Caritas network to hold winning poll bets accountable to their promises

May 23, 2022 - 9:41 AM
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Voters cast their ballot at a public elementary school in Eastern Samar province’s Dolores town on May 9, 2022. (CBCP News)

After the elections, the humanitarian and advocacy arm of the Catholic Church is now working with the public to hold winning candidates accountable to their campaign promises.

Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo said Friday they are set to start their nationwide “post-election accountability program”.

“We will start asking for a receipt,” Bagaforo said after taking part in the accompaniment visit in the Archdiocese of Manila earlier this week.

“Now the real work starts, and we are serious with our commitment to make our elected officials accountable to their election promises,” he said.

The program primarily aims to sustain the increased participation of the lay faithful to “principled politics”.

It is also designed to combat misinformation and disinformation, assess and improve engagement of the Church in social transformation, and 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,” Bagaforo added.

More details of the program will be presented during the 40th National Social Action General Assembly in General Santos City next month.

Good governance, alongside ecology, are the priority programs of Caritas Philippines and the Social Action Network starting this year.

“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,” said Fr. Antonio Labiao, the national Caritas’ executive secretary.

Labiao is one of the pioneers of Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS), a strategic partnership of barangays, faith-based organizations, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which was initiated in 2011 for good governance and the common good.