October 4, 2016
The Catholic Church through its social action arm the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines launched a solidarity appeal to all the 85 dioceses nationwide to help the families affected by the recent strong typhoons which hit Batanes.
In a letter sent to all the bishops, NASSA/Caritas Philippines National Director Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona cited the need for immediate assistance in Batanes as profoundly expressed by Prelature of Batanes Bishop Camilo D. Gregorio, DD.
“We have known Batanes to be among the most resilient provinces in the country. Through the years, they were able to adapt to the challenges and diverse effects especially of typhoons coming their way. It is only now that they have cried out for help,” Archbishop Tirona said.
Weeks after the devastation, Tirona said that people in Batanes are still in need of sufficient supply of food, shelter, water and other non-food items.
The bishop of Batanes also appealed for the rehabilitation of at least two schools and five churches which were heavily damaged by the typhoon.
Latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) showed that Super Typhoon Ferdie (Meranti) affected a total of 4,588 families and damaged more than 2,000 houses.
Ferdie made landfall in Batanes on September 14 with wind strength comparable to that of Typhoon Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons recorded to hit the Philippines. Three days after, the province was hit by Typhoon Gener (Malakas), while another Tropical Cyclone Helen (Megi) traversed the province in the same period.
To offer assistance to the Prelature of Batanes, donations can be deposited through the following bank account:
Bank: Bank of the Philippine Islands
Branch: Intramuros, Manila
Account Name: CBCP CARITAS FILIPINAS FOUNDATION, INC. NASSA
Account Number: 4951-0071-08
It can be recalled that NASSA/Caritas Philippines also launched a solidarity appeal for those affected by the previous typhoons such as Yolanda in 2013, Ruby in 2014, and Lando in 2015.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines is the humanitarian, development and advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) which currently implements the largest three-year rehabilitation program of the Catholic Church for the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.
April Ann Abello-Bulanadi