“Dear brothers and sisters! I am close in prayer to the population of the Philippines, who are suffering because of the destruction and above all the flooding caused by a strong typhoon,” Pope Francis said today. “I express my solidarity to the poorest families who have been subjected to these calamities and my support to those who are trying to aid them.”
The Holy Father’s comments came after praying the noonday Angelus with the limited crowd of the faithful gather in St. Peter’s Square. His comments reflected comments by Catholic leaders on the scene who have stressed the need for the government to do more to aid victims.
Caritas Philippines said the devastation caused by the two recent typhoons requires help from the international community, reported CBCP News.
“We urge our government to seek help from the international community now. It is clear that we cannot do this alone,” said Fr. Antonio Labiao, Caritas’ executive director.
“It is imperative that we leave no one behind. Let us all help each other. Let us save everyone. Every second counts. Every life matters,” he said.
Typhoon Ulysses caused massive flooding in various parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila and Cagayan, leaving at least 32 dead following its landfall on Nov. 11.
The storm-battered areas still reeling from Super Typhoon Rolly, the world’s strongest typhoon so far this year that claimed 25 lives and destroyed thousands of homes on Nov. 1.
The typhoons struck as the Philippines continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
“The nation is in quandary,” Labiao said.
In Cagayan, he said that many people are “crying out for help”.
He said that the Church, especially the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao is mobilizing all its resources to reach Cagayan Valley soonest.
But the urgency of the situation requires the help of everyone to reach hundreds of thousands of people affected by the recent typhoons, according to him.
“We cannot do this without everyone’s help. All stakeholders need to be on board,” he added.
“Let us all help each other. Let us save everyone. Every second counts. Every life matters,” Labiao also said.