Relief Operations for Taal Victims Continue; Church Doing Its Part
BATANGAS, PHILIPPINES —Help and support for the victims continue to pour in for the thousands of people displaced from their homes due to Taal Volcano's eruption on January 12, 2020, which destroyed properties.
Government and non-government agencies, private corporations, and concerned individuals, continue to work hand in hand to help those affected by the volcanic eruption and ensuing ash fall.
With similar intent and concern, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) through the Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, continues with its relief operations.
Under the Aid To Humanity project, the Church conducted two succeeding relief operations on January 17 and 20. This is the fourth of such humanitarian service since the first one on January 13.
Aside from relief goods, basic medical services were provided in 20 sites by teams of doctors and specialists. Free medicines were also handed out.
Within 24 hours of the initial eruption, INC volunteers including licensed EFR personnel of SCAN (Society of Communicators and Networkers, International) were among the first on the scene.
As of January 22, the INC has distributed 150,000 relief packages in 121 sites (28 INC Church compounds and 93 evacuation centers) all over Batangas and nearby Cavite.
Ms. Angelica Petate, an evacuee from Sto. Tomas was thankful to the INC for it's “heartwarming kindness” saying that the INC “did not look into someone’s [social] status or religion” in handing out relief packages.
She added that the evacuees “were able to comfortably line-up, get relief items, and exit” noting the organized manner of the INC effort.
Ms. Angelica said that “it was ‘hakot-all-you-can’ [get as much as can carry]. “If I were not pregnant, I would have done so,” she said with a smile.
Community volunteers on-site, mostly female school teachers and barangay (village) health workers (BHW) were able to take a breather when INC volunteers arrived.
Ms. Leonisa Vivas, a Sta. Maria BHW, doing around-the-clock volunteer work since the eruption, said that with the arrival of the INC effort, they [barangay health workers and local volunteers] were “able to take a breather” because, she observed, the INC relief operation was “well-organized.”
Imelda Destreza, Barangay Sta. Maria Animal Health worker and local volunteer, was appreciative of the INC’s help, “bringing pre-packed items as well as distribution teams,” making the distributing task “a little easier.”
The local volunteers were also given relief items for, though they volunteered to help, they were calamity victims as well.
In amazement, Ms. Imelda remarked, “You can see that [INC volunteers] are working as one, side-by-side, and ... truly with unity.”
According to Dr. Sergie Santos, FYM Foundation Director, the series of medical aid have provided medical attention to a total of 12,000 individuals.
Individual members of the Church also extended help to their fellowmen in need.
In a social media post that has since gone viral, President Rodrigo R. Duterte chanced upon Cedie Patron, Raika Patron and Jhiane Antenor, very young INC members, as the three were handing out free pizzas to evacuees in Bolbok, Batangas.
INC members, both young and old, are taught to help those in need, in keeping with the biblical teaching to “do good to those who need it” (Prov. 3:27, Good News Translation).
To know more about the Church Of Christ and its activities, please visit www.iglesianicristo.net