The Negros Chronicle is a weekly publication published in Negros Oriental province, Philippines, vigilantly featuring the latest news updates around Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental since 1973.
   APRIL 20, 2014 EDITION
  ABOLITION OF ARANCEL SYSTEM is now adopted by various dioceses of the country. This CHRONICLE file photo of 35 diocesan bishops was taken during the Jan. 5, 2014 installation of Bishop Msgr Julito Cortes, which was attended by Cardinal Jose Luis Antonio Tagle and Cardinal Ricardo Vidal.  

Diocese to scrap arancel system; replace w/ S.L.A.s

The Diocese of Dumaguete by mandate of its newly installed bishop Monsignor Julito B. Cortes has announced that starting May this year, the centuries old “Arancel System” of the Catholic Church will be abolished at least here in the Diocese of Dumaguete.

It will be replaced with a more practical and equitable centralized operation called the basic remuneration plus the” “Standard Living Allowance” or SLA system for all priests alike.

This implementation follows the initiative of the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and former Lingayan Archbishop SocaratesVillegas who implemented the abolition of their arancel system in 2013 and replaced it with the concept of the “spirituality of stewardship.” Bohol and Cebu have also implemented this method of remunerating the clergy.

Former bishop now Archbishop John Du conceptualized this for Dumaguete this system before his assignment in Leyte. It is now implemented by Bishop Julito Cortes.

The “Arancel system” has been the source of a long controversy especially from Church critics, because of lack of effective accountability and transparency. Some regard it as payment by the people for the services of parish priests or clergy for administering sacraments like baptism, marriage, funerals, the blessings of personal properties like buildings, hosues and even cars , tricycles and motorcycles. It is not.



What are the eight Illegals in the RHLaw?

The Supreme Court in summer enbanc has declared as illegal or unconstitutional eight items in RA10354 otherwise known as the RHLaw on reproductive health.
For your information, the eight items in the ReproHealth Law are considered illegal and unconstitutional:

Sec 7 (illegal) to require private clinics or hospitals withOB patients to be referred to another health facility which is conveniently accessible; (b) (illegal) to allow minors-parents or minors who suffered miscarriage access to modern family planning methods even without parental consent; illegal to impose no deposit, no admittance rule in emergency or serious cases;

Sec 23 (a) (1)(illegal) punishing any healthcare provider who refuses to believe and disseminate information on reproductive health regardless of his/her religious belief

Sec 23 (a) (2) (i)—(illegal) allow married individuals, not needing an emergency to undergo RH procedures without the consent of the spouse;

Sec 23 (a) (3) illegal –to punish any healthcare provider to fails or refuses to refer patients (not in emergencies) to another hs provider regardless of religious belief;

Sec 23 (b) illegal— to punish any public officer who refuses to support r\RH program regardless of religious belief.




The announcement by Dumagute Bishop Julito Cortes of the abolition —next month—— of the Arancel system and replace it with the priests’ uniform basic remuniration plus individually-rated and mandated “standard living allowance,” comes as a welcome respite, and a big and bold step in erasing many misconceptions about the centuries-old tradition, that the Catholic Church is “fond of fund raising out of its services to the people.”

This Aranceles in practical terms are stipends and gift offerings for the parish or parish priest for his personal and official expenses for everything in running a parish. They have their own system of recording accounts. Because of poor accountability, oftentimes even the central diocese may not be able to keep track of where the peoples’ money goes. WE even read reports that in some other dioceses, arancels went for the purchases of personal luxuries of priests including SUV vehicles wherein some were made to appear as donations.

But make no mistake, these arancels are allowed by the Canon law. This is because the priests before, did not have an official amount for salary and so the arancels are to ensure their survival and that of his parish where he is assigned.This practice is prone to abuse and sometimes a deterrent for more donations due to lack of transparency.

Most Christians call it tithes. The amount is now to be given, in accordance to the conscience of the giver, accompanied with the Biblical admonition to “give cheerfully and the more one gives, the more one also receives.”

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