TAGBILARAN City, Oct. 17, 2014—With many infrastructures still down a year after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, a Catholic priest laments Bohol has yet to undergo serious rehabilitation works.
Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Caritas Manila executive director, who was in the Visayan island-province Wednesday, Oct.15 to express solidarity with survivors of the earthquake, confirmed over Church-run Radyo Veritas that there is still much to be done there.
“It is sad most of what I have seen in terms of structures is temporary,” he said.
While minor repairs are ongoing, especially in St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral, Pascual noted the heritage churches of which Bohol takes so much pride in are still in pieces, because of the many requirements needed before reconstruction could proceed.
According to him, Church and State should work hand-in-hand in restoring and preserving these national cultural treasures.
Many of them date to as far back as the 16th century and have always been centers of pilgrimage, the priest stressed.
Besides taking part in the province-wide commemoration of the disaster and the over 200 lives it claimed, Pascual shared his visit also had to do with checking on the livelihood programs and projects Caritas Manila had put in place for Boholanos like the scholarship it had given to 100 students, mostly from the town of Talibon.
“Caritas Manila is working closely with CBCP-NASSA [Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action], Ateneo [de Manila University], and Quiapo Church to provide those affected by the earthquake the means of earning a living such as boats and fishing equipments, water pumps, and agricultural implements,” Pascual said.
The magnitude 7.2 tremor struck Central Visayas in the morning of Oct.15, 2013.
Bohol took the brunt of the disaster which left 200 dead.
It is estimated that some P2.5 billion-worth of infrastructure have either been damaged or been destroyed. (Raymond A. Sebastián)