By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA – Pope Francis has donated around 100,000 euros (around PHP5 million) as initial financial assistance for the victims of Typhoon Odette.
Church-run Radio Veritas reported on Wednesday that the Holy Father, through the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and in collaboration with the Apostolic Nunciature in the Philippines, allocated the financial aid for the rehabilitation of damaged homes and churches in provinces severely damaged by the disaster.
The gesture is an expression of the Pope’s solidarity with typhoon victims.
“It is intended to be an immediate expression of the Holy Father’s sentiment of spiritual closeness and paternal encouragement towards the people and territories affected,” the Vatican said in a statement.
During his Angelus last December 19, the Pope immediately extended prayers for the victims of the disaster caused by the typhoon.
At present, the social arms of the church, including Caritas Philippines and Caritas Manila, are conducting relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction in the ten dioceses that were severely damaged.
Caritas Manila has distributed up to PHP20 million in cash assistance to the affected areas.
These are the Dioceses of Surigao, Tagbilaran, and Talibon in Bohol, Maasin, Cebu, Kabankalan and Dumaguete in Negros provinces, Taytay and Puerto Princesa in Palawan and the Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro.
On the other hand, Caritas Philippines, headed by national director Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, continues to visit affected areas to personally extend financial assistance and determine the extent of the damage from the recent calamity. (PNA)