Philippines: Urgent need for water, medicines, food and coffins

As rescuers struggle with the scale of the Philippines disaster, Church and local government officials are appealing for aid to help Filipinos’ in the wake of tropical storm Washi.

Among items needed are bottled water, medicines food supplies and kitchen goods, Fr Albert Mendez of the Iligan Diocese said.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez appealed for water.

“We are afraid of an epidemic that may arise simply because there is no clean water for their drinking and cooking for their food.”

“The need is so much. Purification tablets may not be very effective because we are talking about 20,000 to 25,000 families needing water, which is about 70,000 people,” he said.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator and NDRMMC Executive Director Benitor Ramos said among the items urgently needed are coffins and body bags.

Caritas is rushing aid to the Philippines as thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

Local Catholic dioceses are responding with clothing and volunteers to distribute medicine, cookware, hygiene kits, mosquito nets and blankets.

Catholic Relief Services (a member of Caritas USA) has sent a team from its Davao office to Cagayan de Oro City to assess urgent needs.

The Pope voiced concern and prayed for the Washi victims. “I want to assure the populations of the southern PHilippines, hit by a violent tropical storm, of my closeness. I spray for victims, mostly children, the homeless and many missing,” Benedict said.

Fr. Anton Pascual, the Caritas Manila executive director, said the charitable institution had formed “Caritas Damay Mindanao,” a fund-raising program to help those in evacuation centers in affected areas in Mindanao.

“In the spirit of Christmas, I am appealing to our countrymen that if they have excess money (to spend for the holidays), they just give it to our countrymen who were affected by the typhoon,” Pascual said. Those interested in donating can find instructions on


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