This unprecedented global pandemic has affected the lives of so many people around the world, including the poor in the Philippines. Since mid-March, the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines has been under strict home quarantine to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Nearly half of the country’s population lives on Luzon. The capital city of Manila is one of the most crowded cities in the world. It is twice as crowded as New York City, and metro Manila’s overall population is thirteen million. Today, we need to support our brothers and sisters.
The Franciscan missionary friars of the Province of St. Pedro Bautista need our help. They have been providing minimum amounts of food and supplies to hundreds of poor Filipinos unable to leave their homes. The parishes in and around metro Manila are already in extreme distress. The poor living in the surrounding communities and rural villages are in great need of food and daily supplies.
The Healthcare System in Turmoil
The lockdown is the government’s response to health experts’ estimate that COVID-19 infections may reach 75,000 in the Philippines in three months if the virus is not contained.
Many of the healthcare workers and first responders have been significantly affected. They suffer abuse and the stigma that they may infect others. The health care system is not prepared to diagnose and treat the extraordinary number of COVID-19 patients. To date, twelve Filipino doctors have died, and many more healthcare workers are under treatment.
The Poor Will Suffer
The most vulnerable victims of this pandemic are the ordinary people, especially the poor and the elderly. Families that live at or below the poverty level live on less than $7.00 a day. The situation is very sad. If a wage earner goes out to find food, he or she could become infected. Ordered to stay home, these families suffer extreme hunger, or even worse, starvation.
The Franciscan missionaries in the Philippines are pleading for help. Please find God’s love in your heart. Your generous gift can ensure access to food, clean water, safe hygiene and sanitation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Help us support our Franciscan missionaries and vulnerable people around the world as they face the same challenges that we do—keeping our families safe, healthy and fed.
Together, we can support our brothers and sisters. Any gift you send would be a blessing. Your generosity reflects God’s mercy. Please make a generous gift to the Filipino people during their time of need at franciscanmissions.org
Thank you and may God bless you,
Br. Andrew Brophy, OFM
Executive Director of the Franciscan Missions