Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi in the province of Albay called on parishes in the diocese to prepare for a coming storm and open churches to evacuees.
The prelate, meanwhile, cautioned members of the clergy to be mindful of physical distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The bishop said the coming storm, which carries the international codename Vongfong, makes the country’s fight against the new coronavirus disease “even more difficult.”
“This means lesser number of families to be accommodated in the regular evacuation centers,” said Bishop Baylon.
He called on families with spacious homes, especially those in COVID-19 low risk areas, to let in vulnerable neighbors “so they wont crowd evacuation centers.”
“Times of crisis are also times to practice our faith in action,” said the prelate as he urged the faithful too pray “for zero casualty.”
“Let us support our [local government units] and one another,” he said.
Red alert was raised over Bicol region on May 12 as it braces for the impact of the storm, which was expected to make landfall in the province of Albay on May 15.
Vongfong (local name Ambo) intensified on Wednesday, May 13, while moving north-northwestward over the Philippine sea east of Samar island.
Scattered light to moderate with at times heavy rainshower during thunderstorms over Eastern Visayas is expected, according to the weather bureau.
The storm is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains over Eastern Visayas, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate.
Residents in these areas are advised to take precautionary measures and coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices.
Rough seas will be experienced over the eastern seaboard of Bicol Region and the northern and eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas.
The storm is forecast to further intensify as it approaches the Eastern Visayas-Bicol Region area.
The Philippines’ first storm in 2020 is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains that may spawn floods and landslides in low-lying and mountainous areas.