Church continues to bring aid to ‘Odette’ survivors
From left, Coca Cola Philippines Foundation president Cecilia Alcantara, Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Tony Labiao, Kabankalan Bishop Louie Galbines, Kabankalan diocese’s Vicar General Msgr. Rolando Nueva lead the distribution of shelter repair kits to typhoon Odette victims in Kabankalan City on March 23, 2022. PHOT BY NIKKO BALBEDINA
By Nikko Balbedina
March 24, 2022
The Catholic Church’s social action arm has been stepping up its assistance for people affected by last December’s powerful typhoon.
Caritas Philippines returned to Negros Occidental province on Wednesday to provide shelter kits to more families, whose houses were damaged by typhoon “Odette”.
In partnership with Coca-Cola Foundation, the Caritas Philippines has since provided aid to more than 28,000 families in the Kabankalan diocese.
The shelter kits consist of six metal roofing sheets, three plywood sheets, two kilos of umbrella nails, two kilos of common nails and a solar powered lamp and radio.
Cecilia Alcantara, Coca Cola Philippines Foundation president, said partnerships between business and the Church are important because “private institutions may have the resources to share and the Church knows where it should go”.
“Because we have trust in the institution, we know that the help that we will give will be used right and correctly,” Alcantara said.
“That trust is what has pushed us to do the partnership even if we didn’t know each other face-to-face given the pandemic situation,” she added.
Bishop Louie Galbines of Kabankalan said that around 30,000 individuals have received help through the Church’s cooperation with local government units and other private groups.
The bishop also called for help to rehabilitate the livelihood of many farmers in the form of fertilizers and farm equipment.
“It should be done in a systematic way,” Galbines said, “not just giving them a dole out, it should have a follow-up and a strategic planning.”
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