May 23, 2024

City officials recently requested the Department of the Interior and Local Government to clarify on whether a church or religious organization is qualified to be accredited as a civil society organization by the local legislative body pursuant to the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State.

Under Resolution 178, s. 2024, the council stated there are various churches and religious groups that take part and engage in civic activities and programs and would like to collaborate with the concerned government agencies and the local government, thus, the aforesaid inquiry.

Article 62, of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines mandated local government units to promote the establishment and operation of people’s organizations (PPOs), non-government organizations (NGOs) and private sectors and make them active partners in the pursuit of local autonomy and establish a harmonious working relationship between the government and NGOs in the city.

Some religious organizations in the city filed their respective applications for accreditation as NGOs to allow the said groups to actively participate in civic activities to help in cascading to the grassroots level various privately-initiated programs, projects and activities that will help in uplifting the living condition of the people in the city’s barangays.

However, some councilors raised the issue on whether religious organizations can be accredited as the same might run counter to the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State that promoted the body to seek the necessary inquiry from the DILG so that whatever issuance will serve as a guide for councils to decide in the applications for accreditations being filed by various groups. – PIO release