Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas has warned scholars of the Wong Chu King Foundation (WCKF) at its annual meeting in Lingayen, Pangasinan, against insensitivity, complacency and lack of ethics.
“You’ll become worthless no matter how educated and intelligent you are if you don’t care for the welfare and moral values of other people,” the outspoken bishop told in a vernacular homily the 200 WCKF scholars who were accompanied by their parents to the gathering held at the Sison Auditorium in the province’s sprawling capital.
“Practice education with social ethics so that you’ll become agents of change and progress in our society,” Villegas said, reminding them at the same time that their sponsor, the WCKF, stands on a strong ethical ground on its social and cultural projects.
The WCKF, the social outreach arm of Mighty Corporation, has been in the forefront in selectively rebuilding churches damaged by typhoons and other calamities in various parts of the country and giving out scholarships to deserving students in tobacco-producing provinces.
The meeting is held annually by the foundation to strengthen its rapport with the students.
One-hundred-ninety-one of the 200 scholars came from the tobacco-producing provinces of Abra, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, La Union and Pangasinan.
The rest came from other provinces.
Traditionally, the scholars are gathered by WCKF yearly in venues within Northern Luzon.
They scholars had a dialogue with key members of the WCKF led by Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan (retired), lawyer Antonio Ocampo and Mighty General Manager James Navarrete to hear their needs, complaints and other concerns related to their education and business environment in their respective provinces.
Karizza Rivera, a cum laude WCKF scholar last year, said what Villegas said was indeed very timely, especially on the issue of value formation because the country today, she added, experiences a serious moral and ethical breakdown.
“The need for us to participate in values formation is not only for the benefit of ourselves, but for society as well,” Rivera noted.
Another top WCKF graduate, James Silao (magna cum laude), also told the scholars that the program is a big help to themselves, their families and the communities where they live.
Silao now works as one of Mighty’s chemists.
“We must remember that we are studying for ourselves and our family and it is not enough that we are educated just like what the good Archbishop said, we must practice business, social and moral ethics,” he said in his exhortation to the WCKF scholars.