December 22, 2015
The Catholic Church through its social action arm, NASSA/Caritas Philippines, has launched a Solidarity Appeal to the 61 dioceses nationwide to raise funds for those affected by the recent Typhoon Nona (Melor).
In a Solidarity Appeal sent to 61 bishops and archbishops nationwide, NASSA/Caritas Philippines National Director Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona said that the church has already started using its local emergency fund “Alay Kapwa” to assist calamity-hit dioceses. But he said that these funds may not be enough considering the scale of the damage.
“It is for this reason that we appeal for your support in terms of fund assistance to the dioceses affected by Typhoon Nona,” Archbishop Tirona explained.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines initially released P1.75 million cash assistance from its local funds to support the relief operations and rapid needs assessments in at least five dioceses in the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Northern Samar, Sorsogon, Masbate and Romblon.
“With Christmas just five days away, a suffering of this kind affecting at least 180,889 Filipino families is unbearable. Surely, the Philippine Catholic Church can do more to serve the poor and the needy,” Tirona added.
Among those who were first to respond to the Solidarity Appeal are Caritas Manila and the Archdiocese of Capiz, which gave P1.9 million and P100,000, respectively, and the Archdiocese of Palo Relief and Rehabilitation Unit (Caritas Palo), which distributed 1,100 food packs to Northern Samar.
The Diocese of Calbayog and the Christ the King Parish in Calbayog City also provided shelter kits and food packs to Northern Samar.
Earlier, Caritas Manila also provided shelter assistance, food packs and tarpaulins to the affected-dioceses, while Quiapo Church provided 500 food packs to Romblon.
Jesuit Institutions through Ateneo de Naga University, will be sending as well shelter kits to Sorsogon.
At least two Internationalis Member Organizations also provided support to “Nona”- hit areas namely the Catholic Relief Services (Caritas USA), which provided shelter and tool kits to Northern Samar, and Caritas Luxembourg, which pledged Euros 7,000 (P350,000).
NASSA/Caritas Philippines earlier activated a ‘Nona’ Monitoring Center at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Office in Intramuros, Manila.
Donations to Typhoon Nona victims can be deposited to:
Bank: Bank of the Philippine Islands
Account Name: CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation, Inc. NASSA
Account Number: 4951-0071-08
The church’s local emergency funds called “Alay Kapwa” is the Lenten evangelization and fundraising program of the Church to raise consciousness and funds for calamities and major social concerns.
Through these local funds and support from Caritas Internationalis, NASSA/Caritas was able to implement various relief and rehabilitation programs to typhoon victims in the Philippines, with the ‘Yolanda’ rehabilitation program as the largest rehabilitation program it has implemented so far.
It can be recalled that President Benigno Aquino III recently declared a State of National Calamity in the wake of the devastation of Typhoon Nona.
JING REY HENDERSON
(0905) 546-9977 / 527-4163