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Caritas - Caceres provides support to fire victims; blessing and turnover of evacuation centers done in Tinambac and Siruma

By Tere Esmeralda Medina

In the aftermath of recent fires, Caritas has been at the forefront of providing essential aid and support to affected families. The fires which ironically occurred during the fire prevention month has affected 14 families in the parishes of Himaao and Curry in Pili, and Abella and Concepcion Pequena in Naga City. A total of thirteen families (52 individuals) were affected by accidental fires. These communities belong to the parishes of St. Francis of Assisi (Himaao) Our Lady of Remedies (Curry), San Lorenzo Ruiz (Abella) and Immaculate Conception (Concepcion Pequena. News of the fire victims were relayed to Caritas - Caceres by the concerned Parish Priests.

Immediate recovery efforts o help communities rebuild and recover from the devastation include providing kitchen wares and utensils, food items, wearable clothing, housing materials (corrugated GI sheets and umbrella nails), water containers and cash.

Early this year, Caritas – Caceres in partnership with the Spanish NGO Fundacion de Religiosos para la Salud (FRS) turned over six evacuation centers in the municipalities of Tinambac and Siruma. Three DRR-related projects were implemented in these municipalities, namely: “Strengthened Resilience and DRR capacity of Local Governments and Vulnerable Communities in Pandemic Context in the Bicol Region-Philippines” (AECID funded); “Improving Resilience And Response Capacity To Natural Disasters In Vulnerable Communities Adapted To Pandemic Context-Covid 19 In The Bicol- Region-Philippines, funded by the City Government of Madrid, Spain; and “Prevention And Reduction Of The Vulnerability Of The Victim Population To Natural Disasters In The Municipality Of Siruma- Bicol Region- The Philippines”, funded by the City Government of Valencia, Spain.

IN TINAMBAC, CAMARINES SUR. In January and February, two evacuation centers were turned over to the barangays of Magtang and Bagacay where two communities frequently grappling with the threat of typhoons and floods. These structures will be shared with nearby communities in the municipality of Tinambac. The evacuation centers are not merely buildings: they are sanctuaries of hope and resilience for the communities. Through concerted efforts and commitment of stakeholders, defenses against the unpredictable forces of nature are fortified. The blessing and turnover ceremony serves as a poignant reminder of the strength of unity and community spirit in overcoming challenges and building more resilient future for all.

IN SIRUMA, CAMARINES SUR. Amidst the backdrop of communities frequently grappling with the threat of natural disasters, four new and renovated evacuation centers were turned over to the communities of Tandoc, Butawanan,, Tongo-Bantigue and Malaconini in January and February. This collaborative effort symbolizes the NGO-GO-PO cooperation to enhance resilience and ensure the safety and well-being of residents.

The evacuation center in the island barangay Butawanan and Tandoc in Siruma and the evacuation Bagacay in Tinambac are installed with solar-panels. Other conveniences of the evacuation centers include a generator set, table, chairs, gas stove with LPG, folding beds, non-contact thermometer, kawa and cauldron. This brings the number of evacuation centers constructed or renovated to seven. These centers are reminders that the journey towards resilience remains an ongoing advocacy. Present during the turnover of the evacuation centers were Rev, Fr. Marc Real (Executive Director, Caritas-Caceres); Rev. Fr. Erwin Bismonte (Asst. Director, Caritas-Caceres), Rev. Fr. Serafin Amaro (parish priest of Our Lady Peace and Good Voyage, Tandoc); Alfonso Nunez Corvinos (Country Director, FRS); Hon. Mayor Ruel Tuy (local executive of Tinambac); Hon. Sandy Ondis (OIC mayor of Siruma). Also present were other local executives of the Tinambac and Siruma.

Works of mercy do not end when the flames are extinguished. Caritas-Caceres is committed to walking alongside these communities as they rebuild their lives and emerge stronger from tragedy. And as evacuation centers rise in the communities, residents are hopeful of safety during typhoons Caritas remains committed to ensuring that no one is left behind in their time of need. Caritas thanks the generous support of donors and volunteers who have made relief efforts for fire victims possible and for the support from funders AECID, Madrid City Government and Valencia City Government.


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