High School-Philex, in this town’s Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3. “So let us exercise our faith in our gimong, as this enables us to become agents of communion, participation, and mission.”
A gimong is a basic ecclesial community (BEC) or a sub-parish. Sitio Padcal’s Sto. Niño (of Prague) Parish, for instance, has 13 gimongs, while Kabayan, another Benguet town, has 22.
Bendico also told the about 250 students and other youth representatives to emulate Jesus Christ in his priestly, prophetic, and kingly actions.
He added, “Our faith also challenges us and directs us to love one God, and to care for God’s creation. You are surrounded here with beautiful mountains. You have trees, water, and clean air. Help your gimongs, which are part of our hope of hope.”
The students, who came from nine of the Benguet parishes, gathered in Sitio Padcal, where Philex Mining has its gold-and-copper operations, for the 2nd Vicariate Youth Camp 2017, a three-day event sponsored by the Diocese of Baguio and hosted by Philex Mining’s Padcal mine.
With the theme “Forming BECs that are Agents of Communion, Participation, and Mission,” the Youth Camp ended May 31 with a send-off mass and a boodle-fight lunch for its participants.
The 1st Vicariate Youth Camp was held in May 2012 at the Immaculate Conception Parish, in the Benguet town of Bokod, according to Angeila Greff Aratas, youth coordinator for the Sto. Niño of Prague Parish.
“We are going to grant scholarships to more students for the incoming school year, as part of our social-development work for stakeholders,” Aurora Dolipas, manager of Padcal’s Community Relations (ComRel) Dept., said during the Youth Camp. “If our host and neighboring communities want us to focus more on education, then we will grant it to them.”
Already, Philex Mining had spent P101 million between 2003 and 2016 for scholarships and other programs on quality education involving elementary, high school, college, and graduate students from its outlying communities—both host (Brgy. Camp 3, in Tuba, and Brgy. Ampucao, in Itogon) and neighboring (Tuba’s Brgys. Camp1 and Ansagan, Itogon’s Brgy. Dalupirip) villages.
For 2017, Philex Mining has allotted P15.7 million for its education program.
Eduardo Aratas, manager at Padcal’s Legal Division and part of the 31-man working team that assisted the Youth Camp 2017, said the hosting of the event was in line with the company’s policy of promoting a holistic environment for its employees and residents at the mine camp.
He stressed, “We have always supported efforts and activities that enhance the wellbeing of our employees and their children not only physically and mentally but also spiritually.” PR / ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon