In an effort to strengthen ecumenical cooperation in responding to disasters, the Cagayan Valley Regional Ecumenical Assembly (CAVREA) gathered 60 church workers from five NCCP member churches in the region for an Orientation on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management at the Episcopal Diocese of Santiago last March 22, 2017.
“Many Filipinos suffer when calamities strike the country, leaving massive damages to infrastructures, disrupting livelihoods of the communities, and worst, leaving thousands of casualties,” shared by Rev. Ronnie Allan Manuel in his reflection.
“We have witnessed the tremendous impact of Typhoon Lawin (internationally known as Haima) across the provinces in our region, which recalls our task as stewards of God and calls us to unite as one,” he added.
The inputs highlighted the need for a coordinated response from different humanitarian stakeholders.
“As churches, our role may not only be limited to relief distributions but also to help in reducing the risks of our communities to disasters, by strengthening our capacities in building disaster resilience among our communities,” said by Mr. Edward Santos, DRRM Education and Training Officer of NCCP.
Other churches also affirmed their commitment to disaster response.
“I have witnessed NCCP’s response to Typhoon Yolanda affected areas in Samar and it inspired me to see how survivors’ lives were transformed from being victims to advocates,” the Rt. Rev. Jerry Sagun, CAVREA’s Chairperson, mentioned in his statement. “And super typhoon Lawin poses a challenge for us to be equipped and well-coordinated in responding to such a scale of emergency situations, and now is the time to start,” he said.
The gathering was the first major activity of CAVREA under the new leadership, which has gathered a number of NCCP member churches’ representatives from Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, The Salvation Army, United Methodist Church, and United Church of Christ in the Philippines.