Press Release

CEAP Advocates Prepare for Engagement with Government

Catholic university presidents, school administrators, lawyers and advocates attended the first National Advocacy Summit of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) last July 16, 2010 at the Ateneo de Manila University. Led by its Advocacy Commission, the summit aimed to prepare CEAP for engagement with the new administration of President Benigno C. Aquino, III as well as the Senate and House of Representatives of the 15th Congress of the Philippines.  The summit also created a sustainable networkof advocates across the country and drew action plans for implementing themajor policy positions of the association. 

In his opening remarks, CEAP President Msgr. Gerardo O. Santos, President of Pasig Catholic College and Director of Nazarene Catholic School and San Isidro Catholic School emphasizedthat “CEAP should make its agenda clear on national development, education,social transformation, good governance, justice and peace, poverty, reductionand environmental sustainability.”  Healso stressed that only when “each one of us in the CEAP community becomes atrue servant and genuine advocate for a meaningful cause” can we make thecountry a better place to live in.  

Advocacy Commission Chairman Fr.Joel Tabora, SJ, President of Ateneo de Naga University and CEAP Director for Region 5, in his talk on “CEAP’s Advocacy Work: Successes and Failures” provided a short history and  an insightful analysis on the advocacy effortsof the association, setting the tone for the workshops on the major policy positions of CEAP that ensued.

Participants were divided intofive groups each representing the five major policy positions of CEAP which are Policies on Key Education Reforms, General Education, Protection of Struggling Schools, Issues on Peace especially in Mindanao and Issues on Taxes Imposed onSchools.   Each group discussed their respective policies and brainstormed on action plans that the Commission should undertake.  

The Summit was graced by the former Chairperson of the Advocacy Commission and former President of De La Salle University, now Secretary of the Department of Education, Br. Armin Luistro, FSC.  In his message to the participants, Br. Armin reiterated that he expects the active engagement of CEAP and its Advocacy Group in shaping education policy towards resolving the problems that have been plaguing Philippine education.  

In an ensuing Board Meeting, theCEAP agreed to include issues pertaining to reproductive health and the environment. The 2010 CEAP National Convention which shall be held at theWaterfront Hotel in Cebu City on September 22-24, 2010 has been aptly themed “A Heart for Eden, A Hand at Ecology”. The convention coincides with the Board Meeting of the Catholic International Education Office or the Office International de l’Eneignement Catholique or OIEC, composed of more than 107 countries where there are Catholic schools and universities. CEAP’s representative to the OIEC Board is the Vice President ofCEAP and President of Adamson University, Fr. Gregorio Banaga, CM. Two pre-convention assemblies are also slated. The 2010 CEAP Superintendents’ Assembly is on September 20-21, 2010 at the City Park Hotel, Cebu City whilethe 2010 Retirement Assembly is on September 21, 2010 also at the Waterfront Hotel.