MANILA, Dec. 8, 2016 – The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines has started to roll out in eleven dioceses the European Union (EU)-supported program called Partnership for Building Capacities in Humanitarian Action (PEACH), which aims to strengthen the Catholic Church’s capacity in responding to disasters.
Among the issues discussed were the processes, mechanisms, and tools used in humanitarian response based on Caritas Internationalis’ emergency response framework and other international standards.
“This training is very timely as NASSA/Caritas Philippines is gearing towards the strengthening of the Catholic Church’s sub–regional hubs across the country,” explained NASSA/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez.
Diocesan social action workers of the dioceses from the provinces of Bohol, Quezon, Negros Occidental, Nueva Ecija, Oriental Mindoro, Sorsogon, Palawan, Nueva Ecija, Camarines Sur, Zambales, and Nueva Vizcaya participated in PEACH program’s recently held first regional training of trainers.
Prior to this, NASSA/Caritas Philippines also joined a similar training organized by Caritas Asia together with five other countries implementing the PEACH program, namely, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Nepal.
The program, which is in partnership with Caritas Austria, Caritas Romania, Caritas Czechoslovakia, and the regional office of Caritas Asia, will run until March 2018.
It aims to strengthen the technical skills and competence of church workers and volunteers in responding to emergencies and implementing disaster preparedness program.
The program also hopes to boost the organization’s capacity in the field of volunteer management and to integrate the Catholic Church in the Philippines’ lessons and best practices from its experiences in responding to previous disasters such as Super Typhoon Yolanda together with the EU’s humanitarian aid principles.
“This a step towards the localization and strengthening of coordination with other stakeholders in humanitarian response,” said Gariguez. (NASSA / Caritas Philippines / CBCPNews)