News Release

NCFF Holds First National Family Conference

The Family Conference, “The Filipino Family Shall Overcome,” was sponsored by DSWD and the National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF) in the Buendia Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Makati City on September 26, 2012.

More than 300 family advocates participated in speeches, seminars and workshops featuring topics about emerging issues affecting the family which could help family members nurture relationships and promote family unity and values. The Masters of Ceremony were Rev. Ephraim V. Guerrero and Ms. Precie Catherine C. Cuarto. Haidi F. Fajardo, public affairs director for the Church, gave the welcoming remarks.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said, “It’s important to give focus on Filipino families as they are faced with many social issues and problems. The government and the civil society must work hand in hand to preserve and strengthen the values of the Filipino family.”

Ms. Victoria N. Navida, Chief, External Affairs Division of DSWD declared the Family Conference 2012 opened and stated the objectives of the conference:

1. Strengthen awareness of issues and concerns that threaten the solidarity of the family in the midst of present day realities.

2. Heighten the significance of collective efforts of families and various sectors in seeking solutions to these threats.

3. Establish the valuable role of NCFF in building strong, God-loving families as the foundation of the nation.

Ms. Lourdes “Bing” de la Llana-Pimentel, President of Buhay Isang Awit Foundation, Inc. gave the keynote address introducing the theme “The Filipino Family Shall Overcome!”  She has been married for 52 years and both she and her husband, Senator Aquilino Pimentel Sr.,  have been advocates for strengthening family values.   Her message centered on the word, “Sahig,” meaning “floor or foundation,” and as she spelled out each letter, she emphasized family values of importance: Sacrifice (for each other), Accountability (learn to prioritize), Humility (avoid pride), Integrity (like father like son), and Generosity (why be stingy with love and affection). Remember that “SAHIG” is the foundation of a strong family. She concluded, “Every day is a day God gives you to tell your partner and your children that you care, that you love them.”

Director Edgardo J. Ollet, Chief, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Operations Center, then spoke on “Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the Family.” His focus was on gender roles following disasters and found that women are more vulnerable in sudden onset disasters. However, “Victims are not powerless.” He went on to say that we need to “intensify survival skills and livelihood capabilities, building know-how to respond ahead of time to each different natural disaster.

During lunch and following the awarding of tokens to the presenters, many gifts of 72-hour kit items donated by the Church and blankets from DSWD were given to various participants of the conference. Even three complete 72-hour kits were given away to lucky members of the group.

From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. concurrent sessions were held with the following topics: Culture and Values and Their Influence in the Family: presenters  Ms. Elvira C. Limpin (Drug Abuse Prevention, Pasig Drop-In Center), Ms. Nessie Sanchez (Pasig City Health Department), and Mr. John S. Calidguid (DSWD); Media and Technology and Their Effects on the Family: presenters Mr. Alexander K. Ramos of the Angel New Foundation, Inc and Ms. Anne Marie R. Ramos from De La Salle University; Violence in the Family: presenters Dr. Aleli Villena-Sevilla from Miriam College and Ms. Anna Marie B. San-Diego  of the Department of Education; Spirituality in the Family: presenters Charlie and Pierne Me Revillo from the Department of Seminaries and Institutes, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Reverend Ephraim Guerrero of of the Pasig Community Church; and It Starts with the Two of You: presenters Dr. Marita B. Wasan of Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, Inc. and Mr. Santaner R. Iray of Drug Check Philippines, Inc.

At the close of the Family Conference, director Rosario B. dela Rosa of the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, and current Vice-Chairperson of the NCFF presented the organization’s Declaration of 2012 which was a compilation of resolutions from each of the seminars. This declaration encapsulates the support of the committee members and the family-advocates to the strengthening of Filipino families.

The National Family Week celebration started in 1992 through Presidential Proclamation No. 60 which was signed on September 18 that year. It seeks to strengthen family unity and relationships through meaningful celebration and promotion of Filipino values.

A recent development, Proclamation No. 326, which declares the fourth Monday of September of every year as “Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga” day was signed into law by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino on January 26, 2012 and was announced by DSWD on the same day.  This declaration calls for families to eat dinner together and places even more emphasis than ever on the importance of family unity and togetherness through meaningful activities and service.

The NCFF, chaired by the DSWD, spearheads the celebration of the National Family Week with partners from non-government organizations, other government agencies, and the private sector. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been actively involved since 1992 and issued its own document, “THE FAMILY: A Proclamation to the World,” on September 23, 1995. In this document the eternal nature and value of the family is declared. The responsibilities and roles of parents are emphasized as they raise their children in love and unity. 

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