Priest demands more shelters for Philippine victims

People displaced by the eruption of the Taal volcano attend Mass at an evacuation centre in Tagaytay City (CNS/Eloisa Lopez, Reuters)

A priest has appealed for more and better shelters for victims of a volcanic eruption in the Philippines after criticising a local government for setting up “love nest” rooms for couples. Source: ucanews.org.

By Joe Torres, ucanews.org

Authorities in the city of Tagaytay, located near the erupting Taal volcano, announced that it has set up private spaces for couples to be intimate. Inside the rooms, where couples can spend hours together after securing permission from authorities, are a mattress and bottled water.

But Manila priest Fr Jerome Secillano said better and additional evacuation centres will serve a greater purpose than “love nest” rooms.

“We need more places to accommodate the thousands still holed up in cramped evacuation centres,” said the priest, adding that the “last thing you would think about during a calamity is intimacy.”

The number of families affected by the Taal volcano eruption had climbed to more than 70,000.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that a total of 71,717 families or 282,021 individuals were affected. Of that number, about 39,000 families, or 149,000 individuals, were in 493 evacuation centres.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has maintained an Alert Level 4 over the volcano, meaning a “hazardous explosive eruption” is possible in hours or days. The agency said all areas within 14 kilometres of Taal should be evacuated.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, a former prelate of Manila, expressed his gratitude to people who sent help to communities affected by the disaster.

“We want to thank everyone for helping the evacuees,” said the cardinal, noting that the spirit of “Bayanihan”, or helping each other, is still very much alive among Filipinos. “It is really nice that many are visiting and helping,” he said.

Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa also noted how people are still smiling despite their situation. “This is the Christian life,” said the prelate. “We will rise again.”

FULL STORY

Priest demands more shelters for Philippine volcano victims (ucanews.org

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