Caritas Philippines is appealing to the dioceses to heed a solidarity appeal it has set up to provide financial aid for the earthquake victims in Batanes.
The Church’s humanitarian agency has released an initial P200,000 to aid the Batanes prelature’s relief efforts.
Since Caritas is also bracing for more possible storms to occur this year, “we need to use the fund judiciously,” said Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, Caritas national director.
“This is the reason why we are issuing this solidarity appeal to all the dioceses,” said Archbishop Tirona. “Let us help the Prelature of Batanes assist the affected families, and rebuild the church structures.”
Donations may be deposited to Caritas Philippines’ bank accounts at Bank of the Philippine Islands (Intramuros, Manila branch).
The government and humanitarian groups are ramping up efforts to get aid into Itbayat, the worst-hit town of the twin tremors that hit the country’s northernmost province on Saturday. “And we in the church will try to complement the humanitarian response,” Archbishop Tirona said.
The toll from the series of tremors that struck the islands in the country’s northernmost province soared to nine confirmed dead on Monday.
The quakes also toppled houses and historic building, displacing nearly 3,000 people or 911 families, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Bishop Danilo Ulep of Batanes has expressed solidarity with those affected by the earthquakes, and said he is praying for those who have lost their lives, as well as the scores injured.
“We continue to ask for your prayers especially for those who have been directly affected by this tragedy,” Bishop Ulep said.