The work of CTF Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Ketsana that struck in September 2009 continues. Much has taken place since our last update – Ketsana 7. I witnessed that firsthand during my recent visit to metropolitan Manila (December 15-20). At that time I went to all 3 sites where CTF Philippines is working: Marikina, Cainta, and Boso-Boso.
Similarly, I had an opportunity to participate in a joint CTF-RMMF medical mission in Marikina and to meet with the members of CTF Philippines to discuss their implementation of the CEI and Marikina Projects in the wake of Ketsana.
Fr. Sam Cuarto, who is coordinating the Marikina Project, wrote in February: “We organized relief activities for families which are members of our Camillus MedHaven Community Based Rehabilitation Program. Instead of bringing the relief goods to the community, we organized the distributions at the compound of Camillus MedHaven so that those who wanted to be seen by a medical team could avail themselves of the medical services we made available. We have done three distributions so far and we still have around 40 packs to distribute. We intend to carry out our 4th distribution within the week, during my birthday, February 16.
A total of 18 families are being assisted in the rehabilitation of their homes devastated by the typhoon. We bought the construction materials at a maximum of Php12,000.00 per beneficiary. Then we hired 4 skilled workers (carpenters and masons) to assist the families in fixing their homes. Labor requirement is the counterpart of the recipient family. Construction is still going on. We intend to cover more recipients when the next funds are sent to us here in Marikina City through Father Ivo Anselmi.
Marikina City has been hit very hard. And urban families who are doubly burdened by the care of a handicapped member take too long to recover from the devastation. And we happen to have a long-term relationship with these urban poor families that have handicapped children through our Community Based Rehabilitation Program at Camillus MedHaven.
We intend to continue with the relief operations and most of all in our reconstruction activities. We are looking forward to getting the remaining resources soon. I have volunteered to help in putting together the final narrative and the financial reports for the project on behalf of the Philippine Province.”
I am confident Fr. Sam will continue to keep us updated on developments concerning the Marikina Project that is scheduled to continue through the month of April.