(PNA photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has joined the call of an environmental organization for a safe and nature-friendly commemoration of Holy Week this year.

In a statement Wednesday, CBCP president Bishop Pablo Virgilio David encouraged the faithful to maintain cleanliness in performing the Visita Iglesia (church visits) and going to various pilgrimage sites to meditate and pray this week.

The Caloocan prelate reminded those who will be visiting churches on Maundy Thursday and attending procession on Good Friday to take care of the environment by making their pilgrimage trash-free.

The EcoWaste Coalition previously called on the faithful to reflect on the challenges to environmental protection in commemorating the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

"We hope to appeal to all pilgrims to keep the pilgrimage sites litter-free and to minimize the use of single-use plastics… as we recall the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and deepen our Christian faith," it said in a statement.

The group urged the public to avoid using vehicles that emit black smoke that adds to various toxic and environmentally damaging pollutants.

It also underscored the importance of practicing ecological conversion as it will help to address the effects of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

"Together, let us use the holy days, as well as the long weekend, to turn away from practices that poison and destroy the environment and the climate with pollutants such as vehicular emissions and plastic chemicals and wastes," it added.

EcoWaste also thanked the CBCP head for his help, support and solidarity in advocacy for the protection of nature.

The observation of Holy Week started on April 2 (Palm Sunday) and will end on April 9 (Easter Sunday). (PNA)