PALO, Leyte, Sept. 21, 2016 – The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) together with about 300 social action workers from its local counterparts in the different dioceses gathered from all over the country for its 38th National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA) from Sept. 19 to 22, officially adopting a unified roadmap for sustainability and resiliency.
“The roadmap for sustainability and resiliency aims to build the capacity of the social action network in mainstreaming resiliency and providing humanitarian response to people affected by disasters,” said executive sectetary National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines Fr. Edwin Gariguez.
NASAGA, the biennial gathering of all the social action workers of the Catholic Church from the national level to the different diocesan social action centers and commissions, officially adopted the National Caritas Roadmap on Sustainability and Resiliency after the document’s presentation at its 38th assembly, which also celebrated the 50th anniversary of NASSA.
NASSA’s 50th year
Presented to the plenary assembly earlier today, the roadmap outlines the over-all disaster preparedness and response plans of NASSA/Caritas Philippines and its counterparts in the dioceses.
Drawn up during the 1st National Caritas Humanitarian Summit held last June in Legazpi city, the roadmap covers all the social action networks of the 85 dioceses nationwide.
This year’s NASAGA also coincided with the 50th founding anniversary of NASSA, which carried the theme: “Gains and pains in the past—our strength and commitment in journeying with God’s grace”.
“This general assembly is very important because it coincided with the 50th founding anniversary of NASSA/Caritas Philippines. We believe that the celebration is very symbolic here in the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte following the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda,” said the priest.
Another highlight of the celebration was the keynote address of Vice President Leni Robredo. She and her late husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, were actively involved in the social action work of the Archdiocese of Caceres, being one of the founders of the Ugnayan ng Bayan at Simbahan (UBAS).
Eighty service awardees, who are among the social action workers present from more than 50 dioceses, will be recognized for more than a decade of faithful service, later tonight at a formal “Social Action Night”.
Other highlights of the four-day event are the trade fair and exhibit featuring the different social action works and products of the dioceses, a holy Mass at the Palo Cathedral, and the sharing of partners involved in the Catholic Church’s social action work.
The NASAGA will culminate on Sept. 22 with an immersion and mangrove planting activity in Yolanda-affected communities and a symbolic lighting of candles for the victims of the Yolanda at the Sto. Niño Parish in Tacloban City.
This year’s NASAGA is hosted by the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte led by Archbishop John Du. Leyte is one of the nine provinces covered by the Catholic Church’s largest three-year rehabilitation program following the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013. (NASSA / Caritas Philippines / CBCPNews)