BEC-Based Social Action Program: The Diocese of Daet


The Social Action Center of the Diocese of Daet was established when Daet became a diocese in 1974. At the time, it coordinated delivery of relief and facilitated rehabilitation services in partnership with the Department of Health and the Catholic relief and facilitated rehabilitation services in partnership with the Department of Health and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS). When the Diocese entered its third decade and saw the need for a more participatory Church, it decided to break new ground, particularly in its sociopastoral ministry. Inspired by the decrees of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, and the Diocesan Vision-Mission, it committed to raise people’s social consciousness in an authentic and lasting social transformation where the people themselves participate in the process for their integrated development.

In 2003, the Socio Pastoral Action Center Foundation, Inc. (SPACFI) signified interest in the BEC-Based Integral Evangelization Program in the Diocese of Daet to empower the community through Munting Sambayanang Kristiyano (MSK), a Basic Ecclesial Community. Their proposed program, Comprehensive Empowerment of Marginalized Rural Population, aims to enable the BEC for social transformation and total human development.

The MSK was organized in five parishes, namely:

1. Holy Trinity, Daet

2. Most Holy Rosary, Jose Panganiban

3. St. Lucy, Capalonga

4. St. Cajetan, TNL-Labo, and

5. St. Peter the Apostle, Vinzons

Each parish enrolled ten BECs each composed of 60 members. The program aimed at increasing productivity through sustainable agriculture, livelihood, training, socialized credits, local capital build up generation and improved technology; implementing healthcare programs, human rights, good governance, environmental protection and peace building, and building functional and sustainable BEC structure from the diocese to the small communities.

Training seminars were provided for the ten MSKs of the five covered parishes. These trainings included alternative marketing conference, microcredit manual workshop, gender sensitivity, teambulding and institutional strengthening, program evaluation and product packaging and development.

The three-year program resulted in the empowerment of the ten MSKs so that they are able to formulate policies and mechanism in handling, managing, monitoring and evaluating different projects and operational activities. The financial support given to PSACs through the microcredit assistance project had provided a broader access for BEC members to livelihood opportunities such as sari-sari stores, fruits and fish vending, dry good store and other buy and sell businesses.

In three parishes, St. Cajetan, St. Peter Parish and St. Peter the Apostle, Botika sa Parokya was established as part of community-based enterprise program along with Organic Product Marketing Centers where the indigenous products of BEC members are being displayed. A “trash-to-cash” livelihood projects was developed in four parishes through the establishment of mini-junkshops where tetra packs, newspapers, magazines and other scrap materials are traded for cash.

The parishes and SPACFI are partners in the campaign against illegal gambling, child labor, prostitution and human trafficking. In collaboration with the International Labour Organization, local parishes and government institutions, SPACFI, through the BECs, is implementing a program for the elimination of worst forms of child labor.

The active participation of the BECs created two fisherfolk organization named the Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Capalonga (SAMMACA) and kasapian sa Pangangalaga ng Likas-Yaman ng Sabang, Vinzons, Inc. (KILYA). These BEC organizations work hand in hand with Municipal Fishery and Aquatic Resources Management Council (MFARMC) and barangay FARMC in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring of fishery ordinances and laws. Their active involvement in the campaign for environmental protection strengthened the drive against illegal fishing and has so far resulted in a number of apprehensions of perpetrators. Illegal fishing has been reduced by about 50 percent.

The establishment of diversified and integrated farms in the parishes has greatly contributed to the development and promotion of sustainable agriculture in the covered areas. Six hectares are devoted to organic rice and two hectares to other chemical-free crops and vegetables. There are also five-hectare aquaponds located in the parishes of St. lucy, Holy Trinity and Most Holy Rosary. Forty-one (41) BEC farmers are now farming, fish-rice farming combination, vegetable production and aquaculture.

The success of the BEC program in the five parishes of the Diocese of Daet inspired replication in the neighboring parishes. It transformed the attitudes, culture, practices and dynamism of MSKs. The spirit of sharing of resources, time and individual capacities has been strengthened through collaboration and cooperation among BEC communities.



In 1999, an environmental scanning was conducted as a prelude to planning where PO members, parish priests, the Municipal Agriculture office, the Philippine National Police, barangay councils and the local government officials developed a comprehensive plan for the conservation,rehabilitation and management of their coastal resources. The rich fishing ground of Daet had been subjected to destructive fishing such as dynamite, cyanide and commercial poaching. The vigorous participation of BEC communities resulted in the creation of two Pos called Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Capalonga (SAMMACA) and Kasapian sa Pangangalaga ng Likas-Yaman ng Sabang, Vinzons Inc. (KILYA). These Pos work hand in hand with the local government unit through the Municipal Fishery and Aquatic Resources Management Council (MFARMC) and Barangay FARMC in policy formulation and implementation and monitoring of fishery ordinances and laws. Apprehensions were made in the different coastal territories within the two fishing communities due to vigilant patrolling by BEC members. A 50 percent reduction in the reported incidents of apprehensions in attributed to the concerted effots of the BEC communities.

Reference: National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace Annual Report 2007, p41-43