October 21, 2015
The Catholic Church through its social action arm, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines will be allocating P13.21-million to areas hit by Typhoon Lando (Koppu).
In an emergency appeal launched to the Caritas Internationalis confederation, NASSA/Caritas Philippines is planning to help 25,000 people through the provision of ready-to-eat food, water, hygiene kits, emergency shelter, and other non-food items such as blankets, sleeping mats and mosquito nets.
“We are aiming to help the most vulnerable people such as the elderly, disabled, single parents and those who are ill from the worst-hit and hard-to-reach areas. We are very thankful to our Caritas networks around the globe for its immediate response to our appeal,” NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez.
Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands) and the Catholic Relief Services (Caritas USA) have already pledged P2.12-million and P2.32-million, respectively.
The emergency programme will initially cover 15 provinces being assisted by 16 dioceses in in Central and Southern Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, CAR, Ilocos and Calabarzon. These are the provinces of: Aurora, Quezon, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Qurino, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Rizal, Cavite, Batanes, La Union, and Abra.
“We are still waiting for more data from our assessment teams on the ground. These areas may still change depending on the needs of the affected dioceses,” Gariguez added.
So far, data gathered by NASSA/Caritas Philippines from its diocesan social action networks, showed that among those badly needing assistance now are Aurora, Quirino, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, La Union, and Cagayan.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines already sent its monitoring teams to these areas to make ground assessments and ensure that the needs of the affected people are met. A ‘Lando’ Monitoring Center was also established at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines office in Intramuros, Manila.
At least 20 people were dead, while 300,000 people were affected by typhoon Lando, since it entered the country last week and devastated parts of Northern Luzon.
As of this morning, ‘Lando’ was already downgraded to a tropical depression, but the heavy winds and persistent rains have led to severe flooding, landslides, damaged homes, fallen trees and blocked roads.
‘Lando’ came two years after the devastation Supertyphoon Yolanda, the most powerful storm recorded, which killed 6,000 people. Since then, NASSA/Caritas Philippines has been rolling out various relief and rehabilitation programs to typhoon victims through the support of the Caritas Internationalis network.
The global Caritas Internationalis with 165 member countries worldwide is currently being headed by its first Asian President Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
JING REY HENDERSON
(0905) 546-9977 / 527-4163