Transforming Faith into Action: United Churches of Christ in the Philippines in service to and with small farmers in Mindoro

October 24, 2023

by MASIPAG National Office

MASIPAG recently held its three-day National NGO Conference with the theme “Cultivating Synergy: Strengthening Farmers’ Organizations and Their Communities for Genuine Rural Development” in the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. MASIPAG owes its success and continuous strength in further forwarding the network’s vision and mission to its partner NGOs, working hand-in-hand with its member farmers and scientists. With farmers already equipped with knowledge and experience in agriculture and scientists with their academic experimentation and research skills, MASIPAG partner NGOs in return further elevate it through their expertise in organizing skills–becoming united to collectively and holistically confront the challenges of the failure of the Green Revolution and its lasting impact which hinders farmer empowerment up until today.

The conference was attended by 17 member and partner non-government organizations of MASIPAG from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, where one of which, namely the United Churches of Christ in the Philippines – Occidental Mindoro Associate Conference (UCCP-OMAC) shared about their institution’s history and work and how they transformed faith into action. 

UCCP is an organic union of five denominations established in 1948, with an established constitution and by laws in 1952 and written statement of faith in 1986. For 75 years, the UCCP has united several churches in furtherance of “Christ’s redemptive work” and asserting peace based on justice through various forms of development work in different areas.

UCCP-OMAC is part of the Provincial Coordinating Body (PCB) in Mindoro with several farmers’ organizations. In 2019, they were able to support MASIPAG”s Orientation on Sustainable Agriculture (MOSA) to community residents in Sitio Hebron, Abra de Ilog. Community members warmly welcomed them and expressed interest to establish a rice trial farm which eventually facilitated the deepening of their knowledge on organic farming and improvement of their technical skills. UCCP-OMAC is also active in attending capacity training workshops in advocacy work and MASIPAG Luzon’s regional assemblies.

UCCP-OMAC with PCB Mindoro was also able to regularly provide updates and information on MASIPAG’s work in the province through DZYM 1539 AM in its program “Buhay na may Pag-asa (Life with Hope).” With farmer-leaders and support from the local church, they were able to conduct a training on radio broadcasting with farmer-leaders in Quezon Province, who have been speaking in local radio programs in their province, and experts. Moreover, they were also able to lobby policies which supported MASIPAG’s programs to the provincial government of Occidental Mindoro. A few of which include lobbying for support to the institutionalization of the Participatory Guarantee System in the municipalities of Sablayan and Magsaysay.

Today, UCCP-OMAC vows to always extend support to MASIPAG’s programs in the province and uphold its principles, vision, mission, and goals.###