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No Gawad Kalinga-Couples split, says Meloto

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:55:00 05/19/2009

Filed Under: Couples for Christ rift, Housing & Urban Planning, Poverty

MANILA, Philippines?Gawad Kalinga executive director Antonio Meloto reiterated Monday that there has been no split between the pro-poor housing advocacy group and the Couples for Christ International Council (CFC-IC).

Meloto said the report of a split between the two groups which appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday was a disservice to the poor that Gawad Kalinga and CFC seek to serve.

He said Gawad Kalinga continued to seek the support of parishes, and reports of a split with the CFC lay ministry, which is recognized by Rome, would only sow confusion.

Gawad Kalinga and CFC-IC early this month decided to have separate leaderships, he said.

The action caused Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz to call on parishes and chaplaincies in Pangasinan province to shun Gawad Kalinga activities since, the prelate said, it was no longer connected with the Catholic Church.

?As stated, there is no split or break between Gawad Kalinga and CFC, just a change in membership in the board of Gawad Kalinga,? Meloto said.

?Whoever fed the misinformation to the bishops and the Inquirer committed a grievous sin against the poor, against CFC and all Catholics. Our people have suffered long enough from poverty, neglect and our failure to practice what the Church has been teaching us,? he said.

Meloto said the poor ?do not deserve to be deprived of care due to an internal transition in leadership which is designed to strengthen our mission of building the church of the poor.?

?My covenant with (CFC leader) Joe Tale is clear. There is no split?only greater solidarity between CFC and Gawad Kalinga for God, country and the poor,? he said.

?No one has the right to remove Gawad Kalinga from CFC whose members have made heroic sacrifices to create this noble work that has transformed lives and deepened faith,? he added.

The group builds housing communities for the poor.

Meanwhile, Gawad Kalinga is set to unveil its vision up to 2024 to the world.

GK2024, Gawad Kalinga?s Asian model for community development and poverty reduction, will be launched in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 12 during the Gawad Kalinga Global Summit, the group said in a statement.

Along with celebrating Philippine independence on that day, GK will officially begin its global fight against poverty with a 21-year timeline to end poverty for five million poorest Filipinos and build a First-World Philippines.

Vice President Noli de Castro will deliver the keynote address, ?Leaving No One Behind,? to open the summit.

Speakers will include Camarines Sur Gov. LRay Villafuerte, who will present perspectives on radical and effective development.

Meloto will launch a book called ?The Builder of Dreams,? a first-hand account of the Gawad Kalinga journey.

For more information about the summit, visit www.gawadkalinga.org/globalsummit.

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