SWIFT AND EFFECTIVE ACTION TO ADDRESS COVID-19 IN THE COUNTRY

photo courtesy of CNN PHILIPPINES

(A Pastoral Statement of the UCCP Council of Bishops)

The UCCP extols the efforts of the government in forestalling the adverse impact of the pandemic as we also acclaim the sacrifices of all public servants and private practitioners who are in the frontlines of this battle. We are in solidarity with every effort towards overcoming a common unseen enemy.

In a bid to respond efficiently to the menace brought about by COVID-19, President Rodrigo Duterte sought special emergency powers from congress apparently to supplement the authority of the president in addressing a catastrophic challenge such as this. Given the immense human and material resources under his direct command, the president only needs to act swiftly and effectively to address the problem. Does he need more powers? Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has creatively and efficiently responded to the crisis in his jurisdiction utilizing the limited resources of his city even without any emergency powers. Cannot a president of the country with immense authority do the same?  Cannot the President use his convincing influence to encourage the wealthy businessmen of this country to share a portion of their profits to help solve the COVID-19 problem and forestall any further harm?  Can the emergency powers be simply delegated to a team of five generals with no medical trainings?

In responding to this seemingly unstoppable plague, the government would do well to ensure that the less privileged and the poor who have no means to secure food on a daily basis due to lockdown are given due and necessary priority and the frontliners/health workers who are tired and at risk due to inadequate medical support are judiciously protected.

At a time of crisis like this, leaders must first and foremost seek the face of the Lord for wisdom and strength, “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always..” (1 Chronicle 16: 11). Afterall, the true Source of powers and authority is the Lord.

We call on our constituents to continue praying for the healing of our land and the whole world! We hold on to the promise of God in Exodus 15:26: “ And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.”

THE UCCP COUNCIL OF BISHOPS
March 26, 2020

Bishop Melzar D. Labuntog
General Secretary

Bishop Joseph G. Agpaoa
North Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Emergencio D. Padillo
Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Joel E. Tendero
South Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Jerome C. Baris
East Visayas Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Feliciana P. Tenchavez
West Visayas Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Ligaya F. San Francisco
Northwest Mindanao Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Hamuel G. Tequis
Southeast Mindanao Jurisdictional Area

Bishops Emeritus:
Bishop Arturo R. Asi
Bishop Jezer E. Bertoldo

Bishop Isaias L. Bingtan
Bishop Erme R. Camba
Bishop Ebenezer C. Camino
Bishop Constante D. Claro
Bishop Gabriel A. Garol
Bishop Hilario M. Gomez, Jr.
Bishop Marino I. Inong
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza
Bishop Roel P. Mendoza
Bishop Jaime R. Moriles

Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua
Bishop Dulce Pia-Rose
Bishop Elorde M. Sambat

Bishop Anacleto G. Serafica
Bishop Jessie S. Suarez
Bishop Rizalino Q. Taganas
Bishop Modesto D. Villasanta

Please click this link for the downloadable file,​ ​Swift and Effective Action to Address COVID-19 in the Country

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