New CBCP chief appeals for aid, prayers for calamity victims

Erik Tenedero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2017 08:44 PM | Updated as of Dec 22 2017 09:53 PM

A landslide triggered by heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Urduja left dozens dead and several others missing in Barangay Lucsoon, Naval town in Biliran. Photo courtesy of the Philippine National Police Regional Office 8 

MANILA - Newly installed Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Romulo Valles on Friday appealed for help and prayers for those who were affected by calamities that struck the country a few days before Christmas. 

In a statement, the Davao Archbishop lamented the impact of recent storms that hit the country while most Filipinos are preparing to celebrate Christmas.

"During this holy season of Advent in preparation for the joyous season of Christmas, particularly as we celebrate the Misa de Gallo, tragedy has again struck our beloved country," Valles said. 

"This is another very sad situation for many of our people who will be for sure in difficult circumstances as we usher in and celebrate the birth of our Savior."

The Davao Archbishop urged dioceses, parishes and other civic organizations to lend their help and gather much-needed assistance for those afflicted by storms and other calamities. 

"We enjoin our Catholic faithful and all people of goodwill to offer our sincere prayers to the Lord to let these people, in his mysterious ways, feel his care and love, his mercy and compassion," Valles added. 

Tropical Storm "Urduja," which hit central Philippines over the weekend, left at least 43 dead and dozens still missing. Tropical Storm "Vinta," which was downgraded to a tropical depression Friday, has caused massive flooding in parts of Mindanao. 

A fastcraft carrying 250 passengers, meanwhile, capsized off Quezon province on Thursday, leaving at least five people dead. Search efforts are ongoing.