Caritas calls for more aid to typhoon-hit Batanes

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Basco, Batanes after the typhoon. (Photo: Br. Ciriaco Santiago III, CSsR)

MANILA, Oct. 5, 2016— Caritas Philippines has called for increased support for victims of the recent typhoon that hit Batanes, located in the northernmost tip of the country.

Archbishop Rolando Tirona, Caritas national director, said weeks after the devastation, many people on the island are still in need of sufficient supply of food, shelter, water, and other basic needs.

The prelate said Batanes has been known to be among the most resilient provinces in the country.Through the years, he said, they were able to adapt to the challenges and diverse effects of typhoons that frequent the province.

Solidarity appeal launched

“It is only now that they have cried out for help,” stressed Tirona.

Caritas Philippines has recently launched a solidarity appeal to all the country’s dioceses to help the families affected by Typhoon Ferdie.

In a letter sent to all the bishops, the archbishop cited the need for assistance in Batanes as expressed by Prelature of Batanes Bishop Camilo Gregorio.

Gregorio also appealed for the rehabilitation of at least two schools and five churches which were heavily damaged by the typhoon.

2,000 houses damaged

Latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 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 Sept.14 with wind strength comparable to that of Super Typhoon Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons recorded to hit the Philippines.

Three days after, the province was hit by Typhoon Gener as Tropical Cyclone Helen traversed the province in the same period.

Donations welcomed

Donations may be sent to the Caritas Philippines’ account at the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI): CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation, Inc. with account number 4951-0071- 08.

Br. Ciriaco Santiago III, head of the Redemptorist congregation’s Commission on Social Mission Apostolate, said many people of Batanes continue to show remarkable resilience.

Santiago visited the province recently and noted the “positive” actions made by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in helping the affected families, particularly in the islands of Batan and Sabtang.

But the missionary said the situation in Itbayat island remains extremely difficult because strong waves prevent aid from reaching the area. (CBCPNews) 

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