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PH CHURCH CELEBRATES ‘WORLD DAY OF THE POOR’
The Catholic Church in the Philippines celebrates with the universal Church the First World Day of the Poor as marked by Pope Francis on Nov. 19, 2017, as a conclusion to the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
In a statement released by CBCP’s social action arm, Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, NASSA/Caritas Philippines’ national director, he said that “with over ½ of the world’s population [over 3 billion people] living in extreme poverty, the Pope’s initiative to honor the poor is both a challenge and a celebration.”
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The archbishop said that “the initiative is a challenge for us Christians to be mindful of our actions towards the less fortunate, the underprivileged, the vulnerable and marginalized. Let us examine how our words and inactions affect those without voice and power.”
On another note, the archbishop of Caceres also said that “the World Day of the Poor is essentially a time for #AlayKapwa—a celebration where we are called to offer and empty ourselves for the sake of our neighbor.”
In the Philippines, farmers, fishermen and children (21.9 million Filipinos) consistently are the poorest sectors according to the 2017 poverty report of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
“We cannot continue to be blinded of this injustice. That is why NASSA/Caritas Philippines strive to strengthen its advocacy for the integration of humanitarian responses and development programming, just like what we are doing now in Marawi,” pressed Fr. Edwin A. Gariguez, the national Caritas’ executive secretary.
“The poor cannot be treated as beggars of our assistance. They should be regarded with dignity, with the same importance we give ourselves. And we can only do so by improving our service delivery, by doing away with dole out mentality, and by engaging the most vulnerable during decision and policy making.”
“It cannot be business as usual when dealing with our poor brothers and sisters. The government and the church must combine its resources to truly improve their plight. We can start by establishing better coordination lines during disaster response, and by being more accountable to our people,” concluded Fr. Gariguez.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines is implementing a 14 million pesos humanitarian response in Marawi for over 3,000 affected families which includes relief distribution, capacity building, livelihood support, community organizing and psychosocial interventions. The national Caritas is also one of the convenors of the Philippine FBO (faith-based organizations) Forum, an platform for greater coordination among FBOs in the country, especially those doing humanitarian response in Marawi.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines is the humanitarian, development and advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Courtesy: Manila Standard | posted November 19, 2017 at 07:15 am
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