BACS holds F2F General Assembly

By Fr. Enrico N. Paglinawan


September 12 - After two years of online meetings due to lockdowns and strict quarantines, the Board of Trustees of the Bikol Association of Catholic Schools (BACS) decided to hold a face to face general assembly at Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU). The assembly was attended by 57 Catholic schools all throughout the region with a total number of 257 registered participants, 90 members of the working committees, exhibitors, speakers and trustees. It started at 8:30am with Fr. Roberto Exequiel N. Rivera, SJ, ADNU President, formally welcoming the participants and ended at 5:30pm with a Mass presided over by Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD., Archbishop of Caceres. The assembly’s theme, “Pilgrims of Hope: Moving Forward in Synodality,” is a response to Pope Francis’ call for a synodal Church.


The National Office of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines was represented by Executive Director Jose Allan Arellano who discussed the current status of Philippine Education.


Highlights of the event were the opening keynote speech of Fr. Wilmer Joseph S. Tria on the theme: Pilgrims of Hope: Moving Forward in Synodality and the Closing Keynote Speech by Atty. Leni G. Robredo, former Vice President of the Philippines, on the Challenges of Philippine Education Today.


Fr. Tria, President of the Catholic Educational Association of Caceres and Libmanan, challenged the teachers to be truth-seekers and to equip their students with critical thinking. He said that the purpose of education is for students to become good citizens and to pursue common good.

Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD presided over the Mass capping the assembly.

Atty. Leni G. Robredo addressing the members of the Bikol Association of Catholic Schools at the Ateneo de Naga University


Atty. Robredo emphasized the vital role of Catholic education in providing quality education and the government’s responsibility to ensure that Catholic education would thrive. She also highlighted the means by which the Church could reach out to those in the peripheries so they would have access to education.


Five concurrent sessions were held in the afternoon. Prof. Francis Gealogo and Prof. Oscar Campomanes talked about Historical Distortionism for the faculty; Ms. Simonet Barrosa on an Overview of the Philippine Catholic Schools Standards and Dynamics of Quality Assurance for PEAC Certification by Mr. Ireneo Quejada and Dr. Arnulfo Reganit for the Heads of Schools; Hon. Gilda Gayle Abonal-Gomez on Guidance Counselling for Generation Z and Mr. Paglaom Sta. Maria on Positive Discipline for Guidance Counsellors and Prefects of Discipline; Dr. Eva Junsay Barcia on Learning E-Registration for Registrars and Ms. Edna San Buenaventura on Best Practices on Library Programs and Developing Online Research for Librarians.


The School Heads elected their regional representatives for Higher Education and Basic Education. Ms. Simonet Barrosa (Universidad de Santa Isabel) was elected Chair of Basic Education and Fr. Remigio Domino, SVD (Divine Word College of Legazpi) of Higher Education. The Board of Trustees also elected their new set of officers. Fr. Wilmer Joseph S. Tria (Caceres and Libmanan) was elected President; Fr. Allan Cabangunay Sch.P. (Daet), Vice-President; Fr. Agustin Abril (Legazpi), Secretary, Fr. Odine Areola (Sorsogon), Treasurer; and Fr. Gil Cordova (Masbate), Auditor.