Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The 2nd CBCP-BEC National Congress

I am here in Chali's Beach Resort and Convention Center helping facilitate the 2nd CBCP-BEC national congress which started yesterday afternoon and which will end 2 days from now. There are over 300 delegates coming from over 80 dioceses all over the Philippines, among them 19 bishops.
The theme of the gathering is: "Basic Ecclesial Communities and Rural Development. "
The following are the objectives:

1.To listen to actual stories/experiences of BECs on rural development
2.To evolve what rural development entails from the point of view / stories / experiences of base communities & sectors
3.To formulate BECs’ own agenda for rural development
4.To integrate rural development into the pastoral vision of the local church
5.To develop a system of networking and collaboration in the area of rural development (among BECs and with NGOs, POs, LGUs. etc)
The whole day today, which I facilitated, was spent in sharing of stories and experiences of BECs engaged in Rural Development. It was very moving to hear stories of BECs involved in adressing the problems of poverty, corruption, environmental destruction, etc. There were stories of BECs initiating livelihood projects, microfinance, cooperatives, community-based health projects, peace advocacy, anti-mining campaign, good governance, etc.

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