Figures Don't Lie!
The 2nd Quarter 2007 Social Weather Survey (SWS) reveals that 47% of families in the Philippines or an estimated 8 million, consider themselves poor. This is actually the first time that the Self-Rated Poverty rating fell to the 40’s in the quarterly surveys since 2005.It had ranged from 51% to 59% from December 2005 to February 2007. Good news? Not quite! Thats because the decline in Self-Rated Poverty occurred in the context of a lowering of families’ living standards or the monthly budget that poor households say they need in order not to be poor. Ergo, people are not seeing themselves as poor anymore because they have accepted their lot, adjusted to their situation, and ceased to hope for a better life!
But is this Gods will for the Filipino people? Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, Auxilliary Bishop of the Diocese of Manila says not. The Scripture, he says, speaks of Gods entirely different plan and that is for man to live in prosperity and peace. He adds that the Bible even gives principles and concrete steps to alleviate and solve poverty. Exactly what these are and what the role of the church is in achieving this will be topic of his paper that will be delivered in the1st Philippine Bible Forum on November 19 and 20, 2007, from 8:00 am-5 pm.
Sponsored by the Philippine Bible Society, the forum The Bible in the 21st Century Context seeks to find ways of sharing Gods Word to present-day Philippines and modern-day Filipinos. Bishop Pabillos paper, entitled There Shall Be No Poor Among Us: A Dream and a Challenge, is among the 27 papers by respected Bible scholars, academicians, church and community leaders that will be presented during the two-day inter-confessional event. It will also feature the plenary speeches of Prof. Takamitsu Muraoka, professor emeritus of Hebrew Language and Literature of Leiden University, the Netherlands; Amb. Henrietta de Villa, National Chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV); social anthropologist Dr. Melba Maggay, and Dr. Agustin B. Vencer, Jr, vice-President of DAWN Ministries.
Be part of the first-ever Bible Forum in the country and help make Gods Word known and be more meaningful to our fellow Filipinos! Registration fee is Php 800.00. For more information, call the Bible Forum secretariat at 524-7598 and look for Mars Magbitang or Sheila Hipe.