Open your homes to evacuees, Legazpi diocese urges faithful

MANILA -- The Diocese of Legazpi urged the faithful in Albay to open their homes to evacuees affected by the eruption of the Mayon Volcano.

With this, Fr. Rex Paul Arjona, social action director of the diocese asks the public to support Ang Hararung na Pagrangan sa Orag o Harong (bahay) program (Malalim na pagkalinga sa mga nangangailangan), which helps people affected by Mayon Volcano eruption.

The program was launched in 2014, the last recorded eruption of the volcano.

Ito ay isang (This is a) volunteer shelter program in private homes. Una nang nagbukas ang mga parokya. (It was first launched by the parishes.) Kinakampanya po natin, lalo na sa mga residences surrounding or nearby evacuation centers na magpatuloy sa mga evacuees sa kanila para ma-decongest at ma-improve ang well being ng mga evacuees lalo na sa most vulnerable affected population (We are campaigning, especially to residences around or near evacuation centers to open their homes for evacuees in order to decongest the evacuation centers and improve the well-being of the evacuees), he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.

The parishes under diocese have already opened their churches to evacuees particularly the senior citizens, pregnant women, children and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

At present, there are over 8,000 families composed of 34,000 individuals who have sought temporary shelter. The number is expected to increase as the volcano continues to spew lava.

With this, Arjona appealed to the public for donations as the evacuees need blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, etc.

The parishes have initiated relief efforts. They opened a soup kitchen and their facilities - churches, pastoral centers for the vulnerable evacuees, like pregnant and lactating mothers, PWDs, elderly), he said.

The Catholic priest added, What we are doing in Social Action ay we are securing for blankets and mosquito nets especially dahil maulan at malamig (because it is rainy and cold), sleeping mats, ito ngayon ang aming (this is our) priority at this time. So humihingi din kami sa mga tao kung mayroon kayong mga ganito, huwag munang clothes. (We are asking people for these instead of clothes.)

At the same time, he urged them to continue to pray for the safety of the people in the province and also to be prepared.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has warned of a possible hazardous eruption of the Mayon Volcano in the coming days.

Source: Philippine News Agency