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Caritas Philippines to begin nationwide post-election accountability program

Caritas Philippines, the social development wing of the country’s bishops, to start its nationwide post-election accountability program.

On May 9, 2022, the Philippines held its national and local elections. Over 55.5 million Filipinos exercised their right to suffrage out of 67.4 million registered voters, data from Commission on Elections showed. In the 2022 elections, the voters’ turnout was a record-high. 

“Now, the real work starts, and we are serious with our commitment to make our elected officials accountable to their election promises,” said Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines.

“We congratulate all the winners of the recent electoral process in the country. But we would like to remind all that as you take an oath, remember your covenant with the people, and remember your promises to us because we will not forget. Magsisimula na kaming manghingi ng resibo" (We will start asking for a receipt), the bishop said after taking part in the accompaniment visit to the Archdiocese of Manila.

The program, aimed to sustain the increased participation of the Catholics in principled politics, is designed to 1] fight misinformation and disinformation, 2] assess and improve engagement of the church in social transformation, and 3] establish community-based good governance and responsible citizenship movements.

“Government accountability will only happen if people in the grassroots are empowered and equipped to ask questions and claim their inherent right to government information, quality public service, and better governance,” added Bishop Bagaforo.

Thus, according to Father Antonio Labiao Jr., Caritas Philippines executive secretary, and one of the pioneers of Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS) in the country, “how the church will respond to the urgent need to organize, capacitate, and support community leaders and organizations will determine the level of maturity of our next political exercises.”

The UBAS is a strategic partnership of Barangays (village councils), the Church, and other faith-based organizations in the Philippines.

The details of the program will be presented during the 40th National Social Action General Assembly in General Santos City, South Cotabato.

“Good governance, alongside ecology, is the priority programs of Caritas Philippines and the Social Action network starting this year,” said Jing Rey Henderson, Head of Communications and Partnership Development of Caritas Philippines. 

 

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.