AS violent clashes continue to grip Marawi City, the Catholic Church has tapped all dioceses nationwide to provide support to the growing number of displaced families.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), through its social action arm the National Secretariat for Social Action/Caritas Philippines (NASSA/CP) on Monday launched a solidarity appeal to all the 85 dioceses nationwide to provide help to the victims of the clashes between the military and the Maute group.
“The national Caritas is now appealing to your generosity for any assistance to augment the needs of the internally displaced persons affected by the Marawi siege,” NASSA/CP National Director Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona said in a letter sent to the dioceses.
He added that NASSA/CP initially released P300,000 to support the relief operations of the social action center of the Diocese of Iligan. Other Mindanao dioceses also started helping the Prelature of Marawi in assisting the displaced families.
Tirona said an assessment team from NASSA/CP was deployed to Mindanao this week to check the needs of those affected.
Data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development showed that more than 55,000 families fled their homes following the siege of Marawi.
There are no updates yet on the status of Prelature of Marawi Vicar General Fr. Chiro Suganod and 15 other civillians, who were abducted by the Maute group last week from the St. Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi City.
Catholic bishops in Mindanao encouraged everyone to pursue peace, citing that the martial rule recently declared in the whole of Mindanao “must be temporary.”
Donations for the relief operations of the Catholic Church may be deposited through CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation, Inc., NASSA, BPI Acount No. 4951-0071-08.
Meanwhile, the ICRC provided food assistance and other camping materials to 1,500 individuals over the weekend at the evacuation center in Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur.
Lany Dela Cruz, ICRC senior communication officer, said the food packs — which are good for 15 days — contain 25 kilos of rice, one big can of sardines, two-liter cooking oil, one-liter soy sauce, one kilo of sugar, and half a kilo of salt.
She said kitchen items, hygiene kits and other household items were also given to the indigenous peoples. The ICRC also installed water bladder and mobile water treatment units in Saguiaran and Balo-i evacuation centers.
WITH MOH SAADUDDIN