The Situation of the BECs in the Archdiocese of Palo in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda and the Response of the BECs in the National Capital Region

November 25, 2013

The Super-typhoon Yolanda severely affected all the BECs in the Archdiocese of Palo according to Lizeth Linahan, the Archdiocesan BEC Lay Coordinator. Regular activities, such as Bible-Sharing could not be held. The priority of the leaders and members of the BEC whose houses were damaged and who lack food was how to recover from the situation. They have received relief goods but it is not sufficient for the whole archdiocese. Some parishes have not yet received aid especially in the faraway barangays. The archdiocesan BEC lay coordinator is helping the Social Action for their Archdiocesan Disaster Response with the Dilaab Foundation and the Bohol volunteers. On November 21, they had a whole day orientation/trainings with the local volunteers. They worked on data gathering in the evacuation center and had an update on the preparations for the recap disaster response. On November 22, all pastoral disaster response teams have practicum – repacking, dispatch, medical mission , play therapy with children, conducting onsite surveys for shelter, and practice in the help desk.

The BECs in the National Capital Region have been actively involved in raising aid for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda., The BECs of the Archdiocese of Manila is giving cash donation. According to Tatang Mendoza, Archdiocesan BEC Lay Coordinator, the cash came from the food budget for the upcoming Archdiocesan BEC General Assembly. Their 20th BEC General Assembly will be held whole day on November 30, but they decided to do it half day only, so they could donate the budget for their lunch. Also, their Christmas party is cancelled and the budget will be donated to the victims of the Typhoon Yolanda.

According to Sr. Elsa Compuesto, the BEC coordinator of Kalookan diocese, the Diocesan BEC Ministry met on November 21 and agreed to solicit for the relief aid per parish. Some parishes already started on their own initiative.

According to Karl Comiling – diocesan BEC lay animator of Novaliches – the BECs in the diocese supported the Relief Operations through Caritas Novaliches. The Relief Team Caritas arrived in Tacloban City on November 22. They brought relief goods to San Isidro, Leyte and also to the diocese of Naval.

Mona Valencia, diocesan BEC lay coordinator of diocese Antipolo, reported that they coordinating with Caritas Manila. Their parishes are soliciting relief aid. They are still searching for ways how to send volunteers to Tacloban City.

BECs from different parishes of the diocese of Cubao have given aid which were sent to Samar, Leyte, Palawan and Iloilo. The relief operation started on November 11.

Once again, the culture of “bayanihan” have been expressed by the Basic Ecclessial Communities.