Church to intensify disaster response

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Fr. Edwin Gariguez talks about climate change, disaster response and 'Laudato Si' during the 1st National Caritas Humanitarian Response Summit in Legazpi City, Albay, May 30, 2016. (Photo: Sky Ortigas)

LEGAZPI City, Albay, May 30, 2016— With the Church at the forefront in disaster relief and reconstruction, several dioceses have come together in Legazpi City on Monday to better prepare for these types of emergencies.

Organized by Caritas Philippines, the topics that will be discussed in first National Humanitarian Response Summit will focus on “linking Church structures and mechanisms” to disaster response.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Caritas Philippines executive secretary, said there is a need for more mechanisms for collaboration for emergency response in the Church network.

“The summit is being held to be able to share good experiences of the different diocese on how they respond to disasters,” he said.

“We also have a National Contingency Plan and we are sharing it so that we could be more efficient in our disaster preparedness and response using these tools,” explained Gariguez.

Welcoming the participants, Bishop Joel Baylon of the Legazpi diocese, which is situated in the typhoon-prone Bicol region, shared his experiences in disaster response.

“One significant that we learned is to be sensitive about preparedness. We learned to rely on ourselves, on the finances that we have as a local church, something very little,” Baylon said.

“Every little thing that we have is God’s gift, something to be treasured and something to be shared,” he added.

State weather bureau PAGASA declared last week the start of the rainy season and warned of fewer but stronger typhoons this year due to warmer temperatures and climate change. (CBCPNews)

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