Church officials: Dialogue, partnership initiate effective Covid-19 response

Church officials: Dialogue, partnership initiate effective Covid-19 response

By Mariel Celine L. Serquiña

Catholic News Agency

Manila, Philippines

Cooperation among the religious, government officials and private sector improves the trust of the public in the vaccination program, leading to a “just and healthier world,” church officials said.

Fr. Dan Cancino, Jr., executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Health Care, stressed dialogue and ‘integrated approach’ as key factors to an inclusive COVID-19 response.

“To emerge better from the crisis, the principle of subsidiarity must be implemented, respecting everyone’s [role], autonomy and capacity to take initiative. It gives hope in a healthier and more just future,” Cancino said.

“Dialogue is not optional but it is essential. It became the source of enlightenment, of enrichment and solidarity. It has taught to listen more to those who are suffering,” he said.

Cancino, who is also a doctor of public health belonging to the Camillian order, made the statement in his talk at a webinar titled, “Collaboration in health Emergencies: World Health Organization (WHO), faith partners and national governments” on Nov. 10.

Fr. Antonio Labiao, Jr., executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said that partnerships create a “good, established system” for vaccination programs.

“Partnership is always effective. Everybody should be involved. We need to have a clear direction [with the Covid-19 response]. We mobilize everybody to be part of it,” Labiao said.

“To respond to their questions [regarding the COVID-19 vaccine] and to encourage them to get vaccinated, that is the big role of the local churches in this campaign,” he added.

Cancino and Labiao were among the presenters of the case study on health emergencies in the Philippines.

With four sessions, The WHO and Religions for Peace Global Conference runs from Oct. 23 until Dec. 3.

It was hosted by the World Health Organization, Religions for Peace and the EPI-WIN Faith Communities of Practice.

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