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Rediscovering the Ilonggo Contribution to Social Work

By Edwin Lariza at Lariza.Website

As indicated in the previous post, the annual celebration of the social work week in the Philippines stemmed from the preparation for the Ruby Anniversary of the Social Work Law on June 19, 2005.

Months earlier, a series of joint meetings and regional consultations of social workers in Western Visayas were held in Iloilo City after the National Convention of two major social work organizations in the Philippines.

Both the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) and National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI) emphasized the paradigm shift on policy advocacy during respective conventions.

Challenged, Ilonggo social workers exhaustively looked for ways and means in pooling resources to maximize the celebration for policy advocacy. Similarly, we committed to deliberately and systematically promote the Social Work profession and its significant role in effecting social transformation.

In the process, we found out that 2005 was the 40th year of the Social Work Law. Otherwise known as Republic Act 4373, the law was passed on June 19, 1965. However, it was noticed that the significance of the date of the passage of the Social Work Law had not been officially observed unlike other social welfare legislations which were passed even later. So, we thought of making the occasion a good opportunity to unite in promoting our profession through policy advocacy.

With such discovery, we were very excited to think of activities to maximize the celebration. We thought of coming up with a resolution requesting then Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to declare June 13-19 as Social Work Week in Western Visayas, as it would be within our area of work.

It gained strong support from other social work-led organizations and alliances in the region, as well as government officials and NGO leaders in the Regional Development Council. However, the Regional Development Council, which endorsed our resolution, opted for the national declaration as the Social Work Law is national in scope. Hence, the declaration should benefit other provinces in various regions.

Getting the clue from people in the authority, we informed both the national board of Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) and National Association of Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI) of this discovery and subsequent move to solicit support either thru endorsement of the resolution or making a national resolution related to the regional resolution.

While it failed to get the declaration from the Philippine President for some technicalities, the PASWI National called for the celebration nationwide. In Western Visayas, we succeeded in our advocacy as all provinces and major cities have institutionalized the celebration by respective resolutions/ordinances. Since then, while the degree and focus vary the event has been celebrated every year.

Later, in our research, we discovered that our initiative was just a continuation of the tradition of significant contribution of Ilonggo social workers in the history of the Social Work profession.
The first and foremost among Filipino social work pioneer is an Ilongga – Josefa Jara Martinez.

Martinez was the first executive secretary of the Associated Charities, considered to be the forerunner of social work in the Philippines. She was also the founder and first director of the first school of social work in the Philippines, now known as Philippine School of Social Work which was affiliated with the Philippine Women’s University. In 1978, she was awarded the Social Worker of the Year Award by the Professional Regulations Commissions.

Martinez was among the 7 pioneers that formed the first association of social workers in the Philippines. Joining her were two Ilongga social workers, namely: Carmen Montinola-Luz and Felicidad A. De Silva from Capiz.

Interestingly, the social worker –turned-senator, who authored the Social Work Law, had her roots in Iloilo City. Sen. Maria Kalaw- Katigbak, who held the distinction as the lone woman member of the Philippine Senate (1961 up to 1963), is a daughter of Pura Villanueva Kalaw, a renown Ilongga feminist/suffragist and writer. She organized the first ever feminist group in the Philippines, the Asociacion Feminista Ilonga.

Source:

Rediscovering the Ilonggo Contribution to Social Work by Rev. Edwin Lariza

For more information about the Social Work Week in Iloilo visit Lariza.Website or click on the link below:

All Set for 8th Social Work Week in Iloilo

 

Injustices to Jesus

By Edwin I. Lariza

The comment of Kitchenchief on one of my Ezine articles has inspired me to start a series of Lenten reflections.

Lent is traditionally observed as preparation of the believer for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.

Considered as one of the major liturgical seasons of the Roman Catholic Church, Lent is celebrated by other Christian denominations including Protestant groups like the Lutheran, Methodist,Presbyterian and Anglican. Lent, particularly the Holy Week, is one of the two most celebrated events in the Christian calendar. The other one is Christmas.

Results of survey may vary as to the perception of people on the most important between the two celebrations. Undeniably, however, these two events dominated the thoughts of believers in Christendom to the extent that the totality of the life of Jesus has been ignored.

It’s unfortunate that Christians have become selective in remembering the life of Jesus. The other aspects of Jesus life are seemingly neglected, especially his manhood. Some sociologists and theologians view this as manifestation of cultural distortion or vested interests. We love to think of the baby Jesus and Crucified Christ.

Their images evoke compassion. More importantly, less threatening as they reflect innocence and helplessness. But we are uncomfortable of the adult Jesus who confronts everyone without fear or favor, even turning the tables of those who make business out of religion. It seems, we want to evade the Jesus who challenges us to follow his example in service

Oftentimes, the period in between birth and death have been neglected- his growth, manhood, the fight against harsh realities in life which could have been a model for living. How he withstand trials and temptations. How he did not give in to the pressures and enticement of power compromise and pleasures of the world. His willingness to offer himself for a great cause.

From conception, he has already foretaste the cruel world system. The intrigues his earthly family encounters due to the controversial pregnancy prior to marriage. At birth, he has been exposed to vulnerable condition of the poorest of the poor, being born in a manger.

His childhood experience is colored with the uncertain life of refugees to escape the persecution. Likewise, he has to adjust to the internal struggle in family relationship, as well as the immediate social environment as he keeps up the ideal living, even going against the norms.

Central Philippine University

Hapag ng Pag-asa by Joey Velasco

Prior to his public ministry, he has to undergo the process of immersion. Living in a depressed community, he has seen the hypocrisy of leaders in the socio-cultural, economic and political structures. Their wanton disregard of the avowed mission to serve the people as ordained by God.

How corruption and abuse of power has encroached the ideal immunity of the religious establishment. How religion has been used for business and profit. Yes, he has witness how leaders enrich themselves at the expense of the people they are supposed to develop. .

Jesus also knows the struggle of well meaning people in the government and other sectors including revolutionary forces in effecting change. Their two pronged vulnerabilities- stereotype from victims and antagonism from the mainstream perpetrators. Aware of their conviction, he includes some of them in the core of his disciples, mainly composed of representatives from the basic masses.

To be continued…

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This post was originally published at Lariza.Website and was used with permission from the author. Admin