Church to push greener programs

The Catholic Church will roll out more ecological campaigns and good governance programs in dioceses and parishes over the next two years.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, National Director of Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Church, made the announcement during the 40th National Social Action General Assembly held recently in General Santos City. .

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo. Photo by CBCP

About 240 social workers from 71 dioceses across the country participated in the national assembly which ended last Friday.

“We must ensure that no one is left behind in the face of the worsening climate crisis and that we amplify the voice of the people while engaging in the process of good local governance, Bagaforo said.

“Time is a luxury we don’t have. We need to design local environmental campaigns that propel concrete green actions and require community involvement,” he added.

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Bagaforo noted that Caritas Philippines has been instrumental in shaping various environmental campaigns, such as the anti-coal campaign in Southeast Asia and the movement to protect Verde Island Passage in Luzon.

Caritas Philippines has also launched a movement focusing on the “post-election accountability campaign”.

Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines Fr. Antonio Labiao said the post-election initiative is part of its core program on “good governance” which aims “to broaden the active participation of church members in local governance to nation building”.

“There is a need for the continued participation of church people in principled politics for the renewal of society, which is at the heart of the new evangelization,” he said.

He said the good governance agenda will require the active participation and “faith-driven” engagement of people in local good governance processes.

Labiao said the movement on good governance aims to produce and organize “advocates and champions of good governance at different levels”.

“This program seeks to institutionalize good governance processes from the barangay level for the common good,” he said.

Caritas Philippines will present the details and design of the program to the plenary of the Philippine Catholic Bishops’ Conference in July.

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