He blessed SM Baguio when it opened in 2003, but the bishop of Baguio will no longer conduct blessings, let alone hold Masses in the mall in protest of its expansion project.
“I have decided – and the priests agree with me – to suspend permission, to hold Masses in SM (Baguio) and even blessings of stalls,” Bishop Carlito Cenzon of Baguio told Rappler on Sunday.
“That is an instruction. I have control over the places where Masses can be held,” Cenzon said.
Masses are held every 9 a.m. on Sunday at the mall’s atrium to allow shoppers to worship before the 10 a.m. opening of the mall.
“I will count the number of trees which will die. Every tree that dies, that’s one year of suspension. If trees die, [count the number] and that’s the number of years we will not hold Masses at SM,” Cenzon said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported that 40 Alnus and one Benguet pine tree on Luneta Hill had already been earth-balled.
A total of 182 trees on the site will be earth-balled or transferred to give way to the proposed SM Baguio parking facility and entertainment building.
In a previous statement, SM reiterated that the P1.2-billion expansion and redevelopment of SM City Baguio would be environmentally sustainable. It said the project would make SM Baguio the first shopping mall in northern Luzon that would have a certificate in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It stressed that since the LEED is an internationally recognized standard for green building design and construction developed by the United States Green Building Council, customers would benefit from it as well.
News category: World News.