CBCP head seeks help for underserved quake-hit areas

CBCP head seeks help for underserved quake-hit areas

Earthquake victims rest in their makeshift tent in Brgy. Kisante, Makilala, North Cotabato, Nov. 4, 2019. PHOTO FROM THE DIOCESE OF KIDAPAWAN

By Roy Lagarde

November 7, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called attention to the plight of earthquake victims “who are less served”.

Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, CBCP President, said that focus must also be turned to thousands of victims who are not in big evacuation centers.

He said that many families were camped in makeshift shelters near their damaged homes “who received very little attention”.

“They are less served because they are not in the very visible big evacuation centers,” Valles said.

The CBCP head made the appeal after visiting the earthquake victims in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur on Monday.

He said church relief efforts will need more support as they also turn their attention in reaching out to underserved victims.

“Please continue helping the suffering earthquake-stricken people in the dioceses of Digos and Kidapawan. Their suffering still continues,” Valles said.

“They need food, water and better tents, and possibly medical attention,” he added.

On Wednesday, Valles discussed with other bishops under the Metropolitan Province of Davao on how to further help the affected dioceses.

“Please let us continue to pray for these suffering people,” Valles added.

“Let us also pray for ourselves that we will never get tired of extending our love and care for the people in the Diocese of Digos and Diocese of Kidapawan,” he said.

The series of devastating earthquakes that rocked parts of Mindanao last month has left at least 22 people dead in its wake and hurt hundreds of others.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said more than 180,000 people are affected due to the tremor with many families requiring humanitarian assistance. Of these, 4,800 families or 24,000 people took refuge in 34 evacuation centers.

Nearly 30,000 infrastructures were also reported damaged including houses, schools, churches, health facilities, commercial establishments, roads and bridges.