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CFC-OSM Character Enhancement Program Goes to Batangas
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The first Character Enhancement Program in the province of Batangas was held in the Municipality of Nasugbu, on February 8, 2018 at the Nasugbu Municipal Hall. The Order of St. Michael, Couples for Christ’s program for uniformed personnel conducted the CEM 1 “Only for the Brave” for the BJMP personnel, PNP and Traffic Management Office (TMO) enforcers of the town.


Fifteen participants from these offices registered— 6 from BJMP, 4 from the PNP, and 5 from the Traffic Management Office (TMO). Among the participants were JCINCP Manuel T. Villas, Jr., Jail Warden of Nasugbu Municipal Jail and PNP Deputy Commander, Police Chief Joel Ilagan. 


Nasugbu Mayor Antonio Barcelon gave a welcome address, expressing his gratitude and honoring the OSM team for giving their time to conduct the CEM. He commended CFC-OSM for the program that he said will be of great help to the police force, BJMP personnel, and traffic enforcers of his home town as they serve the community.


He said, “I’m very hopeful that these person-nel who participated in this program will gain more knowledge and values in the dispatch of their duties and responsibilities in their respective area of service. Treat prisoners with more compassion... some of our prisoners are innocent… share with them and with your organization what you will learn out of this forum.”


The service team was composed of 5 from the OSM Core, 2 from Laguna; 24 from Batangas led by Mel Zarraga, Dennis Orencia, and Prison Ministry Coordinators Cris and Eva Soriano. The rest were from different SOCDEV Programs.Batangas Provincial Area Director Dante Ilagan was also present to observe and support the proceedings. The speakers, sharers, and facilitators effectively brought the message of God across. Francia Bianzon, sharer for Talk No. 3, narrated her life as the wife of a police officer who was given a five-year assignment in a place that was far away from her and their children. She and her children had to endure the effects of her husband's prolonged and continued absence. However, prayers united them during challenging times of being physically apart, especially in helping her husband overcome temptations in infidelity. 


Cris Soriano's story for Talk 4 (“Forgiveness”), was heartbreaking as he shared his experience about growing up with absentee parents. He had to pursue his dreams of getting into college and succeeding in life solely through his sheer determination, perseverance, and hard work. He overcame hardship, graduated from college, and obtained his license as a Mechanical Engineer. The lessons on forgiveness came later in his life.


At the plenary sharing, the participants showed that they had indeed imbibed the lessons the program meant to teach. They unanimously expressed the importance of family, promising to put premium on quality time with their children/family and in having a God-centered family. All were explicit in their pronouncement of serving our country and abiding by the rules and instruction of their leaders/organization.Jail Warden Villas, during the Commander's time, sincerely expressed his appreciation for the new things they learned from the talks, particularly on the aspect of integrity. He led the BJMP group in all the workshops and group presentations. 


He shared, “I'm so ashamed of our lack of participation. I didn't expect that the program· would be this good. If I had known how important and good your program is, I would have exerted more effort to invite the PNP and other groups.” Villas added, “But I promise, next time you do this program, it will be different. I will invite all the police officers and have them encourage their people to attend. They need this program.”


The CEP ended with all the participants and even the CFC-OSM volunteers showing love and affirmation to everyone. It was ob-vious that everyone will take away from the seminar God's love and affirmation. (OSM Docu Team)


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