Press Release: National Council of Churches in the Philippines Commemorates Jubilee in Somber Mood, Intensifies Aid
PRESS RELEASE FROM NCCP:
The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), the country’s biggest coalition of mainline Protestant and Non-Roman Catholic churches, commemorates the 50th year of its founding on November 15 in a somber mood brought about by the destruction wrought by typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).
“We decided to tone down the commemoration of our jubilee in solidarity with our people who have faced the wrath of the storm” said the NCCP General Secretary, the Rev. Fr. Rex RB. Reyes, Jr. “Instead of a grand celebration, we have transformed our commemoration into an act of solidarity with those who are suffering.”
The NCCP has been responding to this disaster since the extent of the impact on the people of the Central and Eastern Visayas first emerged. The NCCP is actively distributing food and water in Samar. The NCCP compound in EDSA has become a relief center where volunteers are working day and night to repack goods for transportation to the affected areas. Fr. Reyes said that “today we will remember our jubilee by committing ourselves to intensify our relief efforts not just for the immediate situation but also for longer-term rehabilitation.”
“Since the NCCP was first founded in 1963 a significant part of our work has been responding to the needs of the people,” said Fr. Reyes. “It is sad that our people are suffering, but it is in keeping with our basic identity as a National Council of Churches that as we come to celebrate fifty years of our existence, the Lord of the Church should find us busy in the service of those in need.”
One of the former General Secretaries of the NCCP, Ms. Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes, who has been taking part in the repacking of relief goods said, “I owe this to the people, who taught me what life and struggle are all about.”
The NCCP is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global network of churches and church-related organizations affiliated with the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation and engaged in humanitarian work, advocacy and development work. In the Philippines, the ACT Philippine Forum is composed of Christian Aid, Lutheran World Relief, United Methodist Church Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), and Hilfswerk der Evangelischen Kirchen Schweiz (HEKS). The NCCP is currently the forum coordinator and is working closely with its partners to bring relief and rehabilitation services to affected communities.
FR. REX RB. REYES, Jr.