We are a people of dialogue. As such we have the moral obligation to search for the truth in freedom, the truth about God, about life, about ourselves, our country, our society, our world and the events around us.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Alay Gobyerno, Alay Pilipino (AGAP)

This is the name of the project I started last August 2004. It is an attempt at promoting the sense of nationhood. It is the small people giving their small and hard-earned money which they give to the government. It is their way of pricking the conscience of government officials so that these can give better service to the people. So it is a conscientizing project aimed at changing attitudes and consciousness.

This was my answer to the so-called fiscal crisis. It zeroed in on the root of the crisis which is moral. I also called it fiscal discipline pointing out the fact that our crisis stems from living beyond our means. Living beyond our means is the source of extravagance and wasteful living and causes corruption, crimes, and scandals or scams.

I also introduced the discipline of the cross or the idea of self-sacrifice which, I have noticed, was easily understood mainly and readily by the poorer sector of Church and society. I was touched by their responses.

A group of young people from Tacloban, Leyte, sent me a 20-peso bill. A dance troupe of the university of Mindanao gave up P400.00 of their snack money. Religious men and women in Davao gave up their month’s allowance. Students from different Catholic schools got the message and sacrifice hard-earned pocket money.

A group of religious women in Thailand saw our project in the internet and gave P26,000.00. Filipinos in New York and New Jersey contributed their hard-earned dollars. Archbishop Gordoncillo of Capiz circularized my appeal and the poor of the diocese came up with P109,000.00 for the government. The BECs of St. Joseph’s parish came up with coins amounting to P30,000.00.

We opened an account with the Philippine National Bank and its branches overseas. The PNB president exempted it from bank charges. Our statement and the names of the contributors are in the website. We are in the process of coming up with striking and catching ads that will be posted in strategic places and splashed on television nationwide. The posters will carry the slogans that simplify the meaning and purpose of the project—helping government is helping the Filipino nation. It is the poor helping the rich, the powerless helping the powerful.
So far the amount collected is nearing the half million mark. We are hoping and praying that a collective consciousness will be created by this Alay Gobyerno Alay Pilipino project. Here are the project’s bank account number, the e-mail address, and the website:

Website: www.alaygobyerno.cbj.net
Email Address: alaygobyerno@yahoo.com
Account number: PNB Bajada Branch
# 398-510521-8
Account name: Alay Gobyerno
Alay Pilipino Fund

Archbishop of Davao
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference

January 23, 2005