Bishop Danilo Ulep of Batanes encouraged the people to persist in their faith even in the midst of “misfortune” facing the province.
In a message to the faithful, he lamented the surge of COVID-19 cases on the island, which is still reeling from the devastation wrought by typhoon “Kiko.”
“As I assure you of my prayers, I enjoin you all to remain steadfast in your faith and trust in God,” said Bishop Ulep.
“Let us turn these twin misfortune into an opportunity to show once more our resilience, bayanihan spirit, courage and our selflessness in the face of such misfortune or tragedy,” he said.
Batanes will be under the strictest enhanced community quarantine from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the province.
As of yesterday, the province recorded 100 new cases, raising the total number of active COVID-19 cases to 121.
The Batanes provincial government earlier declared a state of calamity due to the extent of the typhoon’s damage.
“As if the super typhoon Kiko which caused extensive damage in Batanes was not enough, here comes yet another trial in the form of a local community transmission of COVID-19,” Bishop Ulep said.
“As Your Shepherd, I share the pain of those who were directly affected by the typhoon especially those who lost their home and property.”
“Likewise, I also feel the anguish and fear of those who are presently infected with the virus. I feel for their struggle in trying to fight off this disease,” he added.
The prelate also called on the faithful to cooperate with the authorities and strictly comply with the health and safety protocols to contain the spread of the virus.