caritas philippines logo 2024

Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), is gearing up for the highly anticipated 41st National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA) from June 17 to 21, 2024, in Jaro, Iloilo.

This year’s NASAGA theme, “Social Action Network: Journeying to Empower Communities in Faith, Love, and Justice,” underscores Caritas Philippines’ dedication to empowering Filipino communities. Caritas Philippines President, Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, emphasized, “Through faith, love, and justice, we aim to equip our social action network to better serve those in need.”

Caritas Philippines collaborates with social action centers in all 86 dioceses across the country. The biennial NASAGA provides a vital platform for social action workers from these dioceses to convene, discuss, share experiences, and strategize solutions to address critical social issues.

The assembly promises a week of productive collaboration and strategic planning. Delegates will engage in thought-provoking discussions on national issues impacting Filipino communities. Esteemed speakers will provide insights on topics such as the West Philippine Sea situation, the role of the Church in politics, and the current energy landscape.

Fr. Carmelo “Tito” Caluag, in his first NASAGA as Caritas Philippines Executive Director, highlighted the event’s importance: “I’m honored to lead Caritas Philippines at this crucial time. NASAGA is a critical opportunity for social action leaders from across the Philippines to share experiences, learn from each other, and develop effective strategies to address the challenges facing our communities. Together, we can create a more just and equitable society for all Filipinos.”

CBCP President Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, emphasizes the core motivations behind Caritas Philippines’ work: “Our motivation for social action work in the Church is never ideology or any political conviction but only the love of Christ, the love that is expressed traditionally through the Latin word Caritas… Faith compels us in love to see in every neighbor a brother or sister, especially among the last, least, and lost… Impelled by faith and love, we inevitably get involved in concrete actions for justice.”

Bishop David underscores the importance of the Church’s social teachings: “ “Therefore, I advise dear brothers and sisters to please soak yourselves in the social teachings of the Church, which alone can orient you to the foundation of social action—our stubborn insistence on the dignity, the innate dignity of all human beings as creatures in the image and likeness of God.”

Through the 41st NASAGA, Caritas Philippines aims to empower its network, equip social action workers with valuable knowledge, and inspire continued action toward a more just and equitable society. The organization remains dedicated to championing the vulnerable and marginalized, advocating for their rights and dignity, and ensuring their voices are heard.