INC vows to intensify outreach programs for poor in 2016
MANILA, Philippines — Intensified projects to combat poverty and assist struggling communities in the country will be the top priorities of the Iglesia ni Cristo’s (INC) outreach programs in 2016, according to a senior church official.
INC general auditor Glicerio Santos Jr., in a statement on Monday, said that Executive Minister Ka Eduardo V. Manalo had directed church officials to expand the INC’s anti-poverty projects, particularly the Lingap sa Mamamayan Program under the Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation.
Santos said that under Manalo’s leadership, “much emphasis has been placed on the Church’s outreach and socio-civic activities, which seek to benefit not just INC members, but also less fortunate communities around the country who need help.”
Santos said that two Lingap sa Mamamayan activities have already been scheduled to kick off 2016, with the first to be held at the Culiat Muslim compound on January 2, and the second at the Taguig City’s Muslim community on January 9.
The January 2 project is an annual activity held to commemorate the birthday of late INC executive minister Eraño Manalo, a tradition now being continued by his son Eduardo. The activity involves free medical and dental services and the distribution of basic goods.
Immediately following these two activities is the launching of a new eco-farming site in Cotabato, which is expected to provide livelihood for 8,400 members of the Lumad and B’laan communities.
“These projects are being undertaken consistent with our belief that God has given us the responsibility to reach out and take care of our fellow man, especially those in need,” said Santos.
“As long as we have countrymen who grapple with poverty, the INC will continue to do what it can to provide means to help uplift their welfare. Our goal is not just to help the needy—it is to help them help themselves,” he added.
According to Santos, the new eco-farming site in Cotabato has an area of 16,000 hectares. Plantations that will produce bananas, corn, rice, and coffee will be put up to provide jobs for members of the two indigenous communities. The INC will also provide a mini water reservoir, farm equipment, farm input, land tilling tools, and vehicles for the use of the farms.
Aside from these projects, 3,000 houses will be put up for the use of the Lumad and B’laan families. SFM
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