By Christina Hermoso
Parochial schools in the Archdiocese of Manila have open their doors to shelter the homeless and the street dwellers who were affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.
In a letter sent to parents and partners of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila Educational System (RCAM-ES) Schools by Manila archdiocese Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, the Church leader expressed his gratitude to all the school directors who agreed to house poor families who have nowhere to stay.
“We laud this gesture of our school directors to provide quarters to the homeless and street dwellers, and health workers where they can be safe and secure,” Pabillo said in his letter.
Parochial schools that will open their facilities as temporary shelters to the homeless and street dwellers during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon include the Malate Catholic School, Paco Catholic School, Espiritu Santo Parochial Schools, and Holy Trinity Academy.
“Paco Catholic School accommodated the homeless families under the care of Fr. Luke Mortgart, CICM, while the Nazarene Catholic School will accommodate the healthcare workers from San Lazaro Hospital,” Pabillo said.
“Fr. Flavie Villanueva, head of the Arnold Janssen KALINGA Center, is coordinating the transfer of the homeless to the schools where they can be taken care of. The center and its volunteers will provide for the basic needs of those who are taking shelter at the schools,” the bishop said.
Pabillo said, the schools will follow safety measures required by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization to keep the temporary tenants of the schools safe.
Dozens of homeless families have earlier sought refuge at the campuses of the De La Salle University, its sister school College of Saint Benilde, and at the St. Scholastica’s College.