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Caritas Philippines Inks Partnership deals with several dioceses to aid the 'Bamboo Forest' Project

The agreement was signed last February 28, 2024, at the Archbishop Residence Compound in the province of Capiz, Philippines. (Photo: CASAC Social Media Page)

Caritas Philippines, the Archdiocese of Capiz, the Archdiocese of Jaro, and the Diocese of San Carlos inked an agreement to support the Caritas Bamboo Forest Project in the provinces of Capiz, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental.

According to a report from the local Radio Veritas station in the Philippines, the parties signed the agreement on February 28, 2024, at the Archbishop Residence Compound in the province of Capiz. 

Caritas Philippines President, Diocese of Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, led the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement, together with Caritas PH vice president, San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, and national director Fr. Antonio Labiao, Jr.; Capiz Archbishop Victor Bendico; and Jaro social action director Msgr. Meliton Oso.

The signatories include representatives from the Capiz Provincial Government, the Capiz Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Capiz State University.

The Capiz Archdiocesan Social Action Commission, or CASAC, sees a light of hope towards this project after several institutions committed to the “sustainable management and development of bamboo forests, recognizing the ecological and socio-economic benefits that would result from the project," according to a statement from the CASAC Social Media Page.

Fr. Labiao also hopes that the project will not only spread the purpose of the encyclical Laudato Si' of His Holiness Francis but also generate employment in communities and further prevent the worsening climate crisis.

“It’s really to participate or to contribute to the whole program of Laudato Si'—care for our common home... It’s really to be part of the whole Catholic Church's effort to care for our common home. We will see in concrete, in three dioceses, and enhancing biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation,” stated Fr. Labiao.

According to CASAC director Fr. Mark Granflor, the program of the social and advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines will be an effective step towards the protection and maintenance of forests in three provinces in Western Visayas.

The priest added that this also serves as a reminder to everyone to be more responsible caretakers and stewards of God's creation.

"This is a reminder for us to be more appreciative and responsible for God's creation," according to Fr. Granflor.

The Caritas Bamboo Forest Project covers 32.9 hectares of land to plant 7,300 bamboo seedlings in Agnaga, Cuartero, Capiz; Balabag, Anilao, Iloilo; Villacin, Cadiz City; and Punao, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

Caritas Philippines is partnering in the project with the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, and the Gerry Roxas Foundation.

The institution hopes to extend the project to 86 dioceses across the country through collaboration and interaction with communities, governments, and the private sector.- Leahna Villajos


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.