04/15/2020, 12.48
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Chinese Catholics helping Manila poor during COVID-19 outbreak

Some US$ 85,000 are raised to pay for food parcels. The money was sent to Radio Veritas Asia’s Mandarin Service for distribution. People "continue to donate,” says Fr Leo. So far, the Philippines have reported 5,223 confirmed cases with 335 deaths and 295 recovered.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – In the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Catholics in China, where the outbreak began, are raising funds to help Filipinos, especially the residents of Manila’s poor slums, who are among the most affected and least capable of coping with the lockdown imposed by the authorities to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

So far, 5,223 cases have been reported in the Philippines, with 335 deaths and 295 people recovered.

According to CBCPNews, Chinese Catholics raised ,000 (around 4.3 million pesos) and sent the money to the Mandarin Service of Quezon City-based Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), which handled the money.

Fr Joseph Leo, coordinator of RVA’s Mandarin Service, said the funds were used to provide food parcels to residents in poor communities. Some money was given to a number of Catholic charities working among the poor in Metro Manila.

One project run by the Society of St Vincent de Paul helps residents in Payatas, Quezon City, a slum located near a garbage dump where scavenging is the main source of income.

During the current emergency, RVA‘s pandemic updates have been closely followed amid the government’s lockdown, Fr Leo said.

“Since we started to report the news of the Manila lockdown, our listeners have been very concerned about the poor people here,” he explained.

Every year many Chinese priests and nuns visit the Philippines and learn about the projects promoted by RVA in favour of the poor.

“They help them (poor) through us every year. So, when Manila was in a lockdown, they began to donate money to the poor to buy the rice,” Fr Leo said. “So far, people continue to donate.”

The dioceses of Wenzhou, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Fuzhou are at the forefront of the aid project.

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