Innovative programs up for launching to celebrate the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines
MANILA – Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, CBCP-NASSA chairman, said they will have three novel programs to mark the Quincentennial Anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines.
In an exclusive interview with meloacuna.com, Bishop Bagaforo said they will have a scholarship program, dedicated campaign for the care of the environment according to Laudato Si and the Catholic Church’s presence in the coming political exercise.
“The scholarship program targets poor and slow-learners from across the country for them to improve their chances of having better lives after school,” Bishop Bagaforo said. He added aside from free tuition fees, they will introduce tutorial programs for identified high school students.
“Sa ganitong paraan, mai-aangat natin ang kanilang chances na makatapos ng pag-aaral,” he added.
He explained they will also implement the national plan for Laudato si (On Care for Our Common Home) with is the second encyclical penned by Pope Francis released on May 24,2015.
He said he hopes to encourage the faithful’s awareness and commitment to ecological justice and care for the environment.
The third program they will soon launch is the Catholic church’s involvement in the coming political exercise.
“We will participate to enhance the conduct of honest and peaceful elections. Because of our current situation, we will be in the public square and discuss the moral and social issues affecting the country,” he further explained.
Asked of the CBCP-NASSA’s take on the Justice and Peace advocacy of the Catholic Church, Bishop Bagaforo said they are into the promotion of good governance.
“One of our concrete programs that needs to be sustained is the UBAS (Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan) which was launched by then DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo. This is very effective and we have reached out to different barangays and they are open and excited in enhancing coordination at the grassroots level,” the prelate explained.
The Catholic church will also enhance its campaign for environmental justice towards the preservation of the ecology with the wanton destruction of forests and the irresponsible mining activities across the country.
He explained they are pursuing their program on Education for Culture of Peace as an important part of the formation of the Catholic faithful with emphasis in planning for activities towards the coming national elections through campaigns for new voters to register.
“The (Catholic) bishops are also interested in the post-election scenario by way of monitoring the activities of those who will be elected,” he further explained.
Referring to the recent killings in different parts of the country, Bishop Bagaforo said the local dioceses are expected to provide the necessary information through statements as in the killing of nine indigenous community leaders in Capiz and Iloilo last December 30,2020.
“The diocesan social action centers are in a better position to assess the incident and we simply provide support and exposure through the Catholic church’s media,” the 67-year old prelate concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)
CBCP-NASSA Chairman and Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo. (Screen shot from meloacuna.com interview)