By Leslie Ann Aquino
The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has appealed to prelates to show solidarity to the Dioceses of Borongan and Catarman in Samar by providing aid to those affected by Typhoon “Ambo.”
“In this great time of need, we urge you to show solidarity to the Dioceses of Borongan and Catarman by giving your donations directly to them,” Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, chairman of the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action Justice & Peace, said in a statement.
“We are hoping that you will positively respond to this appeal, while steadfastly praying that all will be well,” he added.
Bagaforo revealed that they only have at least P900,000 from their Alay Kapwa Solidarity Fund, P500,000 of which was allotted to the dioceses mentioned.
“We will not have enough if another disaster or emergency will happen during the next months,” he said.
The Alay Kapwa Solidarity Fund has been NASSA’s primary source of local emergency response fund.
“Since 2004, we have been using our AK Fund especially for small-scale emergencies, and the advocacy campaigns of the National Social Action General Assembly,” said Bagaforo.
“However, of the 85 dioceses, our Annual Report recorded only a fraction that has been religiously providing support to the national campaign,” he added.
The Kidapawan prelate said the lockdown because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic also has been a great challenge to them.
“Since we have no Lenten Campaign this year because of the lockdown, and there is no donation coming from our partner schools, our AK Solidarity Fund currently amounts to at least P900,000 only,” Bagaforo said.
The prelate then asked his fellow bishops to support the Alay Kapwa program.
“We enjoin you to collectively support our Alay Kapwa Program both at the diocesan and national levels. We need this solidarity mechanism to be able to appropriately and timely respond to the emergency needs of our communities, where the most vulnerable and marginalized families continue to be the most affected,” said Bagaforo.
Typhoon “Ambo” which made landfall in the province of Eastern Samar, displaced more than 300,000 individuals.–