Caritas Philippines to launch award in memory of ‘social action pillar’ in PH

Caritas Philippines to launch award in memory of ‘social action pillar’ in PH

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, president of Caritas Philippines, speaks during the 41st National Social Action General Assembly (Nasaga) held at St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Iloilo City on June 18, 2024. CBCP NEWS

By CBCP News

June 21, 2024

Manila, Philippines

Caritas Philippines is introducing an award to honor diocesan social action centers (DSACs) that have done exceptional work.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, president of the national Caritas, said the “Bishop Julio Labayen Award” is meant to recognize the best programs and achievements of DSACs.

“We would like to recognize the social action centers that performed beyond our expectation, beyond the ordinary,” Bagaforo said.

Bishop Labayen was the first head of the National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa), established in 1966.

He led the Church’s social action apostolate during the dark years of martial law.

Labayen, who also served as bishop of Infanta, died in 2016 at the age of 89.

Caritas is the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, overseen by the Episcopal Commission on Social Action-Justice and Peace.

“We decided to name this seal of excellence award after Bishop Labayen because he is one of the pillars of social action in the Philippines,” Bagaforo said.

The new award was announced during the 41st National Social Action General Assembly (Nasaga) held at St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Iloilo City on June 17 to 20.

Bagaforo said they hope to give the first Bishop Julio Labayen Award next year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Caritas Philippines’ “Alay Kapwa” program.

“It’s going to be a big celebration and we will give the award there,” he added.

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