Caritas Philippines is locally known as the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA). It was created by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 1966 and mandated to accompany the poor and marginalized in the just and legitimate struggle for social justice and transformation.
Work carried out by Caritas Philippines/NASSA includes:
Sustainable agriculture and rural development: Contributes to the alleviation of poverty by supporting low-cost input production technology to increase family incomes and food security. It upgrades, broadens and preserves the genetic resource base of agricultural production through biodiversity conservation A flagship programme is a campaign for agrarian reform.
Ecological protection and promotion of the integrity of creation: Secures and preserves the sustainability of creation through the building of a critical mass of ecology activists who can prevent ecologically-aggressive policies and engage in community-based ecology projects.
Political education for democratic governance: Promotes good governance through popular education set on the premise of political maturity and reforms. The programme provides training and forums to communities to encourage them to participate in government affairs.
Protection and promotion of women’s and children’s rights to development: Promotes gender sensitive adherence to social equity in development interventions and against the marginalization of women and children.
Relief and Rehabilitation: Provides assistance to victims of natural and man-made calamities in the form of rapid emergency response and rehabilitation programmes. Disaster management and preparedness training is provided to communities, particularly to the most vulnerable population of the country, in order to boost their readiness and resilience.
HIV/AIDS: Spearheads the Philippine church’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic by including HIV/AIDS in development programmes or through HIV-specific activities that engage different sectors of society.
Advocacy and campaign: Consolidates the social action network’s campaigns and advocacy and raises them to national and international levels.
Caritas Philippines/NASSA serves as the Secretariat for the Social Action Network composed of the Diocesan Social Action Centres (DSAC) organised in 85 dioceses in the country.
NASSA Caritas Philippines is a member of Caritas Internationalis. In implementing development programmes, Caritas Philippines is supported by Development and Peace (Caritas Canada), Caritas Spain, Caritas Korea, Entraide et Fraternite, UNDP, Misereor and Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund.
The agency is also supported is by The Italian Bishops Conference, CHARIS of Singapore and other local and institutional partners.