MANILA, Jan. 20, 2015 — The call of Pope Francis to listen to the cries of the poor and the vulnerable should serve as a constant reminder for everyone to put faith into action, said NASSA/Caritas Philippines national director Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D.
“We are one with the Pope in helping our less fortunate brothers and sisters, especially those who were affected by recent calamities. May the Holy Father’s message of mercy and compassion rooted in God’s love be an inspiration for all of us. Now, indeed, is the right time to put Christian words in action,” the prelate said.
He added that the Pope’s message is a challenge for everyone, especially as the Church celebrates the “Year of the Poor” this year.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines has committed to a three-year program to help super typhoon Yolanda survivors across nine provinces and dioceses through the provision of disaster resilient shelters, food security and livelihood assistance, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) facilities, ecosystems recovery, disaster risk reduction trainings, and community organizing.
“The budget for the Yolanda reconstruction efforts came from all the Catholics around the world who are from the 43 Caritas Internationalis member countries. This is the reason why we put emphasis on transparent spending, which is implemented at all levels through regular financial monitoring and auditing by international companies,” Tirona stressed.
As of last month, the programs has built 2,534 disaster-resilient shelters, installed 3,529 water systems and provided various livelihood programs to 9,834 families.
The budget allotted for super typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation programs for the first year alone stands at EUR 9.7 million (P563 million).
During his visit to the country, Pope Francis denounced all forms of corruption which he said “diverts resources from the poor.”
He also emphasized the importance of protecting one’s family from “ideological colonization” that tries to destroy it. (SocialActionNews)