THE Diocese of Bacolod and the business sector recently organized the local chapter of the Bishops-Businessmen Conference (BBC) in Bacolod City.

The convention aims to work jointly "for the promotion of total human development in the Diocese of Bacolod."

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, Social Action Center Director Rev. Fr. Mao Buenafe, and former Philippine Senator Vicente "Ting" Paterno, BBC National co-Chairman, invited Bacolod businessmen for a meeting at the Bishop's Palace last Saturday to introduce the need for the creation of a local BBC chapter in the city.

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Business leaders responded enthusiastically to the idea, prompting Bishop Navarra to say that the organization of the local BBC chapter is "a dream come true".

We must all put our acts together to help address the needs of our people, the bishop added.

The organization of the first BBC dates back to February 1971 when 35 bishops from all over the country sat down with a similar number of businessmen in Baguio City to seek ways on how religious and business leaders can jointly contribute to the advancement of the people.

Paterno told local businessmen that it is the duty of the Church to promote the economic, social, political, cultural, and spiritual welfare of the people.

The leaders of the Church, being in closest contact with the people, can guide business where and how it can best employ its resources to advance human development.

Meanwhile, business leaders can provide the Church with insights on management principles and techniques, which religious leaders can use to advance pastoral objectives in the diocese and in the parishes.

Both the religious and business sectors can mutually benefit from their collaboration, which will eventually benefit the neediest in the community, Paterno said.

The BBC declared that it will focus on the promotion of social justice and concrete social action. It will also concentrate on the spiritual development of the BBC members. (Carla N. Cañet)