MANILA, Nov. 13, 2013—Food, water and candles, these emergency necessities are running short in Catbalogan City, Western Samar, days after super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ devastated Central Philippines.
In a phone interview straight from Catbalogan, Fr. Cesar Aculan, social action director of the Diocese of Calbayog, said in case of donations, they prefer goods because supplies are running short, not just in this city, but in nearby city of Calbayog as well.
“Typhoon victims here in Western Visayas need food, they are already hungry. What we need right now are water, easy to open foods or canned goods, candles, and matches. These are the immediate concerns,” Aculan added.
Affected areas and parishes are St. Michael de Archangel in Basey, Sta. Rita de Cascia in Sta. Rita, and St. Joseph the Apostle in Osmeña, Marabut.
Aculan also raised concerns of over pricing because of stocks running out not just in the two cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog, but in all towns of Western Samar Province.
“Catbalogan is the center of trade in the province; you can see long queues in grocery stores, drug stores, etc. And prices are high because of diminishing supply and higher demand,” he said.
In Osmeña, Marabut for example, people there are complaining because a small bottle of water now is P50.00 and gasoline price is increasing.
A Tsunami prank has triggered panic buying among Samareños prompting supplies to run short and prices to skyrocket.
Catbalogan City is the center of relief operations in the diocese.
Local funding for relief efforts comes from the 2nd collection in masses offered for the victims of the typhoon and a religious community in Cebu sent goods.
Aside from Calbayog diocese, the nearby diocese of Borongan is also in need of aid as many towns also suffered devastation.
Based on confirmed reports, there are 300 people killed and 78 people missing in Basey municipality while around 2,000 other people are still missing in other Samar towns.
As of press time, the whole of Samar Island still has no power and phone signals in some areas are down. (Jandel Posion)