Typhoon “Ondoy” Came With Floods
Metro Manila and surrounding provinces just experienced the worst flooding in decades, displacing an estimated half a million people and claiming at least 300 lives. In the Diocese of Novaliches alone, a reported 22,529 families were affected. Parish Coordinators have also recorded 28 deaths, 200 missing persons, and 450 families homeless (data shared in the meeting on September 30).
The Saint Peter’s Church serves as the Operations Centre of the emergency disaster relief response of the Diocese of Novaliches. Knowing that disaster response should go beyond relief, it is coordinating disaster response efforts of its Parishes and has engaged the services of a volunteer consultant on humanitarian response to professionalize its efforts. It has convened meetings of Vicar coordinators, Parish workers, and priests to share updates on the situation of its parishioners, actions undertaken, and further assistance needed.
To prepare itself to respond effectively in the on-going relief efforts, to prepare and plan for the recovery and rebuilding of affected communities, and, in general, to improve its pastoral work in disaster situations, the Diocese of Novaliches is coordinating a rapid needs assessment of needs and resources of communities affected by the disaster.
The experience of disaster changes assumptions about safety and security. It affects behaviour, how children and parents cope with stress, and the social support system of individuals, families, and communities. The Diocese recognizes that the stress and trauma of disaster experience – of running for shelter and higher ground, of witnessing loved ones get swept away, of surviving the whole experience – need to be addressed.
Partners Came as a Blessing
The Pastoral Care for Women and Children (PCWC) - Diocese of Novaliches that spearheaded the ongoing activities on psychosocial and protection program is indeed grateful to Mercy Malaysia, Psychosocial Support and Children’s Rights Resource Center (PSTCRRC), Salvatorian Pastoral Care for Children (SPCC) and Child Rights Advocates of the Parishes of San Jose Tagapagtanggol and Mabuting Pastol for their assistance to the affected children and families brought by typhoon Ondoy,