December 5, 2014
The Catholic Church through its social action arm, NASSA/Caritas Philippines, has started its pre-disaster preparedness measures for the possible onslaught of Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) in the country.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines has initially released P2-million from the local church’s emergency funds “Alay Kapwa” and other local and non-Caritas Internationalis funds for the purchase of relief goods, which were now pre-positioned in possible typhoon-hit areas.
The Alay Kapwa is the Lenten evangelization and fundraising program of the Church to raise consciousness and funds for calamities and major social concerns.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has identified at least 33 provinces across seven regions which may be affected by Typhoon Ruby. These included the provinces of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Iloilo, Cebu, and Aklan which were previously devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November last year.
According to the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the number of affected families is placed at 5.36 million families or a total of 50.67 million individuals.
“Considering the vast area to be affected, local funds may not suffice. We are, therefore, expecting bigger needs in the coming days as the typhoon has not yet made landfall,” NASSA/Caritas Philippines Humanitarian Unit Head Josephine Ignacio stressed.
The provinces through its Diocesan Social Action Centers (DSACs) from the 14 provinces have already started to implement its contingency plans since Wednesday which included close coordination meetings with all government and non-government organizations.
Among the preparations made are the prepositioning of relief goods and emergency kits, and the deployment of volunteers to affected communities. Camp management committees were also set up in the different provinces to continuously monitor and assess the situation in their respective areas.
Aside from this, community organizers and other DSAC staff also assisted in the information dissemination and the evacuation of families to safer grounds.
“As early as now, we are initiating a Solidarity Appeal to all 85 dioceses nationwide to raise funds in support to the provinces affected by Typhoon Ruby. We are also not discounting the possible launch of another Caritas Internationalis Confederation Appeal in case a full swing emergency response is required,” Ignacio explained.
It can be recalled that NASSA/Caritas Philippines previously launched Emergency Appeals 23 and 12 to support the emergency relief efforts, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the areas severely hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda. These emergency appeals were also the fastest responded to by 41 Caritas Internationalis members worldwide with budgets amounting to EUR 5.6 million for the relief phase and EUR 9.7 million for the rehabilitation phase.
Jing Rey Henderson
Senior Communications Officer
(0905) 546-9977 / 525-1924