ACCORD welcomes Pope Francis & his call for true solidarity with Yolanda-affected communities

Together with the whole country, ACCORD welcomes the coming of his Holiness Pope Francis to the Philippines. We are one with his solidarity with the people of Samar and Leyte and all those still struggling to recover from typhoon Yolanda.

ACCORD supports the active call of the leader of the Catholic Church against the injustices suffered by the people of Samar and Leyte during the super typhoon. We stand with him in his call for social justice in that it is a responsibility, especially for the government, to ensure that the rights of people are met.

It has been 14 months that the people have strived to recover. The entry of recent typhoons have added to the inherent challenges in recovery, leaving many in despair. There remains much to be done in improving the quality and pace of Yolanda recovery efforts. The recent typhoons Ruby and Seniang have shown that band-aid solutions are simply not enough. The government must do more and acknowledge the need for a sustainable and long term mechanism for disaster preparedness and recovery.

In his visit in the Philippines, we anticipate to hear his messages on social justice and care for the environment, for the country and the world. May his messages evoke desire and resolve from the government, humanitarian groups, and other organizations to continue to improve their work. We must ensure that all those who have suffered from disasters will have the chance to live with dignity once again. And, for disasters such as Yolanda to that painfully took thousands of lives will never happen again.

For Pope Francis, solidarity means much more than sporadic giving. He asserts that, “It is to think and to act in terms of community, of the priority of the life of all over the appropriation of goods by a few,” and that it is also “to fight against the structural causes of poverty, inequality, lack of work, land and housing, the denial of social and labor rights.”

As he shows his solidarity and love for the people recovering from Yolanda, we call on everyone not just to celebrate his visit but be a part in the fulfilment of the causes he set out to do as an ambassador of service and social justice.