MANILA — The Catholic Church is providing appropriate assistance to thousands of families that are affected by flooding caused by monsoon rains, which battered Metro Manila and nearby provinces over the weekend.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the NASSA/Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said that all local Caritas organizations in the dioceses affected by the recent flooding have been providing the appropriate assistance, especially to families in evacuation centers.
“Specifically, Caritas Manila, Antipolo, and Pasig have been providing food relief to at least 1,500 families since August 11, 2018, through the Alay Kapwa fund,” Gariguez said in a statement Monday.
“We also urge the public to follow safety and security procedures as advised by line government agencies, and share relevant information for faster and accurate response to NASSA/Caritas Philippines,” he added.
Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Caritas Manila executive director, expressed their readiness to help the dioceses that need assistance by providing them relief goods, such as food, water, medicines, clothing, emergency first aid and hygiene kits.
“May mga nakahandang mga relief goods, pagkain, tubig, gamot, damit, mga thermos at iba pang mga emergency relief, tulad ng hygieneat mga first aid po (We have pre-positioned relief goods, food, water, medicines, clothes, thermos and other emergency relief items, such as hygiene and first aid kits),” Pascual said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
“Kaya sa mga kapanalig pong nakikinig, kung meron po kayong alam na mga matitindi ang baha at meron tayong mga kababayan na nalubugan syempre unahin natin ang local government pero ipagbigay alam din sa Radyo Veritas sapagkat meron po tayo dito na Damayan Program sa Caritas sa Veritas (For those who are listening, if you know of places where there are people hit by floods, of course the local government is on top of this, but let’s report it to Radio Veritas because we have a Damayan Program on Caritas in Veritas),” he said.
Pascual noted that helping those in need and being one with those who are suffering due to calamities and tragedies is part of being a Christian.
“Napakahalaga niyan sapagkat ang Simbahan po natin ay Church of the Poor (This is very important because the Church is the Church of the Poor),” he said, citing Matthew 25, which states that “What you do to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
“Kaya’t bilang tunay na mga Kristyano at mga kapanalig, ang problema ng kapwa ay problema din natin, ang sakit ng kapwa ay sakit din natin at ang mabibigat na trahedya ng ating mga kapatid ay dapat trahedya din natin kaya meron nga po tayong Good Samaritan Program sa Radyo Veritas araw-araw upang tugunan ang ating mga kababayan (As true Christians, our fellowmen’s problem is also or problem. Their misery is our misery and their tragedy must also be our tragedy. This is why we have a Good Samaritan Program on Radio Veritas every day to attend to the needs of our brethren),” Pascual explained.
On Sunday, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged parishes to open their gates and accommodate those affected by the heavy rains.
He said the masses and prayers are to implore the Lord to look after those affected by the severe weather.
“Inaanyayahan po ang lahat na patuloy na manalangin para po sa ating mga kapatid na napipinsala at lumapit po sa parokya o kaya po sa mga Diocesan Caritas at Social action Centers kung kayo po ay nangangailangan ng tulong (We call on everybody to continue praying for our brethren who were affected. They may also coordinate with the parishes or the Diocesan Caritas and Social Action Centers if they are in need of help),” Tagle said in a separate radio interview.
“At para po naman sa mga handang tumulong at tayo po ay tinatawagan na sa iba’t ibang pamamaraan ay maging handa na tumulong ay maki-contact po sa parokya, sa barangay, sa Caritas at sa iba’t ibang Social Action Centers (Those who are willing to help may coordinate with the concerned parish, community, Caritas and various Social Action Centers),” he added. PNA-northboundasia.com