Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance members in the Philippines has officially launched the ACT Philippines Forum last July 31, 2013. The ACT Philippines Forum brings together four (4) organizations: Christian Aid (CA), Lutheran World Relief (LWR), National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Staffs of the four member organizations have come to celebrate and witness the formal signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which officially launched the ACT Philippines Forum. The liturgical program was held in Conference Room A, Bishop La Verne D. Mercado Ecumenical Center, NCCP 879 EDSA last July 31, 2013 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Rev. Fr. Rex RB Reyes Jr., the General Secretary of the NCCP, welcomed and inspired the gathering through a message highlighting the affirmation of being one body in Christ, laying aside individual preferences to serve the most vulnerable as the fulfilment of the law of Christ, that is love. A creative movement interpreting the song “Bahay” by Gary Granada was performed by the Teatro Ekyumenikal, setting the Philippine context in which the Forum focuses on. Each organization was given time to introduce their work through creative presentations.
The main event of the afternoon, the MoU signing is a ceremonial act of binding towards unity and service. This was headed by the authorized representatives of the ACT Philippines Forum member organizations (CA, LWR, NCCP, UMCOR) followed by a symbolic commitment of participants witnessing the event.
The main objective for the ACT Philippines Forum is to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of the ecumenical humanitarian and development response, to persons and communities affected by poverty, discrimination, abuse and disasters through improved preparedness, implementation and coordination at national level.
In particular, the Forum serves as a venue for information and resource sharing, consolidation for relating to external stakeholders and for fundraising and peer support for meeting mutually shared standards for humanitarian, development and advocacy work.
Even as the Philippines is categorized as a middle income country, poverty is pervasive and the gap between the rich and poor is widening. ACT members in the Philippines consolidate to create a bigger voice for the advocacies hand in hand with partners and communities.
Truly, this historic event marks the start of a stronger cooperation and coordination among ACT Alliance members to better the humanitarian, development and advocacy work in the country.