Church mobilizes resources for flood relief

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Filipinos affected by floods line up to receive relief goods in Las Piñas City on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. Tropical Storm Trami wreaked havoc in the country, causing eight deaths. Several Catholic bishops and churches have started sending relief assistance to the thousands of affected families, according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. AP PHOTO/AARON FAVILA

MANILA, Philippines—Several Catholic bishops and churches have started sending relief assistance to the thousands of families affected by the massive flooding and monsoon rains, according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

In its website, the CBCP yesterday said Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos and his staff at the Social Action Center have distributed canned goods and medicines to the flood victims in Bataan, which on Tuesday was placed under a state of calamity.

In Cavite, Imus Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista and the diocese’s Social Action Center also distributed relief goods to 11 coastal parishes affected by a storm surge. The prelate also personally helped his staff in conducting a survey of the flood-affected areas on Wednesday.

Pilar Laurente, a staffmember of the Imus Social Action Center, said they assisted 400 families in Aniban, Bacoor; 200 families in Noveleta; 200 in Julugan, Tanza; 200 in Tanza town proper; 200 in Salinas, Bacoor; 125 in the Bacoor town proper; 100 in Binakayan; and 30 families in Cavite City.

The Diocese of Imus has already released P200,000 from its disaster fund for relief assistance.

Laurente said the center expected more relief goods to be sent over on Thursday by Caritas Manila, the social arm of the Archdiocese of Manila.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Wednesday thanked the people who responded to his call for help for the thousands of families who lost their homes, properties and livelihood.

He said Caritas Manila has so far distributed 4,927 relief packages to flood-affected households.

“But there are still requests for help that we have yet to address, and that entails around 14,926 more relief packs,” he said.

Tagle asked for donations of rice, canned goods, biscuits, blankets, clothes, underwear, bottled water, toiletries and medicines for cough, fever and stomachache.

Continuous effort

The cardinal said the Church and the government must continue to work to address the needs of the more than 30,000 families staying in various evacuation centers.

The Quiapo Church, or the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, announced Wednesday that it was sending P2 million worth of relief goods to the Diocese of Imus to augment its assistance to the flood victims.

Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, the church rector, said the church will also be helping the families affected by the floods in Metro Manila and Laguna, with Caritas Manila.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe National Shrine in Makati will serve as drop-off point of relief goods from Makati and those who want to send help may coordinate with Caritas Manila,” said Ignacio.

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