By Leslie Ann Aquino
Amid the threat of a potential super typhoon, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has convened its ‘surge team” in preparation for its possible effects.
Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace/Caritas Philippines, said the team was convened Tuesday a day before the weather disturbance was expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility.
“Caritas Philippines has officially convened its surge team to monitor the typhoon and provide updates to the dioceses that would be affected,” he said in a statement.
Gariguez said the surge team is also tasked to coordinate with the dioceses on preparedness and possible response needs.
This is aside from pre-positioning the staff and resources for possible on-ground assessment, relief procurement and distribution.
“We are also monitoring government actions to complement response actions if necessary,” said Gariguez.
“We are also coordinating with United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines, StartNetwork and other networks for updates,” he added.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, meantime, called on the faithful to pray for the safety of everyone. “Let us pray as one country begging God to keep us safe, protect us from calamities, and deliver us from sufferings,” he said.
“With this coming super typhoon, let us first of all resort to prayers. Prayer is our strength. Prayer is our assurance,” added Santos.
The Balanga prelate also advised everyone to prepare for the weather disturbance.
“Let us be prepared with necessary things and equipment. Provide what we really need and be brothers’ keepers to one another. And lastly, always follow the directives of our government officials, and heed their call,” Santos said.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, the typhoon may enter the PAR Wednesday and will be named “Ompong”.