How climate change affects community charity
Not a lot of people from this community could readily answer what climate change is, but this year, during their harvest festival, climate change struck a chord in their hearts and minds.
The Opifices Christi (Workers of Christ), a religious group of missionary priests, took over this community in 2002. The parish is under the Diocese of Alaminos, Pangasinan.
The St Peter the Apostle Parish has 8 barangays under its wing: Allabon, Ilio-Ilio, Pogoruac, Baruan, Osmena, Concordia, Tambobong and Cabongaon. Two of the barangays are in the town of Dasol.
In 2012, as part of the community's harvest festival, the Opifices Christi gathered donations of rice from around the community. These donations of rice were stocked together at the parish halls, and later distributed to the estimated 80 indigent families in the community.
About 1,500 kilos of rice were gathered in 2012, and from there, the donations increased. In 2013 rice farmers donated 4,000 kilos; in 2014, 6,000 kilos.
For 2015, the community gathered only around 4,000 kilos.
Rev Fr John Paul Miranda, OC, parish priest of St Peter the Apostle, said, "It's sad to see that climate change has affected the charity work of the community."
"Since the community is dependent on rain water for their farms, they were second-guessing as to whether to plant in June or wait a little further in August. And when they got the rains, two typhoons came to destroy majority of the crops, which is very unusual in this area of the north."
Despite the smaller number of donations, this did not deter the community from helping the poor, mostly senior citizens who could no longer work.
Rev Fr Aron Bamba, OC, in his homily, said that the community should still be grateful for the blessing and understand that "the miracle is when we give." – Rappler.com