Manila archdiocese intensifies disaster preparedness

Manila archdiocese intensifies disaster preparedness
Nuns cover their heads to simulate a power earthquake during a drill at the Asilo de San Vicente de Paúl in Manila, July 30, 2015. RAYMOND A. SEBASTIAN

To strengthen disaster resiliency among its more than 80 parishes, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila is strengthening efforts at disaster preparedness.

Monsignor Clemente Ignacio, the archdiocese’s Vicar General, said the Church has a huge role to play in disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

“The Church has something to contribute because its people, social resource and its material, as well as spiritual resources. These are part of disaster response that can help the community,” Ignacio said.

Fr. Ricardo Valencia of Manila’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Ministry said that disaster planning is crucial for the Church in ensuring they can still operate after an earthquake or other serious disruption.

“We need to do this kind of activities to prepare ourselves because in time of disasters, victims and the whole community look to the Church for response and care,” he said.

It was in 2012 when the Quiapo Church, under Ignacio’s leadership, established a disaster management ministry, the first in Manila.

Since then, it served as the resource center of information not only within the archdiocese but also with other dioceses all over the country.

In March 2016, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle institutionalized a disaster contingency plan including the care for creation by establishing the Ministry on Environment and Disaster Response.

The body brought together Caritas Manila’s Damayan Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Management Program, Radio Veritas, and the Ministry on Ecology into one single ministry. CBCPNews