A Catholic bishop in Bohol province called on government leaders to set aside politics and instead work together to help the victims of typhoon Odette.
Bishop Alberto Uy of Tagbilaran said politicians must consider the health, safety and welfare of the affected people.
“Now is the time to work together. We must stop political squabbling,” Uy said. “To all leaders, let’s all be united to help all in need.”
He also urged the public to support their local leaders as they do their jobs during these trying times.
“Set aside intrigue and politics,” the bishop said.
Bohol was among the provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao regions that were ravaged by the strongest typhoon to hit the nation this year.
At least 1.8 million people or 452,307 families were affected by Odette, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The death toll has also climbed to 378 on Monday as reported by the Philippine National Police, with scores more missing.
Central Visayas recorded the highest of deaths with 170, followed by Caraga with 167. Western Visayas, meanwhile, recorded 24, Northern Mindanao with seven, Eastern Visayas with six and Zamboanga Peninsula with one death.
The prelate also appealed to the traders to avoid hoarding of basic goods. Taking advantage of the situation, he said, “is the most unchristian act one can do this time”.
“My appeal to all faithful Boholanos: Stay calm and don’t panic buy. We can only survive this crisis if we start to think of others,” Uy said.