Island in distress: Batanes faces food, diesel shortageBy Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A Catholic prelate in Batanes on Friday sought the help of the government and the social arm of the Church amid shortage of food supply and diesel on the island.
Over Church-run Radio Veritas, Bishop Camilo Gregorio of the Prelature of Batanes said the island was experiencing shortages particularly in rice, sugar and diesel due to the back-to-back storms that have hit the country, especially the island province.
“The cargo ships that are supposed to deliver these goods are having a hard time reaching the island because of the strong waves brought about by the bad weather that’s why the people here are experiencing some inconvenience,” said Gregorio on Friday.
He appealed to the government and the social centers of the Catholic Church for some help to alleviate the scarcity of some basic needs of the people in Batanes, located on the northern tip of the Philippines.
In July, Tropical Depression “Ferdie” struck northern Luzon, rendering the waters unsafe for ships to sail. The following month, Typhoons “Igme” and “Julian” also affected Batanes Group of Islands. Just a few days ago, a shallow low pressure area was monitored brewing off the island province.
In response to the bishop’s plea, Caritas Manila, the social arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, on Friday said it was providing help to Batanes.
Fr. Anton Pascual, Caritas Manila executive director, said they would immediately coordinate with Gregorio so that it could promptly send aid to island province.