Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Fellowship

This is the best ever!  Everyone enjoyed the food, the games, the prizes and the warm company of family and friends.  Thank you to all who made things possible!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mayon Volcano Update

Mayon Volcano located in Albay Province is currently showing signs of volcanic activity that authorities say could lead to a major eruption. All they could say is the imminence of eruption.

In case of an eruption, five towns and three cities will most likely be affected – the towns of Camalig, Guinobatan, Daraga, Malilipot and Sto. Domingo, and the cities of Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco. As of December 14, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology (PHIVOLCS) raised the Alert Level 3 as the volcano showed mild eruption.

Mandatory preemptive evacuation has been undertaken for residents within the 6-8 kilometer danger zone. Should Alert Level 4 be issued, about 60,000 households are expected to be evacuated to safer places.

According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council, a total of 6,559 families were evacuated to 17 evacuation centers as of December 17. About 3,000 more are due for mandatory evacuation if not done already as of this writing.

Reports say that the Provincial Government of Albay can sustain the needs of evacuees for three weeks. In the event of a massive evacuation the following needs have been identified – food, personal hygiene kit, masks, medicines, bedding, potable water and dispensers.

Since the 2001 Mayon Volcano eruption, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines has put in place a regional network in Albay Province. Andurog Mayon is the regional ecumenical network which oversees the Council’s relief and rehabilitation work in the Bicol region.

On this happy season, we bid you pray for the evacuees around Mayon Volcano and all those who serve them. We pray that as he calmed the sea so may the Lord calm this yet another stormy episode in the life of the people in this country.

Rev. Rex RB Reyes, Jr.
General Secretary
December 21, 2009

Relief Opertion in Nueva Ecija

The operation was held last Monday, December 21, 2009 in cooperation with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the United Methodist Church (UMC) in Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija.  This operation was eventful in the sense that it was delayed by several incidents one of which was the three flat tires we encountered going to the site.

The UMC truck met us along the way to lessen the load of the NCCP truck.

We unloaded some of the packs at the UMC for distribution to the affected members of the congregation.

The urban poor community.  The place was like a catch basin and during the height of the storms, water levels reached neck-deep and killed several children.  The place is now dry but in some places the ground is still soft causing one of the heavy delivery trucks to get stuck in the mud.

It was a long and tiring day with the relief operation extending till the early evening...


...but seing happy faces like these it was all worth it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

NCCP Staff Community Integration 2009

The staff integration is a yearly activity done to enrich and improve the lives of both the NCCP staff and the communities that they are visiting.  Last December 14 to 17, 2009 two communities, one in Colalo, Mangkayan and the other in Kubabeng, Bokod both in Benguet, received much needed food packs in cooperation with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

The staff being briefed by Ms. Minnie Anne Calub, Program Secretary of the Program Unit on Faith, Witness and Service.

The delegation was treated to a sumptuous meal, experiencing the wondrous hospitality of the Episcopal church in the Philippines.

In the evening of the first day the staff and volunteers were given updates on the situations in the areas by Ms. Maureen Loste of RECCORD (Regional Ecumenical Council of the Cordilleras)

The steep mountain trails going to the community of Kubabeng, Bokod.

A short program introducing the organizations involved in the activity, education on mining and climate change before the distribution of relief packs.

Everybody pitched in to bring the food packs from the NCCP truck to the tent.

The community organizers double checking the list of recipient families.

The relief packs, at the background is the other truck containing the 25-kilo sacks of rice.

Signing up the necessary paper work before receiving the packs.

Mother and child receiving a pack from volunteer staff Krish.

Bringing home the long awaited help, their treasures with wide smiles.

Before going back to Baguio, we were taken on top of the relocation site on the mountain and shown the previous area of their community (brown area) where the landslide took place and the devastated farm lands at the bottom (gray area).

The volunteers and staff were given rest in between long trips courtesy of the Salvation Army.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Women's Gathering for Justice

A gathering for justice and a call to end impunity held December 11, 2009 at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani shrine in Quezon City.