Innovative Retailing: Uplifting the Lives of Basic Ecclesial Community in Camarines Sur, Philippines

Innovative Retailing: Uplifting the Lives of Basic Ecclesial Community in Camarines Sur, Philippines

Anne Marie F. Bagadion
DOI: 10.4018/jabim.2013070102
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This study was inspired by the persistence and strength of character of striving entrepreneurs in rural communities who strive to establish or let grow of their businesses. The Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church considered Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) as a “New Way of Renewing the Church”, thus the researcher collaborates with Caritas Diocese of Libmanan (Inc.), the social action and development arm of the Diocese of Libmanan, Camarines Sur, which established the BEC-Based Integral Evangelization program. This aims to develop not only spiritual renewal but social and moral transformation as well, to broaden and sustain alternative Income Generating Project (IGPs) that will uplift the standard of living of its members. The BEC through Caritas Diocese of Libmanan is determined to concretize an innovative retailing through its BEC Retail Store (“Tindahannin SKK” - in local dialect) and Automated Teller Machine (ATM)/Credit Card. The BEC –ATM/Credit card) which will provide economic empowerment to its members as an alternative credit access in the procurement of basic goods and services, and as an alternative credit access in starting small businesses.
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Economic development continues to be very difficult in many rural and geographically isolated communities in Camarines Sur, Philippines, which is 300Km South of Manila. Research on local economic activities, especially entrepreneurial development, is anecdotal consisting mostly of isolated case studies of single or clustered businesses.

This study delimits its scope in the 1st and 2nd district of Camarines Sur, which is under the Diocese of Libmanan. Moverover, this study wishes to understand the “model building” of Caritas Diocese of Libmanan in alleviating poverty and sustaining its innovative retailing thru its Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) Retail Store using an Automated Teller Machine, that can be accessed via a debit/credit card, which is the first to be offered for low income community.

Moreover, this study offers opportunity for greater understanding of the Caritas Diocese of Libmanan’s (CDL) innovative retailing and entrepreneurial competency of the BEC members that can be echoed in other Diocese in the Bicol Region or in the whole of the Philippines. Further, it is important to pinpoint the relevant marketing and enterprise development learning areas that must be thoroughly learned by the BEC members so as to appropriately respond to their needs as “Christian-Social” entrepreneurs in a globalized-knowledge-based economy.

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