MANILA, Oct. 23, 2015 – Knowing all too well their present plight of the victims of Typhoon “Lando” (Koppu), survivors of Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) from Palo, Leyte are at the forefront of the Church’s ongoing relief operations.
According to Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, “the spirit of Alay Kapwa is truly alive during these trying times.”
“We really appreciate how dioceses previously affected by Typhoon Yolanda immediately flew here to immediately respond to the needs of the people in Northern Luzon,” he said.
Gariguez said the staff of the Archdiocese of Palo’s Relief and Rehabilitation Unit (Caritas Palo) volunteered to take part in the rapid needs assessment in provinces worst-hit by “Lando” like Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan.
The priest added that this is not the first case of Yolanda survivors helping those affected by similar natural disasters.
In 2014, Gariguez recalled they were also among the first to send relief aid to nearby Samar during the onslaught of Typhoon Ruby.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines earlier launched an emergency appeal to the Caritas Internationalis confederation to provide Php 13.21-million worth of relief aid to 25,000 people in 15 provinces affected by Lando: Aurora,Quezon, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Qurino, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Rizal, Cavite, Batanes, La Union, and Abra.
Moreover, the Church’s social action arm set up a ‘Lando’ Monitoring Center on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) compound in Intramuros, Manila.
With its 165 member-countries, Caritas Internationalis is currently headed by Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio Cardinal Tagle. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)