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April 28, 2019

CARITAS URGES FILIPINOS: PREPARE EARTHQUAKE GO BAGS FOR FAMILIES, EMPLOYEES

With over 25 earthquakes around the Philippines in less than 10 days, we must be prepared. Make sure your family has a Go Bag, including your kasambahay. Make the safety of your employees your immediate corporate social responsibility.
– Fr. Anton Pascual, Executive Director, Caritas Manila 

After experiencing more than 25 earthquakes nationwide in just one week, Caritas Manila, the social arm of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines that assists victims of natural disasters, among other missions, strongly urges Filipinos to be earthquake-ready by having a “Go Bag” or an emergency bag in case another big earthquake occurs.

Caritas Manila has prepared at least 500 Go Bags both for distribution to various affected communities or dioceses as well as for individual and corporate purchase, for families, offices and communities to be ready in case another earthquake strikes.

Go Bags will be distributed by Caritas Manila to dioceses affected by the earthquakes last April 22 such as the Diocese of Pampanga, which experienced a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that damaged the control tower and passenger terminal of the Clark International Airport, shattered portions of the Santa Catalina de Alexandria Parish Church in Porac, and left 9 persons dead and 30 persons missing. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recorded 18 aftershocks around Angeles City, Olongapo City, and Castillejos, Zambales, making it uncertain whether another earthquake would still hit the province.

Everyone Should Have A Go Bag

“This time, Caritas is focusing not only on emergency response but in disaster preparedness. Given the trend of earthquakes since last Monday, April 22, we are urging everyone to be prepared and to have a Go Bag ready in case another earthquake occurs,” Fr. Anton Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila, stressed.

The Caritas Go Bag is a knapsack filled with essentials that one would need in case of emergency: a first aid kit with iodine, alcohol, cotton balls, gauze bandage, paracetamol, paracetamol syrup, and water purifying tables. It also includes a hygiene kit with underwear for both men and women, feminine hygiene products, bath soap, shampoo and toilet paper. Additionally, the Go Bag has an 18 meter nylon rope, duct tape, gloves, a solar lamp with radio, and a whistle that is attached to a compass and flashlight. There is also a mosquito net in order to be prepared for an evacuation scenario and a waterproof envelope for documents. As Caritas is the social arm of the Catholic Church, the Go Bag also comes with a rosary.

For those with no time to prepare their own emergency bags, Caritas is also offering individual Go Bags for sale at P2,500 for an individual Go Bag and P4,400 for a family pack.

Caritas also welcomes purchases of the Go Bags that will be given as donations to various Caritas underprivileged dioceses or community beneficiaries.

Disaster Preparedness as CSR

Caritas Manila likewise encourages employers to purchase Go Bags or at least prepare emergency bags for their employees.

“Make the safety of your employees your immediate corporate social responsibility,” Fr. Anton said.

“Also make sure to orient them in what to do in case of an earthquake and have a Go Bag ready for each of them.”

Pascual said that this also applies to families, who should make sure that they have Go Bags ready for all family members, including their household staff of kasambahay.

Aside from preparing Go Bags, Caritas Manila has been educating communities of the parishes in various archdioceses in the Philippines on what to do before, during and after emergencies such as earthquakes, fires, typhoons and floods. Pascual shared that Caritas volunteers from parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila, Cubao and Pasig have also been participating in MMDA’s ELSAROC (Earthquake, Landslide, Search and Rescue Orientation Course) since March 2019.

Pray and Be Prepared

An astounding number of more than 25 earthquakes have been registered in various parts of the Philippines by the PHIVOLCS since April 22, Monday, ranging in magnitude from 3.1 in Agusan del Norte to 6.1 in Zambales and 6.5 in Eastern Samar.

On Saturday, April 27, another 5 earthquakes struck off Surigao del Norte, with tremors ranging from 3.9 to 5. On Sunday, April 28, at 7:31 a.m., another magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck Surigao del Norte.

For its part, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila has encouraged everyone to pray that the Philippines be spared from further earthquakes and shared the Prayer in Time of Earthquake on its Instagram page @rcamaoc.

“Let us continue to be vigilant and pray that our country be spared from calamities,” Fr. Anton Pascual said. “But let us also be prepared.”

CARITAS Urges Filipinos: Prepare Earthquake Go Bags For Families, Employees

*To purchase or make a donation for Caritas Go Bags, call the Caritas hotline at landline (02) 563 9311, (02) 564-0205 or mobile 0905 428 5001, 0929 834 3857 or email caritas_manila@yahoo.com. For other info, visit www.caritasmanila.org.ph.

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