The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has named a new executive secretary.
Father Antonio Labiao Jr., 66, of the Diocese of Novaliches will replace Father Edwin Gariguez of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan.
Father Gariguez has resigned from the National Secretariat for Social Action effective July 31.
A native of M’lang in North Cotabato, Father Labiao is currently the pastoral director of the Diocese of Novaliches and rector at the Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd.
Serving under co-terminus status, he will assist Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan, who assumed as chairman of the secretariat in December 2019.
Under Father Gariguez’s term, the secretariat attained a milestone in integrating a resiliency framework in its institutional strategies and interventions during disasters.
From 2009 to 2019, through emergency appeals and bilateral programs, the secretariat received more than 1.7 billion pesos from the Caritas confederation worldwide.
Father Gariguez was instrumental in the establishment of the secretariat’s Center for Resiliency, Empowerment and Integral Development, also known as “social action academy” in Tagaytay City.
In 2012, Father Gariguez was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his works in protecting the environment and indigenous peoples against large-scale mining projects in the country.
“We hope that the meaningful partnership we have established will be sustained and further strengthened even with the needed transition,” said the priest.