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Church sends aid to typhoon victims

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Gloria Barutag, 33, holds her five month old son John Calix Barutag, a day after tropical cyclone Bopha wrecked their seaside home in Talisay, Boljoon Cebu, central Philippines, December 05, 2012. (Victor Kintanar)

MANILA, Dec. 6, 2012— This year’s strongest typhoon to hit the country has united different Catholic dioceses as they endeavor to aid the cyclone’s victims.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said they already have mobilized the social action centers in the country’s 86 dioceses.

“Our hearts bleed for the victims of the typhoon so we mobilized the social action centers to reach out (affected) parishes,” Palma said. “Our charity should reach out to those who are in need.”

“The usual process (is) we can course it through our social action centers and to the CBCP or directly give it to the individual provinces through the bishops there.

Caritas Manila is also preparing food parcels and other basic needs for people displaced by typhoon “Pablo”, which struck at least 13 provinces last Tuesday with speeds topping 120-mph.

On Thursday, the death toll from the typhoon rose further to over 300, with hundreds reportedly missing.

The typhoon also affected more than 200,000 people in different regions in Visayas and Mindanao and damaged an estimated P178 million worth of agriculture, infrastructure and private properties.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle has assured the victims that they will assist in the relief efforts as he pray for the lives lost and those displaced because of the natural disaster.

“Aside from prayers, we assure you that we will do everything to send you assistance,” Tagle said over Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas.

He said all the parishes led by the Caritas Manila, the archdiocese’s social action, have prepared to speed emergency aid to the affected communities.

Tagle said the archdiocese has already sent initial cash assistance to the dioceses severely affected by the typhoon.

Authorities said affected regions include Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Davao region, Caraga, and Northern Mindanao.

The provinces of Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Surigao were also declared under state of calamity.

Fr. Antonio Galela, social action director in the Diocese of Tandag, yesterday appealed for food, water, clothing and other basic necessities.

The social action directors in Surigao and Mati dioceses also made similar appeals. (RL/CBCPNews)

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