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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


His Holiness Benedict XVI
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City State, Europe

Most Holy Father,

The Philippines has recently been hit by another typhoon. Countless have lost what little property they possessed. Thousands are now homeless. And that is only in Metro Manila. Those residing in the provinces are resilient folk. They will get back to their business of living each day as before. Working on the land or fishing off the sea. 

The urban poor in Metro Manila are a different story.

They live in shanties in the squatter areas, mostly on reclaimed land from Manila Bay. Thousands live on the street, under bridges, sidewalks. They barely eat three meals each day. They have few clothes. Most go barefoot.

The Catholic Church is a rich organization. Why can't you alleviate the plight of your flock? Relocate these people to higher ground. Build vertical tenements for them so that they no longer clog our waterways with their trash. They will be out of harm's way during typhoons, and the metropolis will be able to cope with flooding once these vulnerable areas are cleared for water to be able to pass freely.

Open up your vast landholdings (not only in Metro Manila, but around the country) for these development projects. And once you've given them housing -- educate them. Majority of the best educational institutions in our country are run by the Catholic Church. But ironically, cater only to the rich. Can you not instruct these Universities to have a counterpart that would provide the same quality education but at a lower cost if not free for the Urban Poor? The Vatican has enough resources for this undertaking.

Education will help them help themselves. Provide skills so that later on they will be able to get jobs. Or even acquire skills to be entrepreneurs.

The Catholic Church has power over our people and our country. Wield that power to lift your flock up from poverty. You like to boast that the Philippines is the only Roman Catholic country in Asia -- but, sadly it is lagging behind its Asian neighbors. Surely, you would want us to showcase that Catholicism can and should be able to provide basic needs of the people?!

By doing so, you will prove that The Roman Catholic Church is a force for good!

With Love in Christ,


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