Fr. Tito Caluag is new Caritas Philippines executive director

June 5, 2024 - 9:12 AM
Fr. Carmelo “Tito” Caluag, the new executive director of Caritas Philippines. (CBCP News)

Caritas Philippines on Sunday announced the appointment of Fr. Carmelo “Tito” Caluag of the Diocese of Novaliches as its new executive director.

He succeeds Fr. Antonio Labiao Jr, who is also from the same diocese and served in the post from July 2020 until his resignation in March 2024 for health reasons.

“I look forward to working alongside our dedicated staff and the entire social action network to strengthen our programs and advocate for the most vulnerable in our society,” Caluag said.

Caritas Philippines is the international name of the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. This means that he will also serve Nassa’s executive secretary.

An educator at heart, he brings his extensive experience in education, leadership, and social development to the organization.

Caluag has been serving as a consultant for Caritas Philippines since 2020. He currently heads the Alay Kapwa Expanded Fund Campaign and is involved in the AK Community Schooling, and the Caritas Philippines Academy.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, president of the Caritas Philippines, said that Caluag’s “impressive background and proven leadership skills, along with his extensive experience with Caritas Philippines initiatives, make him a perfect fit.”

“We are confident that he will guide our organization through this next chapter and help us further our mission of serving those in need,” he said.

The national Caritas is committed to empowering the poor and marginalized through its 7 Alay Kapwa Legacy Stewardship Programs: youth development; family feeding; livelihoods and food security; humanitarian response; institutional capacity building; good governance and justice and peace; and ecology.

Caluag said these areas “are crucial for building a more just and equitable society.”

“By investing in education, we empower children and communities. By protecting our ecology, we ensure a sustainable future for all. And by advocating for good governance, we create a society that works for everyone,” he added.

Caluag’s ministry reflects a lifelong dedication to service. He began teaching at Ateneo de Manila High School in 1980 and later held various leadership positions at Ateneo de Manila University.

He joined the Society of Jesus in 1983 and was ordained a priest 10 years later.

In 2005, he founded the Alay sa Bansa Center for Education Research and Development, which later evolved into the Magna Anima Education System, Inc. Caluag will assume its presidency on July 1, 2024.

Caluag resigned from ADMU in 2005 and requested to be dismissed from the Society of Jesus in 2006 to focus on public school work and other advocacies.

He is now incardinated in the Novaliches diocese and serves as Parochial Vicar of the Good Shepherd Cathedral. He is also the priest director of the diocese’s Special Commission on Research and Advocacy and Head of the Resource Mobilization Office.