Every flick of the switch is a surge forward in the energy revolution against dirty coal.

Symbolic Switch on of Atimonan Catholic Church Solar Power System

Today is another advance in the revolution – we bore witness in Atimonan, Quezon as the Atimonan Catholic Church flipped the switch to turn on their newly installed 5 kW grid type solar system while also celebrating their town's feast day to honor the parish patroness, Our Lady of the Angels. The system is expected to supply almost 50% of the daytime electricity needs of the parish translating to around PHP 10,000 to PHP 15,000 savings in their monthly bill.

This initiative, according to the parish priest Msgr. Emmanuel Villareal, is their concrete response to the call of Pope Francis' call to care for our common home in his ecology encyclical 'Praised Be' that was released early this month. The church believes that switching to renewables is possible and it can be done not later but now. They're grateful as they were able to source funding from their own monthly savings, and not from any major fund drive. They've shown us that political will and determination are as renewable as the energy we receive from the sun!

Fr. Emmanuel, together with parochial vicars Fr. Warren Puno and Fr. John Ruzzell Habito, has been campaigning against the construction of a 1,200 MW coal-fired power plant in Atimonan.

5kW grid type solar system installed in Atimonan Catholic Church

We at Greenpeace Philippines commend Atimonan Catholic Church for going solar. Increasingly, people all over the world are taking action to challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry. For us in the Philippines, every action counts – both big and small. It's about time to phase out coal and reduce emissions, heal the planet and transition to clean energy and clean air for all.

"By taking a small step towards becoming a 'green church,' we are providing our people a strong message that switching to renewables is possible and we, starting with our communities, can do it now", says Msgr. Villareal.

It is my most sincere hope that more churches and communities follow suit because we are more powerful when we act together.