MANILA, Oct. 29, 2014—A few weeks ahead of the first anniversary of the disaster, the Church’s social service arm announced that as many as 1,600 houses have already been built out of the targeted 3,000+ houses in the nine ecclesiastical sees severely affected by typhoon Yolanda.
“We are targeting more than 3,000 this year. So far, we have accomplished more than half of the project. It was difficult at first, but once you have your system in place the task becomes lighter,” Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines- National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice, and Peace (CBCP – NASSA) said.
According to him, a number of families have already moved into their newly-built permanent shelters.
The priest shared that many additional housing units are still under construction.
In his recent interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas, Gariguez pointed out that NASSA intends to complete the rest of the houses before the year ends.
The priest stressed their projects in the area prove that the Church continues to respond to the needs of those rendered helpless by the calamity.
“I find it funny there are people who keep on telling the Church is not doing anything [for Yolanda survivors]. That’s just wrong. The results speak for themselves,” he explained.
“These are permanent shelters, not transitional ones that are easy to build,” he added.
Gariguez revealed that many Yolanda survivors have yet to receive concrete assistance from the government.
The priest also called on the government to make public the number of houses it was able to build for the homeless survivors, as well as the number of people it helped.
The whole country, especially the places struck hardest, is set to mark the first anniversary of Yolanda on Nov. 8, Saturday.
Super typhoon Yolanda was allegedly the strongest typhoon to ever hit land. (Raymond A. Sebastián)