The Church must exert effort to reduce the gap between faith and practice in the area of social justice in order for everyone especially the poor to realize their temporal liberation and eternal salvation through the application of social teachings of the Church based as they are on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. (PCP II, Title V, Article #20)
Consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Social Doctrines, praxis of the faith and demands of the environment, the social action apostolate in the Local Church of Lipa began four decades ago. Since then, it gradually integrated itself into the mainstream of the social, political and religious life of the Archdiocese. It was never irresponsible during all those years, but reactionary was its characteristic. Almost always, it found itself too concerned with socio-political issues although uncompromising with Christian values and the church’s magisterium. The proclamation of Martial Law and the gradual maturity of the social involvement of the church in the Philippines became processes that gave birth to social action apostolate in different dioceses. In fact, this even strengthened the motivation to seek societal transformation.
The social action apostolate in the Archdiocese of Lipa passed through a lot of metamorphoses. For example, no full time staff for the apostolate. In fact, it was only the late Msgr. Orlando Balatibat taking full responsibility for the apostolate. Other concerns kept the social action apostolate occupied. The Justice and Peace Desk, the Relief and Rehabilitation Desk and the Bigasang Bayan projects connected themselves to the Alay Kapwa. Moreover, the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) entered the Archdiocese through its nutrition program.
The Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Center was officially registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a non-stock, non-profit organization on July 17, 1989, headed by the new Director, Rev. Fr. Timoteo Prado. Several programs and services were later on added to the apostolate. One of which is the San Nicolas Parish Center. It was affiliated with the Christian Children’s Fund (CCF).
The social action apostolate in the Archdiocese proves its relevance to a society that seeks change. With the presence of this particular apostolate of the church, a foretaste of the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God on earth is hastened. But the values of the Kingdom like solidarity, justice, mercy, compassion, peace, truth and love are being challenged even stronger vis-à-vis emerging trends in today’s Philippine society.
The first LASAC Manual of Operation was crafted on November 1994 and on July 12, 1996 LASAC SEC registration was amended to become Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Commission, Inc. Social action apostolate started the activation of Justice and Peace Desk to help awaken the minds of the poor and the oppressed of their rights and privileges as member of the Christian community. In partnership with different electoral organizations, another desk was formed, the Lipa Archdiocesan Council on Electoral Reforms (LACER).
Microfinance Project, Scholarship Program for Elementary and High School students, Medical and Dental Mission materialized under directorship of Rev. Fr. Ildefonso Dimaano from 1993-2000.
Soon after, Rev. Fr. Joseph Rodem C. Ramos, Director from 2000–2006, spearheaded the partnership with Canada International Development Assistance (CIDA), Mary Mother of the Poor Foundation, Kindernothilfe- Germany and Filipino Community in San Diego, California.
In 2006-2008, Greenhouse was established and inaugurated to promote sustainable agriculture in Lipa. Botikang Batangan branches opened in Balayan, Calaca, Nasugbu, San Jose, Kumintang, Lipa, Rosario, Sto. Tomas and San Nicolas. They were originally established by Pondong Batangan Community Foundation, Inc. (PBCFI) but the ownership was later turned over to LASAC during the stint of Rev. Fr. Edilberto Ramos Jr. He was reassigned as Commission Director from 2010-2012.
The establishment of Tubig Batangan Refilling Station (TBRS) happened during the time of Rev. Fr. Clarence M. Patag (Director) and Rev. Fr. Eusebio Bobot Hernandez III (Assistant Director).
Rev. Fr. Jayson T. Siapco was appointed LASAC Director on February 2012. Re-organizing the Commission was the first step in his directorship that led to more vibrant programs and services, increased number of full time employees, and living out the spirituality of Alay Kapwa. This is where the present LASAC thematic areas are derived. They are Sagot Kapwa, Sanay Kapwa and Sulong Kapwa.
In November 2013, the Commission sent contingent to Leyte called Mediatrix Humanitarian Mission in solidarity with the victims of ST Haiyan. The Archdiocese of Lipa, through the benevolent donors and other International Partner Agencies, built 150 house units and formed the Mary Mediatrix BEC Village (MMBECV) in Burauen, Leyte. It was aslo during this time that Rev. Fr. Carlito Argente, OSJ was appointed Assistant Director of LASAC until 2014.
In the year 2014, the Commission reached several milestones: the Silver Anniversary of LASAC as an institution and of Villa San Jose as community.
The administration and management of Lipa Archdiocesan Formation Center (LAFORCE) was given to LASAC to operate according to its purpose of existence: venue of formation for the faithful of Lipa. Sinsayan was built to answer the multi-faceted needs of the VSJ community during this time.
Establishing partnership among business firms was found to be another approach in transforming communities towards improved health conditions. Thus, Kaagapay sa Kalusugan Project was born from the initiatives of both LASAC and Belle Corp.
MaLASACkit Place was established as a concrete solution to the needs of the poor Batanguenos in the Year of the Poor. This is an in-kind donation scheme that collects used and unused items that still have value.
Rev. Fr. Renante I. Ilagan was appointed Assistant Director to help manage the growing demands of the Commission in alleviating, reducing, and eradicating poverty.