TOFIL Laureates Unite: Climate Smart SVD’s Convergence of Peace, Resiliency, and Sustainability

In the heart of the Philippines, two remarkable The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Laureates, Fr. Benigno Beltran, SVD, and Sci. Dpl. Glenn Banaguas, have forged a partnership that epitomizes the harmonious blend of faith and science. This partnership blossomed within the sacred halls of the Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City. Their collaborative initiative, “Climate Smart SVD: Convergence of Peace, Resiliency, and Sustainability,” is a testament to their shared vision of a world where ecological stewardship is integral to spiritual practice and scientific endeavor.

The partnership between Fr. Beltran and Sci. Dpl. Banaguas began with a shared concern for the environment and the well-being of future generations. Their initiative, “Climate Smart SVD,” aims to integrate scientific knowledge with spiritual values to create resilient communities that can withstand the challenges posed by climate change. This program highlights the significance of peace, resiliency, and sustainability to address societal concerns.

Peace is not merely the absence of conflict but the presence of justice and the flourishing of creation. Fr. Beltran’s theological perspective emphasizes the intrinsic value of all life forms and the moral imperative to protect them. This ethos resonates with Sci. Dpl. Banaguas’ advocacy for science-based policy solutions that prioritize human dignity and ecological balance.

Resiliency is at the core of “Climate Smart SVD.” The initiative seeks to empower communities to adapt to climate variability and recover from environmental shocks. Fr. Beltran’s grassroots approach to community organizing complements Sci. Dpl. Banaguas’ expertise in environmental and energy management systems, creating a holistic strategy for sustainable development.

Sustainability is the long-term goal of “Climate Smart SVD.” The collaboration between Fr. Beltran and Sci. Dpl. Banaguas underscores the importance of sustainable practices that meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own. Through education, advocacy, and action, they aim to instill a culture of sustainability that transcends religious and scientific boundaries.

Fr. Benigno Beltran, SVD expressed his gratitude: “Amidst the chaos of existence, we find our purpose in connection. Sci. Dpl. Glenn Banaguas, you are a beacon—a constellation of kindness and compassion. Together, we navigate the vast expanse of uncertainty, stitching hope into the fabric of time. Our hands, weathered by storms, reach across divides, bridging hearts. For every seed we plant of love ripples outward, touching lives we may never know. And as the sun sets on our shared endeavors, may it cast shadows that dance with legacy.”

Sci. Dpl. Glenn Banaguas said: “Celebrating the fusion of intellect and compassion, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Fr. Ben Beltran, SVD. Our partnership, a symphony of science and service, resonates with purpose. Together, we compose a score of resilience, harmony, and hope—a testament to the transformative power of collaboration. Fr. Ben Beltran, you are the compass that steers our ship through tempests of doubt. Your wisdom, a lighthouse on rocky shores, illuminates our path. And as we sail toward horizons unknown, we carry the torch of service, passing it from hand to hand, generation to generation.”

“Our partnership is more than ink on paper; it is the ink of legacy, the quill of impact. We are not just collaborators; we are custodians of a shared dream—a world where science dances with compassion, where equations yield solutions, and where the rhythm of progress echoes in the hearts of those we serve,” Banaguas added.

The “Climate Smart SVD” initiative has already made significant strides in promoting environmental consciousness within the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) and beyond. It has sparked dialogues on ecological issues, inspired community-led conservation projects, and influenced policy-making at various levels.


The partnership of Fr. Beltran and Sci. Dpl. Banaguas serves as a beacon of hope in a world grappling with environmental crises. Their work reminds us that when faith and science converge towards a common good, the potential for positive change is boundless. “Climate Smart SVD” is not just a program; it’s a movement towards a future where peace, resiliency, and sustainability are the cornerstones of our collective journey on this planet.

Fr. Benigno P. Beltran, SVD, a Filipino Catholic priest, educator, author, and social activist, has dedicated his life to uplifting marginalized communities through education and environmental advocacy. Ordained in 1973, he worked with scavengers in Manila’s Smokey Mountain garbage dump from 1978 to 2008. Beyond traditional ministry, he engaged in community organizing to mitigate climate change effects. His commitment extends to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Fr. Beltran holds a Doctorate in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome (1985) and served as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is an honoree of The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award.

Sci. Dpl. Glenn Banaguas, a world-renowned science diplomat, has been bestowed with the prestigious UN Sasakawa Awards for his contributions to Disaster Risk Reduction. His esteemed fellowships extend to the United Kingdom’s The Royal Society of Arts and Switzerland’s Geneva Centre for Security Policy, reflecting his global influence. He has demonstrated exemplary leadership in chairing the United States-ASEAN Science and Technology Fellows and the ASEAN Science Diplomats. In his role as a climate diplomat for the European Union-Asia Expert Panel for Climate Diplomacy and Environmental Security, he has made significant strides in addressing environmental challenges. His commendations include the Asia Leaders award for Sustainability Leadership, the Lee Kuan Yew senior fellowship in Public Service, The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Laureate for Environment Conservation and Science Diplomacy, and a distinguished position among the Top 100 Asian Scientists in Sustainability.