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Misereor pulls back from Philippine advocacy group

German church agency will no longer be co-convenor of Philippine-Misereor Partnership

UCA News reporter, Manila

UCA News reporter, Manila

Published: March 02, 2020 08:08 AM GMT

Updated: March 02, 2020 08:18 AM GMT

Misereor pulls back from Philippine advocacy group

Misereor has stepped down as co-convenor of Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. 

The overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany, Misereor, has stepped down as co-convenor of Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), saying the role is no longer necessary.

The withdrawal was announced by Steffen Ulrich, Misereor’s Philippine desk officer, during the PMPI’s general assembly in Manila on Feb. 26.

However, Misereor remained committed to its role as a partner and donor of the PMPI, Ulrich said.

The PMPI is an advocacy network set up in 2003 involving more than 250 church-based and civic and social development groups. Its advocacy work incorporates various themes including environmental and rights issues.  

The principal reasons for Misereor serving as co-convenor of PMPI do not really apply anymore and are “seen as rather obsolete,” managing director Martin Brockelmann-Simon told PMPI member organizations in a recent letter

PMPI was established to bring together Philippine faith-based and church institutions and organizations that receive funding from Misereor.

“Today, approximately half of PMPI member organizations do not partner with Misereor in terms of project funding,” Brockelmann-Simon said in the letter. “Some of those only maintain a regular or when-needs-arise exchange; some even do not know Misereor at all.” 

As such, the PMPI is no longer a network of Misereor partners anymore, he added.

A different political climate and changes in society were also given as reasons for Misereor stepping back from its partnership with PMPI.

The German church agency said having Misereor included in PMPI’s name might give a false impression that Misereor was pulling the network’s strings.

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The agency said it did not want to put the PMPI’s political and social development work at risk. This could have the effect of hampering the work of the network, Misereor said.

PMPI president Father Juderick Paul Calumpiano said the organization respected the decision and assured that any changes to the network would not affect the amount or quality of services that it gives to communities.

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