November 11, 2013

Some areas of the Philippines face ‘total ruin’

By |11 November 2013|

Caritas agencies are in the process of mobilizing resources to help in the most affected areas. Local Caritas and Church partners have been able to get food to some of the worst hit areas.

Philippines storm survivors in great need

By |10 November 2013|

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, speaking from Tegucigalpa, said, “Our prayers are with the people of Philippines.

September 25, 2013

Caritas aiding Philippine flood victims

By |25 September 2013|

Monsoon rains have caused deadly flooding in Manila in the Philippines and in other areas, affecting over a million people. The torrential down pour has cause widespread damage to homes and infrastructure.

December 18, 2012

Meeting basic needs in Philippines after super tyhpoon

By |18 December 2012|

When Typhoon Bopha swept through Mindanao in the Philippines on 3 December, hundreds of thousands of people found themselves without shelter that night.

Typhoon Bopha leaves trail of destruction in Philippines

By |10 December 2012|

By Jen Hardy, CRS Communications Officer Lush trees dominate the landscape in the tropical Philippines. But in this mountainous section of Mindanao, brown, barren landscape now stretches into the distance. The trees that stayed standing were stripped bare on 3 December, as Typhoon Bopha devastated areas of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. In many areas, every tree, stretching to the mountains in the distance, lies snapped on the ground. Massive banana plantations have been flattened, leaving only traces of homes and other structures. Bananas sit rotting in the mud, and plantation labourers worry that with no bananas to harvest they’ve lost their incomes just as they’re grappling with so much other loss. Fele Ondocan is thankful that her home in Andap barangay is only damaged, not totally destroyed. “The roof and part of the frame blew away, but we found it nearby. We’re relieved, because we can’t afford to buy new materials,” she said. [...]
  • CRS (Caritas member in the USA) staffer Howard Bacayana stands in about a foot of water as he does a damage assessment in the city of Cagayan de Oro after Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo) struck the Philippines on December 4, 2012. Credits: Salacion Pacatang/Catholic Relief Services
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    Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines: ‘It looks like a tsunami hit’

Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines: ‘It looks like a tsunami hit’

By |10 December 2012|

“It looks like a tsunami hit. It’s just complete and total destruction. Whole hillsides were washed away in flash floods,” said Joe Curry, CRS country representative in the Philippines. “I’ve talked to colleagues who’ve worked in disaster response for ten years, and they say the devastation in the Compostela Valley is among the worst they’ve ever seen in the Philippines,” said Curry. The official death toll now stands at more than 647, with at least 550 people missing. Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes since the typhoon made landfall  last Tuesday. “As the roads are now being accessible and the electricity is back in many areas , the communication and access is bringing a clearer picture of the extend of the destruction,” says Cynthia Perez from Caritas Philippines (locally known as NASSA).

Caritas responds in Philippines to super typhoon

By |6 December 2012|

Typhoon Bopha (local name “Pablo”) slammed into the Philippines Tuesday forcing the evacuation of 160,000 people and leaving hundreds dead. The category 5 super typhoon hit south eastern Mindanao with 160 mph winds, causing flooding and damage to homes, businesses and farms. Caritas Philippines (NASSA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a US-based Caritas member) have sent joint teams into the affected areas. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Director of Caritas Philippines, is with one of the teams in Suriago del Sur where he says damage has been substantial. “Most of the coastal area has been affected,” he said. “In the town of Nigig, only three out of 50 family homes are still standing.” Caritas says the areas of Compostela and Davao Oriental have the highest needs, such as sleeping mats, blankets, water/hygiene supplies, and tarpaulins for emergency shelter. “Caritas here have been able to channel assistance through the churches. Many people took refuge in churches, [...]

October 12, 2012

Caritas helping flood-hit Philippines

By |12 October 2012|

Caritas is appealing for funds to help families in the Philippines, many of whom are living in temporary evacuation centres following massive floods. Heavy rains in early August left over 100 people dead and hundreds of thousands of families without shelter and food. Conditions are still very difficult with food scarce and many people unable to return home. Caritas will care for over 6000 families in five dioceses, providing food, hygiene items and cooking utensils. The cost of the two-month programme will be 352,050 euro. Priority will be given to vulnerable people such as pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled and child-headed households who have either lost their homes completely or whose homes have been severely damaged by water. Caritas’ work in the flood areas aims to prevent illness and further deaths caused by such difficult living conditions. When the floods first struck Caritas mobilised its network of diocesan centres and church volunteers [...]

September 6, 2012

More hope for domestic workers worldwide

By |6 September 2012|

The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) has announced that a second country, the Philippines, has just ratified Convention 189/2011 for Decent Work for Domestic Workers. Uruguay was the first country to ratify this Convention last June. This is the second breakthrough after adoption by ILO members in June 2010. Caritas says it is now very important to keep international attention up on these set of rules, so that more countries who are ILO member States also ratify it. Ratification means also that domestic workers have real access to redress mechanisms, when their contracts or their rights in general are not respected. It’s also a deterrent for employment agencies and employers who do not play by the rules. In 2009, Caritas Internationalis started a campaign for migrant domestic workers’ rights. Many Caritas members provide services to domestic workers and had expressed their concern about the abuses such workers had to suffer. The campaign contributed [...]

August 13, 2012

In flooded Philippines, Caritas mobilizes emergency aid

By |13 August 2012|

As the Philippines struggles to cope with massive flooding, assessment teams from NASSA (Caritas Philippines) and Catholic Relief Services (a Caritas members from the USA) have visited the worst-affected areas. They spoke with flood victims now living in elementary schools, churches and gymnasiums that are being used as evacuation centres. “The majority of the families in the evacuation centres have houses that are submerged right now,” says Father Edwin Gariguez, Executive Director of NASSA. “They expect to stay at the centres for weeks or even months while their houses homes are still under water.” The centres are housing over 150,000 people. Most centres are overcrowded and lack adequate latrines and bathing facilities. Drinking water is also difficult to obtain. “There are long queue times for water supply,” says Father Gariguez. “There are rations of drinking water in some areas, but it is still insufficient, and sometimes people don’t have enough containers [...]

Flooding in the Philippines: Caritas responds

By |13 August 2012|

Caritas is working quickly to help people suffering because of massive flooding in the Philippines. Elizabeth Tromans of Catholic Relief Services (a Caritas member based in the USA) is helping respond to the floods in metro Manila, and describes one woman's story on the CRS blog: Through the metal bars of a window in an elementary school now used as an evacuation center, Marisol Ugay, 29, holds a toddler and an infant in her lap and gives a reluctant smile as she explains, “I don’t normally look this old; it’s just the stress.” For nearly two weeks, the monsoon rains haven’t stopped in metro Manila and surrounding areas. The torrential rains, which began on August 7, have affected 1.2 million people and forced 242,000 people out of their homes and into evacuation centers. The Philippine government reports a total of 614 evacuation centers throughout central Luzon. At its most severe, rain [...]

February 16, 2012

Recycling timber to aid victims of Typhoon Washi

By |16 February 2012|

In the Philippines, where thousands of people lost their homes to powerful Typhoon Washi, a Caritas partner is using timber from logs that were washed down the river to build temporary shelters. In rural areas, they are also distributing housing repair kits – tools, sheeting and plywood – and helping to repair water systems. Read more about the work of CAFOD (a Caritas member based in the UK) and ECOWEB, its partner on the ground.

December 22, 2011

Philippines: dispatch from the flood zone

By |22 December 2011|

Carino Antequisa of CAFOD (Caritas UK) is on the ground in the southern Philippines responding to the emergency. He writes: I have just come back from our assessment in the interior areas of Iligan. I'm a bit tired as we had to hike some stretches of impassable roads to reach some devastated communities along the Mandulog River. Our team was the first to reach some of the interior villages that were totally swept by the rampaging water. The situation in the interior villages is very much the same as in the urban areas. However, what they considered as immediate needs are nails, roofing materials, a chainsaw for cutting the fallen coconut trees for their new homes, and food while they reconstruct their houses. Most of them still have farms that were partially destroyed but still could provide food. There is a visible need for improving their water supply. They need shelter, along [...]

Philippines Update: A Flooded City Needs Water

By |20 December 2011|

By Jennifer Hardy, CRS Regional Information Officer for Asia When people living along the river went to sleep in Cagayan de Oro on Friday night, they didn’t know that a wall of water was barreling toward their homes. By 11 pm, communities in this part of the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines were mostly quiet. Radios were silenced for the night. Residents didn’t hear the emergency warnings broadcast by the government shortly before water crashed into homes on the riverbank. Survivors made it out of the water with their lives, but few possessions. Others perished before they could even leave their homes. Joe Curry, Catholic Relief Services’ country representative for the Philippines, arrived at the flood zone and met people who had lost everything. “Some people don’t even have shoes – their sandals were pulled off their feet in the flood,” he says. The topography of Cagayan de […]
  • A girl searches for salvageable items after flash floods brought by Typhoon Washi (Sendong) in Macasandig town, Cagayan De Oro city, southern Philippines December 17, 2011.

Credits: REUTERS/Stringer courtesy of alertnet.org
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    Caritas teams on the ground in flood-hit southern Philippines

Caritas teams on the ground in flood-hit southern Philippines

By |17 December 2011|

Caritas teams continue to fan out over the southern Philippine island of Mindanao to help families suffering because of massive flash flooding. Over 600 people died in the flood, and parts of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City were washed away. Tens of thousands of people are living in evacuation centres like university gyms. “Because Mindanao is not used to having storms like this, many people were caught unprepared,” says Bishop Broderick Pabillo, auxiliary bishop of Manila. “This may be a result of climate change--typhoons come at times and places where they usually do not. This storm cost a lot of human lives and caused a lot of damage.” Caritas Philippines, known within the country as NASSA, has sent a team to the Diocese of Iligan. Catholic Relief Services, a Caritas member from the USA, has a team on the ground in Cagayan de Oro. News sources report that the number [...]

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