MANILA, May 28, 2014— With eight months to go before the planned papal visit to the Philippines, a Catholic bishop said the government must double its efforts to rebuild areas devastated by typhoon ‘Yolanda’.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo it would be a shame to the international community if the Aquino administration’s rehabilitation work would remain slow.
“First of all, the government must strive to hasten the rehabilitation because if the visit of the Holy Father pushes through, the Philippines will be the focus of the international community,” Pabillo said.
“It should be shown to the world that we did something and so it will not turn disgraceful,” he said.
Pabillo chairs the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
According to him, the Aquino administration will be put in a bad light if the pontiff and the international community would see that many survivors are still living in bad conditions.
The bishop said thousands of survivors are still in dire need of decent, clean, and safe places to rest and recover from the havoc caused by ‘Yolanda’.
Nearly seven months after the typhoon, many families are still living in their dilapidated houses and makeshift shanties that are made of patches of corrugated iron sheets, plywood and tents.
“I think his (pope) plan of visiting here is to check the condition of the typhoon ‘Yolanda’ victims so the rehabilitation works would be hastened,” Pabillo said.
On Tuesday, reports came out quoting Pope Francis as saying he will visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka in January 2015. (CBCPNews)